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“The simple dedication to the principles of free speech become a little more murky when people are carrying guns. You can be a strong believer in Second Amendment rights and a strong believer in First Amendment rights, but even if you are you might want to think about how those two work together in highly volatile demonstrations.” – UNC Professor William Marshall in Free-speech challenge: Can First and Second Amendments be exercised simultaneously? [via]

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    • Attribution may still be necessary, even for Lazarus Long quotes. Even though he is fictional he is so formidable that I imagine the polite thing is the wise thing;-) I do realize that your quote marks are quite sufficient, I just wanted to blather.

        • “The Notebooks of Lazarus Long” is an actual book you can get, collecting a great many aphorisms attributed to Woodrow Wilson Smith in his various guises in various books. The title comes from the quotes beginning each chapter in, I think it’s “Time Enough for Love.” Each zinger is identified as from “The Notebooks of Lazarus Long.”

          Apparently there’s another knock-off “edition” out there with the same title, bad editing and no calligraphy.

          With the good version of this title, you’ll get the vast majority of the often quoted LL lines, while missing a few from when he’s an actual character. Plus, the calligraphy is nice.

          This is an instance of a fascinating sub-category of “fake books made real-ish.” Some years back there was an inventory on an obscure bookhound site, since defunct. It might still exist in The Wayback Machine — I haven’t looked. Aside from the well known ones, there was some back-and-forthing among the US science fiction authors immediately post golden-age. Probably some other examples I don’t know of.

      • I have a copy of Kate Turabian’s “Manual for Writers” in front of me, in fact. But I figure on the ‘Net you can just copy and search (with DuckDuckGo, not Goolag), so I get lazy.

    • Yes. Full quote for those who may not recognize it:

      “…an armed society is a polite society. Manners are good when one may have to back up their actions with their life.” – Robert A. Heinlein “Beyond This Horizon”

  1. “Free-speech challenge: Can First and Second Amendments be exercised simultaneously?”

    Depends on who is discussing with whom. If leftists are involved in any way, then they will start the violence, they have since day one of the culture wars, and it only gets worse.

  2. If the ACLU rejects defending protesters who legally openly carry guns, they better as hell reject those who (often illegally) openly carry bats, mace, knives, and bottles of urine. I’m talking about antifa of course.

    I don’t have high hopes for that. Sometimes the ACLU gets things right on the first Amendment. But these days, considering that the ACLU is really just an empty shell of what it used to be, I see them behind the curve on free speech issues

  3. “Can First and Second Amendments be exercised simultaneously?”

    The answer is easy …

    First Amendment:
    freedom of speech, freedom of the press, the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and the right of the people to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

    Second Amendment:
    right to keep and bear arms for defense of self and state.

    I see absolutely nothing in either right that interferes with the other.

    Therefore, I’ll be “that guy”. Leftists who lament our right to keep and bear arms have no interest in peaceably assembling nor petitioning government for a redress of grievances. Rather, Leftists want to force their will upon government and the people through violent force. Of course an armed populace stands in their way.

    THAT is why Leftists hate the right to keep and bear arms.

    And since Leftists have no righteous nor coherent argument for why we should not keep and bear arms, they insinuate that armed people:
    (1) Are seething cauldrons of rage that will explode at the slightest provocation.
    (2) Are not compatible with free speech because something is guaranteed to set them off.
    (3) Are the ones threatening free speech.
    (4) And should therefore have no right to keep and bear arms.

    • I’ll only add that that’s why they’re so adamant about destroying, defacing, and effacing these monuments, statues, memorials, etc. They want to erase their not only their complicity in erecting them and maintaining them (did ya hear that, Madame Pelosi?), but also to distance themselves from affiliation with the violent, racist ideologies that modern liberals share with so many of these memorials’ subjects.

      There isn’t a liberal out there who doesn’t believe the world would be better if we freedom adherents were systematically exterminated. They’re prepared to fight right down to the very last one of somebody else’s sons to win that coming war. Believe it; watch it happen, in our lifetime.

      • Eh. Sort of.
        In truth, the majority of folks (of any political bent) paid no attention to obscure statues in city parks they’ve never visited. This was not much of an issue at all until the Democrats/socialists/progressives lost the election and needed to find a new focus for their base in order to get the reins of their runaway wagon back under control. The problem is: their favorite tool to use at protests – Antifa – is a poorly trained attack dog. They can point their goons at the enemy and say, “sic em’!”, but the goons won’t stop after the attacks start; they keep going and inevitably wreck something the left didn’t want wrecked or simply make themselves look like the bad guys.
        Attacking conservative speakers at colleges wasn’t working because the speaker can still counter their arguments online and at interviews. A statue of a dead guy has no such defense and is an easy target – and the left always prefer their targets defenseless.

  4. Funny thing about the Constitution – it protects the right to “keep and bear arms”, but not the right to use them however you wish. So, we have two people on opposite sides of an issue at a rally, both have chosen to exercise their rights to keep and bear and to speak freely. One of them gets pissed and blasts away at the other.

    That would be a crime and it should be punished. At least in a rational world, which we seem to be moving further and further away from, unfortunately. I have no doubt that if it was a leftist who blasted away all we would hear about would be how speech (that the leftists don’t agree with) is violence and the moron who fired first was only protecting himself.

    There is actually a case currently, I think in Sacramento (?), where an Antifa member is basically saying the same thing, though only clubs and knifes were used. Shouldn’t fly in Sacramento but would likely get traction in Portland.

    I’m pretty much an absolutist regarding both the First and Second Amendments and fully support EVERYONE exercising both rights however they choose, except of course when it comes to people’s’ choice of the wrong brand or caliber of firearm, which should naturally be punished by 5 years in the gulag.

    • I agree with Mark on this.

      No one of consequence – there is a flaw in your context argument. What is ironic is the flaw is the 2nd amendment. The Antifa should be able to carry bats, knifes, bricks, ETC for their protection because the 2nd protects everyones right to “Bear Arms”. The Founding fathers specifically worded it this way to cover all forms of Self Protection. your context argument is exactly how we have ended up with the gun laws we have now.
      Context – Who really needs more than 10 rounds for self defense.
      Context – You don’t need a MSR for hunting.
      Context – Only trained personal like LEOs and Military can properly use firearms.

      If we are to be just we must start holding people acountable for there actions. Having a weapon is not an action. Having a vile racist opinion is not an action. Attacking some one because they wont aggree to your opinions is an action.

      I will spend the rest of my life arguing with bigots, racists, socailists, and anyone else who stands against liberty. But to be true to my beliefs, I will defend there right to peacfully express there views even though I belive them to be wrong.

    • As my oh-so-wise father likes to say, “People have many rights here in America, and they all end at the tip of my nose”.
      Yell, scream, protest, carry a brick, a stick, a gun or swing your fists in front of you – those are all your rights, until that fist connects with the tip of my nose. At that instant, you’ve violated MY rights, and I will respond accordingly.

  5. Context is everything.

    A conceal-carry gun in a holster is in its “usual” place and serving its “usual” function when carried – an in-case-of-emergency tool. That holds almost any place.

    A baseball bat at a baseball game isn’t unusual. At a political rally, it is (or should be). A brick on someone’s person at a construction site is in-context. A loose brick on someone’s person at a political rally probably isn’t there as part of a let’s-build-a-wall team-building exercise.

    • “Context is everything.”


      And I’ll tell you why: whoever defines a “proper context” determines who can and who cannot exercise a right. Saying it another way, my rights, especially self-defense, are not a function of the environment where I happen to be.

      It is my right to carry a firearm, brick, hammer, club, baseball bat, shield, umbrella, flashlight, sign, yellow ribbon, pillow, or anything else for any reason or no reason in any context or no context. What I might be planning to do with any of those objects is irrelevant.

      Until I overtly threaten someone or attack someone, no one — including government agents — have any righteous authority to stop me.

      • Absolutely! Nobody should be given the power to decide those things for anyone else. Now, the crowd at the protest where you are carrying your baseball bat (or brick) might well be motivated to watch you a little more closely, or even ask you about it – say, if you have a note tied to the brick… We call that “situational awareness.”

        Once you throw the brick as someone or something, THEN you are the aggressor.

        This hysteria over what people “might” do is insane.

    • That’s the rationale followed by the UK. Note that it is also a place where I can carry neither a concealed pistol nor so much as a Leatherman tool on my belt, not even “for emergencies”.

    • So what (or where) is the proper context for a Coke can filled with concrete or a glass jar filled with piss?

      • An Antifa Paperweight and Their Beverage of Choice.
        So long as both remain in their hands, I couldn’t care less – but they should be watched closely.
        Any combat pilots out there might compare seeing an angry protester holding things like that to getting a warning that the enemy has radar lock on you: they haven’t fired yet, but they are just a slip of the thumb away from doing so. Evasive action recommended.

  6. If your freedom to express yourself under the 1st Amendment is impeded, it pretty much leaves you with few options (i.e., frustration, anger and eventually, violence). Exercising the 1st prevents the need for fully exercising the 2nd. That’s why exercising the 2nd, at least to a degree, ensures the preservation of the 1st.

  7. Little Willy says you can exercise your first amendment rights or your second amendment rights, but not both simultaneously. That makes perfect sense because people who want to use violence to intimidate you and prevent you from exercising your first amendment rights are afraid of guns. Nobody wants to get ventilated when they are committing criminal assaults.

  8. I guess that according to Prof. Numbnuts, trying to burn down Koreatown is a First Amendment right while exercising your Second Amendment right to protect your life and property is suppression of speech.

  9. The pen is mightier than the sword. Doesn’t mean I want to give up the sword. Sword protects the pen. Especially from the illiterate.

  10. In this era of heightened sensitivity and stupidity, exercising your right to self-preservation can also be seen as an expression of your free speech right. So an argument can be made that it makes more sense that they go hand-in-hand rather than negate each other.

    That said, I don’t do protests, but if I did, I would be armed there as I would be anywhere else. If anyone seriously thinks I (or anyone here) won’t hesitate to ventilate some coddled twit who acts to harm me because they don’t like what I have to say, then they should think again, and think fast. To borrow from Dalton, I’m all for being nice it’s time to not be nice.

  11. Everybody has the Constitutionally protected right to free speech.

    Everybody has the Constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms.

    The ONLY time exercising the Second Amendment protected right could possibly interfere with another person’s Constitutionally protected First Amendment right is if they do not believe in the Second Amendment. If NEITHER side is armed, the First Amendment is in full play. If both sides are armed the First Amendment is still in full play.

    If the presence persons legally armed under the auspices of the protections afforded by the Second Amendment intimidate you and cause you to voluntarily suppress the exercise of your First Amendment protected right to free speech the solution is painfully simple – keep and bear your own arms.

    This goes to the “an armed society is a polite society.” quote. It only works if BOTH sides are armed.

    BTW, please consider being more concise with noting that these are NOT Constitutional rights, they are CONSTITUTIONALLY PROTECTED rights.

  12. “Can First and Second Amendments be exercised simultaneously?”

    Actually, they work better together. Anyone who doesn’t understand this, doesn’t understand either.

  13. The “right to bear” is the most important. The Left has people questioning the right to carry a gun wherever you want to. This is the real battle. Not just having a gun in your home.

    The Texas open carry fight just two years ago is the blue print. This is why I say be polite when open carrying a gun. Go back and read some of the stories when open carry became legal in Texas. The Left couldn’t believe it.

    If you dont support open carry, then you don’t really support, the Right to Bear Arms.

    Bearing arms wherever we travel in the USA is our American heritage. Are you listening Second Amendment Foundation????

  14. It has certainly been said that without the 2A, the 1A would never exist and tyranny would be sure to follow. Therefore, I maintain it is possible to exercise both rights without resorting to violence. The sane and rational individual recognizes the freedoms of the 1A, while understanding the responsibility of the 2A in public places.
    The militia in Charlottesville successfully demonstrated both with no injuries to anyone on both sides while their rights were exercised. Neither side of extremists attempted any assault upon them. Firearms ARE A DETERRENT to all but the most criminally determined.

  15. “Free-speech challenge: Can First and Second Amendments be exercised simultaneously?”

    Every day, everywhere that free Americans congregate. (For those of us who live in Free States)

    I carry as a defense against actions not words.

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