Prior Restraint

17 Jan

Joe Huffman discusses prior restraint, it’s application to the First Amendment and why it should apply to the Second Amendment.

According to Wikipedia, prior restraint is:

Prior restraint (also referred to as prior censorship or pre-publication censorship) is censorship imposed, usually by a government, on expression before the expression actually takes place. An alternative is to allow the expression to take place and to take appropriate action afterward, if the expression is found to violate the law, regulations, or other rules.

So, by this logic, Joe points out:

The classic example of falsely yelling fire in a crowded theater can be extended to illustrate.

Prior restraint would be requiring a gag on everyone as they enter the theater because someone might falsely yell fire.

The solution we have is to punish those that do, not gag everyone who enters the building.

“Gun free zones” are the same sort of thing. You must leave your gun behind because it is feared that you might use it in a criminal manner.

It’s an interesting argument to put forward, one that I’ll have to think more about. The right to keep and bear arms is a specifically enumerated right protected by, and not created by, the US Constitution.

If you agree with this line of thinking, be careful, your libertarian is showing 😉

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Posted by on January 17, 2013 in Civil Liberties, Politics


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