As we shared in November, two New York lawmakers are drafting a bill that would make NY residents’ gun rights contingent on a government review of three years of their social media and Internet activity. If these legislators get their way, any New Yorker wishing to own a firearm would be required to provide his or her social media passwords and browsing history so that state officials could, as Tucker Carlson aptly put it, “inspect them for unapproved thoughts.”
One of those lawmakers is NY State Senator Kevin Parker, who represents District 21 (a large swath of Brooklyn). Parker was brave/dumb enough to go on Tucker Carlson’s show to discuss this blatantly unconstitutional scheme. We’ve transcribed portions of the interview below the video. The segment featuring Parker begins at 3:00 and ends at 13:00.
TUCKER CARLSON: Senator Parker, what other constitutional rights that we possess as Americans should be contingent on how we behave on social media?
NY STATE SENATOR KEVIN PARKER: Well, let’s be clear… I take a oath [sic] that supports the Amendments, and the whole Constitution of both the U.S. and the state government Constitution. And so, this is really not about impinging on Constitutional rights, this is really about safety. This is really about, how do we in fact make the State of New York as safe as possible?
Now, we’ve already been very safe, we’re one of the top three safest states in the entire country, particularly when you look at mass shootings, thank God, but we can always be safer, and we can always make sure that what happened in Pittsburgh, what we saw in Parkland, what we saw in Orlando, doesn’t happen here. And so this law simply says, let’s look at what people are putting out on social media as part of a set of criteria we’re using to determine who gets handguns.
CARLSON: I agree with your desire to make your state, and every state, as safe as we can. But why restrict it to gun owners? You are an elected official, a state senator. You wield a lot of power. You control people’s lives. Why shouldn’t I have the password to your social media accounts, so we can assess whether you should be wielding the power that you do?
PARKER: Well, somebody should put that law in and maybe we could do that. First of all, my social media–
CARLSON: Wait, but, no, no, no… it’s a sincere question. Would you send me your passwords?
PARKER: Tucker, my social media is open right now. You can go on it, look at it, it’s public information.
CARLSON: Why don’t you send me your passwords and we can find out how open it really is?
PARKER: Look, what we should be talking about it, how do we make the state of New York safe, and right now, we’re not as safe as we can be, because people are saying things on social media and we’re not using that as we, in fact, give out a weapon that is used to kill people.
CARLSON: But you’re saying [gun ownership] is the only category to which this applies. Why don’t we apply this to voting? Before you choose who runs the state, who controls your life, why shouldn’t you have your social media checked?
PARKER: Because voting doesn’t necessarily lead to people killing each other.
CARLSON: Of course it does.
PARKER: This is about access to guns, and we know there is a direct correlation between the number of guns that are available in states and the prevalence of mass shootings.
CARLSON: [laughing] That’s actually not true! I think Wyoming has the highest per capita gun ownership in the country, and I don’t think there are any mass shootings–
PARKER: Yes, with the five people who live in Wyoming and the guns that they have.
[Editor’s note: About 580,000 human beings live in Wyoming, and the population of New York’s District 21, which State Senator Parker represents, is 717,000].
CARLSON: But you’re not calling for limiting the number of guns in this bill. You’re calling for people to turn over their social media passwords so you can decide if they’ve said something that is naughty, and if they have, they don’t get to own a gun. So, my question is, what other constitutional rights are dependent on your approval? Is the right to abortion? Should we, before allowing women to have abortions, check their social media accounts? This is a sincere question. And if not, why not?
CARLSON: [following repeated dodging from Parker] Let me ask you a human question. Don’t you think it’s a little intrusive that the government would be forcing citizens to turn over their social media passwords to the police before doing something the Constitution guarantees them the right to do? That doesn’t bother you in any way? That doesn’t seem a little bit, say, totalitarian? Something that maybe China would do? […] You’ve written this bill, and I’m just asking you, as you sat at your laptop and typed, ‘You will be required to hand over your passwords to the state police, and if they don’t like what you say, you don’t get to exercise your rights’ did part of you think, ‘Boy, that sounds a little Orwellian to me’?
PARKER: Look, right now, you’re focusing on a part that’s actually not quite the whole bill.
CARLSON: Right, other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how was the play? That’s right, it’s not the whole bill, exactly! But it’s part of it, and you don’t see that as fascist in any way? I mean, should the state police have to sign off on your marriage? Or how many kids you can have? I mean, because, obviously, some people shouldn’t be getting married.
PARKER: What we’re concerned about is the safety of the people in the State of New York, and we’re concerned that people are getting shot down.
CARLSON: [laughing] I’m not going to move you from your talking points! I’m not going to get you to think critically about this, obviously.
PARKER: What I’m doing is I’m talking about the values. And I get that some people believe that having a gun is more important than protecting the lives of strangers, but it’s my job as a state legislator, in fact, to do both.
CARLSON: Last question. Do you think people have a right to say outrageous things, maybe even things you disagree with, in public?
PARKER: They certainly can say whatever they want to say–
CARLSON: Oh, but then you’ll punish them for saying that.
PARKER: But we also have a right to deny them a gun permit if we believe that the things they are saying may lead to them endangering the people of the State of New York.
We’ll just let the horse’s
ass mouth speak for itself there, folks.