New York State Senator Kevin Parker wants to use the First Amendment rights of would-be gun buyers to prevent them from exercising their Second Amendment rights in an effort that privacy groups are opposing, according to CNY Central.
The Brooklyn Democrat reportedly doesn’t care about the privacy of honest citizens who want to have a firearm. It appears the plan is aimed at chilling the desire of anyone to own a gun. Under Parker’s scheme, police would be required to scan social media for posts from handgun license applicants. In New York, a license is required before a gun can be purchased.
One alarming problem is that people would be disqualified if they publish “violent or hate-filled posts,” the Seattle P-I.com reported.
But who determines what amounts to “hate-filled” or “violent” speech? Is it “violent” to discuss personal protection or taking a defensive firearms training course? Is it “hate speech” to criticize anti-gun New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo?
Tom King, president of the New York State Rifle and Pistol Association, told the Associated Press that Parker’s proposal is the start of “the slippery slope of taking away your First Amendment” rights.
According to USA Today, “Free-speech watchdogs and even some gun-control advocates have raised concerns about the bill, which would require handgun applicants to turn over login information to allow investigators to look at three years’ worth of Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter and Instagram postings. Google, Yahoo and Bing searches over the previous year also would be checked.”
Even more alarming, CNY Central reported that Parker’s bill “is expected to get a lot of support in Albany.” The news agency also noted that Democrats “will soon control the state senate and assembly, as well as the governor’s office.
While social media is anything but private, if this proposal was aimed at anything but Second Amendment rights, it might be an outrage. This raises the question: At what point will New York State rights activists draw the line?
Recently, the National Review published an essay that said the time has come to stop treating the Second Amendment as a “second class right.” That time may be coming sooner in New York than anywhere else.