Half-truth Henigan is at it again

Brady Campaign Lawyer Dennis Henigan claims:

Of course, it is true that the exercise of free expression, for example, also can create a risk of violence or physical injury. If that risk becomes sufficiently great, the courts will deny the protection of the First Amendment altogether. But the core exercise of freedom of expression is unlikely to pose serious risks of physical harm, particularly lethal harm. The same cannot be said about the Second Amendment right.

It is unclear whether the high court will declare the Second Amendment right as “fundamental” as the other rights that have been applied to the states. But even if it does, it should confront the hard reality that this “fundamental” right is also the most dangerous right of all.

I agree that guns can be dangerous. But it is far from the most dangerous right. I would like Mr. Henigan to do the arithmetic on how many people have been murdered based on the following books:

And that is just off the top of my head with a couple seconds of thought. And when have U.S. courts denied protection of the First Amendment to these books? If “guns kill” then surely these books can be blamed for the deaths of approximately 100 million people just in the 20th Century.

If books “responsible” for the deaths of many millions can be afforded protection under the First Amendment the Second Amendment can surely afford protection for firearms in common use.

As is usual Henigan only tells half the story. The half he tells is true. But he wants you to overlook the ugly truth of how dangerous ideas and the free expression of them is. And it is an outright lie that the specific enumerated right to keep and bear arms is the most dangerous. In fact, had the murder victims of the governments built upon those last two books been armed the body count of the 20th Century would most likely have been much lower.

The “hard reality” is that the right to keep and bear arms protects us from those that exercise their First Amendment rights.


10 thoughts on “Half-truth Henigan is at it again

  1. There are a lot of restrictions on First Amendment rights. I’m sure this will be the case with Second Amendment rights too.

  2. Add Mao Tse Tung’s “Little Red Book”. Not the official title, but what everyone over here knew it by.

  3. Actually the only restrictions on the exercise of First Amendment rights pertain to time place and manner, but the only restrictions that have held up to strict scrutiny refer to private property, content-neutral restrictions, and whether the danger posed by the speech is (I forget the exact phrase) imminent.

    The Second Amendment may have restrictions placed on it in the future, but as a right of the people it will (finally) get the strict scrutiny standard of the First, Fourth and Fifth Amendments, also rights of the people. It will be interesting to see what restrictions the court permits, when the amendment doesn’t merely say the Congress shall make no law, but that the right shall not be infringed.

  4. I’m glad to see your “If” books caused…. I’m sure we agree on the real root of this issue. Those books no more -caused- the genocidal lunacy that they were the excuse for then my guns (still tucked into the safe, no evidence of escape) have -caused- any kind of crime. It’s not as grabbing an argument, it’s an old argument, butt it seems really obviously true to me. Our first amendment just like our second amendment rights recognize our human need to explore and be part of our world. Reading Mein Kampf gave me (and I think any reasonable person) a perspective on the mind of Hitler that reinforces our belief in individualism and freedom and that in turn is the worlds strongest force against national socialism. All of my rights, all of the time, are good for this world. And I exercise all of them as if they should be.

    Well, except for suppressors (STUPID legislators mumble frackin mumbleheads). IMO -Boyd Kneeland

  5. IANAL
    “Actually the only restrictions on the exercise of First Amendment rights pertain to time place and manner…”

    If you’re thinking of the old “fire in a theater” saw, that’s a restriction on defense not an actual restriction on speech. You can stand up and scream that at the top of your lungs any time and any place you want to and face no consequences at all so long as a reasonable person in that situation would not have expected harm to result. Outside of the Patriot act provisions I don’t think there are any restrictions on my right to free speech, just as should be. Certainly there are none like the “Ooh it’s to short” or “Ooh it’s got the wrong type of trigger” razzmataz thrown at our right to self defense since the early 30’s. -Boyd

  6. Add Silent Spring, another book that killed between 30 and 60 million people and remains a linchpin manifesto of Malthusian environmentalism that the eco-weenies will never admit is wrong, or that Rachel Carson lied and falsified her data.

  7. When has the Bible been (mis)used to effect genocide? All the others on the list obviously have been used (as was their intent) to such ends, but I’m not quite sure why that’s there. I understand your point, of course, but it struck me as odd to include it.

  8. M Gallo,

    I didn’t say it was (mis)used to effect genocide. I asked how many people were murdered based on it. The Spanish Inquisition wasn’t a genocide but it wasn’t pretty either. And that is far from the only instance of it’s misuse. In more recent times The People Temple (over 900 dead) is a pretty vivid example.

    My main reason for including it was to include something that everyone would agree was protected by the First Amendment yet a strong case could be made that it has been the basis for injury and death.

  9. At Say Uncle I was reminded of the riots and deaths that occurred after NEWSWEEK published lies about Koran-flushing, and how the Mainstream-Media is culpable itself.
    How many more deaths occurred in the Soviet Union after The New York Times’ Walter Duranty received a Pulitzer prize for his lies covering up the atrocities of Stalin?

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