Harry Reid, Chuck Schumer, Patty Murray

U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., joined by Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., left, and Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., at a Dec. 8 news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, criticizes Republicans for not doing enough to stop gun violence. On the Senate floor, Schumer called it ‘absolute insanity’ that suspected violent extremists are not already among the categories of people barred from purchasing firearms from gun dealers.

The American Civil Liberties Union supports affirmative action and abortion, opposes the death penalty and believes the current system of campaign funding is badly flawed.

In short, the ACLU is on the opposite side of every argument with conservative Republicans.

Until last week.

Both the ACLU and Republican U.S. senators agreed that people on the “no-fly” list should be allowed to buy guns.

Yes, you read that right.

The “no-fly” list was established by President George W. Bush after the attacks on 9/11 as a way to identify potential terrorists and keep them off commercial airliners.

So in the wake of the San Bernardino shootings and the attacks on Paris with our shaken citizens looking to Congress to keep the homeland safe, the U.S. Senate voted 54-45 to protect the Second Amendment rights of potential terrorists on the “no-fly” list.

Only one Republican — Sen. Mark Kirk of Illinois — crossed party lines.

All four of the Senate Republicans running for president — Ted Cruz, Lindsey Graham, Rand Paul and Marco Rubio — voted to allow those on the “no-fly” list to buy guns.

Once again politics triumphed, despite the fact that The Washington Post reported last month that suspected terrorists had legally purchased more than 2,000 guns from American dealers between 2004 and 2014.

The reasoning by the Republican senators was that sometimes people are mistakenly put on the “no-fly” list, and banning them from owning guns denies them their constitutional rights. The ACLU resoundingly agreed, even though the legislation provided an avenue for citizens to appeal the decision if they are mistakenly put on the list.

It was one of the rare times in recent memory when Republicans have fought for American civil liberties.

When will this partisan divide end and the good of the country be considered?

There was some good news late last week when Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy said he plans to sign an executive order — the first in the nation — to ban the sales of guns to people on federal government watch lists, including the “no-fly” list.

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On Sunday, Sen. Charles Schumer and Gov. Andrew Cuomo demanded the federal government share watch-list information on suspected terrorists so New York could block them from buying guns.

They said keeping the information secret creates a dangerous “terror gap.”

Late last week, Republicans in the House of Representatives blocked an attempt to even debate the issue.

We agree with that, too. There is no need to debate this issue. Preventing people on the “no-fly” list from buying guns should have been passed without a second thought.

Washington politics has again triumphed over national security and reason.

Local editorials represent the opinion of The Post-Star editorial board, which consists of Publisher Terry Coomes, Controller/Operations Director Brian Corcoran, Editor Ken Tingley, Projects Editor Will Doolittle and citizen representative George Nelson.


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