Tuesday, May 06, 2014

NYTs Links to Gun Watch: Carrying Guns Protected Symbolic Political Speech

I appreciate that there is a link to a Gun Watch article in the New York Times.  It is in the opinionator piece linked to here and below.   The link to Gun Watch is at the phrase this Michigan lawsuit:

 According to open carry advocates, their presence in public space represents more than just an expression of their Second Amendment rights, it’s a statement, an “educational,” communicative act  — in short, an exercise of their First Amendment freedom of speech. (See this, from the group Ohio Carry, and this Michigan lawsuit.) 

Could the New York Times be dragged into acknowledging Second Amendment rights, via the First Amendment?

The article in the opinionator by  PATRICK BLANCHFIELD seems to indicate that it might.  Mr. Blanchfield dislikes the idea that carrying weapons is protected speech, but he comes to the correct conclusion:  it is indeed protected symbolic political speech.
...if I stand outside an event featuring the president of the United States with a loaded handgun and a sign invoking Thomas Jefferson’s injunction that the “the tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants,” I’m in the clear.
 Mr. Blanchfield  theorizes about how this may be negative, without mentioning any of the reasons why it can be positive.    Whether it is positive or negative comes from  your assumptions about reality.   If you believe that government is a benign force that always acts for the good of the public, this could be bad.  It puts limits on what the government can do.  If you believe that government is a dangerous force that has to be limited and contained to prevent serious harm, this is good, it helps to put needed restraint on government.

 ©2014 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.  Link to Gun Watch

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