I am writing in response to "FBI needs more access to gun-purchase records" (Opinion, Richard Bloomberg and Thomas Kean, Dec. 2).

The rhetoric used by Bloomberg and Kean is misleading, and the arguments themselves lead to most unfortunate consequences. The language in their writing makes interference with the FBI’s ability to investigate (Fort Hood, Texas, shooting suspect) Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan’s purchase in particular appear as the goal of federal laws supported by Congress.

While it does not say as much literally — practiced rhetoric never does — the effect of placing the general action of Congress with regard to gun law directly next to the specific example of Hasan is sufficient to associate the two in the reader’s mind. The entire argument is built on counter-factuals.

I cannot speak to the Hasan case, not having all the facts before me, but statements like "And it could have saved lives," in as much as it can be used to support contradictory policies, is entirely unhelpful to this discussion.

Further, the claim "but here is one thing we already know" belies a lack of concern for the specifics of the case. For the authors of this statement, it is not a matter of Hasan’s case raising questions about gun control, it is a matter of exploiting a case as an opportunity to repeat a preconceived narrative.

The Fifth Amendment specifically prohibits one from being "deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law." Those who would have us believe that suspicion alone is enough to violate the constitutional rights of American citizens did not take the same oath I did, to support and defend the Constitution of the United States of America.

Staff Sgt. Thomas LoderForward Operating Base Hammer, Iraq

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