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Free Speech Is Essential To Protecting The Bill Of Rights

Thursday, January 1, 2015

The stunning 2014 election victories–increasing the pro-Second Amendment majority in the U.S. House of Representatives and installing a pro-freedom majority in the U.S. Senate, mark a new day—the beginning of a restoration of liberty for our country.

Voters, led by NRA members across the nation, resoundingly said “no” to President Barack Obama’s “transformation” of our great nation and they said “no” to his unconstitutional abuse of executive power.

These historic mid-term elections would not have been possible without Americans’ unfettered access to the Internet—the freest, most open means of communication in history.

Nowhere was that more accurately demonstrated than with the geometric power of NRA-inspired gun owners.

The Internet is the ultimate contemporary amplification of the First Amendment.

Without the Internet, Americans would have known nothing about Operation Fast and Furious—the Obama administration’s government-sponsored gun-running to Mexican drug cartels resulted in body counts in Mexico. Then the administration used those deaths as an excuse for pressing new gun controls.

Without the Internet, the Obama big-media cover-up of the murder of our diplomats and brave security personnel by terrorists in Benghazi, Libya would never have been challenged.

Without the Internet, most Americans would never have known about the Obama administration’s weaponizing of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) against conservative groups.

Without the Internet, Americans would have known little about any of the serial lies of the president and the abuse of power on a host of issues.

And for us—for the NRA—without the Internet our message of freedom to the general public would have been limited, ridiculed, twisted or quashed by the big corporate media.

As the archtype corporate media censor, former NBC News anchor, Tom Brokaw, declared, “the Internet works best when there are gatekeepers. … people making determinations and judgments about what information is relevant and factual and useful.”

In that pre-Internet universe, big-media gatekeepers fostered a nation of low-information voters. To the gatekeepers, individual citizens were treated as too stupid to seek and sort facts, opinion and information. With big media, it is still true today.

One remarkable aspect of the Internet is that it has been essential to high information voters—a term that perfectly describes NRA members and the majority of people who stand with us.

The Internet is a totally free marketplace for ideas, open to all sides of an issue. With that free access to facts, we win the debate. The Internet offers boundless free choice.

Despite the midterm elections, President Obama is unrepentant, swearing to continue his lawless “rule” by executive fiat. Among his administration’s goals is to extinguish free speech on the Internet.

Recently, the leader of the Obama faction on the Federal Election Commission (FEC) announced a major effort to bring the Internet under the regulatory heel of the federal government.

Ann M. Ravel, FEC vice chairman, recently threatened that the federal government cannot “turn a blind eye to the Internet’s force in the political arena.”  She announced a major push in the coming year to bring about total regulation of political speech on the Web. In her world, advocacy on the Internet would be subject to inspection, fines and criminal referral under what would essentially be a free speech star-chamber.

The challenge arose when the commission deadlocked on a complaint brought by an entity partially funded by billionaire gun-banner George Soros. At issue were YouTube videos exposing and opposing Obama policies.

With a 3-3 commission split, the demand for Internet censorship was voted moot. But a change in one vote could open the way for an oppressive move by the agency to further regulate First Amendment rights.

Vowing to “fight any additional regulation on online political speech,” the Republican Chairman of the FEC, Lee E. Goodman, warned, “I cannot imagine a regulatory regime that would put government censors on the Internet, daily culling YouTube video posts for violations of law—nothing short of a Chinese censorship board.”

As with the Second Amendment, the NRA is at the forefront of protecting the rights of all Americans guaranteed under the First Amendment.

To that end, we are pledged to fight any government oversight of the free speech universe of the Internet. The future of the Second Amendment depends on it.

IN THIS ARTICLE
James Porter Election 2014

BY James Porter

President, NRA

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Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.