This article first appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, May 18, 2015:
In a lawsuit filed on May 6, the Second Amendment Foundation (SAF) complained that the Department of Defense violated the First Amendment in demanding that CAD (computer-aided design) files containing instructions to 3-D printers to print lower receivers of firearms be pre-approved. SAF is seeking a court declaration “that Defendants’ prepublication approval requirements for privately generated unclassified information, on its face … violates the First … Second … [and] Fifth Amendments to the United States Constitution.” The Second Amendment Foundation is bringing the lawsuit because Cody Wilson and his company, Defense Distributed (DD), released data files containing those instructions without prior DOD approval. SAF is seeking a permanent injunction against the DOD along with punitive damages and legal fees that Wilson and his company have incurred in bringing the action. In an action that failed to bring national attention, the lawsuit has immense implications for the freedom of speech, the right to keep and bear arms, and the protection against self-incrimination. As Oleg Volk, a writer at Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership (JPFO), explained:
This is a First Amendment issue because the government is attempting to criminalize Defense Distributed’s (and founder Cody Wilson’s) expression of thoughts: information that alarms the government. [Emphasis in original.] After all, if the government can ban information that aids in constructing a firearm, where does it end? Are books about gunsmithing no longer protected free speech? Can gunsmith schools be shut down, the faculty and administration [dismissed]?
The lawsuit reveals almost a sense of desperation among those who would infringe on precious rights, particularly those encapsulated in the Second Amendment. In the present case, the DOD was far too late in coming down on Cody Wilson and his company because his files had already been downloaded hundreds of thousands of times, and iterations and improvements in his original design are now available on the Internet worldwide, numbering in the millions. But enemies of the Second Amendment never rest. Two days after SAF brought its lawsuit against the DOD, former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced the creation of a propaganda arm of his Everytown for Gun Safety organization, calling it a “news operation” to promote Everytown’s fight against the Second Amendment. He has hired James Burnett, recently of the left-leaning New Republic, and Jennifer Mascia, a former editorial assistant at the anti-gun New York Times. Burnett left the New Republic during its attempted transition from print to digital in efforts to save itself from bankruptcy. Mascia’s story is much more interesting. For a year she assisted Joe Nocera in writing the Times’ Gun Report blog, detailing various and sundry incidents of shooting violence, hoping their revelations would change some minds in the war against guns. It didn’t happen, and the Times shut it down in June of 2014. Nocera apologized:
Last Thursday [June 5] Jennifer Mascia and I posted our last Gun Report. It was my feeling that although it had been a useful tool — a daily statement about gun violence in America — the Gun Report had run its course … so I decided that it was time to bid it adieu.
Mascia was forthcoming about her motivations in working with Nocera: She learned late in life that her father was a mafia hit man and she was working off the guilt and shame associated with it: “I really feel like the Gun Report is my way of atoning for his crimes, or giving back in some way. I know I can’t undo the carnage, but if writing about gun violence saves just one life, then it was worth it.” Now she has a new outlet to express her shame and guilt: Bloomberg’s “news” arm of Everytown. She explains:
We’re going to focus on victim stories, especially because putting a face to these crimes really helps drive it home for readers. This is going to be everything I imagined for the Gun Report that I wanted to do. This will hopefully keep the conversation going. It will be a steady drumbeat. We’re not going to let this fall out of the media.
To help journalists refine their prejudices and bring them to light, Bloomberg announced back in January a propaganda school to be held in Arizona on May 29 and 30. It will be limited to just 30 carefully selected applicants, with all expenses to be paid for 15 of them by Bloomberg. It’s for reporters, editors, news directors, photographers, producers, and bloggers supporting the party line. According to its announcement, the school “will offer … specialized reporting skills training to enhance the practical ability of journalists to report on guns and gun violence knowledgeably, ethically and effectively.” The matter of ethics, however, is problematic for Bloomberg and his people. In its invitation, it reiterated this now highly discredited claim: Nearly 100 school shootings have occurred since the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary only two years ago. Investigators at the Tampa Bay Tribune looked into the veracity of that statement, checked into the methodology behind the claims, and rated them “mostly false.” Turns out that Bloomberg’s people had counted as a “school shooting” virtually any and every instance in which a gun was fired on or near the campus of any primary or secondary school or college or university, regardless of the circumstances or whether the incidents had anything to do with the schools. They even counted “self-defense” shootings as “school shootings” if such an incident occurred in the neighborhood of a school. Turns out further that perps involved in the shootings included gang members and other persons not in any way associated with the schools. So much for the sort of “ethical” behavior regarding gun violence Bloomberg intends to inflict on his students. No matter. The long war on guns continues, but now with an almost palpable sense of desperation that the message just isn’t getting through.