The governor of Missouri recently vetoed a new law. The new law, among other things, would have made it illegal to publish the name of gun owners without their consent.
The governor opposed the law because, he claimed, it would violate freedom of speech. (Source: Associated Press and Reason.com)
How is this the case? Owning a gun is, under certain conditions and at least as of now, still legal. It’s not like publishing the names of convicted child molesters. Yes, some people feel that anyone who owns a gun is a potential risk. But the fact remains that the vast majority of people who own guns, and who comply with the existing laws, are not and will never be criminals. So how is publishing their names a means of preserving safety?
These politicians, and their supporters, know full well it’s not about public safety. It’s about intimidation.
To deny anti-gun activists (and their allies in the media) the ‘right’ to publish the names of people who own guns is violation of their freedom to intimidate. It’s as simple as that.
The anti-gun movement has no rational, credible case. They claim they only want to make it harder for violent criminals to get guns. But the initiation of force has always been against the law, since the beginning of our republic. Their increasingly explicit goal is not simply to protect us from crime, but to outlaw guns for everyone.
Outlawing guns is against the Second Amendment, plain and simple. They claim that the Second Amendment is out of date. They insist the Founders meant it only to apply to a standing army.
Not so. Thomas Jefferson himself is quoted as saying, ‘Laws that forbid the carrying of arms . . . disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes . . . Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man.’
Jefferson’s argument is the exact same as the Second Amendment advocates today.
The Missouri governor’s veto of this law attacks two basic rights at once. One is the right to own guns, by making it easier for the gun ban people and more difficult for the Second Amendment proponents. The other is freedom of speech—the very thing he claims to defend in his veto.
Nobody has a right to publish information about you without your consent. The anti-gun people who support a right to privacy in other contexts, such as sex and abortion, are the same ones who think like puritanical dictators when it comes to peaceful people owning guns.
This reveals the true intentions of most gun control advocates. They want guns banned. On that premise, they feel, you’re lucky to still own a gun at all. Maybe if we publish your name as a gun owner, your neighbors will intimidate you—or shame you—into giving up that gun.
It’s a law which not only violates privacy and individual rights; it also acts as if the gun ban is already passed, in an attempt to make passage a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Like I said, there’s no Constitutional or individual rights basis for outlawing gun ownership for those who only seek self-defense. The advocates of banning guns know this, and that’s why their only alternative route is: Intimidation.
In the 1800s, Nathaniel Hawthorne wrote a book called ‘The Scarlet Letter.’ The book was set in the Puritan town of Boston, in the 17th Century. A young woman, Hester Prynne, has been found guilty of adultery and must wear a scarlet “A”, (‘A’ is a symbol of adultery) on her dress as a sign of shame.
Today’s advocates of outlawing guns are little different from the Puritans of the 17th Century. They seek to impose their views by force and shame. Whether it’s guns or Obamacare, you dare not question them without retribution.
These are the tactics not of people confident in their views, but of people who know they have no case. Their struggle to evade this fact manifests as the shouting, screams and attempts at intimidation you regularly hear from them about a host of issues, not only gun bans.
The question is: Will those who dare to disagree simply roll over, or fight back against this modern-day Puritanism by placing the shame where it belongs?
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