They could at least have linked...

I got the top spot in the list of responses to this article thanks to my email to the author, which was substantially similar to this blog post.  You'd think they could have linked to my blog, since I provided a link with more information on every single example I cited.  I note that they didn't bother to respond to my questions, either, and couldn't resist inserting an editorial comment about the latest politically-incorrect firearm.  Here's the relevant portion:

I recently suggested that the National Rifle Association might consider supporting free speech in exchange for anti-gun people like me laying off their hallowed right to bear arms.

On that subject Matthew Hunter wrote: "The NRA has led the fight against the unconstitutional Campaign Finance Reform Act, including court challenges. Now it's your turn. Where were you when the assault weapons ban passed and during the fight to block its renewal? Did you oppose the .50-caliber rifle ban in California? (Note: He's talking about a sniper cannon here). Have you written in opposition to the proposed handgun ban in San Francisco? What about supporting the right of firearms manufacturers to sell a legal product according to the law? Why haven't you written an expose about the absurd process of buying a hunting rifle in Washington, D.C.?

"Still, you've got the right idea. The left and the right should stand united on the issue of constitutional freedoms. The right has known this for years. If you're serious, welcome to the fight."

So, can you see the NRA becoming a white knight for freedom of speech? Let me hear from you.

The problem, as far as I can tell, is that he wasn't serious.  He wanted to make some cheap points to readers who may not realize that gun rights organizations generally support all our Constitutional freedoms (while primarily focused on firearms issues, of course).  He didn't want to actually support gun rights, but if he could dredge up some support for his own favored freedom, no problem.  Sorry; alliances go both ways. 

I will eagerly await corrections on this assertion... so long as they are accompanied by links to editorials opposing gun control by the same author.

Of course, some encouraging emails to explaining how the gun-rights organizations have already stood up for the First Amendment might help with that too.

And as for that cheap shot about the "sniper cannon"... Mr. Bogert, the .50 rifle was originally designed for civilians, by a civilian.  Ronnie Barrett wanted a highly-accurate long-range rifle for long-distance civilian shooting competitions.  Like many other firearms designed by civilians, the military adopted it after seeing how well it worked.  More importantly, though, it is military weapons that the 2nd Amendment was intended to protect -- the muskets and Kentucky Long Rifles that defeated the British were the latest in military technology at the time, and in fact the rifles which many settlers owned  outperformed the standard British muskets handily. 

Those Kentucky Long Rifles were the "sniper cannons" of their day, and they bear a surprising resemblence to the modern .50 caliber rifles... starting with their caliber (.40 to .50), and their length (42" or longer).  They were actually a smaller caliber and lighter weight than their predecessor, the Kentucky Rifle.

Furthermore, it's no more a "cannon" than any other powerful hunting rifle.  Rifles used during the Civil War fired larger bullets.  There are handguns today that fire .50 bullets (not the same ammunition, at least not in widespread use, but the same size bullet).  The popular 1911 semiautomatic handgun fires a .45 caliber bullet, just a short way off from the .50.  Hunters going after big game use calibers like .454 or .475. There's nothing magical about the .50; it's a large, heavy bullet that is presently near the top end of the performance envelope; that's all.  In fact, you can still get rifles that fire even larger bullets.

If you want to make allies, Mr. Bogert, start by being polite to them, listening to their concerns with respect rather than mockery, and then taking action to cement the alliance.  So far, you've done none of those things.  Instead, you've engaged in political blackmail; you expect the NRA to actively support your cause in exchange for your agreement not to oppose theirs.  Unfortunately, that's not a fair exchange.  Gun owners will support your free speech rights, whether or not we have any kind of truce or deal with you, but you won't support our rights -- you'll just "stop opposing" them. 

And for that matter, how serious are you about free speech? What is your position on the Campaign Finance Reform Act?  As a member of the Exempt Media, Mr. Bogert, do you feel that your special status grants you more rights than ordinary citizens like me?  Have you written editorials opposing regulations on political speech on the Internet, as well as on the hallowed pages of your publication? 

Since he likely won't answer me this time either, I'll look up his last few columns.  Gee, what a surprise.  Nothing written about campaign finance reform.  He writes 5 days a week, and nothing in the past 15 articles (at the time of this writing) deals with free speech at all, except for his solitary article begging the NRA for help he isn't willing to reciprocate. 

Instead we have such gems as journalism contests, a retrospective on the polio vaccine from 50 years ago, no less than two articles about baseball, and something about building a fence.  I don't think we'd notice the help if he offered it.

This entry was published Sat Sep 24 10:43:35 CDT 2005 by TriggerFinger and last updated 2005-09-24 10:43:35.0. [Tweet]

comments powered by Disqus

Subscribe to Atom Feed

I am not a lawyer, and nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice.

This site is run on custom blog software and is being actively developed. Please be forgiving of errors.

This website is an Amazon affiliate and will receive financial compensation for products purchased from Amazon through links on this site.