Enter the useful innocent. That's Peter King, another well-meaning and hopelessly befuddled Republican who can't help assuming good faith on the other side of the aisle. His song lately: due process is no longer useful to society, and we should therefore dispose of it by legislating that persons included in the government's so-called "Terrorist Watch List" be stripped of civil rights. In his column for ScrippsNews, Cliff May posits that the proposed measures will save the American people from terroristic violence like the attack in Mumbai in 2008, and that such reasonable regulation in India would have prevented those events from occurring. Additionally, he expertly anticipates the public outcry concerning human rights and due process, and pretends to calm it, writing: "if someone gets on a terrorist watch list by mistake, his right to bear arms will only be delayed, not denied."
Both May and the politicians whose reasoning he champions are clearly affected by several cognitive biases, too many to deal with entirely in this post. I'll list those most debilitating to their conclusions, which include: illusory correlation; and embarrassing entrapment by the just-world fallacy. For one thing, the official investigation revealed that the weapons used by the foreign insurgents in the Mumbai attack were illegally smuggled--being unavailable for purchase in India--and defeats May's supposition of a correlation between a civilian firearms market and the likelihood of domestic terrorism committed by American citizens; forget about causality. Furthermore, official statistics report that between 2006 and 2010 firearm sales in the United States increased by 30% (and that's only among licensed retailers), while during the same period firearm-affected homicides declined by 14%, casting doubt upon the suggestion that access to firearms endangers public health, and in fact demonstrating a negative relationship between firearm-affected homicides and gun sales. May and King have made the common antiempirical blunder of leaning on a perceived philosophical alignment of the universe (superstition) to validate their reasoning.