I get a lot of email from concerned readers who are rightfully worried about liberal attacks on the 2nd Amendment and what it might mean about the future of gun rights in America.
These folks have every reason to be concerned.
Over the last 50-60 years liberals across America have employed an “all-but-the-kitchen-sink” mentality in their efforts to destroy the 2nd Amendment. They’ve used local ordinances to clamp down on local gun ownership, they’ve used state legislatures in an effort to use the 10th Amendment against the 2nd Amendment, they’ve pushed through Draconian gun laws in states like New Jersey and California and in cities like Chicago and Washington, D.C. They’ve even worked to get activist judges to ignore the Bill of Rights and to reinforce their ridiculous laws no matter how contrary to the Constitution they are. Finally, Congress itself has employed twisted rhetoric and flat-out falsehoods to force ignorant, nonsensical gun laws (like the so-called ‘assault weapons’ ban of the Clinton administration – where the law basically banned certain firearms based on what they ‘looked’ like) on to the American people.
With all this obvious pressure on the 2nd Amendment, we can forgive our friends if they’ve failed to notice the way that liberals have also been undermining our religious freedom and our right to free speech. The liberal attacks on the 1st Amendment have been far subtler. Instead of outrageously attacking these rights in speeches before Congress, they’ve pushed laws that sound like they should be defending these things. The Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), or the “Media Shield” free speech protection bill for example.
(The Media Shield law makes journalists a protected class and gives them “more” right to free speech than the average American. That doesn’t sound like “free” speech at all, does it? The RFRA essentially does what the 1st Amendment is supposed to do – which should make everyone wonder how bad have things gotten if we have to pass laws to protect our laws? The RFRA also does something a bit more insidious – it interjects Congress into our religious freedom, what happens when the next Congress repeals the RFRA? Would it mean we no longer have religious freedom?)
Liberals have also been working more actively and aggressively to destabilize the 1st Amendment on the cultural front. (This is something they’ve failed to accomplish in their fight against the 2nd Amendment.) Our centers for education and our artists have been corrupted by the liberal mindset and have become the vanguard in the assault on freedom of speech and religious freedom. Today, basic religious practice and conversation has become vilified as “bigotry” and “hate speech.” Religion and speech are now seen as subservient to “tolerance” and when they offend the modern culture they are attacked and said to be outside the bounds of the 1st Amendment. The current generation argues that our freedom of religion and our freedom of speech stop short of their “right” to not be offended, even if that “right” is not codified anywhere in the Constitution or the Bill of Rights and especially if that “right” is totally subjective and varies from person to person.
Over at the Washington Examiner William Upton argues that a Hillary Clinton election would be an existential threat to the First Amendment.
Under Clinton and Attorney General Janet Reno, the full force of the FBI, ATF and the U.S. Marshals Service were brought against several fringe cults and “sovereign citizen” shut-ins. Obama’s administration used the Internal Revenue Service to place undue burdens on conservative advocacy organizations and attempted to use the Affordable Care Act to force contraception and abortion coverage on religiously-minded corporations and religious orders, including Hobby Lobby and the Little Sisters of the Poor.
Under possible President Hillary Clinton, we can expect further court rulings against small businesses like Masterpiece Cakeshop and Sweetcakes, by Melissa — both were found guilty of discrimination for declining to bake wedding cakes for same-sex weddings, an act they each argued would violate their Christian religious beliefs.
So my friends, please keep up the fight to defend the 2nd Amendment, but while you fight for your right to bear arms, don’t forget your other equally precious, and God-given rights.
Without the 2nd we cannot protect the 1st… but without the 1st the 2nd becomes far less important.