So, going around the various gun blogs and sites, the language posted in the International Traffic in Arms Regulation that the U.S. State Department is ‘clarifying’ threatens to silence gun owners. Why should everyone be worried about this? It’s an infringement on a group’s freedom of speech. As loving or hateful you see us gun owners, if there is no pushback of any kind past useless and idiotic hashtag activism, gun owners aren’t the only group that is often in the sights of authoritative bastards who have an agenda to fulfill and a beef to settle.
I told myself with my new job, I would refrain from posting political stuff. But this is regulation of a group of people’s speech. SOPA failed in Congress, this is just a baby-steps one disguised as legal mumbo jumbo meant to target gun owners, a group long-haired yuppies, sipping on their overly priced artisinal free-trade coffee in some college somewhere won’t ever care about. Until they realize the thing they’ve posted on Facebook would land them jail time.
“At first they came from the Gun Owners, and I did nothing. hickok45, MAC, FPSRussia and all those scary YouTubers and gun blogs were hauled away. Many were fined, some were jailed. But I didn’t care, it didn’t involve me.”
Read Miguel’s post, it is much more explanatory. But if not, I’m just gonna copy his summary, bolded and italicized for my emphasis:
Now, let me summarize the whole thing: According to the proposal by the State Department, basic information about common every day guns in the hands of millions of Americans that we have shared since the beginning of the Internet such as the proper care and maintenance of firearms, technical specifications of a firearm or a component or an accessory, reports on accuracy or reliability, etc cannot be posted in any form (written photos, videos, podcasts, etc) without prior consent by the Department of State.
Want to post pictures of your AR build? Illegal. Describe how to polish the trigger group of a Smith & Wesson revolver? Illegal. Your podcast about the proper maintenance of your .22LR silencer? Illegal. Article about the latest Plastic Fantastic gun? Illegal. Forum discussion: 1911 versus Glock? Illegal (and probably RICO violation to boot.) Post a comparison chart of the specification of several defense shotguns? Illegal……the list goes on and on and only tampered by what a Federal Judge, appointed by less-than-friendly to the Second Amendment Administrations may decide because you did not seek the blessing by some paper pusher in the State Department.
Are these proposed regulations a direct conflict with the First Amendment? Hell yes and in all probability and after years of slow litigation though the courts, it most likely be killed by SCOTUS. But until that happens, people will go to prison for violation of Federal Regulations and the muzzling down of our Right to freely speak about guns will be the law of the Land.
And remember, the Federal government does not have to go after every Gun Blog, Gun Podcast or Youtube Channel to be effective, they just have to target and silence those that are the most popular and the rest will exercise prior restraint.
Sound familiar? To me it reeks exactly of the criticism gamers get for supporting GamerGate. If they wanted to pass some revenge on that other group I support, if gun owners are complacent or defeated in this, they’ll just be another group, with the whims of a Federal bureaucrat asking one to step on their beliefs or be martyred for no reason. Miguel ends his post by quoting a fellow gun blogger, Sebastian from Shall Not Be Questioned:
This is very dire, friends. If this moves forward there is a very good chance I, and many of my other fellow bloggers, forum admins, and YouTubers will end up in federal prison while the Courts sort this out. Don’t ever let anyone ever tell you what these people want are “common sense” regulations. They are fascists. That is no longer arguable. There will be a lot of firearms enthusiasts serving prison time for essentially the same crime they would be charged with had they traveled to Iraq and sold plans for a thermonuclear weapon to ISIS. Fundamentally transformed!
This news has to spread far and wide if we’re going to stop this terrible thing. I’ve even put it on my personal Facebook that I only rarely use to post political stuff. People have to know about this.