Bill Weld

William Weld, Libertarian Vice Presidential Candidate, Thinks No One on a Terror Watch List Should Be Able to Buy A Gun


Former federal prosecutor, governor of Massachusetts, Hugo Black fan, and Libertarian vice presidential candidate William Weld tells a reporter from Revolt TV that "the problem with handguns is probably even worse than the problem of the AR-15" (not sure why) and "you shouldn't have anybody who's on a terrorist watch list be able to buy any gun at all."

(Start around 16:40 in the video at the above Revolt TV link)

Official campaign spokesman Joe Hunter said differently on this topic of watch lists and gun rights on Gary Johnson's behalf back in June, writing in a statement that "Gov. Johnson believes Second Amendment rights are too fundamental to be denied without due process, and being put on a list arbitrarily by the government is certainly not due process." (That's the right answer.)

Here at Reason, Scott Shackford, Judge Andrew Napolitano, Jacob Sullum, and I have all written on why giving the government the power to arbitrarily deny people a core constitutional right by placing them on a list is a crummy idea.

More on general Libertarian disquiet over Weld, and Weld defending himself to Libertarians in this video from Reason TV:

NEXT: Virginia Suspends Hundreds of Thousands of Driver's Licenses Due to Unpaid Court Debt

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. Yes but he’s fine on most issue. I can work with this. It’s Johnson that makes me nervous. He seems to be relatively unprincipled other than ‘muh feelz’ and ‘I guess I had my head in the sand’. Ugh.

    1. Agreed. It seems he is more interested in getting the job than upholding the principles. At peak optimism, tell myself it’s because America isn’t ready for full liberty and an incremental approach is best. Most of me thinks that’s BS.

      1. He’s not interested in the job. He’s trying to weasel out. I suspect he fears the responsibility of being President. If he was eager for the job he’d say, “I want to get to the debates and kick Trump’s and Hillary’s asses!” He would have an opinion about BLM. He would have a complete thought and be excited to articulate it. Instead, crickets and defer to Weld.

        1. During the pre-convention Fox News debate, Johnson highlighted the fact the, if he doesn’t win the 2016 race, he plans to hike the Continental Divide Trail or some such. I’d wager he’s far more interested in that adventure than in becoming president.

    2. And still better than Trump or Hillary (or Pence or Kaine).

      1. This is a deal breaker for me. I can’t vote for this dude.

    3. Johnson doesn’t make me nervous at all, because he isn’t going to win! I’ll put my protest vote in and that will be that.

    4. My last pay check was $9500 working 12 hours a week online. My sisters friend has been averaging 15k for months now and she works about 20 hours a week.
      I can’t believe how easy it was once I tried it out. This is what I do…

  2. “you shouldn’t have anybody who’s on a terrorist watch list be able to buy any gun at all.”

    Anybody who seriously holds this position is just deliberately retarded.

    1. It’s William Weld. The sort of guy who would fuck up getting laid in a Tijuana whorehouse despite having $1,000 cash in his pocket.

      1. So he’d just end up rolled or dead instead?

        1. He’d somehow end up starring in the donkey show.

          1. As which character?



            2. Whichever one isn’t actually libertarian at all.

          2. and everyone would say, “God, that donkey must be so embarrassed”

          3. *chokes on coffee, splutters, tries to stand up to applaud*

          4. El Burrow Spectaculare!

          5. “Geez, I’ve been to donkey shows before, but this is the first time the donkey just went to sleep.”

          6. Inter-species erotica, fucko!

      2. Well he wouldn’t literally “fuck it up” because that implies there was some kind of fucking going on.

      3. That’s why he didn’t get that ambassadorship: They didn’t want him wasting his whore allowance.

    2. Some prohibitions don’t work because there are black markets.

      Other prohibitions, if we just prohibit hard enough, can stop terrorism. You see, the government disapproval of such transactions will trickle down into the black market and give us a warm fuzzy feeling of safety. And isn’t that what really matters?

  3. Sigh. Weld is turning out to be pretty unlibertarian. I was willing to give him the benefit of the doubt initially, but damn.

    1. In the townhall, he seemed like a confused Republican trying to explain Crazy Uncle Gary’s proclivities with a “stern knowing smile.”

      Also, GayJay’s fiance is going to keep up Michelle Obama’s garden. So we know that now and can finally relax.

  4. Libertarian Goddamn Moment.

  5. A liberal Republican doesn’t support liberty?

    I’m SHOCKED!!!!!

  6. Genuine question.

    Why, despite all the nasty revelations over the past few days, eg. the Clinton involvement in munitions tech transfer to the russians, the outing of the AG’s for clean power for violating the Ku Klux Klan Act, the IRS stuff etc, is Reason ignoring those stories to cover the inconsequential and utterly irrelevant vanity campaign of two has-been politicians who couldn’t hack it in the Republican Party?

    Again, I can understand the occasional “where is the clown show today, and what siliness have they pomoted in the past few weeks” article. But you guys are missing out on genuinely important news stories, stuff that will win awards, in order to waste your time on something so boring and irrelevant that in 3 years will be utterly forgotten except by a few alpha nerds.

    Why are you putting so much energy into covering this? Is it really worth ignoring the actual, meaningful news that you are ignoring?

    1. I know, right? Why would anyone on a libertarian website care about what the Libertarian presidential ticket is up to?

      1. As I said, I can understand the occasional article covering Johnson and Weld’s quixotic attempt to fake relevance.

        I can even see devoting one article a day to it. Sure.

        But there have been something like 6 articles by 6 different writers. And they all say the same thing. They are idiots. They look confused and ignorant. They are at odds with their party’s platform planks and could be recalled. They don’t really understand libertarianism as a philosophy either.

        Are people really that interested in these guys?

        1. Johnson has some good points and some bad points.

          Weld, on the other hand, is a Bob Barr-level embarrassment.

          1. I think he’s worse than Barr by this point.

            1. Weld is orders of magnitude worse than Barr. Barr repented of his sins against liberty. Weld revels in them.

    2. At least this article is on reason’s “beat” of covering the candidate from the party most closely associated with their ideology.

    3. I’m holding out hope that Reason’s got some coverage in the works, and the reportage is just not done yet.

      Don’t nobody try to sell me a bridge right now though.

    4. The mass-media has made an enormous coordinated anti-Trump effort this week and Reason seems to be going along for the ride. The Clinton and Obama stuff being ignored in the press is just breathtaking. Instead, I’m supposed to get worked up about tweets with some Muslim guy.……html#more

    5. tarran, I have basically the same question, but I ask it about the inconsequential and utterly irrelevant stories about Melania Trump’s immigration status over 20 years ago, TRump’s twitter outrage-o=the day, etc.

      Today’s story load has actually been one of their best in a long time, as far as the non-campaign stories go. But the blackout on the recent spate of truly jaw-dropping abuses of power and corruption is rather startling, IMO.

    6. do you have some news on this? Its the first I’ve heard of it?

      I’m starting to think I need better news sources.

  7. Amendment XVIII:
    I. Election of the President: No candidate shall be qualified for presentation to the Electoral College without achieving more votes than NONE OF THE ABOVE. NONE OF THE ABOVE shall be printed on every ballot, and signify that the voter feels all candidates unqualified for the Presidency. Elections shall be held the first Tuesday of the month from August until December of every fourth year until at least one qualified candidate may be presented to the Electoral College
    II. Presidential Elegibility – Any candidate for President qualified on a majority of states’ ballots who fails to gain more votes than NONE OF THE ABOVE shall be deemed ineligible for the Presidency for the next five Presidential terms.

    1. What happens after December?

      1. Anarchy!

        I don’t know. I’m thinking the Office of the Presidency remains unfilled, or goes by lot to a random citizen who is qualified. Let’s crowdsource it.

        1. Office of the President. Jesus. That’s almost as bad as writing orientated.

        2. Per current succession law, if the presidency (and by extension the vice-presidency) is unfilled, the Speaker of the House fills the position. All hail President Paul Ryan!

          1. I have to think about whether I want the Speaker of the House to become the de-facto President-in-Waiting. I might. Imagine the knife fights in Congress the term before the quadrennial elections.

            1. Trying to get into the Speakership, or trying to get out of it?

              1. Probably in.

          2. No one gets to fill it. It goes unfilled. Speaker of the House can take on the duties as the (provisional) C-in-C and oversee the running of the Executive but he doesn’t get to be called ‘President’, doesn’t get the Presidential powers of appointing justices, starting ‘kinetic military actions’, writing executive orders, etc.

            He just gets to keep the Executive keeping on and that’s it.

            Only if an *elected* President bites it does should he have a chance to succeed to that position.

  8. Doherty is the designated bubble-bursting hit man so reason doesn’t lose its last shred of credibility.

    1. Doherty is also the most principled libertarian that writes for reason, with the possible exception of ancap Sheldon Richman.

  9. It is just the theme for this election. No member of a party can be satisfied with their party’s ticket. We have Bernie Bros talking about voting Libertarian, we have life-long Republicans voting for Clinton, and we have Ds voting for Trump.

  10. Does anybody else get the feeling William Weld came across and misread advertisement of “Libertarian VP Candidate wanted” and thought he was applying for a job for a librarian lobbyist group?

    1. Nope. Weld is great. I would vote for him as Libertarian over Johnson, or anyone else. He has a few peccadillos but I can work with that. (E.g. I will pledge allegiance to ISIS and get his FBI crones to follow me instead of luring retarded kids into fantasizing about bomb plots against their mommies and maybe the ‘local synagogue’ too because that would really show her, right?)

  11. He’s a statist, plain and simple. A fiscally-prudent statist, perhaps, but a statist nonetheless.

  12. Its like someone told him that 30% of libertarians were disavowing him when they learned of his nomination…

    …and he saw that as a challenge to get rid of the other 70%.

    the expression “WTF” is insufficient. Gay Jay et al knew that this year would be the ‘best opportunity’ in decades to get lots of exposure. and this guy was their best-pick? really?… how slim *were* the pickings at the betty ford clinic?

    1. I continue to think the ‘sensible, moderate voice’ was the right play for the LP this year, and two governors is hard to beat in that respect, but FFS, you’d think the LP would flex some muscle and pressure Weld to read up on their party platform and at least try to tow the lion. Either keep mum on these issues or do some basic politicese speak, something like, “Well, my candidate’s position on this issue is…”

      1. I continue to think the ‘sensible, moderate voice’ was the right play for the LP this year,

        Me, too. I guess the challenge was finding two candidates who aren’t reverse narcoleptics, putting everyone they encounter to sleep.

        And I don’t think that “sensible, moderate” voices need to be jumping on stupid bandwagons like “no fly, no buy”.

        1. And if abolishing one of the articles of the Bill of Rights is “moderate,” then the media’s definition is really screwed up.

        2. What if making concessions on some aspects of gun controls gets you respect that you can use in other areas of gun control? Or of any other policy? That’s most what politics is: selling some interests to buy others.

      2. Exactly. Tell him to at least shut the fuck up about guns or the magnificent jurisprudence of Stephen Breyer.

      3. Political parties have practically no leverage over their nominees. With some experience, convention delegates wake up to the fact that their platforms don’t mean shit, so it’s usually just the newbies who pay att’n to platform drafting. It’s the candidates’ faces that become the face of the party, & a face is all about appearance.

        If you were ask Weld or Johnson, I’m sure they’d be dismissive about the platform & its drafters, saying that’s just a formality. The same w the nominees of the other parties, big & small.

        Once you get into position to legislate, that’s where you can enact stuff that’s in a platform. In a parliamentary legislature, that’d come more or less automatically.

  13. I lived in Massachusetts when Weld was Governor. He was Mitt Romney without the money, a skinny Chris Christie. He did what a Republican Governor in a Democrat dominated state is supposed to do – show some fiscal restraint and keep them from going off the deep-end on social-justice craziness. He did a good job and seems like a nice guy.

    I have no idea how he ended up buddies with Johnson and what qualifies him a Libertarian Party candidate. He never struck me as anything other than a mildly fiscally conservative, somewhat socially indifferent Republican.

    1. I think they bonded at the governors’ conferences, IIRC.

    2. He also got LP’s nomination for US senator from NY, but then burned them by dropping out.

  14. Light the HIHN!!! signal?

    I think this was Rand Paul’s year. He should have run for the LP nomination.

    1. I had a dream of him getting the Republican and Libertarian nominations. I’m funny that way.

    2. So he could lose his Senate seat and end his political career?

      Might have been good for him personally, but pretty bad for the rest of us.

    3. I think this was Rand Paul’s year. He should have run for the LP nomination.

      according to an interview w/ Jeff Tucker from a while back which i can’t find… I think Rand got so badly-treated by party-libertarian types when he ran as a republican that he’s had a very unpleasant relationship w/ them ever since. Something to do with his endorsement of Romney in 2012, which basically chose “team” over symbolic loyalty.

      Perfect, meet Good = your arch-enemy.

  15. Sad!?. I try to be a defender of this ticket but this is just unacceptable for someone claiming to be in favor of liberty.

  16. Weld’s role is to raise money. He’s getting that done.
    Gary might slip into the WH via the house of reps, but Weld would be chief of staff, not VP

  17. So far 2016 is turning out to be one big sick joke on all of us.

  18. Libertarians – “We’ll never compromise ideological purity for the sake of winning a fuckin’ election.” And people wonder why America is a two-party duopoly dominated by authoritarian asswipes.

    1. Upholding basic due process rights is an uncontroversial position among conservatives and gun-rights Democrats. This isn’t decriminalizing heroin or prostitution, or privatizing police services.

      1. agreed. this isn’t a LP position that is unpopular, or “extreme.” it’s not the part where we want to make it easy to buy an RPG or a tank. it’s the part where we say “you can’t due that without due process.”

  19. At the end of the day only one of these mammals is courteous enough to at least correctly lie to me about gun control

  20. **BREAKING NEWS**: William Weld is not a libertarian. Libertarians hardest hit.

  21. *facepalm*

  22. Cakes are (to mix a metaphor) merely the tip of the iceberg.

    It’s statists all the way down.

  23. Now imagine the rebuttals to libertarians for the next who-knows-how-many years: “Your position is extreme, your own candidate disavowed it!”

    1. Watch your fingers – these guys are slamming the Overton Window shut.

  24. More evidence that Johnson’s agenda here is to act as a spoiler in favor of Trump, to draw off the occasional angry Berntard and repel wayward nevertrump Republicans back into the GOP fold.

  25. Weld is why I cannot vote for the ticket without having a stain on my conscience.

  26. So does this make him better, worse, or about the same as Trump on guns?

    Its sad that I don’t even have to consider how anti gun the dem is, but its Hillary: she seems to automatically have the worst actual policy on anything.

  27. I realize this is a silly question, but how in the fuck is it possible for a “former federal prosecutor” to appear anywhere on a libertarian ballot, much less at the VP slot?

    It makes me think the Libertarian Party is some sort of a false flag operation.

    1. Depends on the situation. Some leave that job (like Popehat) for the legal defense sector and spend some time pointing out prosecutorial abuses – made easier by their understanding of the inner workings of the system and its incentive structure.

      Others, of course, found Jesus *after* retirement – these are the ones that need to sit down and shut up because they don’t have a moral leg to stand on.

    2. What if he was hired because he was thought to be efficient? Say you’re a lawyer; isn’t that a feather in your cap that anyone might appreciate, regardless of their politics?

  28. “the problem with handguns is probably even worse than the problem of the AR-15” (not sure why) and “you shouldn’t have anybody who’s on a terrorist watch list be able to buy any gun at all.”

    Did anybody ask him if he knows how many people on the ‘terrorist’ watch list have committed a ‘gun violence’ crime of any type, let alone a mass shooting?

    Because I’m pretty sure that the number is close to 0.

    1. So, the watch list worked?


  29. I really don’t know why we got him as our VP pick. i mean, i understand the strategy they are trying… but could they not have found any other “moderate” republican to at least stick with due process for the loss of 2nd amendment rights?

    1. I doubt he was asked about no fly, no buy by the delegates.

    2. Did you happen to see the list of nominees running for the veep spot or their speeches? Pathetic is one word I’d use. Can’t think any of them would have registered a blip on the national radar. For the record I was quite vociferous in my opposition to Weld but the alternatives were bleak.

  30. i get Paid Over ?80 per hour working from home with 2 kids at house. I never thought I would be able to do it but my best friend earns over ?9185 a month doing this and she convinced me to try. The potential with this is endless.

    Heres what I’ve been doing,………

  31. If the government can revoke your right to access firearms simply because it has decided to place you on a secret, notoriously inaccurate list, it could presumably restrict your other rights in a similar manner. You could be forbidden from advocating for causes you believe in, or associating with like-minded activists; your right against intrusive, unreasonable searches could be suspended. And you would have no recourse: The government could simply declare that, as a name on a covert list, you are owed no due process at all.

    President Obama and Hillary Clinton are wrong to think that arbitrary lists are a valid and legal means of stripping Americans of their gun rights.

    It would be nice if the Republican Party had chosen as its standard-bearer someone who could articulate the conservative case for the Second Amendment and due process. Instead, it chose Trump. Now gun rights will be in jeopardy, no matter which of the two charlatans currently seeking the presidency prevails.

    reason .com…..-gun-list/

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.