In the wake of the tragedies in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio, gun control has once again entered the political discourse. Yet this time, the rhetoric takes a much more Orwellian turn. Privacy rights are now on the altar, soon to be sacrificed to the deity of progressive dogma surrounding gun control. And this time, Trump is the culprit.
New Gun Control Legislation
As The Washington Post reported, the Trump administration is considering using data from Amazon, Apple, and Google to determine whether or not a citizen is fit to own a firearm. Audio devices like Siri and Alexa collect audio data all the time. This makes it easy for the government to step in and take hold of swaths of surveillance data.
This surveillance program is part of a larger proposal called the Health Advanced Research Projects Agency (HARPA). It would be located inside the Health and Human Services Department. Originally, this program was proposed in 2017, but support for it died out. In the wake of the El Paso and Dayton shootings, gun control once again entered the political discourse.
Why is such a proposal on the desk of the president, and why does he have a favorable view? The Suzanne Wright Foundation approached President Trump with the proposal to limit gun control by targeting those with mental health issues. The founder of the foundation, Bob Wright, has a close relationship with Donald Trump. He worked as the chair of NBC while Donald Trump hosted “The Apprentice.”
But privacy rights are ready to be murdered. Clearly, this proposal is problematic, and every liberty-loving American should be troubled by it.
What Rights Mean
This is the cost of security. When you sacrifice one right for a false sense of safety, other rights are going to go with it. Soon, it will be fashionable to kill the Fourth Amendment in the name of killing the Second. It’s a bitter irony, seeing as that the Second Amendment exists so that we may keep the government from taking away the rights enumerated by the rest of the Bill of Rights.
There’s a social cost to every right we have. The right to speak freely means someone may be offended. The right to think freely means someone may have the wrong ideas. Privacy rights mean that someone may act wrongly in secret. But we tolerate these rights as a society because we value freedom. Good things happen when people are free. Humans tend to reach new heights. But freedom means that one is also responsible for the consequences of one’s actions.
The Demise of Responsibility
Not everyone wants to own the consequences of one’s actions. All you have to do is read any lefty journalist talk about their AR-15 firing experiences. Gersh Kuntzman wrote about his AR-15 experience, describing the terror he felt. His exact words are:
The recoil bruised my shoulder, which can happen if you don’t know what you’re doing. The brass shell casings disoriented me as they flew past my face. The smell of sulfur and destruction made me sick. The explosions — loud like a bomb — gave me a temporary form of PTSD. For at least an hour after firing the gun just a few times, I was anxious and irritable.
This is how I view the progressive argument against guns. It’s a refusal to learn how to use power responsibly. It’s spineless and weak. Anyone who has actually fired an AR-15 instantly knows that this so-called “journalistic” account is laughable. His experience sums up the purist progressive attitude towards guns: it’s a fear of what they would do with a powerful weapon in their hands. They understand the evil that a human is capable of, but they clearly fail to understand how to tame that evil within themselves.
Privacy Rights and Security
It seems that every time tragedy strikes, we immediately attempt to attack the symptoms of the disease. Clearly, limiting the rights of Americans wouldn’t delete violence. Such an idea is absurd, and nobody gives it any valence whatsoever. It’s better to attack the heart of the problem, rather than go after the rights of Americans because it might make us feel better.
In conclusion, think about the proposal this way: it gives the government a direct window into your life all the time. As long as you have a phone on you, they can listen. They can gather data and make decisions based on it. Do you really want the Trump administration listening through your pocket? What about the next administration? Government does what it wants with minimal restriction, so assuming the worst often means assuming the likely.
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