Let me tell you a story. Sit back and relax, but this won't take long. Parts of this story will be exaggerated for both dramatic effect and to inspire you to look it up for yourself. I will point the way and give you a guide, but it is up to you to connect these dots. Ready?
Once upon a time, Europe was falling one nation after another to a fascist, nationalistic, and racist government. As each nation fell to this mighty force of evil, certain members of those nations who were deemed less than human by the evil force were relocated to "re-education" camps to learn how to better serve the new evil force. When the sheer number of these sub-humans kept growing, it became a problem and a final solution was proposed to deal with these poor cretins.
But not all who were conquered supported this cleansing. A ship was commissioned, the MS St. Louis, and in 1939 it set sail with 908 poor subhumans on board searching for a nation to take them in. First was Cuba where they were denied entry. Next came an attempt to find sanctuary in Florida, but the US said no as well. Canada was the next port where help was sought and was the third nation in a row to turn down the refugees. So back to Europe they went where England and a few other nations agreed to take in some of them, but as nations fell, many of those refugees found themselves right back in the very same situation they first fled from. In the end, well...
"Of the 620 St. Louis passengers who returned to continental Europe, we determined that eighty-seven were able to emigrate before Germany invaded western Europe on May 10, 1940. Two hundred fifty-four passengers in Belgium, France, and the Netherlands after that date died during the Holocaust. Most of these people were murdered in the killing centers of Auschwitz and Sobibór; the rest died in internment camps, in hiding or attempting to evade the Nazis. Three hundred sixty-five of the 620 passengers who returned to continental Europe survived the war."Source
I know there are people screaming again about Godwin's Law, but dammit if you don't want to be compared to Nazis, then STOP ACTING LIKE NAZIS! I studied history and I learned from the past because I don't want to repeat it. I have seen directly what becomes of refugees when we decide we have filled our quota of immigrants from a specific area or of a specific ethnicity. We talk a damned good game of freedom, equality, and noble pursuits, but we suck at follow through. Let these Syrian refugees in!
There is nothing to fear from the refugees. Why bother with refugee status and loopholes when you can come into America as a tourist or on a student visa like those who have actually attacked us have done. Refugees are too well watched compared to tourists and students.
The ports are safe. Thank the mafia for that. Same with those drug tunnels coming from Mexico. Thank the Cartels for that. Neither of those groups want more government attention on them and they know all it would take is for one attack to be traced back to either route for those organizations to suffer greatly. Right now our attention on terrorism has given them a sort of clearance to do business as normal so long as they keep a lid on it and I doubt they want to risk that.
Limiting access to guns will help, but using something as vague as the Terrorist Watch List, which I believe accepts anonymous tips to add people who would then be denied their Constitutional rights without confronting their accusers would hardly be American and if we start denying basic rights based on anonymous tips, the terrorists win. Where would it stop? Imagine losing your right to speech, a public trial, legal assistance, a defense, etc all because someone said you could be up to no good. Even more frightening, imagine this due to some clerical error and your name was placed on the wrong list.
We have too much to lose to willingly give it up for the illusion of security. We cannot possibly be guaranteed giving these right up will protect us, but we can be guaranteed giving up these rights would forever change our nation and remove the very ideas we are willing to die to defend.
Sometimes life really does break down to the famous Rocky quote: Life isn't about how hard you can hit; its about how hard you can get hit and keep going.