“If the government can infringe on our Second Amendment rights, no rights can be enjoyed by the citizens of this nation.”
State Rep. Joe Hamm, R-Hepburn Township, who was reported as saying this in an Associated Press article in Friday’s edition of the Sun-Gazette concerning a package of gun control measures advancing out of a state House committee, is right.
We’ve noted in editorials in 2023 that many so-called “red flag” provisions — proposals to allow authorities to disarm men and women identified as being a higher risk — unacceptably fail to account for due process. Simply put, they fail to afford the disarmed a chance to appeal or challenge the order disarming them.
As we noted in our Dec. 14 editorial, the American Civil Liberties Union is representing the National Rifle Association in a lawsuit against New York, where advocates for gun control are using the power of the state to discourage banks and insurance companies from doing business with the NRA.
As we noted in our Dec. 5 editorial, the municipal government of Flagstaff, Arizona, attempted to discriminate against gun shops who wished to use advertising space at the community’s airport — and when the public servants who lead Flagstaff encountered the risk of a lawsuit, almost entirely shut down the program despite the revenues it was bringing into municipal coffers.
These are just two examples we’ve commented on where support for gun control quickly bled into opposition to the First Amendment.
In our Dec. 14 editorial we quoted the ACLU, as reported by Washington, D.C. newspaper The Hill: “The government can’t blacklist an advocacy group because of its viewpoint.”
But that is what both the governments of New York state and Flagstaff, Arizona tried to do.
We understand that many people simply want their neighborhoods and communities to be safer.
But that pursuit must be mindful of our constitutionally-enshrined individual liberties — including the right to keep and bear arms.
And when some proponents for gun control are dismissive of both that Second Amendment right, of the right to due process and of the right for their fellow Americans to lobby, to advocate for and defend that right under the principles of the First Amendment, they cannot possibly be surprised by Rep. Hamm’s observation — and our observation — that gun control can be joined at the hip with a hostility to all of our rights and liberties.