Second Amendment

If Gun Owners Can Be Licensed, Why Not Journalists?

A South Carolina legislator's stunt bill tweaks the press for failing to take the Second Amendment seriously.

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Office of Michael Pitts

Yesterday a South Carolina legislator tweaked anti-gun news outlets by proposing a bill that would require journalists operating in that state to register and be approved by the government. The scheme is, of course, blatantly unconstitutional, which is the point.

Michael Pitts, a Republican who represents Greenwood and Laurens counties in the state House, told the Charleston Post and Courier his South Carolina Responsible Journalism Registry Law, which is modeled after the state law requiring a permit to carry a concealed weapon, is aimed at stimulating discussion about the constitutionality of gun controls widely supported by members of the press. "It strikes me as ironic that the first question is constitutionality from a press that has no problem demonizing firearms," Pitts said. "With this statement I'm talking primarily about printed press and TV. The TV stations, the six o'clock news and the printed press [have] no qualms demonizing gun owners and gun ownership."

Although a Washington Post story about Pitts' bill links to the Post and Courier article, reporter Callum Borchers somehow missed the Second Amendment angle in his headlong rush to condemn Pitts' disrespect for the First:

My visceral reaction isn't printable but can be summarized thusly: This is a naked attack on the First Amendment—you know, the one that says "Congress shall make no law … abridging the freedom of speech or of the press." I realize we're talking about a state legislature here, not Congress, but we're also talking about one of the nation's founding principles.

That aside, this kind of law would be completely unworkable. Look, there's plenty of media garbage out there, but everyone has a different definition of what garbage is. Does anyone want a bunch of self-interested government officials setting the standard?

We register surgeons and pilots and teachers and people in many, many other professions. You can make a coherent case that journalism is a very important profession too, but there's a reason why journalists have reputations, instead of licenses. They have a fundamental American right to share information, and their audiences have a right to decide whether to believe it or dismiss it. By contrast, no one is entitled to remove brain tumors, fly airplanes or teach third-graders.

There's also a practical problem: How on Earth would South Carolina's secretary of state, charged with maintaining the registry, do its job here, anyway? Journalists can't even define who is a journalist anymore, what with all the bloggers and tweeters posting the kind of information and opinion that used to come only from a highly institutionalized press. Good luck to Pitts when it comes to crafting a legal definition of journalism.

Come to think of it, that's really the great folly here. What Pitts is proposing isn't just wrong; it simply can't be done. There's no stopping people from spreading the news in a digital society—certainly not with some outdated idea for a registry.

Borchers is so intent on refuting Pitts' tongue-in-cheek argument for regulating the press that he completely overlooks the legislator's implicit argument against regulating guns. If requiring people to obtain a license before they exercise their First Amendment rights is so obviously unconstitutional, Pitts wants to know, why is requiring people to obtain a license before they exercise their Second Amendment rights OK? The analogy casts doubt on the constitutionality of any law requiring government permission to purchase, keep, or bear arms. There are various possible responses to Pitts' question, but the fact that Borchers does not even notice it reinforces the legislator's point about journalists' refusal to take the Second Amendment seriously.   

[Thanks to CharlesWT for the tip.]

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  1. God, that’s some class A trolling right there. Why things like this aren’t done more often is beyond me.

    1. Borchers’ response is hi-larious. I’m dying to know what it will do to his reputation.

      1. Obliviousness thy name is Callum Borchers …

      2. Nothing if the commenters are anything to go by. Even when the fact that it is a direct analogy to gun control on purpose, they are remaining in denial and trying to be morally outraged.

        1. You mean, his reputation is NOT some sort of of litmus test bypassing the regulatory concerns and necessities offered by a professional government license? Shocked! Shocked, I tell you! There are unlicensed barbers running around right now, causing havoc and head lice and wormhole collisions, and we are doing nothing to stop the scourge of unlicensed, unaccredited “journalism”.

          This stops today, by the gods.

      3. Yeah, that response is the best part of the whole thing. In five paragraphs, he manages to show the absurdity of licensing guns as well as the absurdity of licensing professions. All in the context of saying that he supports these things (for anyone but journalists).

        It’s actually so well done that I’m not sure whether or not it’s a reverse troll. “We’re talking about one of the nation’s founding principles.” “Self-interested government officials setting the standard.” “How would the Secretary of State do its job here, anyway.” “good luck when it comes to crafting a legal definition.” “what Pitts is proposing isn’t just wrong; it simply can’t be done.” “there’s no stopping the people from spreading the news in a digital society – certainly not with some outdated idea of a registry.”

        Seriously now. Those lines couldn’t possibly have come from anyone who wasn’t looking for a really creative way to re-troll the argument and add more emphasis to the absurdity of gun control laws.

        1. All that was missing was a ban on assault newspapers that can hold more than seven articles at one time.

          1. No one needs a newspaper that holds 30 articles!

            1. No one needs a magazine with more than 10 articles?

              1. If I clip a story from one of those magazines, would I be dividing by zero?

        2. Unless they were written by a progressive, you mean?

        3. You can read what Borchers (the journalist) says, but don’t kid yourself. He would be all in for journalist control as long as HE were the one doing the controlling. His agreement with all of the other government overreach mentioned in the article is the evidence.

          Lefties are gonna lefty; it’s the nature of the beast.

    2. Won’t matter though because all of the news outlets have already taken it up as another Southern crazy redneck Republican who’s seriously proposing to license journalists. Shocker.

      1. yep – for example read the Mother Jones article:
        http://www.motherjones.com/moj…..mike-pitts

        The bill, proposed by Republican state lawmaker Mike Pitts, would establish vague requirements for journalists to submit to a registration process by the state. Journalists found in violation of the registry, by either not registering or breaking his rules, would be subjected to monetary fines and even criminal penalties?a lighter version of how the Kremlin treats its own pesky champions of free speech. As the Post and Courier reports, quoting Pitts, the Secretary of State’s Office would maintain a “responsible journalism registry” and create the criteria, with the help of a panel, on what qualifies a person to be a journalist?similar to the licensing for doctors and lawyers.

        1. Obliviousness thy name is Mother Jones…

          1. I thought that quote was “Dumb fuckery thy name is Mother Jones”

        2. …a lighter version of how the Kremlin treats its own pesky champions of free speech.

          This coming from a socialist rag. That’s rich.

    3. I’m impressed by his trolling, as well The thing is, we’re really entering I could easily imagine some in the press might actually be okay with such a law. Why should those pesky bloggers in their pajamas get the same First Amendment protection as “real” reporters? After all, they didn’t go to the Columbia School of Journalism.

      1. Problem is, trolling requires that the trollee have some empathy for the trollor, or it all just goes full-derp immediately.

        This is why trolling progs is generally a waste of time. They are barely self-aware, let alone you-aware.

      2. Why should those pesky bloggers in their pajamas get the same First Amendment protection as “real” reporters?

        I seem to recall a couple of years ago some journalists, usually while whining about the death of “print media” due in no small part to the internet/ bloggers, actually making that argument. These dumbasses don’t think about anything for more than 2 seconds before emoting.

    4. so you’ve seen what happens when a reporter goes off by accident?

      1. Perhaps we should test them all, to make sure they are drop-safe. 4 teh chillin’s!

  2. Callum Borchers doesn’t need a license to write. He needs practice. That quoted article is embarrasing.

    1. How about the reprobate republican party parasite who proposed the licensing scheme?

      You don’t introduce legislation in order to spurt debate. You introduce legislation to abolish each and every one of South Carolina’s statutes regarding firearms.

      But, republican party politicians are just too addicted to their malfunctioning warfare / welfare state.

        1. He is our angriest commenter.

          1. Touch a nerve?

            Don’t like statist creeps being lampooned?

            Where is your sense of humor?

      1. Spurt debate? Sounds dirty.

        1. Nah, its rich and creamy.

          1. Touche.(Touch-ay?)

      2. ‘You don’t introduce legislation in order to spurt debate. ‘
        English, how does it work?

        1. In dribs and drabs, apparently.

      3. Wow.

        That one didn’t zoom over your head, did it? It took the top right off. Poor guy.

        To write this-as a response to an article detailing what was actually going on that was written to respond to another moron making a similar point.

        Talk about ‘meta’.

    2. he needs to be skull fucked…just saying

  3. We register surgeons and pilots and teachers and people in many, many other professions. You can make a coherent case that journalism is a very important profession too, but there’s a reason why journalists have reputations, instead of licenses.

    Surgeons and pilots and teachers and barbers don’t have reputations. Only journalists.

    1. To be fair, it is difficult to stop doing business with a pilot who crashes your plane.

      1. Actually your business relationship with the pilot stop almost immediately upon crashing. Its the most water-tight of contractual escape clauses.

  4. If requiring people to obtain a license before they exercise their First Amendment rights is so obviously unconstitutional, Pitts wants to know, why is requiring people to obtain a license before they exercise their Second Amendment rights OK?

    One word: militia. The 2A gives the government the right to keep and bear arms. That’s what “militia” means. It means “National Guard.” Without the 2A the government would be unarmed and unable to defend the nation. Duh. All reality-based people know this.

    1. Of the full menagerie of idiotic anti-gun arguments, this is perhaps my favorite. How must one be wired for the notion that a country would feel the need to enshrine in its founding document it’s own right to form an army to seem reasonable? In the whole of human history, no state has ever been prevented from standing up a military because of self-imposed legal constraints.

      1. The people who make that argument are not honest. That’s all there is to it.

      2. That or they are really fucking stupid.

        1. I’ll put my money on both.

      3. This was protection for the STATES to arm themselves against the FEDS. I guess Lincoln didn’t get that memo.

    2. Not to mention if they really interpret it that way, then it is the only amendment in the Bill of Rights that gives the government authority instead of restraining it. Methinks that the founders didn’t want that.

      1. Not to mention, it would mean that the phrase “right of the people”, which seems to mean an individual right everywhere else, suddenly means “power of the government”. There’s no end to the number of ways the argument is both stupid AND disingenuous!

    3. I had to check the username. Carry on.

  5. there’s a reason why journalists have reputations, instead of licenses.

    Because *anyone* can be a journalist?

    1. Not according to some.

  6. I think it’s important to keep in mind that the First Amendment says nothing about the internet or blogging or even things broadcast over the airwaves.

    So journalists can print pamphlets with a manually press like in 1791 all they like but the rest can be regulated.

    1. This.

      Why does anyone *need* a Tweet that can hold more than one character?

      1. No, no, no, Twits are rapid-fire “Assault journalism” and must be banned entirely, for the children.

        1. Nice catch. Messages were never intended to be sprayed into crowds of innocent people.

        2. They have the links that go up and everything.

        3. I’m going to see if I can tweet “Fire” in a crowded theatre.

        4. I once applied for a job at a newspaper and they ran a background check on me, so that’s already covered.

        5. The 1st Amendment only protects the printing of pamphlets! The founders never imagined blogging!

    2. Oh, so rights come from princes and parliaments?

      Is not the constitution designed to chain government, not the other way around?

      1. /whoosh.

      2. Let’s see how long we can keep this up.

        We no longer need the press to defend ourselves against the government, so the First Amendment is outdated.

        1. Everybody wants to support our troops, so the Third Amendment is outdated.

          1. Yeah, what do you want, terrorists roaming the streets? Boston!? You’re not even using that spare bedroom!

    3. I KNOW YOU’RE NOT SERIOUS, SERIOUS MAN, IF THAT IS YOUR REAL NAME, BUT I’M GOING TO REBUT YOU ALL THE SAME. Don’t you know that the “press” in freedom of the press isn’t the printing press – the physical mechanism of relaying ideas – but the profession? Just like “militia” in the Second Amendment means the National Guard and “well regulated” means to be subject to vigorous, almost zealot-like, bureaucratic oversight.

      1. And if YOU are actually serious, see the argument above by user “sarcasmic” about the need for the government to write an amendment A::OWING ITSELF TO ARM ITSELF. Jesus wept.

    4. Anybody can print pamphlets with a manual press like in 1791, which is why printing presses were so dangerous that they had to be heavily restricted, regulated, taxed and licensed. With a printing press, cheap and easy mass communication is possible and now it’s not just the crazy guy on the street corner outside the tavern ranting about how the Bible doesn’t say what the priests have been saying all along it says, the laws don’t actually say what the administrators of the law have been saying all along it says, the Pope isn’t infallible and the King doesn’t rule by Divine Right. The crazy guy can now speak to a vast audience: “Look right here, I’ll show you truth and you as an individual have a right to decide for yourself what the truth is. You don’t need some self-appointed authority to defend the truth to you, you can defend the truth for yourself.” It’s the heresy of that last part, daring to question the authority of the PTB as the defenders of truth and knowledge, suggesting that people armed with knowledge could defend the truth themselves, that was so dangerous.

      Of course, now that we have the New York Times and Rachel Maddow and the overwhelming firepower of their vast intellect as our defenders of truth and knowledge, those crazy guys ranting on the corner of Hit and Run Streets over by the Reason Tavern can be made to put their little popguns of snark and ridicule away and just shut the hell up.

      1. Anybody can print pamphlets with a manual press like in 1791, which is why printing presses were so dangerous that they had to be heavily restricted, regulated, taxed and licensed.

        Yet some are getting around these requirements by building ghost presses out of partially machined press parts. We need to close this loop-hole.

        California lawmakers have introduced a bill to classify partially manufactured presses as actual presses, clearly the rest of the nation needs to follow suit.

        1. Did you know that you can buy reams of paper from Office Depot without so much as a , “what are you going to use all this paper for?” – we need background checks, god sakes!

  7. hey there’s lots of stuff old white dudes thought two hundred years ago we don’t take seriously anymore. just cuz they had one good idea or two doesnt mean they’re all good

    1. “The founding fathers were into aliens, man. George Washington was in a cult, and the cult was into aliens.”

      1. Put the History Channel down and back away from the television, Citizen X!

      2. George Washingtons bible is the key to defeating the devil.

  8. Journalists can’t even define who is a journalist anymore, what with all the bloggers and tweeters posting the kind of information and opinion that used to come only from a highly institutionalized press. Good luck to Pitts when it comes to crafting a legal definition of journalism.

    I would be curious to know if our journalist friend here has thought through the implications of having the state craft a legal definition of journalist, and then restricting the practice of Journalistry? to the duly trained, licensed and certified Journalists? such as himself. Because I suspect this guy thinks “Freedom Of The Press” doesn’t mean “free to print as one is free to speak”; he thinks the Constitution itself recognizes how superior his thoughts and opinions are to everybody else’s.

    1. I’ve heard that argument before. Some reporters honestly believe that the 1st amendment only applies to the press.

      1. I’d hazard that includes most dead-tree journalisimos.

  9. ‘there’s a reason why journalists have reputations, instead of licenses.’
    Reputations can be bad as well as good, though for some journolists that may be a feature rather than a bug.

  10. Borchers is so intent on refuting Pitts’ tongue-in-cheek argument for regulating the press that he completely overlooks the legislator’s implicit argument against regulating guns.

    Or, was he in on it?

  11. The important story here, other than Callum Borchers’ unfortunate rush to righteous indignation, is that he looks like this.

    1. Am I a bad person for LOLing?

        1. To the left, Rich is in good company.

      1. He looks like an LP candidate.

          1. Which one was I more nasty to?

            1. You can never be too nasty to an LP candidate.

              1. Or to Reason commenters who love monopoly – as in the administration of justice, money, and the protection of their whiney asses.

    2. He became a journalist because he didn’t have the voice for radio.

      1. He looks like a sniveling, little weasel who cannot take the time to properly research an issue before trying to explain it. So, he looks like a journalist.

        1. He looks like about 85% of the dudes who i’ve ever met who work in DC.

          1. I was gonna say, he must live in DC. Not a native, I’m guessing, but definitely lives there. Or maybe Rockville, possibly Alexandria.

            1. Ballston or Courthouse for sure.

      2. He had a voice for print.

    3. New contest: come up with an alternate definition of “callum borchers.”

      1. It’s what you say when you choke on precious trolling.

      2. A name assigned (you know, like a sex…) at birth to a corrupted creature based upon the sound it makes clearing its throat.

      3. Callum: from the Latin, meaning ” noxious”

        Borcher(s): from the French (obs.) borchierre, a type of lacy, billowy pantaloons worn by the aristocracy

        “Stinky Britches” would be a polite translation.

        1. Like cutting camambert?

      4. callum borchering: verb; the act of reacting to obvious trolling in such a way as to undermine your own point while re-enforcing the orginial troller’s point, all the while being blissfully unaware of how stupid you look to anyone else who doesn’t already share your opinion.

  12. Probably because it’s easier to articulate a compelling government interest in licensing guns — that is, to ensure that the person getting a gun isn’t going to go shoot up a school — and less of a compelling interest in preventing dangerous journalists from running amok.

    1. Also, we should note he’s specifically taking aim at the concealed-carry law. You can argue that the Constitution protects a right to keep and bear arms. Less certain is whether it protects the right to conceal those arms on your person.

      1. Less certain is whether it protects the right to conceal those arms on your person.

        What part of “shall not be infringed” do you not understand?

        1. In Heller, Justice Scalia specifically said that the court was not pushing aside a number of existing laws, including laws that prohibit possession by felons and the mentally ill, and laws regarding concealed carry. Post-Heller, neither the Supreme Court nor Circuit Courts have found that the Constitution protects the right to carry a concealed firearm.

          That may change, but until it does, “less certain” is an apt description of the state of the law.

          1. Fuck off, Tulpa.

            1. I have no idea who you are, or what this is about.

          2. Justice Scalia’s opinion in Heller was flawed ab initio. If the framers and the ratifiers had intended to qualify the right to keep and bear arms, they would have so said. They did not.

            The language of the 2A just does not support the imposition of any restraints on the right to keep and bear arms notwithstanding the irrational arguments advanced to the contrary.

            1. That is your interpretation. You are certainly free to argue it in litigation or in fora, but I accurately summarized the law as it stands.

              1. No, it is what the words mean.

                The “that is your interpretation” narrative is intellectually bankrupt. It is pure sophistry.

              2. No, you didn’t, as the highest law of the land is the Constitution and you merely summarized dishonest rationalizations for violating it.

              3. You are certainly free to argue it in litigation or in fora, but I accurately summarized the law as it stands.

                + 1 appeal to authority

                1. For shitlibs, appeals to authority are much easier than appeals to reason.

          3. Courts have ruled that a state must allow the bearing of arms. They may choose between open and concealed carry.

          4. And this is a bad thing, because at the time, carrying a concealed weapon was considered cowardly. I understand the first part of the 2nd amendment, but sometimes I wish those damn framers had just written “The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed” and been done with it.

      2. Less certain is whether it protects the right to conceal those arms on your person.

        BZZZT!

        “bear, v. To carry (something) on one’s person from one place to another”

        1. And the legal quibbling is that governments can’t ban both open and concealed carry, but can ban one or the other.

          You can argue legal theory and English interpretation all you want, but that won’t keep the government from enforcing its own opinion.

      3. That’s half the test. You forgot/left out the part about being the least restrictive means.

        Also “…and bear…”

    2. Badthink can cause a person to shoot up a school, and dangerous journalists can spread badthink like a cold.

      1. Heck, I think there is an actual demonstrable effect between the publicity mass-shooters generate and people being “inspired” by such acts. Or at least it’s a more clearly defined link than the link between handgun ownership and a propensity for committing such acts. What I’m trying to say is a law banning the “promotion” of mass shooters would do more to decrease the number of mass shooters than any law covering the ownership of the firearms used for mass shootings. Ridiculously unconstitutional, but if reporters actually cared about the safety of the childrenz as much as they say they di that is the thing they’d do about it.

    3. Under tyrannical rule, rounding up writers is a priority. You might not believe writers are dangerous, but governments throughout history disagree.

      1. See: Russia, China…

        1. Yeah, I was going to write, “not just history, but also today.”

      2. Pens and Swords: Which one is mightier?

        1. The penis?

    4. The government’s compelling interest in licensing guns isn’t to protect schoolchildren, it’s to maintain a full monopoly on the use of force. A state ceases to be a state if it lacks sovereignty, and the key to sovereignty is the sole possession of the right to use force within a specific geographic area. The USA is a sovereign state because Mexican soldiers don’t have a recognized right to shoot Americans for doing things they don’t like, to give a simple, flippant example.

      If the government wanted to prevent people from shooting up schools, they’d allow the schools to hire private armed guards. The government just wants to make sure that if anybody’s doing the shooting, it’s them.

      And really, this is true for the 1A, too, if you think about it.

    5. Wait, let me consulte my authoritarian-to-libertarian translation dictionary…

      Ah, yes: “articulate a compelling government interest” actually translates to “fabricate falsehoods which have no basis in reality”.

      It makes much more sense now.

  13. Vitriol laws.

    Fucking worst shit spitting from the political gape ever.

    Madness and morality blending like cuckoo paste under the shocking punch of ‘Bend over, you dumb bitch, while I ram my motherfucking raging government deep into your puckering pinched asshole and just because. Law, BITCH! MOTHERFUCKING LAW! Now, bend over you nasty boy and scream like a legless piglet hit in the head with ballpeen. GO BUREAUCRACY CUM!! Ohhhhh, my authoritarian balls thrive when my goddamn government cum fountains brilliantly and deeply into your curvaceous fanny, CITIZEN BITCH! You fucking rent citizen whore! TAKE IT! QUIT FUCKING STRUGGLING YOU, FUCKING CUNT!! AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHhhhh…..ah… yea, niiiiiice- there it cums like sweet laws…. burping deep into your gaping butthole……mmmmmmm…. The blood running down your legs is a nice touch, civilian. Be back later. Tie yourself up better next time, you fucking shit eater!”

  14. You may remember when the lefties were all bent out of shape with just any Joe Schmoe being allowed to say whatever they want on the internet and suggesting that people needed to be official, credentialed “journalists” in order to have their views protected by the 1st amendment.

    1. You mean like, uh, yesterday? They are still butt-hurt that Rush Limbaugh gets to bloviate on the radio every day. Let alone the notion that HnR idiots get to post their drivel on this site. If you’ve forgotten how passionate they are about this, just head over to Huffpo for a recharge.

  15. The problem we have is that sometime in the last 50 years we have moved the definition of “Constitutional” away from “complies with the constitution” and first toward “is a good and just policy”. and lately to “is a compelling government interest”.

    It is really, really simple to see that any restriction on the ownership of guns by the federal government is unconstitutional.


    the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

    Simple enough. Anything that is an “Arm” – i.e. any sort of weapon – cannot be restricted in any way by the Feds. So forget the background check nonsense, stuff that nobody has a problem with is unconstitutional too. .50 cal machine guns are completely protected by this language.

    People conflate good policy with constitutional. They are not the same thing.

    With the 14th and the incorporation doctrine, the states are similarly restricted.

    Just because it is mindblowingly stupid to allow random people to walk about with hand-grenades doesn’t mean that it is constitutional to prevent it. It would have been nice if people hadn’t gotten lazy a hundred years back and had modified the constitution to allow the government more powers in strictly limited ways, instead of letting the feds just grab whatever power they needed out of convenience.

    The net result is what we have now, a government of men, not laws.

    1. Last 50 years? Go back to the 1790s Alien and Sedition Laws at least.

  16. We register surgeons and pilots and teachers and people in many, many other professions. You can make a coherent case that journalism is a very important profession too, but there’s a reason why journalists have reputations, instead of licenses. They have a fundamental American right to share information, and their audiences have a right to decide whether to believe it or dismiss it. By contrast, no one is entitled to remove brain tumors, fly airplanes or teach third-graders.

    Who could have seen THAT argument coming?

  17. Here’s the thing that strikes me. What it it wasn’t an eeeevil Republican (a Southerner at that) pushing this law, but a progressive? Where would Callum Borchers or Mother Jones wind up siding. I can easily see them lining up behind such a law to enshrine their status as specially protected agents of the Fourth Estate. No need to extend Constitutional protections to the wrong sort of people. Really, I can see a day in the not-too-distant future where progressive journalists (but I repeat myself) line up behind just this sort of thing.

    1. A progressive did sponsor the legislation.

      Republican party politicians not named Ron Paul are progressives.

      Just a quick peek at this guy’s record demonstrates that he is indeed a progressive. Pitts performed miserably on the scorecard of The Palmetto Liberty PAC, getting a grade of just 20%.

      He is big government, through and through.

    2. Really, I can see a day in the not-too-distant future where progressive journalists (but I repeat myself) line up behind just this sort of thing.

      I’m pretty sure they already have. The lack of self awareness is just stunning. Also, principals triumph over principles every time with these fuckwits.

    3. I can easily see them lining up behind such a law to enshrine their status as specially protected agents of the Fourth Estate.

      I’m pretty sure there have been lefty proposals to give special privileges to “journalists”, which poses the question of who would qualify, which in turn opens the door to licensing.

      So, yeah, I don’t see our progs having any problem with licensing journalists. None at all.

  18. We register surgeons and pilots and teachers and people in many, many other professions. You can make a coherent case that journalism is a very important profession too, but there’s a reason why journalists have reputations, instead of licenses. They have a fundamental American right to share information, and their audiences have a right to decide whether to believe it or dismiss it. By contrast, no one is entitled to remove brain tumors, fly airplanes or teach third-graders.

    There is so much special snowflake packed into this I don’t even know where to begin.

    1. Needs moar Nozick.

  19. Now, if he really wanted to cause a shitstorm, he should have submitted legislation saying that a woman who wanted to get an abortion would have to submit to a background check.

    1. Sign off from the CLEO

  20. This could actually pass. This is the state that keeps electing Lindsey Graham after all.

  21. “The fact that Borchers does not even notice it reinforces the legislator’s point about journalists’ refusal to take the Second Amendment seriously.”

    They want to repeal it.

    Short of that, they want to criminalize it.

    Short of that, they want to license it.

    I think they’re taking the Second Amendment seriously.

    They just hate the Second Amendment like they don’t hate the free press.

  22. Callum Borchers’ total lack of self-awareness and irony is itself a deadly weapon, and ought to be licensed and thoroughly regulated.

  23. Something tells me that this could be an example of Poe’s law. If you were trying to make a satirical argument against registration of gun owners, I am not sure how you could make it better. Tossing in the aside about registering doctors, teachers, etc. being unnecessary for journalists because reputation works just as well makes me think that the author here is having a go and is really pushing for some pretty serious libertarianism.

  24. We register surgeons and pilots and teachers and people in many, many other professions. You can make a coherent case that journalism is a very important profession too, but there’s a reason why journalists have reputations, instead of licenses.

    LOL. So, surgeons, pilots, teachers and the plethora of other professionals that require licenses (state permission slips) to do their jobs don’t have reputations, so government – the wise, almighty arbiter of all that is good and holy – has to give them permission slips first? I don’t think this clown is very smart.

    no one is entitled to remove brain tumors, fly airplanes or teach third-graders.

    If they have the requisite training, experience, and expertise they most certainly are.

    1. Almost right. If they have a willing customer, who is honestly informed of their training and expertise, they are entitled.

      Of course, these asshats think everyone is entitled to a doctor’s free labor because feelz, so hope is lost.

  25. My visceral reaction isn’t printable but can be summarized thusly: This is a naked attack on the Second Amendment?you know, the one that says “the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” I realize we’re talking about a state legislature here, not Congress, but we’re also talking about one of the nation’s founding principles.

    Does anyone want a bunch of self-interested government officials setting the standard?

    We register cars and airplanes because they’re frequently used in a public space. You can make a coherent case that firearms can be used in public spaces too, but there’s a reason why firearms are guaranteed by the constitution. They serve a fundamental purpose in protecting Americans, not just from each other, but from the government itself if necessary. Americans have a right to decide whether to exercise that right or dismiss it. By contrast, no one is entitled to own a car or an airplane.

    There’s also a practical problem: How on Earth would South Carolina’s secretary of state, charged with maintaining the registry, do its job here, anyway? You would instantly criminalize millions of Americans who already own firearms.

    Come to think of it, that’s really the great folly here. What’s being proposed isn’t just wrong; it simply can’t be done. There’s no stopping people from wanting to ensure their own personal protection?certainly not with some outdated idea for a registry.

    1. By contrast, no one is entitled to own a car or an airplane.

      I would say that anyone who can afford one, has the right to own one. No “entitlement” needed, just the plain old right to do what you want as long as you don’t violate anyone else’s rights.

      You’re going to need to explain to me whose rights are violated if I own an unregistered car or plane.

      1. In reality no-ones, I was just trying to translate the journalists statement to the 2nd amendment analog in 1500 characters in short time. You get the idea.

  26. anyone wonder how long until the left takes this idea as their own? when you see how well the logic fits with the 2nd amendment… wouldn’t they love the ability to officially regulate the press too?

  27. “This year will go down in history for the first time a civilized nation has full gun registration, Our streets will be safer, our police more efficient, and the world will follow our lead into the future”

    – Adolf Hitler, 1935-

    1. This is a false quote.

  28. Registration = Confiscation | The Bang Switch

    http://www.thebangswitch.com/r…..fiscation/

  29. Neither should be, licensed that is.

  30. Making journalists live by an Alinsky Rule that they try to impose on others.

  31. Wanting to keep this civil but actually get real opinions, and I’m not arguing for or against specific regulation.

    Doesn’t the 2nd Amendment state, as part of it, that a well regulated militia is necessary? Thus, doesn’t that mean regulations are required by the 2nd Amendment?

    For those who need the full text, here it is reproduced in full:

    “A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”

    1. I’d also like to say, excellent trolling, well done.

    2. The 1st references speech, press, religion and association. That does not mean that only religious press associations have the right to free expression.

      It is possible that the 2nd was mean to restrict TWO things – the authority of government to prevent local and state law enforcement, and the right of individual citizens to carry and keep arms.

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