First or Second?

The Huffington Post continues its several-weeks-long rant against gun rights today in an article titled, “Protecting Second Amendment While Trampling the First.” The author, one Ken Toltz, claims that those of us who defend gun rights are violating the free speech and free press rights of those who are against us.


His argument is that we gun-rights supporters have been too loud in our opposition to gun control. He reminds us that Dick Metcalf, once of Guns & Ammo was let go because he pushed gun restrictions in an editorial, and he brings up the open carry protest that was organized outside a restaurant that some Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America whiners were visiting.

Really? That’s all?

Metcalf wrote an article in a magazine devoted to guns and gun owners. Should it come as a surprise to him that the readers didn’t appreciate his support for gun control? But in what way has he been prevented from expressing his opinion? His story has been told by the news media again and again, and he remains free to speak his mind on blogs, in magazines that will have him, and anywhere else that he cares to speak. All that he was denied is the one outlet where his views don’t match the readership.

Regarding the Moms for Gun Bans, if you can’t stand a counterprotest, too bad. The attitude of gun control freaks, one that I have observed repeatedly in debates with them, is that anyone who disagrees with their position is either too stupid for consideration or a bully. It’s the same kind of thing that gets stereotyped in movies about Southern mamas. Whenever someone says something that mama doesn’t like, she gasps and faints. Fortunately, we do not live in that matriarchal tyranny any more. Moms have to provide the same facts and logic that everyone else must offer to win a debate.

But the strangest claim of all of Toltz’s screed is that gun-rights supporters are shutting down the debate. Seriously? Has the media been silent about gun control? Have gun control blogs disappeared? Has The Huffington Post been prevented from advocacy? A short survey will show you that the answer to these questions is no.

Over the years of writing this weblog, I’ve declared my love of both the right of free expression and free speech and of gun rights. I find it bizarre for someone to use one right to call for the violation of another, but that’s what you must be able to do in a free society.

And that’s the limit of what you should be able to do. When it comes to making laws that violate the rights of others, talk is all you have a right to. We who support gun rights will talk. Some of us, myself included, more than others. But action, when it is correct, defends rights.


5 thoughts on “First or Second?

  1. orlin sellers

    ” Whenever someone says something that mama doesn’t like, she gasps and faints.”

    That sounds like Guns & Ammo & you.

  2. Mark Crist

    “But in what way has he been prevented from expressing his opinion?”

    Hi Greg,
    I’d make the argument that he doesn’t necessarily get to express his opinion in his articles. He happens to make his living writing for a customer, namely the magazine and is expected to provide a product in this case, an article that meets the wants of his employer. The article was even reviewed by his supervisor, namely an editor, who apparently didn’t do enough editing. Due to not meeting these expectations, he was fired. And as it should be, his boss resigned because he messed up to.
    We do have a right to free speech, and he is more than welcome to write his opinion and try to find someone that will pay him to do it. God know, for some reason, even Piers Morgan can find work here. But the magazine isn’t a venue for it, this is commercial speech.
    The claims regarding our loudness and counter protests rings very hollow. As far as I know, there have been no known instances of threats or assault that have risen to the criminal level. Just because they don’t like the message, or the people isn’t an adequate reason to stifle free speech. In fact, it is particularly that kind of speech that is the most needing of protection.
    In Minnesota, during the last legislative session, there was an attempt to pass what has become the latest standard requirements pushed by the gun control lobby. As was quite legal in this state, a large group of permit holders showed up to observe and testify. And as is quite legal in this state, they all open carried in the Capitol building and in the hearing room. I’m sure you can picture the consternation from the other side. You have but to visit Jaapete’s blog to get an idea.
    Everyone was polite, there was no yelling, just a sharing of views. In spite of this, there was still outcry about stifling speech and intimidation.

    1. Greg Camp

      I’m with you all the way. Actually, I’ve visited Japete’s blog at times, but she won’t allow my comments to appear. Yet another reason why it’s ironic that gun control freaks claim that we’re preventing them from speaking.

  3. Texas Colt Carry

    I look at it this way, You simply cannot trample on one Right without trampling on them all. Even tho all of our rights are enumerated and explained individually, they are all tied together in a single theme. The RIGHT of the PEOPLE, or more importantly, the RIGHT of the INDIVIDUAL shall not be denied, infringed or restricted unless that person has his/her rights denied by their own felonious actions.

    The Second Civil Right can also be used as an arm of free speech, AKA the First Civil Right. Conversely, you cant have the Second Civil Right, or any other for that matter, without the First Civil Right. Besides the Second Civil Right can, and does, completely protect ALL Civil Rights.

    For the first time in History, this current administration has curtailed some of our First Civil Rights, the right of protest in the presence of the Secret Service. You can now be jailed for your opinion being heard or seen if it is contrary to the President or his other campaigners. This change allows for changes in any Civil Right enumerated. This change is also a violation of the First civil right and illegal. Why is this tolerated? Why hasn’t our judicial system addressed this?

    Our Bill of Rights make us a strong nation and strong people, but is fragile like a house of cards if not protected and stood up for. Thousands have given their lives to protect it but it looks to be in vein as there are a few are being successful at in tearing them down. If the First goes, all will follow. For the first time in my long life, I am seeing such a divide in this country that could go either way, dramatically at that, of the Constitution falling for Socialism, or a rebellion that could make the first Civil war look like a kiddie playground. Either way a I am in fear for this country and its future. Already this country is not the one I was born and grew up in. You are now forced to engage in commerce unwillingly, also against your Constitutional Rights, or be taxed (fined) for not doing so (Obamacare). Where else will this lead? What else will be controlled against your will or Rights?

    Where will this leave me?

    Or you?


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