This from The Trace:
Two New York lawmakers are drafting a bill that would allow authorities to review 3 years of social media history and 1 year of internet search history for anyone who wants to buy a gun. https://t.co/W9xh13OwnN
— The Trace (@teamtrace) November 3, 2018
What? Okay, I have to read this.
This is from WCBS, a news and talk radio station in New York City.
Two New York lawmakers are working to draft a bill that would propose a social media check before a gun purchase.
Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams and state Sen. Kevin Palmer’s proposal would allow authorities to review three years of social media history and one year of internet search history of any person seeking to purchase a firearm.
Holy fucking shit!
I’ll get to the Constitutionality of this in a bit. There are other issues I want to address first.
First of all, how do they plan to get this info? Will I have to hand over my computer, tablet, and cell phone to law enforcement? Will they log onto my Google+ account? Will they subpoena all this from my ISP? Is the goal to turn the internet companies into a backdoor big brother? This part alone is worthy of a thousand different bills.
Second, what does internet search history tell you about someone?
One of the things I have to do to bring you readers good posts is wade through the filth of the internet. If I want to draw a parallel between some current policy and some Nazi policy, I have to dig up the Nazi policy, which means searching for Nazi stuff.
I have no idea what some bureaucrat would thing looking through my search history, seeing gun blogs, gun reviews, and Stormfront, in my browser history. What it doesn’t mean is that I’m a Nazi bent on mass murder.
God help any history major or person doing research on a topic for a book or paper. I remember in school, I was called to a dean’s office because the school computer flagged that I searched for the word “cleavage.”
I was going to be punished for looking up porn on the school computer. I had three professors from the materials engineering department come to the dean with me to explain what cleavage was in terms of crystallography and how stupid the school was to flag that word.
Imagine bureaucrats that thick, or thicker, choosing the internet history to flag.
Woe be unto the 18 year old who wants to buy his first gun and has to reveal what he was posting or searching for at age 15. A lot of maturing happens in that time. Should what 15 year old you said online after your first breakup be held against you at 18 when you are an adult?
Also, how much porn keeps you from being able to buy a gun? Asking for a friend.
Third, what happens if you don’t have social media. I have no Facebook, Twitter, SnapChat, Instagram, or anything else like that. My LinkedIn is little more than an online resume, I don’t post or comment on anything.
I do have this blog, but I keep my name off of it. Years ago I was involved in a Facebook fracas over a bad joke on a person’s wall. After being internet hate mobbed, I quit Facebook. This was 2008, before world wide hate mob shaming on Twitter was a thing. I saw the writing on the wall and became an Internet gray man. Now that one wrong Tweet and you lose your job and become unemployable is a regular occurrence, I’m glad I did.
So with no searchable social media, how would that affect my ability to buy a gun. I have a feeling it would be treated like trying to buy a car and having no credit history. The lack of information would be used against you.
“A three-year review of a social media profile would give an easy profile of a person who is not suitable to hold and possess a fire arm,” Adams explains.
The two are hoping to identify any hate speech on social media profiles, which are often revealed only after someone is arrested in a mass shooting.
Now comes the Constitutionality.
I may not agree with what you say but I’ll defend your right to say it. The First Amendment protects your right to be a racist asshole online.
Of course the big question is, who defines hate speech? What about Don Lemon’s calling white men the biggest terror threat in America? Is that hate speech if a Liberal posts that on Facebook?
You Like Alex Jones and no guns for you. You Like the Black Panthers stumping for Stacey Abrams and that’s copacetic. Call Muhammad a pedophile and you will never own guns, post a picture of a Crucifix stuck in a dog turd and there is a good chance the bureaucrat in charge will Friend you.
This is exactly why the First Amendment exists, out Founding Fathers didn’t want the government to take sides on speech.
The whole point of this bill is to limit this.
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated.
I’m pretty sure letting a bureaucrat search three years of personal internet history is an unreasonable search.
No person shall be … compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law;
I’m pretty sure that using a person’s internet history against them is a violation of self incrimination.
“Turn over all the racist stuff you have ever said on the internet so we can decide if you should be allowed to exercise your rights.”
No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law;
Internet history is not a conviction. Denying someone their Second Amendment rights based on their browser or social media history is in volition of due process.
There are some logistical concerns as free speech and gun rights complaints are likely to come up. Though, Adams and Palmer say it is doable and needed.
Actual legislators just sort of waved off defending the Bill of Rights as petty complaints.
“Fuck half the Constitution, this is New York, we don’t need that shit here. We can do what we want because who is going to stop us.”
At least they are honest to the idea that if you don’t respect one Amendment, you probably don’t respect the rest of them.
It’s hard to imagine them violating any more rights in a single law, unless they decided to quarter the NYPD in you home while you are browsing the internet. Having said that, I may have just given then the idea to do that.
I’d usually say that there is no way for this bill to pass, but it’s New York. I don’t know anymore, it just might.