Democratic Rep. Val Demings Tells Facebook Commenter: ‘My First Amendment Right Is Different From Yours’

When a commenter asked Demings if they ever found her stolen handgun and suggested that she be more responsible with her own firearms before talking about gun control for others, Demings offered a peculiar reply:

Screenshot via Facebook

It’s unclear exactly what Demings meant when she said “My First Amendment right is different from yours.” Regardless, several Facebook users responded to her comment:

Screenshot via Facebook

Screenshot via Facebook

Full article: Democratic Rep. Val Demings Tells Facebook Commenter: ‘My First Amendment Right Is Different From Yours’ | Daily Wire

Yeah, I’m with Michael Louis Greenstein on this… how, exactly, are her 1st amendment rights “different” than mine or anyone else’s? Does she think she has a right to more 1st amendment rights? Does she think she gets to decide what is covered by the 1st amendment and what is not? Does she think it only applies to lefties? Most likely the last one there, because the lefties lately seem to believe they are allowed to say whatever they want, but if you disagree with them you can’t speak.

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Things the media says to turn you against the 1st Amendment

“Fortunately, this ain’t rocket science,” assures White. “Americans can train themselves to detect and question the media’s pro-censorship tropes. I’ve collected some of the most pervasive and familiar ones. This post is designed as a resource, and I’ll add to it as people point out more examples and more tropes.”

His list is long and thorough – you can check it out here – so we’ll feature just a few of the highlights.

Trope One: “Hate Speech”

Example: “hate speech is excluded from protection. dont [sic] just say you love the constitution . . . read it.” CNN Anchor Chris Cuomo, on Twitter, February 6, 2015.

In the United States, “hate speech” is an argumentative rhetorical category, not a legal one.

… This is not a close or ambiguous question of law.

When the media frames a free speech story as an inquiry into whether something is “hate speech,” it’s asking a question of morals or taste poorly disguised as a question of law. It’s the equivalent of asking “is this speech rude?”

Trope Four: “Line between free speech and [questioned expression]”

Example: “Texas Shooting Sheds Light On Murkiness Between Free, Hate Speech.” NPR.com Headline, May 5, 2015.

This trope can be invoked accurately when there is a legally meaningful line separating protected speech and the type of speech called out. For instance, “the line between free speech and true threats” isn’t misleading because “true threats” are an actual category of unprotected speech and there’s a line between them and protected speech.

Too often, though, the “line” is invoked to imply a nonexistent legal distinction. The “line between free speech and hate speech” rhetoric from the examples above is misleading and meaningless because, as noted in Trope One, “hate speech” is not a legal thing. “The line between free speech and bullying” — another recently popular line — is another example. It implies, falsely, that there is a legally meaningful category of speech called “bullying” that lies outside of First Amendment protections.

…”The line between free speech and X” is often the rhetorical equivalent to “the line between vegetables and rutabagas”: the author doesn’t have a coherent argument that rutabagas aren’t vegetables, but doesn’t like rutabagas and thinks you shouldn’t either.

Trope Five: “Balancing free speech and [social value]”

Example: “The incident raised heated questions about race relations — and how to balance free speech with protection from discrimination and harassment.” Washington Post, March 3, 2015.

“Balancing,” when used as a colloquial description of how courts decide whether speech is protected, is almost always wrong. American courts don’t weigh the value of speech against the harm it does. When speech falls into an established exception to the First Amendment, as discussed above, no balancing is necessary; it can be restricted. When it doesn’t, balancing of its “value” against other interests is almost always prohibited.

Trope Six: “This isn’t free speech, it’s [category]”

Example: “It’s not free speech. It’s bullying and intimidation. It’s a horror show.” Mary Elizabeth Williams, Salon, February 17, 2015.

The First Amendment is, in a way, categorical: there are well-defined categories of speech that are not protected, as I discussed above. But media commentators often abuse categorical thinking by inventing new categories of speech outside the First Amendment. “This isn’t free speech, it’s hate speech.” “This isn’t free speech, it’s discrimination.”

The trope can be used correctly — “this isn’t free speech, it’s an unprotected death threat.” But usually it’s not. Usually it’s invoked as shorthand for “I don’t want to address First Amendment analysis so I’m just going to say in conclusory fashion that it doesn’t apply at all.”

Trope Nine: “This speech may be protected for now, but the law is always changing.”

Example: “‘The way we interpret the constitution is always changing. The supreme court can change the rules, and does do so,’ he said.” The Guardian, quoting Eric Posner, May 6, 2015.

When existing American law clearly protects questioned speech, the media sometimes resorts to finding someone to say “the law can change, and maybe it should.”

Yes, American law can change. Constitutional interpretation can change in breathtaking ways inside a generation.

But the United States Supreme Court has been more consistently protective of free speech than of any other right, especially in the face of media sensibilities about “harmful” words. Fred Phelps and the Westboro Baptist Church are universally reviled and held up as an example of the worst sort of speech; the Court found their speech protected by a margin of 8-1. The Court struck down an overbroad law prohibiting “crush videos” of animals being killed by the same margin. There is no sign of any movement towards the proposition that speech may be restricted because it is hurtful or disfavored — the sort of speech that provokes this banal media observation that law changes.

Continued: Things the media says to turn you against the 1st Amendment

More proof: The Selective Argument That Political Rhetoric Leads to Violence

Feminist Blogger Says you are Using These “Coded Phrases” to Hide Your Racism – why would an honest to God racist hide it? Aren’t they proud because they think they are right? This makes no sense.

Ted Cruz Says He ‘Cannot Overstate’ the ‘Threats’ to Internet Freedom, Independent News Websites Like Drudge

Ted Cruz said Sunday evening that the “threats to Internet freedom” have “never been greater” and could have the potential of affecting independent online news outlets like the Drudge Report.

Speaking to TheBlaze Sunday evening in Dallas, Texas, the Republican presidential candidate responded to reports that Congressional review of digital copyright law could threaten aggregator news websites.

 “I think threats to Internet freedom continue growing,” Cruz said. “This administration views the Internet as a threat.”
Steve Pope/Getty Images

Steve Pope/Getty Images

The Texas senator cited the Federal Communications Commission’s move to classify broadband Internet service as a public utility as evidence of the threat.

“I’ve been leading the fight against that,” he told TheBlaze.

Cruz also cited plans to relinquish U.S. control of the Internet as a move that would “profoundly undermine U.S. interests and undermine free speech.”

“America invented the Internet and, I got to say, Obama’s idea to give it away is reminiscent of Jimmy Carter’s idea to give away the Panama Canal,” he said.

“I have worked to do in the Senate every day is fight to defend freedom on the Internet — to keep the Internet free from the grubby hands of regulators and government,” Cruz added. “To keep it free from taxes and to allow free speech and entrepreneurship to flourish. And I think liberty on the net is every day more and more imperiled by big government and Washington politicians who want to muzzle dissent.”

Source: Ted Cruz Says He ‘Cannot Overstate’ the ‘Threats’ to Internet Freedom, Independent News Websites Like Drudge | TheBlaze.com

Hillary Clinton blames free speech in Charleston shooting, cites Donald Trump in argument

“We have to have a candid national conversation about race and about discrimination, prejudice, hatred,” Clinton explained during the exclusive interview with KNPB’s Jon Ralston. “The people who do this kind of drastically horrible act are a very small percentage. But unfortunately the public discourse is sometimes hotter and more negative than it should be, which can, in my opinion, trigger people who are less than stable.”

Guilty of such addictive negativity is, according to Clinton, her 2016 foe Donald Trump.

“For example, a recent entry into the Republican presidential campaign said some very inflammatory things about Mexicans,” Clinton continued. “Everybody should stand up and say that’s not acceptable. You don’t talk like that on talk radio. You don’t talk like that on the kind of political campaigns.”

Trump’s comments about Mexicans came during his discussion of immigration in his announcement speech Tuesday.

“When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best,” he said. “They’re not sending you. They’re not sending you. They’re sending people that have lots of problems and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs, they’re bringing crime, they’re rapists, and some, I assume, are good people.”

As soon as Ralston tried to push back on Clinton’s apparent stance against free speech, she quickly focused her attention on the country’s gun laws, declaring that we need to have a “better balance” when it comes to gun policy in America.

“The Congress stops in the face of tremendous lobbying pressure from the gun lobby, so maybe on a local and state level we have to keep building toward some kind of more sensible balanced gun policy,” the Democratic presidential candidate suggested.

Hillary Clinton blames free speech in Charleston shooting, cites Donald Trump in argument – Red Alert Politics.

Yes, your words cause this. Your freedom to speak your mind.

Also, I am getting really tired of hearing about “the gun lobby.” “The gun lobby” is being funded by American citizens who vote. These folks keep forgetting that and talk like the “the gun lobby” is out there acting on its own. Give me a break.

Supreme Court: Government Can’t Choose What Speech Is Free

In a unanimous decision, the Supreme Court struck down a town’s sign ordinance as an unconstitutional, content-based regulation of speech. This ruling for free speech means the government can’t pick and choose what speech deserves more protection based on the content of the speech.

Like most other towns in America, Gilbert, Ariz., regulates when, where and how signs may be displayed around town. Temporary non-commercial signs are classified by their content, and each category has its own set of regulations.

Real estate signs, for example, may be up to 80 square feet, and political signs may be up to 32 square feet; political signs may be displayed for four and a half months before an election, including in the public right of way; and homeowners’ association event signs may be displayed for 30 days.

The Good News Community Church, which holds services at different facilities such as local schools because it doesn’t have a permanent church, uses signs to invite people to services. Because the signs include directional information (i.e., an arrow pointing to the location of the service), they may not be bigger than 6 square feet and can go up only 12 hours before their Sunday services start, meaning the signs are posted late on Saturday night when they are hard to see in the dark.

The church challenged the town’s sign code in 2007 as an impermissible content-based restriction on speech in violation of the First Amendment. The district court in Arizona upheld the sign code, and the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals agreed, finding that there was no evidence that the town adopted its sign code for a discriminatory purpose.

Today, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of the Good News Community Church, concluding that these sign restrictions are content-based regulation because they define the categories of temporary, political and ideological signs on the basis of their messages and subject each category to different restrictions. As Justice Clarence Thomas points out,

If a sign informs its reader of the time and place a book club will discuss John Locke’s ‘Two Treatises of Government,’ that sign will be treated differently from a sign expressing the view that one should vote for one of Locke’s followers in an upcoming election, and both signs will be treated differently from a sign expressing an ideological view rooted in Locke’s theory of government.

The court found that these restrictions are subject to, and do not survive, strict scrutiny because the town did not demonstrate that the differentiation furthers a compelling governmental interest and is narrowly drawn. Assuming the town has a compelling interest in preserving its aesthetic appeal and traffic safety, the code’s distinctions are highly underinclusive.

Thus, the town cannot claim that placing strict limits on temporary directional signs is necessary to beautify the town when other types of signs create the same problem, and it did not show that temporary directions signs pose a greater threat to public safety than ideological or political signs.

Continued via Supreme Court: Government Can’t Choose What Speech Is Free.

Hey, You Guys! Check This Out! The “Freedom Of Speech Loving” Folks Want to Limit Your Speech Again!

That very fact — that it’s gendered —is true whether or not we’re thinking about reinforcing male privilege or alienating women or promoting sexism when we say it.

scale.phpThe Vox writer admits that some people, like me, will likely see this entire word revelation as political correctness running amok, and I totally do.

I don’t care if “guys” is a gendered word. When I’m saying “you guys,” EVERYONE knows I’m referring to EVERYONE. (Unless you’re part of the Perpetually Offended Feminist Brigade who’s also fighting against female armpit hair stereotypes.)

I’m convinced that choosing not to use “guys” is not just about creating a “new reality,” but also has more immediate, personal consequences. A friend who works on a male-dominated team in field in which woman are scarce told me, “It used to not really bother me — because I say it a ton, and really don’t mind when addressed as such because it’s basically ingrained in society. But I’ve found that now that I’m on a team with only men, when they use it, it bothers me more.”

Word Police Has Another Phrase We Shouldn’t Use Anymore, You Guys – Chicks on the Right.

So now “you guys” is male privilege?

I’m the “y’all” type even though I’m from up North originally. I’ve used it since I was little and have no clue where I picked that up. But I’ve been known to use “guys” as a general term.

As usual, I don’t see what the big deal is here. Here comes that novel idea again – if you don’t like the term, don’t use it. Hey, don’t respond to it, either. That is completely your choice.

But I am getting really tired of a group of people who accuse everyone else of violating their first amendment rights coming in with a list of words and phrases I can’t use because it hurts their precious little feelings. You need to get your feelings to the gym, because it is high time you toughened them up.

And yes, I’ll use whatever damn term I feel like, guys. That’s how I roll. Try it some time, it’s very freeing.

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Forget Jade Helm: Obama quietly implementing OUTRAGEOUS rule against gun owners

I already posted an article on this, but this is much more detailed with an explanation of what it means. There is a lot at stake here. This is a double threat, towards the 1st and 2nd Amendments. Here’s why we need to focus on the threats in front of us more and the conspiracy theories less.

The Second Amendment to our U.S. Constitution states, “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

That statement is pretty clear to understand and comprehend, yet some folks just can’t seem to get over it. There are liberal progressive folks of the left who feel it is their mission in life to relegate the Second Amendment as meaningless. Now, what I am about to say will probably anger some people but so be it.

I’m often asked about FEMA camps along the interstate, Walmart stores closing, and the impending Operation Jade Helm. I continue to tell people that while you’re running around with your hair on fire concerning yourself about these stories, the Obama administration is doing the “Kansas City Shuffle” — you look right while they go left.

Get a load of THIS quiet assault going on – not just on our Second Amendment, but our First as well.

As reported by the Washington Examiner, “Commonly used and unregulated internet discussions and videos about guns and ammo could be closed down under rules proposed by the State Department, amounting to a “gag order on firearm-related speech,” the National Rifle Association is warning.

“In updating regulations governing international arms sales, State is demanding that anyone who puts technical details about arms and ammo on the web first get the OK from the federal government — or face a fine of up to $1 million and 20 years in jail. According to the NRA, that would include blogs and web forums discussing technical details of common guns and ammunition, the type of info gun owners and ammo reloaders trade all the time.”

“Gunsmiths, manufacturers, reloaders, and do-it-yourselfers could all find themselves muzzled under the rule and unable to distribute or obtain the information they rely on to conduct these activities,” said the NRA in a blog posting. “This latest regulatory assault, published in the June 3 issue of the Federal Register, is as much an affront to the First Amendment as it is to the Second,” warned the NRA’s lobbying shop. “Your action is urgently needed to ensure that online blogs, videos, and web forums devoted to the technical aspects of firearms and ammunition do not become subject to prior review by State Department bureaucrats before they can be published,” it added.”

The result is that the Obama administration is going to assault the First Amendment in order to undermine the Second. Once again the bureaucratic regulatory state has reared its ugly head, developed a rule and posted it to the Federal Registry without the consent and knowledge of the American people, nor their Representatives. This is yet another means by which the Obama administration — aka, the liberal progressive left, is seeking to infringe upon the right of the people to keep and bear arms.

Of course you’re asking, how can this be done and what does the State Department have to do with this?

As the Examiner writes, “At issue is the internet. State is updating International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR), which implement the federal Arms Export Control Act (AECA). The rules govern everything from guns to strategic bombers. The NRA said that the rules predate the internet, and now the federal government wants to regulate technical arms discussions on on the internationally available web.”

As typical for the government gobbledegook, it took State Department 14-pages to explain but the NRA sought to encapsulate their overreach: “With the new proposal published on June 3, the State Department claims to be ‘clarifying’ the rules concerning ‘technical data’ posted online or otherwise ‘released’ into the ‘public domain.’ To the contrary, however, the proposal would institute a massive new prior restraint on free speech. This is because all such releases would require the ‘authorization’ of the government before they occurred. The cumbersome and time-consuming process of obtaining such authorizations, moreover, would make online communication about certain technical aspects of firearms and ammunition essentially impossible.”

Now of course the Obama defenders will say what does this have to do with infringing on the right to keep and bear arms — much ado about nothing. But here is the objective: the government is seeking to restrict the free speech of American gun owners and the gun industry in sharing information pertaining to their ability to keep arms. Furthermore, the government is using regulatory coercion and threat of imprisonment to create behavior modification — not exactly a positive reflection on our governing system.

Forget Jade Helm: Obama quietly implementing OUTRAGEOUS rule against gun owners – Allen B. West – AllenBWest.com.