President Obama recently announced several Executive Actions on gun control. These were relatively minor steps (there is only so much a president can do on his own) but every single one was a poke in the eye to gun owners. Even his proposal to add more agents to the NICS background check system could be interpreted as improving things by speeding up background checks on gun purchases or (more likely) slowing down the process further by using the additional agents to conduct more intrusive and extensive background checks.
He and other gun control proponents keep saying “we don’t want to take your guns away” and asking us to trust them with “common sense” and “reasonable” gun control. They accuse us of believing in wacky conspiracy theories. But the truth is that the President and other advocates of gun control hate guns and want to ban them altogether if they could. And in fact they are using every means at their disposal to do just that including coercing the private sector to do their dirty work for them.
Most gun owners are already familiar with the efforts of gun control groups to try and pressure private businesses into banning guns from their stores. They seem especially incensed about concealed carry despite the fact the people who have gone to the trouble of getting a carry permit are the single most law abiding and safest group in the country. Some national retailers have caved including Chipotle (a gun is the least likely thing to kill you there), while others wisely remained neutral.
Hey, there are a million places I can shop and eat and it is not hard to take my business elsewhere. But what happens if it’s the only grocery store or restaurant in town banning guns? This is exactly what is happening with internet companies including Google, AOL, E-Bay, PayPal, FaceBook, etc. These internet companies basically control the flow of information and they have all taken a decidedly anti-gun position. Google won’t let you shop for gun related items. You can’t use PayPal to send money for any gun related transaction. And finally FaceBook banned me from promoting my own blog/page because I link occasionally to other websites that promote (gasp) gun sales, including manufacturer websites.
The reality is that in the modern world we are increasingly relying on the internet for communication, commerce and information. Shutting out gun owners is a form of censorship. After all, if you can’t ban guns you can certainly make it much harder for people to learn about them, to get information about them, to purchase them, etc. Imagine if the phone companies, newspapers, radio and TV stations refused to provide services to gun owners or gun businesses or if the Federal Government was putting pressure on banks not to do business with gun shops (oh wait, that did happen)?
These are private businesses and they are free to do as they please but when they are this large and when so many people depend on them they almost become like a public utility with responsibilities to the entire community. I don’t favor regulating them any more than I favor regulating guns but the threat to our gun rights and ability to speak and communicate is real. I get it that guns are scary to some people but these companies could easily add age filters like the do for pornography (which thankfully hasn’t been banned yet). Instead they simply want to shut us down and they are succeeding.
Originally published at The Daily Caller: http://dailycaller.com/2016/01/13/an-internet-gun-ban-killing-the-first-and-second-amendments/