Well, at least some of the time.
To most free men, the right to speak freely is as important as the right to keep and bear arms. If that describes you, you should be following the case of Ezra Levant closely. Yes, I know, this is up in the land of our nothern neighbor, and we don’t have national or state (ironically named) “Human Rights Commissions” here in the US. But browse Ezra’s archives and you’ll see definite rumblings of it happening here in the good ole USA.
A recent example that sticks out is the case of Joey Vento of Geno’s Steak in Philadelphia. He has a sign posted in his store telling customers “This is AMERICA: WHEN ORDERING ‘PLEASE SPEAK ENGLISH.'” Someone, or many someones complained, and his case was referred to the city’s Commission on Human Relations, previously unknown to this author, at least.
And then, of course, there are the Islamic supremacists fighting in the Underworld of the Nazgûl for strategically misnamed defamation laws across the globe which are really nothing more than blasphemy laws. You can find plenty on that in Ezra’s archives, as well.
Start out by checking the archives from the very beginning of his blog around the beginning of this year. Look for the eight or nine part video of his hearing with the Alberta Human Rights Commission “Investigator.”
It’s been a while since I watched that interrogation, but I remember Ezra making an excellent point regarding just how important the right to free speech is. He pointed to some war torn areas of the world that got that way at least in part because citizens believed they had no other recourse. In the USA, we at least have a strong foundation for the redress of grievances. A process by which we can influence government and stop abuses of power and infringements on our rights. When citizens believe that speaking out has no effect, or carries with it the risk of imprisonment or violent suppression, then there is little else left to do but either submit and become enslaved, or resist using force.
So, although the right to keep and bear arms protected by our second amendment is extremely important, were it not for the right of free speech (and the like) protected by our first amendment, then we most certainly would, eventually, be exercising one of the rights implied by the second amendment: to fight against tyranny.
This is why that no matter who occupies the White House for the next four years, one of our most important fights is going to be to get campaign finance reform — or as others have more correctly termed it, the Incumbent Protection Act — repealed. It is a slippery slope that we have already stepped onto.
But getting back to Ezra Levant, I want to refer you to a particular post from August:
…I’m not really interested in trying to “convince” Moon — or anyone else at the CHRC — that censorship is wrong and freedom is right. I don’t need to convince them, because those are my natural rights, and I don’t need their permission. I think it’s a moral mistake to even grant the CHRC and its contractors the legitimacy as arbiters of right and wrong
Some months before reading that, I had an encounter with a foreigner who is here on a green card, and whose country of origin shall remain nameless, at least for the time being. He’s an admitted statist and believes the government should run everything. We were having a conversation about the right to keep and bear arms and he chimed in with “it’s a privilege, not a right.”
I walked away from the argument a little flustered. Not because I couldn’t defend my position of it being a right. I could. But because he stated it in a way I hadn’t heard before. Usually we hear either that it is a) a right, b) a right with some allowed limitations, or c) not at a right at all.
I hadn’t heard anyone say it was a privilege before and wasn’t prepared for how annoyed I was by it. I felt a little righteous indignation about the comment. And I found myself rehearsing in my mind what I might say to him should the topic come up again. It went something like this:
So, you think it’s privilege. Well, you smarmy little *blank*, I don’t care if you think it’s a privilege, I claim it as my natural, God-given right. And you, personally, cannot take that away from me. Not even the Brady Bunch can. Nor can my legislators, nor law enforcement officers, nor judges. Sure, they can oppress me by passing unjust laws, arresting and charging me when I exercise the right, or convicting me when I’m innocent of any wrongdoing, but nothing on God’s Green Earth will ever change the fact that it is my right. My final authority is not the opinions of men; it is the fact of God’s gift.