How Politicians Are Using Alleged “Restrictions” On The First Amendment To Argue For Restricting The Second Amendment
I have heard it numerous times from mostly Democrat politicians on how we restrict and regulate the freedom of speech protected under the First Amendment to make a point that freedom of speech is not unlimited. They do this to make their point that they can thus install all sorts of gun confiscation “laws,” and yes, that is what they are because, in the end, those laws seek to separate you from your guns, with the same claim that the right to keep and bear arms is also not unlimited. I’m calling their bluff, and Rep. Ted Lieu’s (D-CA) recent claim gives me that opportunity.
You may recall several people making comments that the Amendments to the Constitution are not “absolute.”
Take Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY), for example. In addressing the Senate on the DISCLOSE Act, he said:
“I believe there ought to be limits because the First Amendment is not absolute. No amendment is absolute. You can’t scream ‘fire’ falsely in a crowded theater. We have libel laws. We have anti-pornography laws. All of those are limits on the First Amendment. Well, what could be more important than the wellspring of our democracy? And certain limits on First Amendment rights that if left unfettered, destroy the equality — any semblance of equality in our democracy — of course would be allowed by the Constitution.”
“And the new theorists on the Supreme Court who don’t believe that, I am not sure where their motivation comes from, but they are just so wrong. They are just so wrong.”
No, and he can’t actually point to where he is authorized to “fetter” those rights because it is not allowed by the Constitution.
We know that New York Governor Andrew Cuomo also has signed legislation that would punish those who protest against Israel. Folks, like it or not, that is a right protected by the First Amendment, and guess what? You have the right to make your case for why such protests are not valid.
By the way, Ted Lieu also signed onto similar legislation in DC, so no, he does not believe in the First Amendment at all.
This brings me to the point that some Democrats have made: Since the First Amendment is not absolute, neither is any other Amendment, including the Second Amendment.
The reason they claim this is that they go back to the tired, old saw of yelling “Fire” in a crowded theater. “You can’t yell ‘fire’ in a crowded theater,” they argue. “It’s against the law and thus, we have regulated the First Amendment.”
They do this with the hopes that you don’t think about what they are saying when it comes to restricting your purchases of firearms or keeping them should they deem you “dangerous.”
First, it is not always against the law to yell “fire” in a crowded theater. If there is an actual fire, you not only may, but should warn people in the theater and help to rescue as many as possible.
Second, you don’t check your voice or your mouth at the theater entrance. They don’t put a muzzle over your mouth before you enter the theater either, do they? Nope, but that’s what Democrats hope you don’t think about as that is exactly what they are attempting to do with guns.
Let me explain.
No law stops your free speech. You may speak about what is good or what is evil. You may uplift or tear down with your words. The violation of law comes into play when your words are used to commit a crime such as yelling “fire” in a theater when there is no fire and people possibly losing their lives as a result of your criminal speech. But note: your voice was not taken from you nor a muzzle put on your mouth to infringe on your speech.
Now, Democrats and some Republicans are pushing for Universal Background Checks. On what basis? Well, some would use the limits they assume are on the First Amendment, but UBCs are anti-American. Why? Because they presume you are guilty and must prove your innocence before purchasing a firearm or giving one away.
UBCs, which is what members of both political parties think are “common sense” approaches to stopping criminals from obtaining guns. They aren’t, they just make them feel good about what they are saying and doing as they seek to infringe on your rights and violate their oath of office.
Now, if you haven’t seen what I’m talking about in the comparison, let me help you.
When it comes to the protections of free speech under the First Amendment, your speech is unlimited and unrestricted. In fact, you have to use your speech to commit a crime. With me so far?
In the second scenario, they want to keep you from your right to keep and bear arms in order to allegedly prevent a crime. They want to make sure you don’t have a weapon, namely a gun, to commit a crime. See that sleight of hand they are using when they speak?
The fact of the matter is that we have laws in place to deal with crimes that involve speech, such as the fraud of yelling “fire” in a crowded theater when there is no fire, perjury, and other forms of fraud and deceit with our mouths.
When it comes to the Second Amendment protections of keeping and bearing arms, it is absolute no matter what these people tell you. Why? Because we already have laws in place to deal with criminals who use guns to commit crimes. For instance, armed robbery, murder, kidnapping, rape and others. Guns can be used in the commission of these crimes. By the way, so can other weapons such as knives.
The point I’m making here is this: I have heard even conservatives and constitutionalists buy into the fact that the rights protected under the Second Amendment are not absolute because they have bought into the lie that the rights under the First Amendment are not absolute. Both are. We are talking about dealing with violations of law, not restrictions on the rights of law-abiding citizens.
The fact of the matter is that rights are either absolute and government should protect them, or they are not absolute and government can infringe on them as much as they want. Pick your side, but Thomas Jefferson chose his words carefully in penning the Declaration of Independence. He wrote:
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed,…
That means those rights cannot be given up nor taken away because they are given by the Creator. They come outside of us, just like the law does.
And don’t think it only applies to these two Amendments nor to just Democrats.
President Donald Trump and some Republicans have advanced Red Flag Laws that are a violation of the Constitutional authority granted to Congress and the Executive Branches, as well as the Fourth and Fifth Amendments. I guess those Amendments aren’t absolute to them either.
Keep this in mind that next time criminal politicians try to sell the snake oil of First Amendment restrictions in order to infringe on the rights they are supposed to protect under the Second Amendment.