Reason Roundup

Illinois Seeks Social Media Accounts of Gun Owners: Reason Roundup

Plus: Nancy Pelosi on the "Green New Deal"; John Boehner, cannabis lobbyist


Mitch Kezar/Newscom

State police would inspect social accounts for signs of "mental health issues." Seldom content to let its coastal counterparts take all the glory for bad ideas, Illinois is following New York's lead and proposing that all prospective gun buyers give the government access to their social media accounts.

Under a new proposal being considered by the Illinois legislature, people who want a license to own firearms or ammunition would have to submit a list of all their public-facing online accounts to the state police.

State Rep. Daniel Didech (D–Buffalo Grove) suggests that the law is necessary because too many people with "mental health issues" are buying guns. That's a debatable claim, but at least it's within the realm of realism. Where Didech goes off the rails is supposing the state authorities could identify dangerous people simply by looking at their social media presence, and that this determination would be sufficient to deny them their First and Second Amendment rights.

It's also silly to think people with accounts likely to scare off gun-permit granters would actually reveal those accounts to police.

Didech tells the local CBS station: "A lot of people who are having mental health issues will often post on their social media pages that they're about to hurt themselves or others. We need to give those people the help they need."

Mental health advocates, the state rifle association, and the American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois are already speaking out against Didech's proposal.


John Boehner chairs National Cannabis Roundtable. The former House speaker is supposed to announce the initiative today. "An industry-funded group to lobby for cannabis reform," writes Mike Allen, "the group has seven founding companies, including Acreage Holdings, where he's on the board."

On the new organization's homepage, a quote attributed to Boehner says that "the membership of the National Cannabis Roundtable represents every aspect of the cannabis supply chain. Our members operate in 23 states with legal cannabis programs, including the District of Columbia. We are growers, processors, retailers, wellness centers, investors, entrepreneurs, and publicly traded companies."


The Green Dream, or whatever. On the "Green New Deal" proposed by freshman Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D–N.Y.), House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D–Calif.) said yesterday:

It will be one of several or maybe many suggestions that we receive. The Green Dream, or whatever they call it, nobody knows what it is, but they're for it, right?

Later, Pelosi told reporters:

Quite frankly I haven't seen it, but I do know that it's enthusiastic, and we welcome all the enthusiasm that's out there. I'm very excited about it all, and I welcome the Green New Deal and any other proposals.

CNN's Chris Cillizza writes that "none of this necessarily suggests that there is an any animosity between Pelosi and Ocasio-Cortez. Rather, what Pelosi's comment about the 'Green New Deal' represents is that the speaker wants to make very clear how things work in the House. AOC may be a star nationally, but in the House she is just a very junior member of Pelosi's majority— albeit it one with a larger-than-normal megaphone on issues close to her."


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