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The First And Second Amendment Crossovers 

Steve Comus

December 3, 2018 | Under the guise of trying to sort out mental misfits during the concealed carry permitting process, a couple of elected jokers in New York are tugging at gun owners’ electronic leashes while trampling over both First and Second Amendment rights.

What these clowns propose is Constitutionally laughable, especially since they are so obviously nothing more than pawns in a much larger threat to freedom, which is to stifle free speech and expression. The controllers want it all. They want to dictate who can do what, when and where it can be done and ultimately what society thinks about controversial subjects. It is about mind control.

In an Op-Ed in “Kings County Politics” by Joel Anabilah, the plan was outlined: “Recently, State Senator Kevin Parker and Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams released a draft of gun legislation that would require concealed carry permit applicants to submit social media passwords as part of the vetting process. It is supposed to help authorities evaluate the mental health of the people applying for CCW permits.”

That’s nice. It sounds like a trade – give up First Amendment rights so you can exercise Second Amendment rights. Not so fast. It’s not a right if it is licensed – that’s a privilege, folks. That aside, let’s look at the bigger picture.

For years now, both private industry and the government have been nosing around digital communications, profiling, categorizing and snooping. Commercial interests do it to enhance profits while government agencies do it for control.

For example, on the American Civil Liberties Union website, there is a 2016 article entitled: “Why Government Use of Social Media Monitoring Software Is a Direct Threat to Our Liberty and Privacy” by Kimberly McCullough.

“Targeting innocent speech. When everything and everyone is potentially suspect, innocent people become targets…. Internet speech is often hyperbolic and inflammatory, but that doesn’t necessarily mean a person or group is dangerous.”

Although the piece on the ACLU website focuses on computer programs that cast wide nets across the Internet, the point is the same that the more the government knows about anyone, the higher the chances are that something will be misunderstood, etc. and that the individual will suffer as a result.

All of that applies to the proposed CCW permitting process in New York. But that is not all. Think for a minute what a nefarious operator within the NY system could do, if that proposed law were to be implemented.

It is one thing to monitor what folks are doing online, but quite another to put the fox literally in the hen house.

With a person’s social media password(s), others would be able to post items on the target’s social media platforms – items that could incriminate the person and/or disqualify that person from receiving a CCW even though that person didn’t make the posting in the first place. Talk about entrapment!

Think there aren’t people in government who would do that, even if there was no stated government objective to do it?

Whenever the subject of rights and the Internet is broached, it is time to sit back and take notice, because they are mutually exclusive matters.

Think back to the days before the World Wide Web was created in 1990. Had anyone before then suggested that the government was about to require that citizens all carry electronic devices that could track their every move and record their every communication, there would have been a revolution.

Instead, private enterprise took the concept and sold it to the masses for inflated prices, creating some of the richest people ever to walk on the face of the earth.

Freedoms drop like flies in such situations, and this latest password proposal in New York is no exception. One can never enhance freedom by curtailing it. And, password access to the social media channels of individuals is an assault of the first magnitude on the freedom of speech.

Just knowing that Big Brother is watching chills that individual freedom, as the article on the ACLU website notes. But to be required to invite Big Brother into the guts of a social media account via providing the password(s) is beyond the pale.

Which brings up a question: What happens in the permitting process if a person doesn’t have any social media accounts? Is that person judged to be mentally challenged, due to a lack of participation in the social media? Do people now HAVE to have social media accounts to be considered “safe?”

Or, since some anti-gunners allege that all folks who want to own guns are mentally unbalanced or they wouldn’t want guns in the first place, then is the mere application for a CCW enough to justify denying it? If so, then even the slightest utterance on social media that could be deliberately misunderstood would be used in a government witch hunt, the end result of which already would have been established in the very law itself.

This kind of thing makes a Catch 22 look good by comparison.

The truth is that this proposal, as well as hosts of others along the same lines of illogic, is nothing more than a smokescreen to hide the real intent: They want to punish those citizens who would carry guns. They want to deny access to those who would own guns and they want to put companies out of business that would sell guns.

They talk of mental illness. People are not necessarily paranoid if others really are out to get them, right?

One thing is certain about the gun grabbers: they are persistent. So are we.

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