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[I]t’s worth noting that gun-control activists’ multi-decade strategy to “de-normalize” firearms, firearm ownership and the shooting sports has failed; they’ve failed even though, over the last decade, Big Tech has often acted as a roadblock to gun-related content.

Despite this censorship, gun sales have skyrocketed, and more people are shooting recreationally today; also, the general culture simply doesn’t regard guns or gun ownership with the suspicion that was prevalent in many places a couple of decades ago. In addition, gun owners and firearms-rights advocates are more assertive and less defensive than they used to be.

As a result, it isn’t difficult to understand why the Biden administration might try to get around First Amendment restrictions on government censorship by working with private censors; after all, it must be bothersome to Biden that legislative protection for gun rights [has] done well, thanks in no small part to the NRA, over the last few decades.

Nearly every state now offers “shall-issue” carry, and we’ve seen a rapid move toward constitutional carry in numerous states—now including Texas and my own home state of Tennessee. These represent enormous changes, which took place in a relatively short time.

So, defeated in many courts and legislatures, they’ve shifted the battle to institutions where they have more clout: The unelected government bureaucracy and now to Big Tech. …

With government efforts neutralized under President Trump, the new “shadow government” of Big Tech and activist groups continued the efforts embodied in Operation Choke Point. As we’ve seen in recent years, the tech giants have become more and more open about their willingness to leverage their power to silence dissenting voices and shut down companies (and people) of which they disapprove. The firearms industry was a major target.

— Glenn Harlan Reynolds in Second Amendment Censorship

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54 COMMENTS

  1. Unlike lots of folks these day, we KNOW who our enemies are and what they’re trying to do to us! They just continually make the mistake of believing we’re too dumb to see it!

    • “Unlike lots of folks these day, we KNOW who our enemies are and what they’re trying to do to us!”

      Eh, hold on a sec –

      It was a very ugly surprise to recently see the FBI could be weaponized the way the IRS was weaponized with Lois Lerner against the ‘Tea Party’ organizations.

      If the FBI and IRS were that easily weaponized against an opposing political party during the Obama administration to ensure his second term, imagine what they could do to little old you if someone didn’t like a comment you made on some right-wing website… 🙁

      • It’s more than the FBI. The whole Justice Department has been politicized. Complain to your school board about a boy who identified as a girl sodomizing your daughter in a bathroom, and expect to be labeled a domestic terrorist.

  2. Although I am normally against government regulation as a general knee jerk reaction, section 230 of the Communications Decency Act needs editing. Something as simple as requiring big tech to declare once a year whether they are a publisher and edit what is on their site or a platform and do not, that along with making them actionable by any offended citizen should fix the issue fairly quickly. This won’t happen with Democrats in charge of Congress or the White House ( swamp)

    • > making them actionable by any offended citizen

      This is a /horrible/ idea, of course.

      > declare once a year whether they are a publisher […] or a platform and do not,

      This is not a valid distinction, that is meaningful.

      Section 230 is just fine.

      You just have no idea what you’re talking about.

      • Go to Facefook, and post a wall of anti-vax rhetoric, 2nd amendment rhetoric, Trump rhetoric, and attack some Democrats, starting with Sleepy Joe. Keep it up for a couple weeks. YOU will be censored. Facefook is not a platform, it’s a publisher. That is pretty much end of discussion for me.

        I haven’t even touched on posting a wall of vulgarity, and another wall of obviously criminal activity. At this point, I’ve only asked you to post not-progressive political opinions.

        You can’t honestly deny any of that.

      • “This is not a valid distinction, that is meaningful. Section 230 is just fine.”

        The legal distinction between carriers of third-party data/information and publishers who create/curate exists only because Section 230 set it up.

        So if it’s not a valid distinction, then that law is not “just fine” and ought to be scrapped entirely. Personally, I’d prefer a better one that requires common carriers not to interfere with legal activity taking place on their platform, but having no law would be better than having one that the government only pretends to follow.

        • We can count on the government to do nothing that is why private parties need to be able to take action. Your idea to scrap and replace 230 is the best choice, but it is usually just easier to get a law modified than killed.

      • “Section 230 is just fine.”

        No, it isn’t.

        The internet needs to be declared a ‘Public Square’ and not allow a website to censor a commenter’s comments as long as they aren’t illegal. If a website has a comment section open to anyone, then they must not censor any comment made on there…

      • Uhmmmmm no it is YOU who are ignorant.

        WHen I write a letter to someone put it in an envelope and paste a far too expensive stamp on the upper right corner of the cover, and drop it into the postbox, USPS haev nothing to do or say about what is inside that cover. They are a “carrier”, a pipeline, a bucket.

        If the post office were to begin opening everyone;s mai, surveying it, trashing that they do not like, allowing what they do like to be deivered, they now hve become a publisher..

        A neutral carreir has no knowledge or concern over WHAT is being carried. But tis is NOT the case with da Book…. THEY examine everything, THEY decide what is “permissible speech”, and remove that of which they do not approve. And THEY are the sole arbiters of what is “permissible” This is NOT a “carrier”, this is a content censor.

        FakeBook and ilk want it both ways… they want to determine what is permissible to pass, yet do not want to accept legal responsibility for what IS passed. NOW they have shifted to plauing the role of censor.
        If facebook want to play censor of what can pass, they are no longer a neutral carrier, they are a content producer.

  3. you put the squeeze tight enough on one spot it’s just gonna ooze out of somewhere else.
    here’s hoping that new platforms will not be censored, and existing ones become largely irrelevant to most.
    “…thanks in no small part to the NRA…”
    well. i’m not really sure what the hell they actually do anymore. but even if they were paramount in maintaining rights, there are some serious omissions in that reference regarding credit due.

  4. Texas does not have Constitutional Carry.

    I see no authority within the NRA to create law. I know many Texas law makers are NRA members but so are many others. GOA and the 2nd Amendment Foundation do not make law either. Just like Everytown doesn’t. What is really happening here is the story of how elected officials are bought off. We have a serious problem if we can’t get these things done without the NRA.

    I am greatfull for the more constutional laws that Texas has now with respect to firearms but let’s be honest with ourselves about it.

    I also see no need to allow Facebook or Twitter the power over me or my rights. I don’t need them. Even without TTAG, I would still have no use for them.

    • What do you mean Texas doesn’t have constitutional carry? It passed just the last Sept 1st. Any Texan over the age of 21 can open or conceal carry a pistol on their person without any permits.

  5. Never mind chasing a boardroom filled with politically inept history illiterate big tech spoiled brat useful idiots. The bigger fish to fry are the jessica smolletts in the democRat Party who also concocted slander, libel and schemed to overthrow a duly elected POTUS.

    By all accounts the imbecile sleeping in the oval office today got there by way of fraudulent votes from key states and all of it was just fine with RINOS like romney, move-along cassidy et al.

    Since the democRat dirtbag jessica smollett is under the microscope let’s not forget the other marxist democRat dirtbags who share the deranged marxist belief that the ends justifies the means also belong under the legal microscope.

    • Go off divorced woman! Donate your alimony to the Trump Stop the Steal fund! So he can let more blacks out of prison with the platinum Plan and not build the wall like he promised.

      Now call out the ethnicity of all the board members. (Jews aren’t white)

        • “You are exceptionally sick.”

          Yes, he is Walter. Very, very, VERY mentally-ill, and full of anger and hatred.

          Right, PG? 🙂

      • hey who are YOU to be calling ont someone like this on here? Divorce seems to you to be some wort of kiss of death. Sometimes the other party turns dirtbag. Divorce IS biblically permissible.. it is remarriage AFTER divorce (for certain causes) that is prohibited.

        got any black on the bottom of your own cast iron pot?

        Totally off subject. Belongs elsewhere.

  6. Yuri Bezmenov predicted that non-elected actors would do exactly what Facebook and YouTube are doing today; he did not predict that they would also make it easier for Russian troll farms to contribute to our demoralization and eventual destabilization.

  7. First, they came for the neo-Nazis, but i said nothing.
    Then they came for Milo, but I said nothing.
    Then they came for dailystormer, but I said nothing.
    Then they came for the alt-right, but I said nothing.
    Then they came for gab, but I said nothing.
    Then they came for anyone who hinted about Jewish control of the media, but I said nothing.
    Then they came for the alt-lite, but I said nothing.
    Then they came for the McMillans, but I said nothing.
    They they came for the “Karens”, but I said nothing.
    Then they came for the 1/6 patriots, but I said nothing.
    Then they came for the Pro Life people, but I said nothing.
    Then they came for Paul Gosar, but I said nothing.

    Now they’re coming for 2A people… but there’s nobody left.

  8. Well according to the Libertarians Liberals and the Left, there’s nothing wrong with this. After all according to them private multibillion-dollar tech companies have every right to prevent the ordinary citizen from speaking.

    According to them only the government can take away your free speech. You are perfectly capable of taking a piece of string and tying it to two tin cans to be able to talk to someone.

    • I used to be heavily involved with libertarian circles. Within that camp there were two types:

      -those who wanted gov off their backs so they could own machine guns and not hire blacks (right libertarians). They always talked about Waco and ruby ridge. I was on a conference call with Ron Paul, David duke, Don black, and Éric striker in 2012. Yes this happened.

      -then there were this who wanted to do weird drugs and practice degenerate sex stuff. One guy- I forget who- basically made an argument “what if the child consents?” (Left libertarians)

      In 2016 there was a mass exodus of most right libertarians to the alt-right. Libertarians today are just the LOLbertarians and DUDEWEED people.
      If you aren’t trying to repeal child sex laws, don’t call yourself a libertarian.

  9. Something about arguing over who can disseminate what propaganda where and to whom makes this whole situation seem an awful lot sadder than it superficial appears to be.

  10. The Left worships, not only Big Government power, but Big Corporate power. Ironically, the useful idiot crowd thinks they’re fighting for the little guy. Misinformation is anything that is at odds with the Liberal Regime. It doesn’t matter what the subject is. The media propaganda apparatus will do everything in their power to push the narrative. Big Tech will make sure the narrative is amplified even more, and any dissenting opinion is either erased or difficult to find. These people are tyrants.

  11. The title of this article is misleading: it sounds like the Biden Administration engaged in a direct conspiracy with Big Tech. and collaborated to infringe on the First Amendment.

    Instead, the article indicates that Big Tech. is voluntarily doing what the Biden Administration would want them to do, although there is no direct conspiracy nor collaboration between them. That is a HUGE difference.

    • “Finally, we have proposed they promote quality information sources in their feed algorithm. Facebook has repeatedly shown that they have the levers to promote quality information … . So, these are certainly the proposals. We engage with them regularly and they certainly understand what our asks are.” -Psaki

      “Quality information sources” is code for anyone that agrees with the Puppet Administration.

  12. “the general culture simply doesn’t regard guns or gun ownership with the suspicion that was prevalent in many places a couple of decades ago.”

    LOL, if only that were true! It’s the exact opposite in the Northeast states such as New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maryland, etc. Every day on the nightly news (which comes out of New York City), gun owners are demonized. Yesterday’s gun-demonizing story of the day was about how “ghost guns” are “even more dangerous than regular guns.”

    I have the misfortune of living in the state with the lowest gun ownership in America.
    Now, our NJ governor (Phil Murphy) has proposed a dozen new and even more draconian gun restrictions on law-abiding citizens. The worst one will criminalize being a widow — any widow in New Jersey who fails to “surrender” her late husband’s guns within 30 days will be guilty of a felony. Talk about kicking someone when their down, arresting widows just because their husband died is the height of cruelty. And since we already have the lowest rate of gun ownership in the nation, gun control bills like this tend to sail right through the legislature with very little opposition.

  13. quote—————Despite this censorship, gun sales have skyrocketed, and more people are shooting recreationally today; also, the general culture simply doesn’t regard guns or gun ownership with the suspicion that was prevalent in many places a couple of decades ago.—————————quote

    Falsehood. Gun ownership represents 37% of the population and the surge in gun ownership is not for the most part first time buyers but the gun culture in a panic since Biden was elected. They are buying up way more ammo and guns than they actually need which produced the shortages because of mass panic. Surveys show that only 3% of the population owns 90% of the guns in private possession. It is the far right nut cases that own the majority of guns while the rest of the 34% who do own guns own very few. Guns are not the corner stone of their lives nor are they worshiped at an alter of paranoia and revolution every day.

    Private Companies like Facebook are not required to pander to Far Right Racist groups and if the shoe was on the other foot Far Right Web sites would be up in arms if they were required to give the Liberal view on anything. Freedom of speech works both ways.

    Facebook has been slowly clamping down hard on Far Right Racist Groups and people who want to discuss what bullet is best to kill people with. Normal civilized people are aghast at such bloodthirsty talk especially since the majority of people do not own guns anymore and hunting is fast becoming only a sport of the rich as it is today in much of Europe. It is considered a primitive, disgusting blood sport by most civilized suburbanite people who do not hunt. Whenever bloody pictures of animals are shown by the Far Right smiling with twisted grins there is always an avalanche of hate posts against this.

    Yes hunting is often necessary to keep game populations in check but lets keep the blood and gore and twisted smiles off of decent places like Facebook where normal people come to converse.

    Facebook panders to the ordinary citizen and they have their code of decency when it comes to the rabid Far Right Racists who want to overthrow the government and create a Trump one party dictatorship which would mirror the WWII regime of Adolf H complete with the destruction of freedom of speech, and gas chambers for anyone not white, protestant and Far Right.

    Again the Far Right would scream from the rooftops if their websites were required to put for the Liberal view point on anything but they in turn scream when Facebook exercises their first amendment rights as a privately owned company.

    The real problem is that Facebook is so popular it reaches a much bigger audience than any of the obscure Far Right Racist Jackbooted websites and that is why the Far Right is screaming their heads off. When the viewpoint of the majority of U.S. citizens is tolerance of all races, political parities, and religions, acceptance of science and pushing for free and fair elections and common sense gun laws this is something the Jackbooted Far Right are up in arms about (pun intended).

    Facebook will not tolerate the Far Right advocating racism, violence and the overthrow of the U.S. Government. Facebook is the guardians of what America stands for and the inscription of the Statue of Liberty which is loathed and hated by the Far Right Jack Booted Fanatics and their Charlottesville torchlight parades.

    • Bless you, Dacian. It’s such a shame you were dropped on your head dozens of times when you were a baby. An even greater shame that you would beat your head against the school house walls all through school. All that brain damage can’t be good for you. Just bless you. And, have a blessed day. And, please stay out of my sheep pen, they really don’t like your ‘affection’. Unlike yourself, they have a code of decency.

      • Nazi? He’s a leftist. What are you talking about?

        Nazi means something specific. It’s not “everyone I don’t like”.

      • Yeah, like 3% of gun owners own 90% of guns. Where did that come from? Either a highly biased study or a rectal orifice.

    • I believe dacian is the ultimate troll. I don’t know how much of what he writes he actually believes but he’s a master of pushing buttons and setting out every left wing trope guaranteed to rile conservative sensibilities. His postings actually read like a parody of the right’s idea of an unhinged leftist; and I’ll bet he derives a great deal of personal satisfaction and enjoyment out the responses to his posts.

      Ultimately, most of us post here just to vent, and I doubt if too many commenters actually believe that whatever they say here is going to change someone’s mind. If ol dacian gets your blood pressure up, just scroll past, because whatever is said here is just bits and bytes and has no effect on anyone’s life.

      • he’s not the ultimate anything beyond jeffropedo.
        if he was even a little good at trolling i would read his posts. but i pass over them like a nigerian email.
        smollett was the first to scam a nigerian.
        “then they put a mask over my face and told me this was fauci country.”

    • “Gun ownership represents 37% of the population”

      False, full stop.

      The source of that data came from polls. Like, phone polls.

      You phone rings : “Hello, do you own guns?” Who in their right mind would admit to someone they don’t know that they have valuable things that criminals *love* to steal?

      That ‘poll’ was most likely a burglar casing you home for a visit when you’re not home…

  14. We’ve always found ways to come together. We could find that unity again – and the message said – end of message.

  15. These Big Tech companies are akin to the old AT&T. Their censoring content is no different than the phone company disconnecting your call because some company bureaucrat doesn’t like what you’re saying.

  16. If the government is incentivizing private corporations to suppress certain speech, it sounds like government suppression of speech and violation of the 1A. If the private corporations created the censorship policy independently, 1A wouldn’t apply.

  17. “…thanks in part to the NRA…”
    Are you serious? Thanks to the NRA negotiating away We the People are subjected to a plethora of restrictions and regulations today.

    And, I’m sorry, but as a resident of Tennessee, you’re misrepresenting “Constitutional Carry”! There isn’t a single 2A advocacy group (except the NRA) that promotes the piece of entrapment-legislation as a positive! Thanks to the numerous gun-free zones excluded from the measure people are far more likely to be criminalized if exercising their right! And, let’s not forget that any law abiding, taxpaying Tennessean can now be stopped by law enforcement to ensure they are legal to carry-because LE assumes (per their own committee testimony) that the law only encourages felons to carry.

    Governor Lee’s ’permitless carry’ bill, again touted by the feckless NRA, is a far stretch from pro-2A!

    • Smoky Mtn Gal Excuse me but you have some explaining to do here. Please tell us what “plethora of restrictions and regulations has the NRA “negotiated away”?
      How is the Constitutional Carry bill in Tennessee a “piece of entrapment-legislation”? Please explain in detail?

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