Entering the “Duck Dynasty” fray after family “patriarch” Phil Robertson explained in a GQ interview his faith-based belief that homosexual acts are sinful, CNN host Piers Morgan posted an opinion to his Twitter account Thursday demonstrating the Second Amendment isn’t the only part of the Bill of Rights he advocates gutting.
“Just as the 2nd Amendment shouldn't protect assault rifle devotees, so the 1st Amendment shouldn't protect vile bigots. #PhilRobertson,” Morgan tweeted.
The employment controversy between Robertson and A&E is not a First Amendment issue. It’s a contractual one, invoking specific relevant clauses, and more broadly, one of voluntary association involving private parties with a conflict between the right of one to say what he believes, and the right of the other to not associate with someone they perceive does not represent the image they want to identify with. Fans of the family can, and have, let the network know of their displeasure, with some pledging a boycott, and some sponsors making their support for Robertson and his religious views known. On the other side are groups like GLAAD and their supporters condemning Robertson’s statements. There are even spin-off impacts, such as national restaurant chain Cracker Barrel removing selected “Duck Dynasty”-related merchandise from their gift shops (which in turn resulted in secondary boycott calls and a quick apology).
That all falls within people’s rights. You are free to pick and support your side or to ignore the whole sorry mess.
In Morgan’s fascist world, that choice would be taken from you. Let’s prove that together.
The prefatory clause to his tweet repeats a false claim he made a little over a year ago, and still hasn’t responded to once his utter lack of an educated opinion was demonstrated.
“The 2nd amendment was devised with muskets in mind, not high-powered handguns & assault rifles,” he proclaimed. “Fact.”
Except it’s not a fact. This column dissected a common claim by anti-gun activists that the Founders could not have imagined today’s firearms technology when they wrote the Second Amendment, and proved it without merit, listing technological developments -- some of which had already been around for hundreds of years -- that showed advances in firearms that were known at that time, such as pepperbox revolvers, volley guns, breech loading rifles and the Puckle gun. Of note, the Girandoni air rifle, capable of firing 22 .46 caliber balls, had been in use by the Austrian army 11 years before the Bill of Rights was ratified (be sure to watch the accompanying video for the effect the rifle’s “high capacity magazine” had on discouraging Indian attacks on the Lewis and Clark expedition, and note how the mere presentation of a gun with such capabilities deterred violence).
But we all know Morgan is an ignorant, obnoxious and bellicose troll when it comes to guns. That someone who makes his living from a talk show would then go on to show absolute disregard for the First Amendment in the remainder of his tweet is something that even advocates of “gun control” should join with gun rights defenders in condemning, that is, assuming they aren’t just evil power über alles exploiters, or their useful idiot followers.
If the First Amendment does not protect Phil Robertson’s right to express his religious beliefs in a magazine interview, whether you agree with them or find them offensive, it protects nothing -- except that which collectivists in power and with guns to back them up say it does.
That’s not just an opinion from some -- what does Morgan call people like me? -- “heartless gun nut bastard.” Openly gay writer Camille Paglia has pegged the A&E response to the Robertson controversy “utterly fascist, utterly Stalinist,” referring to policies “that my liberal colleagues in the Democratic party and on college campuses have supported and promoted over the last several decades.”
By saying the First Amendment “shouldn’t protect” such speech, Morgan dangerously amps things up. He’s advocating that beliefs he disapproves of should have no legal protection from government abridgement, and that such sentiments can be banned with legal penalties for violations. He’s saying a judge should be able to rule that Robertson’s speech is not protected and then impose punishment under force of state arms.
Someone who takes seemingly anal pleasure in correcting the spelling and grammar of his critics (he even giddily refers to it as “revenge” -- in GQ of all places) can’t claim he wasn’t talking about the legalities of protected speech as recognized in the Bill of Rights and centuries of court decisions. It’s either that, or he has once more proven he doesn’t know what the hell he’s talking about.
But don’t expect him to understand that it’s not just banning guns that would trigger widespread defiance and resistance. Try implementing his “utterly Stalinist” philosophy on the First Amendment, and things will indeed get explosive, not that the intrepid Piers Morgan will be deterred if he and his fellow hive insects set off a powder-keg. After all, we’re dealing with someone who brags he could repel multiple armed assailants using karate.
A right Simon Templar, that one. Too bad our hero wasn’t around the Mall at Short Hills, to show us all how he would have cleverly dispatched these guys, and then suavely straightened his tie. And I say, rotten bit of luck there for those of you who may not be as young or as physically capable as this strapping subject of the Queen, and who may not be able to rely on karate as an option.
Still, I can’t help but wonder how the silly wanker would fare in a cage match against 67-year-old Phil Robertson…
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