Sunday, March 4, 2018

Banning Speech: Next Front in the Gun Culture Wars

Adrees Latif/Reuters
Leftists aim to ban NRA TV from streaming platforms. And guns aren’t the only things they want to control
In the weeks since the Parkland, Fla., massacre, gun-control advocates have changed their tactics. After each past mass shooting, leftists merely denounced the NRA for, as they saw it, obstructing laws that might sensibly restrict the sale and ownership of firearms. But this time, gun-control activists not only blamed the NRA. They directed the passion of the high-school student survivors and those who grieved with them toward the amorphous and largely pointless legislative proposals presented as a response to the latest atrocity.
In short order, the attacks on the NRA led to a movement to boycott the 5-million-member organization. Activists also pressured businesses such as banks, car-rental agencies, and airlines to end any relationship with the NRA — relations that largely revolve around discounts for NRA members. But as bitter as the battles over these efforts have been, a far more troubling aspect of the effort to isolate the NRA is getting less attention.
Gun-control advocates are now pressuring Amazon, Google, AT&T, Roku, and other streaming platforms to ban NRA TV — the organization’s private channel of gun-rights advocacy and other weapons-related programming. This takes the fight against the group to a different and dangerous level. It is one thing to condemn the NRA and even to ask businesses not to work with a group that offends some people. It is quite another to silence the point of view of an organization that represents millions of Americans. If successful, the ban on NRA TV will mark a turning point not so much in the battle over gun control as in the debate over political speech and what is permissible within the public square.
Part of the NRA’s problems stem from its own ham-fisted approach to the post-Parkland political environment. Faced with a vituperative campaign against it in which the group was blamed for mass shootings, the NRA circled the wagons. In his first full public response after Parkland, in a speech at CPAC, NRA executive vice president Wayne LaPierre attributed the current anti-NRA mood to a “socialist” plot to destroy the Constitution and the rights of individual citizens.
Read the rest from Jonathan S. Tobin HERE.

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Gun control has always been about speech control.