If you live in Watervliet, New York and you want to get a pistol permit, be prepared to hand over the credentials to your Facebook account. The police department demands it from you right on the application. It’s just the latest small story in an ocean of 2nd Amendment violations we see every day around the country. Not all of this stuff is centered in the federal government, but sometimes the local laws are just as dangerous when it comes to constitutional infringement.
The Watervliet Police Department has been quick to downplay the requirement, telling news outlets that they typically just ask an applicant to log on to their Facebook account in front of them. They say that much can be learned from a person’s social media interactions, giving them a better idea of who the applicant is and whether they represent a threat to the community.
Of course, that is beside the point. It’s on the application. It doesn’t say on the application, “Are you willing to show us your Facebook page?” It just says “Facebook password” and gives the applicant a line to comply. In this, the Watervliet judiciary is following the lead of employers around the country who ask for these credentials when considering prospective employees. I consider those to be a violation as well, but this is another level. This is the government, and this is a violation of the Bill of Rights.
Infringement at Every Turn
It’s similar to the violations we’re currently seeing in Washington, D.C., where the city council is trying everything in their power to hold on to their archaic gun-control laws. After being shot down by the federal courts, they’ve announced the beginnings of a concealed-carry program, but the restrictions are still outrageous. Instead of moving to “shall issue” – which is, I believe, the only constitutional method – they are adopting a strict “may issue” policy that will ensure very few people qualify. How is that in compliance with the constitutionally guaranteed right to bear arms?
The libs in the media stretch themselves into pretzels trying to assure us that our gun rights are not in danger. Give me a break. Do you have any doubt whatsoever that only criminals would carry guns if Democrats had their totalitarian way? They call us wingnuts and worse, hoping to gradually marginalize gun ownership and stigmatize 2nd Amendment activism. Oh, you only care about that if you’re white, racist, and a little bit stupid. Join us over here on the left, kids. We take a more thoughtful approach.
It’s nonsense, of course. Was Thomas Jefferson an idiot? Was James Madison a wingnut? The right to bear arms comes from a much older, much more ingrained right: the right to protect one’s self and one’s family from harm. If you believe in these drastic gun control measures that weaken the 2nd Amendment, you believe that a father should not be able to physically defend his family. Period.
Do we need to start making some moves toward eliminating all this gun violence? Of course. And we are. But you don’t do that by disarming the law-abiding populace, and you don’t do it by jumping up in people’s private social media accounts. If we can move beyond these ludicrous laws and regulations, maybe we can address the real issues.