Boots & Sabers

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0644, 07 Aug 20

2nd Amendment advances as 1st Amendment retreats

Here is my column that ran in the Washington County Daily News earlier this week.

Our country is engaging in cultural and civic (not civil, yet) war that is challenging some of the national principles that used to be held inviolable. As we watch the 1st Amendment make a confused retreat, we are seeing the 2nd Amendment make a vigorous advance.

The 1st and 2nd Amendments refer, of course, to the Constitution’s prohibition of the federal government from infringing on our natural rights to speak (among other things) and to keep and bear arms, respectively. But they are also used as shorthand to express our collective support for the underlying natural rights.

While the practice of our 1st Amendment right to free speech has ebbed and flowed throughout our nation’s history, the general ethos has been robust support for people to say anything they want as long as it does not drift into defamation or incitement – and even then we have generally been very generous with where that boundary lies.

I am reminded of a comment by Jim Croce: “I don’t care, as long as they don’t be putting their hands on me. I don’t mind people talking and saying different things. Everybody gotta say something.” That pretty well sums up what our attitude used to be about people speaking their minds. Now we are seeing the onset of outrage mobs that seek out people who express opinions with which they disagree and try to destroy them personally and professionally. This is the so-called “cancel culture” where we no longer meet objectionable speech with more speech. Instead, these mobs consider contrary opinions to be so fundamentally immoral that they must not be spoken, and the people speaking them must be ruined to force adherence to the current, if fluid, orthodoxy. What is even more chilling is that the opinions being canceled are views that were mainstream as recently as a few months ago. Support for law enforcement, standing for the National Anthem, celebrating Independence Day, honoring George Washington, etc. are things that were commonplace and integral parts of the national psyche. Now such views are just as likely to attract an online or physical mob to your doorstep. There has been a very rapid and scary retreat of our collective support for free speech.

Meanwhile, support for the right to keep and bear arms is exploding. I recently witnessed a couple of protest marches in suburban communities. In both cases, firearms were plentiful and visible in the hands of both protesters and counter-protesters. Furthermore, as the mobs and the elected Democrats who support them defund the police and force law enforcement into a defensive crouch, The People are taking the hint and arming themselves for personal protection.

Across the nation, federal background checks, which serve as a proxy for measuring the sale of all guns, were up 69% in June versus last year. Background checks specifically for handgun purchases were up 80% over last year. In many cases, people are buying multiple guns at a time with Small Arms Analytics and Forecasting showing a 145% increase in guns sold in June compared to the same month last year. The June estimates are on top of similar trends for April and May. According to industry analysts, roughly 40% of gun purchases in the past few months are being made by first time buyers. A quick trip to any gun store will find empty shelves and depleted inventories.

At the heart of the surge in gun ownership are two trends. First, there is the general concern for personal safety. Democrats are echoing the mob’s demand to defund the police and several cities have already started the process. With fewer police with fewer resources, law-abiding people are empowering themselves to defend themselves and their families. The old saying that “when seconds count, the police are minutes away” has become a stark realization for many people.

Second, Americans are watching Marxists and anarchists violently take over parts of our country. Often, they are doing so with the permission or support of government officials. We are witnessing the violent overthrow of portions of our government with the intent to rebuild something that is no longer American. The right to keep and bear arms has always been the last resort for a free people to ensure their right to self-governance. An armed citizenry cannot be easily subjugated.

Our natural rights, as secured in our Constitution, are the bases and guardians of our government and way of life. While we continue to push our nation toward our founding ideals, we must never surrender the ground we have fought so hard to gain.



0644, 07 August 2020


  1. Randall Flagg

    That pretty well sums up what our attitude used to be about people speaking their minds.

    That doesn’t match with the history of banning (and burning) books in the U.S.

    And, yes, before the Kevster asks, that includes the Bible.  While I find it an abhorrent tool of control, it should be exposed for the fraud it is, not burned or banned.

  2. Mar

    The first amendment is also being taken away by some states not allowing Church services or even not allowing singing in Church.
    Nevada restricts the number of people who can attend Church services to only 50 people, no matter the size of the Church. But casinos, restaurants, Walmarts, they allow 50% of the max fire code into their places of business.
    So, restricting people from going to Church is another liberal wet dream.

  3. Randall Flagg

    even not allowing singing in Church.

    Who is not allowing singing in Church (include citations please)

    Also make sure it is a rule/mandate and not a suggestion/guideline.  Some right-leaning sources were saying California was banning singing in Church when it was just a guideline.

    Nevada restricts the number of people who can attend Church services to only 50 people

    Do they have similar restrictions on other performances?  If so they are applying it equally.  And clearly it does not violate the first amendment, since the Supreme Court did not take up the case.

  4. jjf

    I dunno about the Walmart where you work, but at mine we do a lot of singing at close quarters.

  5. Randall Flagg

    Nevada is actually treating live performances worse than Churches.  Wow!  Clearly Churches are getting preferential treatment.

    Events with live performances and live performers are not allowed WITH spectators. However, for the purpose of broadcasting or live streaming certain events are allowed under specific restrictions, but they will not include a live audience or spectators. While many businesses will be able to open as outlined above, nightclubs and day clubs, live sporting event venues and live performance venues with live audiences and adult entertainment establishments will remain closed. All operating businesses must also abide by measures set forth by OSHA and other regulatory authorities.

  6. Mar

    “(CNN)Three northern California churches have gone to federal court to challenge the state’s ban on singing and chanting in houses of worship, arguing that it unfairly singles out religious services while ignoring protests against police brutality.
    Gov. Gavin Newsom issued the ban earlier this month in an attempt to curb the spread of the coronavirus, with state health officials noting that singing and chanting “present an increasedlikelihood for transmission of Covid-19 through contaminated exhaled droplets.””
    Perhaps, Randall, you don’t know the difference a ban and guideline?
    As far as live performances, they are getting screwed as well.

  7. jjf

    Mar, you’re a big church-goer, or are you just carrying water?

  8. dad29

    an abhorrent tool of control,

    So far, it’s kept someone from murdering or cuckolding you.

  9. Randall Flagg

    So far, it’s kept someone from murdering or cuckolding you.

    Plenty of both have been done in the name of the bible and religion.  So swing and a miss daddy-o.

  10. Mar

    “Mar, you’re a big church-goer, or are you just carrying water?”

  11. MjM

    Randy Flags struts: “I do”

    No, you don’t.

    You are ignorantly misconstruing the legal authority of CDPH’s Guidance with WebMD ‘tips and tricks’.

    “Citing the risk of spreading the coronavirus, updated COVID-19 guidelines issued Wednesday by the state Department of Public Health say “places of worship MUST therefore DISCONTINUE singing and chanting activities.”

    In previously allowing religious organizations to reopen in late May, the state merely said these institutions should “strongly consider discontinuing singing, group recitation, and other practices and performances.

    Health agencies such as the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say shouting or singing can spread the coronavirus just as easily as coughing or sneezing.

    CALIFORNIA’S HEALTH DEPARTMENT agrees, and as Gov. Gavin Newsom begins tightening protocols during a resurgence of the pandemic, it NOW SAYS SINGING AND CHANTING ARE OUTRIGHT BANNED.” – Sacramento Bee, 7/2/20

    Here’s more CDPH “tips and tricks”:

    On June 18, CDPH issued Guidance on the Use of Face Coverings, which broadly requires the use of face coverings for both members of the public and workers in all public and workplace settings where there is a high risk of exposure.

    People in California must wear face coverings when they are engaged in work whether at the workplace or performing work off-site, when:

    • Interacting in-person with any member of the public;
    • Working in any space visited by members of the public, regardless of whether anyone from the public is present at the time;
    • Working in any space where food is prepared or packaged for sale or distribution to others;
    • Working in or walking through common areas, such as hallways, stairways, elevators, and parking facilities;
    • In any room or enclosed area where other people (except for members of the person’s own household or residence) are present when unable to physically distance;
    • Driving or operating any public transportation or paratransit vehicle, taxi, or private car service or ride-sharing vehicle when passengers are present. When no passengers are present, face coverings are strongly recommended.

    Complete details, including all requirements and exemptions to these rules, can be found in the guidance.”

  12. jjf

    Golly, I wonder if lobbying from businesses affected the rules.

  13. dad29

    Plenty of both have been done in the name of the bible and religion

    Let’s not count the Muslims here.

    You can prove “cuckolding in the name of religion?  Bible?”  We’re interested.

  14. dad29

    Randy, I know that you do NOT know the difference between killing innocents and killing wrong-doers.  So when we read your response to my question (above), we’ll take your ignorance into consideration.

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