Legal Rewording

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Gerard N. Magliocca is the Samuel R. Rosen Professor of Law  at the Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law.  He is a professor of torts, constitutional law, intellectual property, legal history, and admiralty law.  

I guess he must have taken some transfer credits from the Barack H. Obama school of Unconstitutional Law when attending Yale Law School, because as a professor of Constitutional law, Gerard Magliocca published this legal turd of an Op Ed.

Wouldn’t a better approach be for amenable states or municipalities to spend money on public education campaigns to discourage people from owning guns, much in the way that they do to discourage smoking? This would do nothing, of course, with respect to deranged people who want to kill many.  But there are many more easily preventable gun deaths from suicides, accidents, or domestic violence.  If lawful gun possession went down by, say 10%, many lives would probably be saved.

Would the First Amendment be violated by government speech that discourages the exercise of a fundamental right?  I think that the answer is no so long as that speech is general.  In other words, forcing gun store owners or abortion providers or liquor stores to lecture customers about the evils of those goods would be deeply problematic.  But if the speech is not done at the point of sale and comes through media (TV, radio, etc.) then I see no First Amendment violation in what amounts to government propaganda.

I may not be a legal scholar but allow me to answer his rhetorical question.

Yes, asshole, using the government and government funds to discourage people from exercising a Constitutional right is very fucking problematic.  The use of propaganda too discourage a civil liberty is abhorrent.  You might as well argue for the government to mandate that on the news and in every police procedural TV show, the suspect allow the police to search without a warrant and the defendant give up his right to counsel and just confess to whatever crime his is charged with.  Wouldn’t that make the government’s job easier too?

I’m going to paraphrase his first paragraph to address his last.

Wouldn’t a better approach be for amenable states or municipalities to spend money on public education campaigns to discourage people from worshiping or speaking freely, much in the way that they do to discourage smoking? This would do nothing, of course, with respect to deranged people who want to go to church on Sundays, put up nativity scenes, fly Confederate flags, or even post on racist message boards.  But there are many more easily preventable deaths from gang and extremist violence.  If the freedom of speech and association went down by, say 10%, many lives would probably be saved.”

Sure, Magliocca’s proposal might convince millions of normal, law abiding Christians to abandon their religion, but hey, it will do nothing to stop the next Dylann Roof from getting any bad ideas.  So that’s something I guess.  (Because we all know that Islam is a religion of peace and no true Muslim has ever committed an act of religiously motivated violence)

See, I believe in the principle that I may not agree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.

Gerard Magliocca seems to believe that if he does not agree with what you say, he has the right to have the government coerce convince you to say something else.  And somehow that is Constitutional.  Apparently the Magliocca standard is a passive aggressive assault on your civil rights is OK.

If this is the future of Constitutional Law professors in America, we are doomed.

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