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Monday, July 6, 2009

The Armed Wing Of The ACLU

Posted by Dan Savage on Mon, Jul 6, 2009 at 11:51 AM

Mike Huckabee wonders why so few fans of the 1st Amendment see the value of the 2nd Amendment...

"Some of us fail to understand that our 1st Amendment right to speak and assemble is meaningless without our 2nd Amendment right to bear arms," argues Huckabee. Perhaps that's true. But if most Americans—most sane Americans—fail to "make the connection" between the 1st and 2nd amendments, Mike, perhaps that's thanks to the myopia of America's gun nuts. Like I said last week...

American gun nuts are always going on about how they need their guns to protect their rights as 'mericans. But the only right gun nuts seem remotely interested in protecting with their guns is their right to own guns. Second Amendment fans would find lots of allies on the left—particularly among supporters of the First Amendment—if they functioned as the armed wing of the ACLU. If the gun nuts turned out in force whenever someone's free speech rights were being violated—or the right to assemble or the sacred right to be left alone—more of us on the left might regard the social costs an armed-and-dangerous citizenry as worthwhile.

But American gun nuts have a golden opportunity to demonstrate their commitment to free speech rights: Sarah Palin is threatening the free speech rights of a liberal blogger in Alaska. I'd like to see the guns nuts in Alaska—and they're thick on the ground up there—rally in defense of Shannyn Moore, the blogger Palin is attempting to silence. Moore is holding a press conference in Anchorage today at 2 PM. Imagine the impact it would have on 1st Amendment fans if hundreds of armed citizens showed up at Moore's press conference and pledged to lay down their lives in defense of Moore's 1st Amendment right to free speech. Most gun nuts in Alaska are conservatives and support Sarah Palin, of course, so their coming to the defense of a liberal like Moore would carry that much more weight with the non-gun nuts. It would seem... almost principled.

Care to issue a call to arms, Mike?

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