San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo
San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo (AP Photo/Nic Coury)
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Deputizing private parties to restrict liberty has become popular among politicians constrained by constitutional protections for individual rights. They get to target personal freedom without explicitly restricting anything, like a bratty kid waving his hands around a sibling’s face while chanting “I’m not touching you!” The latest such example is the San Jose, California, city government, which insists that it is “constitutionally compliant” in requiring gun owners to purchase liability insurance and to pay an “annual gun harm reduction fee” to exercise a right specifically protected by the Second Amendment. …

The problems with requiring people to pay fees and carry insurance to exercise their rights might be more obvious if the San Jose city government had imposed its rules on journalists and bloggers. Liability insurance and annual fees would be obvious infringements of First Amendment rights if smugly imposed as an effort to offset the supposed harms caused by alleged disinformation and misinformation. Then again, [San Jose Mayor Sam] Liccardo and company might consider that a clever idea after all.

“In a new trend, many governments have sought to shift the burden of censorship to private companies and individuals by pressing them to remove content, often resorting to direct blocking only when those measures fail,” Freedom House warned in 2015. “Local companies are especially vulnerable to the whims of law enforcement agencies and a recent proliferation of repressive laws. But large, international companies like Google, Facebook, and Twitter have faced similar demands due to their significant popularity and reach.”

Since then, privatized authoritarianism has only proliferated. We now commonly see demands that companies boot disfavored speakers coming from sources as highly placed as the White House. Politicians who think it’s fine to conscript private businesses into muzzling their opponents were never going to balk at drafting those same firms into helping them to disarm the public. Rather than submit, people who care about liberty need to exercise it in defiance of out-sourced efforts at control.

— J.D. Tuccille in San Jose’s Insurance Requirement Is Privatized Gun Control

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43 COMMENTS

    • In San Jose just because citizens own a firearm they are singled out and tied to crime by “guilt by association.” Like citizens wearing hoodies to keep warm and criminals wearing hoodies as a crime disguise. The hoodie is the link that ties citizens to criminals therefore citizens must pay for hoodie misuse. Sounds insane because it is.

      Because you own a firearm and a criminal misuses a firearm that by some stretch of a sick deranged imagination is grounds for you to pay? What about kids who own baseball bats? Are they now tied to criminals who misuse baseball bats? What about citizens who own motor vehicles? Are they tied to criminals who use vehicles to mow down pedestrians, commit robberies, etc? What about those who have knives in their kitchens? Are they now tied to criminals who misuse knives?

      By their own sick democRat Party Jim Crow insanity the San Jose Plantation Council has concocted something along the lines of a poll tax and they can go pound sand.

      • Atlas Shrugged. So do I.

        “Did you really think we want those laws observed?” said Dr. Ferris. “We want them to be broken. You’d better get it straight that it’s not a bunch of boy scouts you’re up against… We’re after power and we mean it… There’s no way to rule innocent men. The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren’t enough criminals one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws. Who wants a nation of law-abiding citizens? What’s there in that for anyone? But just pass the kind of laws that can neither be observed nor enforced or objectively interpreted – and you create a nation of law-breakers – and then you cash in on guilt. Now that’s the system, Mr. Reardon, that’s the game, and once you understand it, you’ll be much easier to deal with.”

    • As our commie state AG puts it, “it is law until it is struck down” (laughs as he walks off camera).

  1. avatar Geoff "A day without an apparently brain-damaged mentally-ill demented troll is like a day of warm sunshine" PR

    “They get to target personal freedom without explicitly restricting anything, like a bratty kid waving his hands around a sibling’s face while chanting “I’m not touching you!””

    Pretty much what an apparently brain-damaged mentally-ill demented troll does in TTAG.

    All the better, since I can reciprocate in return, by questioning his non-existent manhood, humiliating him publicly and mercilessly…

    Right, PGTwo? 😉

    • Lol and Geoff the (fully vaxxed and boosted) Florida Pervert wonders why his involuntary life long celibacy streak continues unabated. He’s such a loser that he can’t even get an acknowledgment from that loud mouthed crone Debbie W.

      Sad!

  2. So as long as it’s outsourced to a private entity it’s legal? Dang, contract killers are gonna be thrilled.

    • Gun stores are private entities. Are they not? We outsource our second amendment rights through them and through police departments and various forms of military as a way of life.

  3. The only way a blogger can blog or a Facebooker can Facebook is with internet access of some kind. We ALL pay for that access. We do pay a fee (several fees actually) to exercise this form of free speech first amendment rights. It’s just a disguised fee. Pay also pay for this by submission. I just paid mine not 20 minutes ago.

    There are then fees and extra taxes attached to ammunition sales that TTAG often brings us updates on to tell us how much we have paid.

    I would appreciate a little more honesty on all sides.

    • Yep they tax the chit out of us. Especially in Crook county. I’ve only bought one gat sans the feds. Time to use that “secret” local fakebook group😎

    • You’re paying for internet access through a private company. You are not paying a fee to exercise your right to free speech. The .gov is not charging the fee and you are free to stand on the corner and speak your mind.

      When any .gov charges you a fee to exercise a right they are in the wrong. Just another version of a poll tax.

      • No one accepts that argument. Everyone in this country thinks they have a first amendment right to free speech using Facebook, Twitter, and all kinds of other social media individually owned non-.gov websites. To include the dillusion of privacy in a gmail email address.

        Just like with this post, privately owned servers and services are being used and free speech does not apply as they are not government.

        • avatar Geoff "A day without an apparently brain-damaged mentally-ill demented troll is like a day of warm sunshine" PR

          “Everyone in this country thinks they have a first amendment right to free speech using Facebook, Twitter, and all kinds of other social media individually owned non-.gov websites.”

          Guess what? Some on the SCotUS (ones aligned with *us*) have expressed sympathy to the position that the internet is the modern-day equivalent of the public square.

          You can guess where that leads, can’t you? 🙂

          EDIT – There actually is logic there, since internet providers are licensed by the government…

        • @Geoff
          Even by our governments own rules (section230), this is not that. There is a reason why Trump focused on that. Those that own and run Facebook are under no obligation to adhere to anyone’s first amendment rights. The Democrat party will use that fact to their advantage. Until this situation changes (if it ever does), the only reasonable course for the average citizen that actually cares is to just not use those platforms. Otherwise it’s beating a dead horse.

          As for California, either that state gets reined in at the federal level (which isn’t likely to happen) or by it’s people (which is really the way it needs to happen). Without one of those two things it’s just futility and theater.

        • Not sure where you’re getting at. In order to publish the Federalist Papers somebody had to cut down some trees, pulp the wood and make the paper. They probably were paid to do this and even if they weren’t paid it wasn’t free as somebody had to volunteer their time. Same with the ink and the printing press. Printing presses don’t grow in the woods for just anyone to pick. Computer servers aren’t any different. You pay for their use through data mining so they can use targeted advertising, kind of like how you pay for free TV by having to sit through commercials. For that matter the right to keep and bear arms isn’t free because you have to buy the weapon. You’re conflating economic realities with government infringement.

        • @Gov. William J Le Petomane
          We are so far beyond that its pathetic. That is no longer on the radar.

          We can easily lose this entire thing if we are not carefull. It is about who people vote for. But even deeper than that its about what the voter is thinking when they vote. Its easy to say that the people of California did this to themselves. The wiser person will understand how this can effect, harm, and destroy other areas across the nation. Social media has been turned into a propaganda machine that blinds people to the truth.

          How many times is a loaf of bread taxed before its eaten?

          The left must be voted out. The way to do that becomes confusing when sleeping with them.

          You can talk about Facebook limiting your free speech rights when you come here and exercise your free speech rights. Your rights are still there and you prove that. Facebook is a lie. You WILL pay to be part of that.

          Tell me about adding fees and taxes on guns when you get your tax stamp. When you buy another box of ammo.

          There is a dichotomy in play here where selective hearing takes over.

        • Well I never said Facebook wasn’t evil. But I have a feeling that if a competitor came along and offered the same service for a small fee sans the data harvesting, it would be every bit as popular as My Space.

        • avatar Geoff "A day without an apparently brain-damaged mentally-ill demented troll is like a day of warm sunshine" PR

          “Those that own and run Facebook are under no obligation to adhere to anyone’s first amendment rights. The Democrat party will use that fact to their advantage.”

          *Sigh*

          One more time, and try to follow along –

          We have SCotUS justices sympathetic to the position that the internet is the modern-day version of the public square, and that content providers can be compelled to not allow F-book or anyone else to censor free speech on those platforms…

        • @Geoff
          You think I’m not following this? I’ve heard this. I agree that is there. I’m not saying that isn’t there. I’m glad SCOTUS has reached this level. I’m certainly less worried about SCOTUS than I used to be.

          I’m saying that has yet to bear fruit. I’m saying the general population has a responsibility to itself. Just like the fact that we cannot depend on cops, ultimately it is upto us. This has already started to show itself with regard to how parents deal with public schools. We need to see the same thing in other areas. Nothing California does with guns will get better until the people there stand up for themselves and their rights. Pelosi has stated she intends to run again. This creates and opertunity for the people of California to start turning things around.

        • Here’s the logic. You have the right to speak your mind in the public square in Sacramento, CA, absolutely. However, if you happen to be in FL, you are not entitled to free transportation to Sacramento to do so! Likewise, you have free access to the internet, but a device which gets you on it or the portal you use with that device is your own problem.

        • @LarryinTX
          I’ll remember that the next time someone posting something on Facebook or Twitter gets canceled for nothing more than their differing opinion.

    • yuo are not paying for the exercise of your RIGHT to speak your mind wnen you pay these fees. Further, they are not mandatory. Anyone can get round them and still access the internet. Then type on.
      Yor right to speak freely remains….. but, when I want to publish a letter in a newspaper, they WILL (and rightly so) impose a fee for their service. Just as if Iwanted to place an advert fora commerical product or service. Their SERVUCE of typesetting, printing, distributing, costs money and thus they rightly charge for the service. I can still find a discarded pasteboaard refrigerator carton, scounge a felt tim marker, or poke my finger and write in my own blood, then place that “letter” in a puboic place. Thus I uncur NO costs in this expression.

      but for the City of San Jose to impose as a precondition of siumple p[ossession of the hated evil device” they wish to restrict, this amounts to a direct tax and prior conditioin to the use of my right to KEEP (that is, own, possess, have, ) arms.
      There is an YUUUUGE difference between this situatioin and your faulty hypothetical.
      Now, if the City of San Jose were to impose a fee or tax upon people like me who go find the discarded pasteboard cartons and write “letters” on them as a preconditioin of my making/possessiing such communication, then we’d have a parallel. If they were to impose a fee/tax for my priviiledge to be actedupon to place that “letter” in some publically visible place, such as my front yard, then we’d have a parallel. But that is NOT what they are doing.

      I thought California had a preemption law that should preclude any lesser political subdivision that the entire state from enacting any law or poicy resticing or otehrwise burdening my right to arms. But perhaps they do not. Anyone know?

      • I think I would expect Sacramento to say, hmm, that’s a good idea, let’s do it statewide, rather than slap down San Jose for doing it. No fear of preemption hitting the bosses in San Jose. Of course, I am presuming Sacramento would have to initiate preemption, not a private entity. Mark N?

        • No, private persons can challenge the payment of the fees and the insurance requirement under the pre-emption law. The hard part is getting a (liberal) Santa Clara County court (or the local federal court branch) to agree that the ordinance is preempted.

    • C’mon man! It’s just a work around to fix one of those flaws in the Constitution my best buddy Barak has been advising me about.

      It’s the God’s honest truth. No joke!

  4. “The Fascist State lays claim to rule in the economic field no less than in others; it makes its action felt throughout the length and breadth of the country by means of its corporate, social, and educational institutions, and all the political, economic, and spiritual forces of the nation, organised in their respective associations, circulate within the State.”
    -Benito Mussolini, 1935, The Doctrine of Fascism

    People often incorrectly accuse the Democrats of being commies. Maybe some in the fringes of their party are devout communists, but the greater party doctrine aligns much closer with Mussolini. They accuse everyone else of fascism to distract from their own.

    • Yep, exactly. The word has lost all meaning at this point, otherwise we’d all be calling “privatized authoritarianism” what it is: fascism.

      The Democratic party is the home of the “progressives,” and American progressives have had a hard-on for fascism since it first became a thing.

      • “The Democratic party is the home of the “progressives,” and American progressives have had a hard-on for fascism since it first became a thing.”

        “The whole modern world has divided itself into Conservatives and Progressives. The business of Progressives is to go on making mistakes. The business of Conservatives is to prevent mistakes from being corrected.”
        – G.K. Chesterton

  5. One of the bigger problems that laws like this cause in California and elsewhere is this.

    They wont be complied with.

    As the government piles law upon law, the common citizen either can’t or wont try to keep up with the law. This creates a basic contempt for the laws in general, much as the 55 MPH speed limit led to most everyone violating the law. Yes it was occasional enforced but mostly was not. This law will go the same way.

    Most gun laws are ignored by even the law abiding for the most part. There are just too many non-sensical laws that have zero impact on crime or criminals and only affect the law abiding gun owner when they’re caught, which is rare.

    The supremes really need to go strict scrutiny on the 2nd and wipe away so many of this nations insipid gun laws. However; my confidence that they will do that is pretty low. Government likes the lever to go after a citizen they dont like with as many lawfare bullets as they can fire.

    • if this goes through and is not quickly challenged thus mooted quickly, the average Joe in Calirfornia WILL ignore it. Hey, nine tenths of the folks in Californa are clueless with respect to 75% of the state’s laws anyway. Ever pick a free copy of the California Vehicle Code? Its thicker than ky bible. And nowher enear as fun to read.

      tis law will be kept quietly in the back pockets of LE to be appied as an add on whenever they accost someone whose attitude they dislike. I’d bet the eventual disposition of such a charge will be an YUUUGE fine/bribe, and/or disaulaification from ever possessing a firearm again.

      If this stands, best solutioin is to simply pack up and leave. Btter start shopping for that big huge box truck now, as U Haul will not have any availble to rent.

    • The problem in San Jose is that the City has access to all of those registration records maintained by the Ca DOJ. So yeah, they know where you live.

  6. What, if anything, does privatized authoritarianism have to do with a governmental imposition of an annual use tax for the right to own firearms? I am not suggesting that the former does not exist and that it isn’t a real issue, but rather that San Jose is a public entity, not a private entity, and any enforcement will be by a public entity.

    On the other hand, Governor Noisome wants to pass a law, modeled on the Texas anti-abortion law, that will allow citizens to sue gun manufacturers for their injuries on a nuisance theory. This is private enforcement of a governmental anti-gun program, i.e., privatized authoritarianism.

    • It would seem so, but that will not stop the Legislature from passing the law and Noisome signing it into law.

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