This letter was written in response to President Obama’s attempt to use the State Department to block speech about firearms online. In 2015, using the internet to speak is as natural as penning a letter to the local newspaper once was. The internet gives everyone a chance to speak and let their voice be heard. To gag firearm owners like hickok45, FPSRussia, Iraqveteran888, Jerry Miculek and even myself with Core Concept is a violation of our first amendment rights.
In this letter, I make the case that technical documents related to firearms should be protected much like technical documents about the brewing of alcohol is protected, even though I prove that alcohol is more dangerous then a firearm.
The people of America have no need to contact the State Department to disseminate information about firearms via the internet. To say that they do is a violation of our 1st Amendment rights. President Obama has continually made the case for a “free and open internet.” To regulate speech about firearms via the internet is an egregious violation of that pledge. This means that a sub 140 character tweet pointing out that .223 casings and 5.56 NATO casings are virtually identical could result in a $10,000 fine.
The internet is part of American speech in 2015 and talking about firearms is protected as talking about alcohol on the internet by the First Amendment of the United State’s Constitution.
I will make my case below. Free speech about firearms should be protected as much as free speech about the brewing of alcohol is on the internet. It is widely known that President Obama enjoys the responsible consumption of alcohol. In fact, the President’s brew recipes are available at https://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2012/09/01/ale-chief-white-house-beer-recipe.
What if alcohol was regulated like President Obama wished to regulate firearm usage? After all, according to the CDC, 88,000 deaths are the result of alcohol each year. Quantifying the number of death from firearm accidents however, is impossible according The Washington Post. I will reference this article http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-nation/wp/2014/09/04/how-often-do-children-in-the-u-s-unintentionally-shoot-and-kill-people-we-dont-know/. The Washington Posts cites the CDC statistic that there were 32,351 deaths as a result of a firearm in the United States. However, despite this “alarming” number, only 591 where accidental.
At worst, using a firearm is half as dangerous as imbibing alcohol. At best? Remarkable safer then riding a bicycle (Close to 800 deaths, the CDC does not provide exact figures.)
Yet, posting the recipe for the President’s brews is considered free speech and protected by the first amendment while the administration wants to restrict gun owners as much as possible through his Unified Agenda.
Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau Spokesman Tom Hogue stated that, “Potential for abuse isn’t grounds for us to deny a label.” He made this statement in regards to the approval of Palcohol – a powdered form of alcohol intended for those that desire the ability to transport alcohol but need to save as much weight as possible. Alcoholic beverages cannot be sold in the United States without this label.
As Mr. Hogue stated, potential for abuse is not grounds to deny a label. In the case of talking online about firearms, the potential for abuse is not grounds to deny a label. When you involve the 1st Amendment (which Cornell points out that “The most basic component of freedom of expression is the right of freedom of speech. The right to freedom of speech allows individuals to express themselves without interference or constraint by the government.”), there is never any need for an American citizen to receive permission from the government to talk about firearms.