Anti Gun Media Takes the Bait on Constitutional Trap
Article first appeared at Ammoland.com
Ammoland – It isn’t often that legislators get the opportunity to display gun ban extremists’ hypocrisy so succinctly as they have in two recent examples, one in Virginia and one in South Carolina.
First, there has been a lot of news coverage of a decision by Virginia’s state’s attorney general torescind the reciprocity agreements between the Commonwealth and 25 other states, as well as a move a week earlier by the governor to sign an anti-gun executive order banning openly-carried firearms from government grounds.
In response, a state legislator there has introduced a bill seeking to defund the governor’s protective detail.
“If he is so afraid of guns, then I am not going to surround him with armed policemen,” said Senator Charles Carrico (R-40), as he explained why he wants to defund the governor’s armed detail which is made up of multiple Virginia State Police Officers.
Sen. Carrico feels if the governor will not allow citizens to carry firearms with those out-of-state permits, then the governor should not be surrounded by security detail carrying firearms. He plans to propose a budget amendment during the January session to defund the governor’s protective detail.
“If we take the money away spent to protect the governor and put it back into the state police, that are already short-manned, and put it into key positions to protect those in the Commonwealth, since we have a governor in an office keeping them from protecting themselves, then I think it is logical,” explained Sen. Carrico.
Meanwhile, in South Carolina, a state legislator sprung quite a trap on gun ban extremists in the media.
State Rep. Mike Pitts, R-Laurens, filed a bill Tuesday in the S.C. House to establish a “responsible journalism registry” to be operated by the S.C. secretary of state.
That bill’s summary says the bill would “establish requirements for persons before working as a journalist for a media outlet and for media outlets before hiring a journalist.” The summary also includes registration fees, and sets fines and criminal penalties for violations.
A person seeking to register with the state as a journalist would have to submit a criminal record background check and “an affidavit from the media outlet attesting to the applicant’s journalistic competence.”
Members of the media were, of course, to grab the cheese, and the trap was sprung:
The proposed registry “is ridiculous and totally unconstitutional,” said Bill Rogers, executive director of the S.C. Press Association. The State newspaper is a member of the Press Association.
The government cannot require journalists to register, Rogers said, citing the First Amendment to the Bill of Rights, which ensures freedom of the press.
Mouse, meet trap.
Pitt is quoted as saying “It strikes me as ironic that the first question is constitutionality from a press that has no problem demonizing firearms. With this statement I’m talking primarily about printed press and TV. The TV stations, the six o’clock news and the printed press has no qualms demonizing gun owners and gun ownership.”
Indeed, gun rights advocates have long pointed out the hypocrisy of journalists who have no problem advocating for the licensing and registration of those who wish to exercise their Second Amendment rights, all the while fighting hard to ensure their First Amendment rights shall not be infringed.
Chad D. Baus is the Buckeye Firearms Association Secretary, BFA PAC Vice Chairman, and an NRA-certified firearms instructor. He is the editor of BuckeyeFirearms.org, which received the Outdoor Writers of Ohio 2013 Supporting Member Award for Best Website.
Buckeye Firearms Association is a grassroots political action committee dedicated to defending and advancing the right of Ohio citizens to own and use firearms for all legal activities. Visit: www.buckeyefirearms.org