I saw this headline in USA Today.

New Zealand debates free speech after ban of accused mosque shooter’s manifesto

They are debating free speech.  There are people in New Zealand who are arguing against free speech.

New Zealanders are debating the limits of free speech after their chief censor banned the 74-page manifesto written and released by the man accused of slaughtering 50 people at two mosques in the city of Christchurch.

Holy shit, New Zealand has an office of Chief Censor.  Really?

That is the kind of job title that you’d expect to see in some medieval theocracy, not a supposedly advanced, Western nation.

The ban, issued Saturday, means anybody caught with the document on their computer could face up to 10 years in prison, while anyone caught sending it could face 14 years. Some say the ban goes too far and risks lending both the document and the gunman mystique.

Ten years in prison for having a PDF full of words.

At the same time, many local media organizations are debating whether to even name the Australian man charged with murder in the March 15 attacks after New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern vowed she would never mention him by name.

Brenton Tarrant.  How about that?

Maybe it’s because my political universe isn’t governed by the rules of Harry Potter, but I do not believe there is magical power in a name.  We are adults, reporting on facts.

In some ways, the accuser shooter’s manifesto provides the greatest insight into his character and thinking, with neighbors and those he met in a gym in the sleepy seaside town of Dunedin recalling nothing particularly remarkable about him.

So it’s worthy of academic study.

The greatest act in modern world history was the Marshall Plan.  We sought to understand what lead to the rise of Nazism so that we could keep it from happening again.

Extremism is the result of legitimate grievances that are allowed to fester in paranoia and bigotry.

Maybe by understanding this guy’s ideology, New Zealand could parse the legitimate grievances from the paranoia and bigotry and deal with an issues likely to radicalize others.

Chief Censor David Shanks said the manifesto contains justifications for acts of tremendous cruelty like killing children and encourages acts of terrorism, even outlining specific places to target and methods to carry out attacks.

Or they could bury it and let it happen again.

In banning the document, Shanks and his staff worried about drawing more attention to it. But in the end, he said, they decided they needed to treat it the same way as propaganda from groups like the Islamic State, which they have also banned.

That makes sense.  The Left refuses to study the main motivating force in Islamism too, and consequently fails to deal with that as well.

Shanks had earlier placed a similar ban on the 17-minute livestream video the alleged killer filmed from a camera mounted on his helmet during the shootings. He said researchers and journalists could apply for exemptions from both bans.

But while free speech advocates haven’t questioned banning the graphic video, they said banning the manifesto is a step too far.

Why do I feel the need to draw a parallel here.  They started by banning the video and the assault weapons.  Now they are banning the manifesto, so next they will ban…

“People are more confident of each other and their leaders when there is no room left for conspiracy theories, when nothing is hidden,” said Stephen Franks, a constitutional lawyer and spokesman for the Free Speech Coalition. “The damage and risks are greater from suppressing these things than they are from trusting people to form their own conclusions and to see evil or madness for what it is.”

New Zealand needs to Google “Streisand effect.

Franks said he had no interest in reading the manifesto until it was banned. He now is curious because it is “forbidden fruit,” he said, and he worries others may feel the same way. He said the ban makes no sense when New Zealanders remain free to read Adolf Hitler’s autobiography, “Mein Kampf.”

Because censorship is always stupid and reactionary.

Ardern told Parliament last week that she wouldn’t give the gunman anything he wanted.

“He sought many things from his act of terror, but one was notoriety,” she said. “And that is why you will never hear me mention his name.”

So you are going to ban all the guns, which is what he wanted.

Good fucking job!

She said people should instead remember the names of the victims.

Some media organizations appear to be taking up her call. News website Stuff on Saturday published an 1,800-word profile on the accused gunman without once naming him.

“Our view at the moment is that we’re dialing back on naming him, unless it’s pertinent or important,” said Mark Stevens, the editorial director at Stuff.

The New Zealand Herald also published a profile with an accompanying editorial that mentions Ardern’s stance. The editorial says, “Our piece keeps the mention of his name to a minimum.”

New Zealand media is a joke.

Keep this in mind as we watch the emerging leaders of the Democrat party, like Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez praising New Zealand for “doing something” about assault weapons.

The gun community has an adage, those who don’t respect the Second Amendment, don’t respect the First either.

New Zealand has neither a First or Second Amendment, but proved the sentiment true in about six days.

Is there any reason to believe that Sanders or AOC feel any differently?

Trust that both of them would love nothing more than to ban mention of the failure of Venezuelan Socialism or criticism of the Green New Deal.

Any politician that wants to “do something” about your assault rifle also wants to  “do something” about what you can and cannot read and say.

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By J. Kb

3 thoughts on “The Left “debates” the freedom of speech”
  1. “Maybe … New Zealand could parse the legitimate grievances…”

    The assumption is that any of his grievances would ever be considered legitimate. Personally, without knowing what they are, I’d guess not. I base that on how our own left in the US acts. Basically, if the grievance originated with them, it must be valid; if it didn’t, it’s by definition invalid.

  2. New Zealand has a government officer titled “Chief Sensor?” That suggests any useful debate on free speech ended long ago.

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