All of our rights, even the ones enumerated in the Bill of Rights, are restricted. You can't shout "Fire!" in a crowd. You can't threaten to kill the president. You can't publish someone else's words as your own. We have copyright laws and libel laws and slander laws. We have the FCC to regulate our radio and television content. We have plenty of restrictions on our First Amendment rights.
But we don't like them. We fight them. Any card-carrying member of the ACLU will tell you that while we might agree that certain restrictions are reasonable, we keep a close eye whenever anyone in government gets an itch to pass a new law that restricts our First Amendment rights. Or our Fourth. Or our Fifth, Sixth, or Eighth.
We complain about free speech zones. The whole country is supposed to be a free speech zone, after all. It says so right in the First Amendment.
But when it comes further restrictions on the manufacture, sale, or possession of firearms, liberals are not even silent; they are vociferously in favor of such restrictions.
Suddenly, overly broad restrictions are "reasonable." The Chicago and Washington D.C. bans on handguns -- all handguns -- is reasonable, even though the Supreme Court has now said otherwise.
July 4th, 2010