Opinion by James Kaleda
EDITORS NOTE: this article should in no way be construed to be supporting Antifa.
USA – -(AmmoLand.com)- Every American, especially gun owning patriotic Americans should oppose ‘H.R.6054 – Unmasking Antifa Act of 2018'. HR 6054 is the proposed law that would penalize Antifa for wearing masks …I mean for committing crimes while wearing a mask, but really just for wearing masks.
Now I've seen a lot of gun owners come out in support of this law and I just wanted to offer a thousand words of caution.
I think a lot of people see a proposed law like this and say, “Yep, anything we can do to stop these Antifa guys. That's, good. We got to do it. It's a good idea. Fifteen years in prison for wearing a mask. Sounds like a great idea.”
There's a couple of points I'd like to throw out there before we all jump on the give the government more power bandwagon.
The Sons of Liberty
The first is I want to remind everyone that this country was started by patriots wearing masks and throwing tea into the harbor. While the ideology, of the “Sons of Liberty” was entirely different from Antifa, we need to provide Antifa the same protections we would give the Sons of Liberty if they were to stand trial today. Why? Because this law isn’t about whether or not Antifa ideology is good or bad it's about whether or not we want the government to have the power to judge ideology.
The Least Favorite Politician Test
When you give the government power, it's not just power to use against your enemies; it's also a power to use against you. And one of the ways I like to illustrate this is what I call the “Your least favorite politician test.” The way to use this test is as follows: While considering a proposed law, a law that seems like a good idea, replace the name of the politician proposing it with the name of your least favorite politician. Now it might be a temptation for some people to jump to Hitler or Stalin, but we don't even have to take it that far. Just imagine if Barack Obama was proposing a law that penalized people with 15 years in jail for wearing a mask. Or cory booker or Dianne Feinstein. Once you make that switch, all of a sudden the law takes on a different tone. What I would like you to remember is that if you give this power to the government today, it will be retained by whoever is in power during the next Democratic Presidency. And not just by them, but by every judge they appoint,or that has ever been selected by any left-leaning anti-gun, anti-patriot, politician.
So let us all keep this transfer of power in mind when we hear about any proposed law. Do you want future politicians to have more power over you? In this case of HR6054 the power to put you in jail for 15 years for wearing a mask?
What is a crime? What is a mask?
We’ve considered whether or not we want to give politicians more power over us, now let’s examine exactly what power is being discussed. The text of the bill says committing certain crimes while wearing a mask will be punishable by 15 years in prison. Even if we like the idea, there are at least two challenges with it. The first is how do we define the crime. The second is how do we define a mask?
We have over 50,000 pages of federal laws and regulations on the books. You could start reading now, at whatever age you currently are, and you would not live long enough to read them all. And that doesn't even include what new laws what might be passed in the future.
The other problem we have is what is meant by “mask”? I mean, we all know a mask, right? It's one of those “we know it if we see it” things, but how will the courts define a mask? Will a scarf and sunglasses be enough to be considered a mask? Just a scarf? A hoodie and sunglasses? Often these laws sound good because we are always thinking about how it can be used to stop an imaginary bad guy, this evil someone.
We also have to consider how these laws could be used against us.
I see many gun owning patriots fall into this trap of saying, “well, it doesn't matter because I'm not a bad guy. I'm not a criminal. I don't break the law.” There are two issues with this outlook. The first is yes you do break the law.It has been written that it is impossible for an adult American to get through the day without breaking at least three federal laws. [or just by living in say… NJ] For many it is impossible to get through your day without committing at least three felonies, and that might sound like hyperbole, but please remember those 50,000 pages of laws. Have you read all 50,000 pages? Of course not, and since you haven’t read them all, you can’t be sure you aren’t doing something illegal right now.
The second issue is that you don’t have to commit a crime to be accused of a crime. Now let’s consider how the legal system works. The fact that you know you're innocent, the fact that you know you're not a criminal, doesn't matter when you are fed into the legal system. We all remember, that not so funny Sol Wachtler quote about indicting a ham sandwich, right? So when you get put into the legal system, you suffer the punishment of a trial. You bear the burden of having to provide for your legal defense whether or not you've committed a crime. This is even more important because when considering laws such as these because you may find yourself defending against two charges instead of one. So it's important always to ask do I want to give this power to the government knowing it may be used against me?
Do I want to let all the future Presidents that I disagree with have the power of putting me in jail for 15 years for something as innocent as wearing a mask?
And you know, that brings me to another point. What’s wrong with wearing a mask?! Wearing a mask is at times a good choice. I’ve seen a lot of people claim that people who wear masks to a protest are cowards. But wearing a mask does not indicate cowardice, I mean, no one seems to think that when the S.W.A.T team wear masks. There's a lot of words in the English language we can use, more appropriate words to show our disapproval of someone actions. Cowardice is when fear prevents you from taking action. So if someone's coming to a protest that's not cowardice. The fact is fear did not stop them from going to the protests. Nor did not stop them from doing whatever it is they intended to do. So the idea that wearing a mask makes somebody a coward is not accurate.
If you know that going to a protest is likely to cause you to lose your job, then wearing a mask isn't cowardly. It's wise. I’ve learned of a lot of patriotic people who lost their jobs for going to pro-free speech rallies. Had they been wearing masks, maybe they would still have their jobs.
Gas masks, which would likely be banned by this law, have a tactical purpose especially since Antifa and others have used tear gas and bear spray at some of these events. So here you are at this event, and you know right now the administration is favorable to you, and so you would not have to worry about wearing a gas mask to a protest, but then the next; anti-American president comes along. If this bill passes, you would have to worry. And now you're at a tactical disadvantage. Just like New Jersey puts you in a tactical disadvantage by disarming you and limiting the amount of ammunition you can have in your firearm for self-defense. Now you're going to be restricted even further. You're not even going to be able to defend yourself with a gas mask against chemical weapon attacks.
It is very dangerous to give power to the government. Anytime we provide more power to the government, we need to be very, very cautious. We should almost always say no. We should lead with no. Now in fairness, I'm an anarcho-capitalist. I believe the only way we’ll have a free society is with a stateless society. Therefore I think we should always say no. Certainly, when we are talking about taking away a decade and a half of someone's life for something that should be protected under the first amendment, we should say no.
About James Kaleda
James Kaleda is the host of the Out of Order Gun rights podcast, outspoken gun rights activist and Anarcho-capitalist. He’s known for challenging anti-gun politicians and his in depth interviews with pro-gun authors, gun rights activists, firearms trainers, hunters, and those who have used firearms defensively. He aims to dispel anti-gun myths created through media bias. You can find him at www.outoforderjameskaleda.com Facebook, twitter, minds, mewee. The podcast is available on itunes and pretty much everywhere else. James has also created the following useful sites for gun owners.
- Gifts for gun nuts – where you get great gift ideas for the hunting and shooting enthusiast in your life
- Nag your Rep – get your free guide on using social media marketing tools to automatically and systematically remind your reps about gun control.
- Sell More Firearms – where you will find a free guide for FFLs on using social media to increase sales