Category: Jan LaRue

Imagine the Left Treating Freedom of Speech as It Treats 'Gun Rights'


Since people use words that injure or incite violence, shouldn’t Second Amendment infringers be willing to apply their gun control agenda to the First Amendment?

The First Amendment states in part, “Congress shall make no law … abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press.”

The Second Amendment 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.”  

The extent of the right expressed “above all other interests” by the Second Amendment was emphatically noted by the U.S. Supreme Court majority in District of Columbia v. Heller (2008) as analogous to the First Amendment:

[The purpose of the Second Amendment is] to secure a well-armed militia[.] … But a militia would be useless unless the citizens were enabled to exercise themselves in the use of warlike weapons.  To preserve this privilege, and to secure to the people the ability to oppose themselves in military force against the usurpations of government, as well as against enemies from without, that government is forbidden by any law or proceeding to invade or destroy the right to keep and bear arms[.] … The clause is analogous to the one securing the freedom of speech and of the press. Freedom, not license, is secured; the fair use, not the libelous abuse, is protected.” …


The First Amendment contains the freedom-of-speech guarantee that the people ratified, which included exceptions for obscenity, libel, and disclosure of state secrets, but not for the expression of extremely unpopular and wrong-headed views.  The Second Amendment is no different.  Like the First, it is the very product of an interest-balancing by the people – which Justice Breyer would now conduct for them anew.  And whatever else it leaves to future evaluation, it surely elevates above all other interests the right of law-abiding, responsible citizens to use arms in defense of hearth and home.

Ever hear the anti-gun crowd trash the First Amendment as they do the Second?  “It’s outdated and written by white slave-owners.”  “It’s time for commonsense regulations.”

Let’s apply some progressive “commonsense” gun control proposals to freedom of speech and the press.  For example:

  • The First Amendment is not an individual right.  It applies only to members of a well-regulated militia.
  • All speech and methods of communication are prohibited unless they were in “common use” at the time the First Amendment was ratified.  These include radio, TV, motion pictures, audio and visual recordings, telephones, telegraph, the internet, blogs, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Reddit, Google, YouTube, Instagram, etc.
  • A universal background check to speak or publish is required, including a mental health exam conducted by a therapist who thinks President Trump is mentally ill.  The exam is especially essential for news anchors on CNN and MSNBC.
  • As with privately owned guns, speech must be disassembled and unworkable within the District of Columbia.  See District of Columbia v. Heller (2008) and Congress, for example.
  • A speaker or publisher must show good cause for a license to speak publicly, subject to the discretion of a government bureaucrat.
  • A license to speak or publish is subject to a minimum three-day waiting period.
  • A speaker or publisher must be at least 21 years of age. 
  • A national database of registered speakers and publishers shall be created and maintained by the U.S. Department of Justice.
  • The media show loophole must be closed.
  • Magazines shall be limited to ten words in order to prevent mass casualties of disfavored speech.
  • No gun control advocate may shout “fire” in a crowded theater even if the theater is on fire, Schenck v. United States (1918) notwithstanding.
  • Speech “directed to inciting or producing imminent gun control regulations and is likely to incite or produce such action” is prohibited, Brandenburg v. Ohio (1969) notwithstanding.
  • Soliciting progressive speech in a public college or university is subject to a $5-million security fee and is permissible only within a “safe space” stocked with NRA publications.
  • Neither the National Federation of Teachers nor the National Education Association may speak against school personnel carrying a firearm within a public school.
  • Notwithstanding New York Times v. Sullivan (1964) and Gertz v. Welch, Inc. (1974), it shall be lawful to slander or libel gun control advocates – e.g., “The ACLU is a terrorist organization.”

All in favor of these “commonsense” regulations, let’s have a show of hands.

We “bitter clingers” favor Samuel Adams, who treasured the Second Amendment as much as the First.

That the Constitution shall never be construed to authorize Congress to infringe on the just liberty of the press or the rights of conscience; or to prevent “the people” of the United States who are peaceable citizens from keeping their own arms.

Jan LaRue is senior legal analyst with the American Civil Rights Union.

Since people use words that injure or incite violence, shouldn’t Second Amendment infringers be willing to apply their gun control agenda to the First Amendment?

The First Amendment states in part, “Congress shall make no law … abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press.”

The Second Amendment 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.”  

The extent of the right expressed “above all other interests” by the Second Amendment was emphatically noted by the U.S. Supreme Court majority in District of Columbia v. Heller (2008) as analogous to the First Amendment:

[The purpose of the Second Amendment is] to secure a well-armed militia[.] … But a militia would be useless unless the citizens were enabled to exercise themselves in the use of warlike weapons.  To preserve this privilege, and to secure to the people the ability to oppose themselves in military force against the usurpations of government, as well as against enemies from without, that government is forbidden by any law or proceeding to invade or destroy the right to keep and bear arms[.] … The clause is analogous to the one securing the freedom of speech and of the press. Freedom, not license, is secured; the fair use, not the libelous abuse, is protected.” …


The First Amendment contains the freedom-of-speech guarantee that the people ratified, which included exceptions for obscenity, libel, and disclosure of state secrets, but not for the expression of extremely unpopular and wrong-headed views.  The Second Amendment is no different.  Like the First, it is the very product of an interest-balancing by the people – which Justice Breyer would now conduct for them anew.  And whatever else it leaves to future evaluation, it surely elevates above all other interests the right of law-abiding, responsible citizens to use arms in defense of hearth and home.

Ever hear the anti-gun crowd trash the First Amendment as they do the Second?  “It’s outdated and written by white slave-owners.”  “It’s time for commonsense regulations.”

Let’s apply some progressive “commonsense” gun control proposals to freedom of speech and the press.  For example:

  • The First Amendment is not an individual right.  It applies only to members of a well-regulated militia.
  • All speech and methods of communication are prohibited unless they were in “common use” at the time the First Amendment was ratified.  These include radio, TV, motion pictures, audio and visual recordings, telephones, telegraph, the internet, blogs, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Reddit, Google, YouTube, Instagram, etc.
  • A universal background check to speak or publish is required, including a mental health exam conducted by a therapist who thinks President Trump is mentally ill.  The exam is especially essential for news anchors on CNN and MSNBC.
  • As with privately owned guns, speech must be disassembled and unworkable within the District of Columbia.  See District of Columbia v. Heller (2008) and Congress, for example.
  • A speaker or publisher must show good cause for a license to speak publicly, subject to the discretion of a government bureaucrat.
  • A license to speak or publish is subject to a minimum three-day waiting period.
  • A speaker or publisher must be at least 21 years of age. 
  • A national database of registered speakers and publishers shall be created and maintained by the U.S. Department of Justice.
  • The media show loophole must be closed.
  • Magazines shall be limited to ten words in order to prevent mass casualties of disfavored speech.
  • No gun control advocate may shout “fire” in a crowded theater even if the theater is on fire, Schenck v. United States (1918) notwithstanding.
  • Speech “directed to inciting or producing imminent gun control regulations and is likely to incite or produce such action” is prohibited, Brandenburg v. Ohio (1969) notwithstanding.
  • Soliciting progressive speech in a public college or university is subject to a $5-million security fee and is permissible only within a “safe space” stocked with NRA publications.
  • Neither the National Federation of Teachers nor the National Education Association may speak against school personnel carrying a firearm within a public school.
  • Notwithstanding New York Times v. Sullivan (1964) and Gertz v. Welch, Inc. (1974), it shall be lawful to slander or libel gun control advocates – e.g., “The ACLU is a terrorist organization.”

All in favor of these “commonsense” regulations, let’s have a show of hands.

We “bitter clingers” favor Samuel Adams, who treasured the Second Amendment as much as the First.

That the Constitution shall never be construed to authorize Congress to infringe on the just liberty of the press or the rights of conscience; or to prevent “the people” of the United States who are peaceable citizens from keeping their own arms.

Jan LaRue is senior legal analyst with the American Civil Rights Union.



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James Comey: The Cowering Inferno


Former FBI director James Comey’s testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Thursday suggests that the first question to FBI director nominee Christopher Wray at his Senate confirmation hearing should be: “Are you currently going through menopause?”

Comey said he was confused, uneasy, troubled, concerned, shocked, very disturbed, and stunned during his conversations with President Trump.  The only missing menopausal symptoms are night sweats and weight gain.

Comey should have been sweating when he “woke up in the middle of the night” and decided to potentially violate federal law by using a close friend to leak contents of a government memo to a reporter at the New York Times, which Comey wrote while FBI director on an FBI computer while in an FBI car.

Comey’s bombshell – that he’s a leaker – came during questioning by Sen. Mark Warner:

I created records after conversations.  I think I did it after each of our nine conversations.  If I didn’t, I did it for nearly all of them, especially the ones that were substantive.

Much of the media reaction to Comey’s testimony, including some in the “fair and balanced” wing, began: “President Trump had a bad day.”

Really?  It’s like a headline announcing that a guy was spared from an 11th-hour execution that reads: “Condemned Missed Traditional Last Meal.”

Comey’s angry, self-serving opinion of President Trump as a liar is the swamp “gospel” of self-evident “truth” by much of the spinner class.  The real news – that Comey confirmed that Trump was never under investigation on Comey’s watch, never interfered with the Russian investigation, and didn’t order him to stop investigating Gen. Michael Flynn – is their “oh, yeah, by the way” subtext.

Comey admitted having “a queasy feeling” when he obeyed former attorney general Loretta Lynch’s order to downplay the criminal investigation of Hillary Clinton.  She told him to call it a “matter,” just as Clinton was spinning it.

That’s the same Lynch who met with Bill Clinton in a plane on the tarmac at the Phoenix airport while his wife was under criminal investigation by Lynch’s DOJ.  Good thing for Lynch that Bill wasn’t the Russian ambassador.

Comey’s queasiness didn’t prompt him to memorialize Lynch’s instruction.  He told Sen. Tom Cotton that he didn’t record conversations or memos with the attorney general or any other senior member of the Obama administration.

Nor did Comey mention Lynch’s order in his infamous July 2016 statement recommending against indictment of Clinton:

Although there is evidence of potential violations regarding the handling of classified information, our judgment is that no reasonable prosecutor would bring such a case.

Comey made it his job to decide that Clinton shouldn’t be charged with violating numerous federal laws after laying out the case for her indictment.  But he told the Senate committee it wasn’t his job to decide if Trump had obstructed justice.

Comey didn’t cave to “pressure” from Trump.  He didn’t obey what he now perceives as Trump’s “order” to drop the investigation of Gen. Flynn.  

Comey said he didn’t have the “presence of mind” to tell Trump it was inappropriate.  He said he was not strong, not “captain courageous.”  Wonder Woman in need of hormones, possibly.

Yet Comey never considered resigning or telling the White House counsel about his feelings about Trump’s “inappropriate” behavior.  He did tell Attorney General Jeff Sessions not to leave him alone with Trump.

There’s a headline AARP should be hyping to seniors everywhere: “Giant Terrorist Tracker Cowered by 70-Year-Old.”

Comey said he leaked the contents of his record to the press because he “thought that might prompt the appointment of a special counsel.”  Contrast this with his stated desire not to instigate appointment of special counsel in the Clinton investigation.  He didn’t give it to Congress.  He wanted special counsel on Trump’s trail after admitting to the committee:

  • Trump was never under investigation on his watch.
  • It would have been legal to tell the public, as Trump had requested, that Trump wasn’t under investigation.
  • Trump told him that “if there are people in my circle that are, let’s finish the investigation.”
  • At the time of their conversation, he didn’t think that Trump had ordered him to “let [Gen. Michael] Flynn go.”
  • Post-firing, he now says it was an order – an order he didn’t obey.  That would be insubordination and grounds for firing.
  • No “individual working for this administration, including the Justice Department,” asked him to stop the Russian investigation.  And he didn’t.

This isn’t the first time Comey tried to oust a top Republican, according to Sean Davis, co-founder of The Federalist.  Davis quotes former attorney general Alberto Gonzales and others to counter Comey’s version of events that allegedly transpired in then-attorney general John Ashcroft’s hospital room in 2004.

In this account, Comey’s actions showcase a duplicitous, secretive schemer whose true loyalties were not to the officials to whom he reported, but to partisan Democrats like Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.).

Comey gave a riveting account of the 2004 incident in his 2007 testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee regarding President George W. Bush’s firing of U.S. attorneys – which, according to Davis, was orchestrated by none other than Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.):

Comey kept secret his pre-hearing planning with Schumer and his staff to maximize the fallout of the bomb he planned to drop on Gonzales and the Bush administration.

Chuck Schumer and James Comey scheming against Republican presidents?  

Jan LaRue is senior legal analyst with the American Civil Rights Union.

Former FBI director James Comey’s testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Thursday suggests that the first question to FBI director nominee Christopher Wray at his Senate confirmation hearing should be: “Are you currently going through menopause?”

Comey said he was confused, uneasy, troubled, concerned, shocked, very disturbed, and stunned during his conversations with President Trump.  The only missing menopausal symptoms are night sweats and weight gain.

Comey should have been sweating when he “woke up in the middle of the night” and decided to potentially violate federal law by using a close friend to leak contents of a government memo to a reporter at the New York Times, which Comey wrote while FBI director on an FBI computer while in an FBI car.

Comey’s bombshell – that he’s a leaker – came during questioning by Sen. Mark Warner:

I created records after conversations.  I think I did it after each of our nine conversations.  If I didn’t, I did it for nearly all of them, especially the ones that were substantive.

Much of the media reaction to Comey’s testimony, including some in the “fair and balanced” wing, began: “President Trump had a bad day.”

Really?  It’s like a headline announcing that a guy was spared from an 11th-hour execution that reads: “Condemned Missed Traditional Last Meal.”

Comey’s angry, self-serving opinion of President Trump as a liar is the swamp “gospel” of self-evident “truth” by much of the spinner class.  The real news – that Comey confirmed that Trump was never under investigation on Comey’s watch, never interfered with the Russian investigation, and didn’t order him to stop investigating Gen. Michael Flynn – is their “oh, yeah, by the way” subtext.

Comey admitted having “a queasy feeling” when he obeyed former attorney general Loretta Lynch’s order to downplay the criminal investigation of Hillary Clinton.  She told him to call it a “matter,” just as Clinton was spinning it.

That’s the same Lynch who met with Bill Clinton in a plane on the tarmac at the Phoenix airport while his wife was under criminal investigation by Lynch’s DOJ.  Good thing for Lynch that Bill wasn’t the Russian ambassador.

Comey’s queasiness didn’t prompt him to memorialize Lynch’s instruction.  He told Sen. Tom Cotton that he didn’t record conversations or memos with the attorney general or any other senior member of the Obama administration.

Nor did Comey mention Lynch’s order in his infamous July 2016 statement recommending against indictment of Clinton:

Although there is evidence of potential violations regarding the handling of classified information, our judgment is that no reasonable prosecutor would bring such a case.

Comey made it his job to decide that Clinton shouldn’t be charged with violating numerous federal laws after laying out the case for her indictment.  But he told the Senate committee it wasn’t his job to decide if Trump had obstructed justice.

Comey didn’t cave to “pressure” from Trump.  He didn’t obey what he now perceives as Trump’s “order” to drop the investigation of Gen. Flynn.  

Comey said he didn’t have the “presence of mind” to tell Trump it was inappropriate.  He said he was not strong, not “captain courageous.”  Wonder Woman in need of hormones, possibly.

Yet Comey never considered resigning or telling the White House counsel about his feelings about Trump’s “inappropriate” behavior.  He did tell Attorney General Jeff Sessions not to leave him alone with Trump.

There’s a headline AARP should be hyping to seniors everywhere: “Giant Terrorist Tracker Cowered by 70-Year-Old.”

Comey said he leaked the contents of his record to the press because he “thought that might prompt the appointment of a special counsel.”  Contrast this with his stated desire not to instigate appointment of special counsel in the Clinton investigation.  He didn’t give it to Congress.  He wanted special counsel on Trump’s trail after admitting to the committee:

  • Trump was never under investigation on his watch.
  • It would have been legal to tell the public, as Trump had requested, that Trump wasn’t under investigation.
  • Trump told him that “if there are people in my circle that are, let’s finish the investigation.”
  • At the time of their conversation, he didn’t think that Trump had ordered him to “let [Gen. Michael] Flynn go.”
  • Post-firing, he now says it was an order – an order he didn’t obey.  That would be insubordination and grounds for firing.
  • No “individual working for this administration, including the Justice Department,” asked him to stop the Russian investigation.  And he didn’t.

This isn’t the first time Comey tried to oust a top Republican, according to Sean Davis, co-founder of The Federalist.  Davis quotes former attorney general Alberto Gonzales and others to counter Comey’s version of events that allegedly transpired in then-attorney general John Ashcroft’s hospital room in 2004.

In this account, Comey’s actions showcase a duplicitous, secretive schemer whose true loyalties were not to the officials to whom he reported, but to partisan Democrats like Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.).

Comey gave a riveting account of the 2004 incident in his 2007 testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee regarding President George W. Bush’s firing of U.S. attorneys – which, according to Davis, was orchestrated by none other than Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.):

Comey kept secret his pre-hearing planning with Schumer and his staff to maximize the fallout of the bomb he planned to drop on Gonzales and the Bush administration.

Chuck Schumer and James Comey scheming against Republican presidents?  

Jan LaRue is senior legal analyst with the American Civil Rights Union.



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