"If you’re okay licensing my second amendment right, what’s wrong with licensing your first amendment right?"
-- Indiana state rep Jim Lucas (R-Seymour) on his bill to license journalists
Well, for starters. There's the whole pesky U.S. Constitution thing.
The First Amendment says, "Congress shall make no law...abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press."
The Second Amendment says, "A well-regulated militia..."
That seems pretty darn clear.
Even the Founding Fathers -- in clear language -- grasped from Day One that there should be NO law trespassing on the freedom of the press, yet knew it was proper to regulate guns.
It's not a hard concept. Also not hard: a gun can literally kill a person. Being a journalist can't. That's why the Founding Fathers understood regulating weaponry.
"58 killed, 489 Wounded in Journalism Massacre" is not a headline we will ever see.
Hey, should we license state senators? To protect us from bills as mind-numbingly awful as is, Mr. Lucas is making a sad case for it.
On the other hand, rather than make argument why we shouldn't license weaponry, it's nice to see that Mr. Lucas accepts the idea, and indeed wants to expand the idea of licensing. Whereas that doesn't actually work with other Amendments, merely because they're Amendments, I'm encouraged that by his reasoning, he hasn't put a limit on how far 2nd Amendment gun licensing should go.
Clearly, Jim Lucas (R-Seymour) is trying to grab on to the flapping coat tails of Trump and his former governor Mike Pence when the president bizarrely tweeted on Wednesday about "challenging" the license of NBC (which is literally impossible because networks are not licensed) and then later saying, "It is frankly disgusting the press is able to write whatever it wants" -- which was roundly excoriated by analysts and politicians on both sides of the aisle for being profoundly un-American on every conceivable level.
Other than pandering to a far right base, it's hard to imagine Mr. Lucas is even possibly trying to accomplish, other than dancing democracy and freedom towards the edge of fascism.
But then, Mr. Lucas is the same fellow who infamously posted his How Not to Be a Rape Victim advice to women -- before deleting it under a mountain of scorn. His response to that was saying:
“I am not a polished politician, but just an average person that got involved in politics to make a positive difference in the lives of everyone."
Well, he's right about the first part. But is failing monumentally on the second.
Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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