The Washington Examiner reports, David "Camera" Hogg and his "March for Our Lives" group have released their newest "gun control" plan as a "compromise" (embedded link in original):
March For Our Lives recently unveiled their sweeping new gun control plan, which includes:
Click through to the embedded link, and you get some more details. In addition to the above, the plan includes "a multi-step approval process" (including background checks, in-person interviews, reference checks, "rigorous" mandatory training, a 10-day waiting period, and fees), new fees on firearm and ammunition sales (with higher fees on "bulk" items), a "buy-back" program to reduce the number of "firearms in circulation" (read: privately-owned guns) by 30% — that's around 100 MILLION guns, for those following along at home — licensing fees and "refresher training" which must both be renewed every year, and a few other "goodies".
- A national licensing and registry system for guns and ammunition.
- A ban on high-capacity magazines.
- Raising the age for all gun purchases to 21.
- A federal version of Extreme Risk Protection Orders, commonly known as "red flag" laws.
- A limit of one firearm purchase per month.
- A ban on all online firearm and ammunition sales or transfers, including gun parts.
- The creation a "National Director of Gun Violence Prevention," who will report directly to the president.
Also sought is a commitment from the next President to revisit the Heller v. District of Columbia decision's interpretation of the Second Amendment as an individual right, as if that didn't have 200+ years of jurisprudence supporting it.*
And they're billing this as a "compromise".... Right....
I don't know what kind of literary education they offer at Parkland high schools, but this is an egregious misuse of the word "compromise". Either that, or he's lying. (I know which I would bet on.)
But that's his offer, so in the spirit of real compromise, let me make mine:
First, toss your Soviet-approved "Five-Year Plan" in the trash. Then:
Note: This is not an exhaustive list; just a starting place.
- Repeal the Brady Act, the Hughes Amendment, the Gun Control Act of 1968, the National Firearms Act of 1934, and every other "gun control" law, regulation, and policy on the books.
- Cease all federal monetary grants to any state or city who doesn't do the same, and arrest and charge every official in those places under 18 U.S.C. 241 and 242.
- Disband the entire BATFE except for the alcohol and tobacco units, which we'll send to the FDA.
- Get rid of the 4473 forms and publicly destroy all the paper "firearm transfer" records the ATF and FBI have been storing for the past several decades.
- In return for the above, we'll allow the FBI to keep the NICS system provided it becomes 100% voluntary and opened to private citizens, in case they decide to verify the backgrounds of their children's babysitters.
So now, let the negotiations begin.
Because that's how compromise works in the real world.
David "Camera" Hogg is, of course, welcome to weigh in in the comments below, as are our regular readers (all five of you fine folks!). Unlike many/most anti-freedom bloggers, we here at Not One More Gun Law do not moderate or delete comments; we welcome the discussion.
Stay safe out there.
[Hat tip to Carl "Bear" Bussjaeger. If you're not reading his stuff, you really should.]
* - There, revisited. "March for Our Lives" is welcome to cover my consultancy fee of $250 per hour, with a 40-hour minimum. You're welcome, Mr. Hogg.
From his blog:
[I]f you take nothing else from this, understand that there are no people on this world, there are no people in all of recorded history, as good at insurgency as the Americans.
The only thing missing is a mic drop.
You want to see an insurgency that would make the Hindu Kush jealous?
You want to hear the ghosts of empires whisper, "That was dumb"?
Listen to the idiots who think they'll just have the military take our guns.
Go give LawDog some comment-y love to welcome him back.
[Part One here]
Continuing with my thoughts related (sometimes tangentially) to the recent shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio.
For this installment, I'm going to explore the importance of Free Speech, and how social media giants' de-listing, censoring, blacklisting, and banning of certain kinds of speech may contribute to politically-motivated attacks. Just like the last post, this NOT intended IN ANY WAY to excuse or diminish the heinousness of the attacks; rather, it's an attempt to explain how various environmental factors might lead an individual to believing his/her violent actions are justified.
After the shootings, President Trump gave a speech in which he said (among other things, not all of which I agree with*), "In one voice, our nation must condemn racism, bigotry, and white supremacy. These sinister ideologies must be defeated. Hate has no place in America. Hatred warps the mind, ravages the heart and devours the soul."
He's on the right track here, but he's not taking it far enough. Hateful ideology must be condemned, but it also must be confronted and challenged. However, as we'll see, that doesn't always happen as it should.
A few years ago we covered how so-called "hate speech" is and must be protected under the First Amendment (link goes to the first of a four-part series — I encourage you to read all four, and not just because I wrote them). My beliefs on that have not changed: The best cure — possibly the only cure — for "hate speech" is not censorship; it's more speech.
In other words, the best and only way to end "hate speech", hateful ideology, and bigotry (including white supremacy), is to challenge them in the marketplace of ideas. Call it an "arena of discussion" if you like, in which conflicting viewpoints are tested on their respective merits, and the most reasoned, logical, and fact-based wins. This is how minds are opened and opinions get changed.
What happens if the biggest, most commonly-used platforms for discussion censor and/or limit exposure of "offensive" ideas?
What happens if "violent rhetoric" is banned from the open marketplace of ideas — where it might be challenged and proven wrong — and instead is relegated to a corner of the Internet where someone finds like-minded individuals, similarly banned from the mainstream?
What happens if, instead of encountering level-headed people to refute the violent rhetoric and show the individual how his ideas are incorrect, he finds a niche discussion board filled with people who say, "You're right"...
... and then follow that up with, "You should do something about that."
Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and every other major social media site have actively and documentedly been censoring certain kinds of political speech for years. They mostly target inflammatory individuals and groups on the conservative side, but anyone talking about politically-motivated violence (and who isn't Leftist or Islamic) is forced to remove their post. The problem is, that leaves questions unanswered, in a vacuum of information.
As we all know, nature abhors a vacuum. The human mind similarly abhors unanswered questions.
That vacuum will be filled, and the questions will be answered. Where it could have — and should have — been addressed in a public setting by level-headed people with facts, it will instead be fed in private by other hate-filled people with more violent rhetoric.
I don't intend this to be an accusation against social media conglomerates (okay, maybe I do, just a little), and I don't believe they are willfully complicit in the attacks. My intent is merely to point out how censorship — especially of controversial or "offensive" topics — tends to produce the exact opposite of what it tries to limit. Banning hateful speech from a platform is a "NIMBY" (Not In My Back Yard) approach; it's fundamentally no different from posting a "Gun Free Zone" sign to prevent violence, and works about as effectively.
Just as banning guns removes the ability and opportunity for law-abiding citizens to defend themselves and stop crime, banning "hate speech" removes the ability and opportunity for rational people to engage and defeat hateful ideology on its merits. Unless and until the ideology is defeated, it will fester and metastasize, and when paired with the inflammatory political rhetoric I wrote about last post, we will see more attacks like these.
This is why, on questions of "liberty vs. safety", I will always side with liberty. Freedom is not the problem — it's not guns, or social media, or even video games — and so limiting freedom cannot be a valid solution.
The real problem is hateful ideas and beliefs, and the solution is to counter them with truth.
More ideas and speech, not less. Debate and discussion, not censorship.
President Trump said that racism, bigotry, and white supremacy must be condemned. He's half right; it must be condemned, but it also must be challenged and defeated. And that can only happen when and where freedom of speech allows the discussion.
I welcome all readers to share your thoughts in the comments. I'd love to read what you all think.
And as always, stay safe.
* - He also said, "Mental illness and hatred pulled the trigger, not the gun," which enraged anti-gun Leftists, but he has that exactly right, too. Where he is wrong is in calling for restrictions on video games — which are another form of free speech — and advocating "Universal Background Checks" for firearm purchases, which last I checked, both shooters passed.
Wow, has it really been over a year since we posted here? I guess it has.... It's amazing how life gets in the way of blogging.
But then, something happens that forces a person to have these things called "ideas" and "thoughts", many of which are or could be relevant for blogging. Such is the recent mass-killing events in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio. Other bloggers have posted up their input, and I don't care to rehash their well-reasoned thoughts. Miguel and J.Kb over at Gun Free Zone have made several observations, and they're pretty astute guys.
To sum up: Yes, they were white males (does that even matter to anyone other than professional race-baiters?). Yes, they bought their guns legally, and passed background checks. Yes, they were loners that maybe could have benefited from a social intervention before these events. Yes, they were hate-filled individuals taking out their grievances against an innocent public. No, they were not NRA members, and probably did not vote for Donald Trump. Heck, the El Paso shooter's "manifesto" seems to take Democrats and Republicans both to task equally (and as Miguel points out, he accurately predicted the media's response to his actions).
And it's safe to assume none of the "gun control" proposals we'll see in the upcoming days would have prevented either tragedy.
So instead, in this post and the next (possibly more), I am going to focus on two, very specific, thoughts I've had recently, directly or indirectly related to both events. Some of these are purely mine, and some are born of conversations my lovely wife, Mrs. Archer, and I have had in the aftermath.
For this post, I'm going to discuss the escalating political rhetoric, and some ways that feeds events like these.
It's long been noted that for the Left, political violence is like a knob; at the low end it consists of angry speech, and as it turns "up" progresses to yelling, screaming profanity, protests (and blocking opposing protests), riots, physical violence against individuals (case in point: the assault and beating of Portland independent journalist Andy Ngo), physical violence against opposing groups, and (historically) all the way to genocide of scapegoated populations.
For the Right, political violence is a switch, with just two settings: "Vote" and "Shoot F@#$ing Everybody"*. The Right believes in the "four boxes" — the soapbox, the ballot box, the jury box, and the cartridge box — and emphasizes they should be exercised in that order.
For civil society to be maintained, cooler heads must prevail. However, the hotheads (mostly but not entirely from the Left) are actively preventing cooler heads from being heard. That "slow simmer" on the Left's knob could look like some to be a "cold civil war", and while I don't believe either of the recent mass-killers hails from the political Right — at best, they appear to be anarchist or socialist, not really Left, but not Right, either — with all the violent speech flying, it's really no surprise that some individuals feel sufficiently threatened or outraged to take the "cold civil war" and decide it's time to go "hot".
Note that this is NOT IN ANY WAY offered as an attempt to excuse their actions, or the murder of (last I heard) 34 people by two @$$holes with chips on their shoulders. But put in context, it might explain a few things — namely, how one person might feel their actions, no matter how heinous, are justified in their own minds.
Stay safe out there, everybody.
[Edit: Part Two.]
* - I disagree with that label, but I didn't make it up; I'm just borrowing the concept.