Denial of Privacy for Gun Owners
New York continues to want to invade your privacy if you want a gun. In the latest round they are wanting to search your social media to purchase a rifle or a shotgun. NY Senate Bill S9197 would require you to give New York access to all your social media accounts to purchase a rifle or shotgun. We must let our representatives know that we have a right to our privacy and a right to self-protection. These rights are not granted by government and as such are not to be limited by government.
New York State Senator Kevin S. Parker (D, 21st Senate District) believes that anyone wanting to purchase a firearm does not have a right to privacy. He believes that you give up that right to privacy when you decide that you want to purchase a firearm. Requiring you to provide access to your Social Media accounts for the previous 3 years. You must also provide your search history for the previous year.
Senator Parker believes the 4th Amendment of the Constitution does not apply to anyone wishing to purchase a firearm. That Article 1 Section 12 of the New York Constitution is invalid, when you want to purchase a firearm. He wants the people of New York to believe that this bill and a similar bill New York Senate Bill S9191 are not in violation of these protections. By wording the bill requiring purchasers volunteer usernames and passwords to social media that it is consent.
[Security against unreasonable searches, seizures and interceptions]
12. The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
The right of the people to be secure against unreasonable interception of telephone and telegraph communications shall not be violated, and ex parte orders or warrants shall issue only upon oath or affirmation that there is reasonable ground to believe that evidence of crime may be thus obtained, and identifying the means of communication, and particularly describing the person or persons whose communications are to be intercepted and the purpose thereof. (New. Adopted by Constitutional Convention of 1938 and approved by vote of the people November 8, 1938.)
Article I Section 12 New York State Constitution
By requiring you to give consent to these invasions of your privacy in order to exercise another right protected under the Second Amendment of the Constitution they are forcing you to choose which right is more valuable. They are forcing you to give up one right to save another.
With guns and gun violence being a particularly controversial topic let’s look at this through a different lens. A journalist wants to write a story about the state of the government in New York. This journalist wants to provide a fair and unbiased look at the operation of the political processes in New York. Before this journalist can write this article, he is forced to give access to search history and social media. This journalist does so and during the investigation it is uncovered that the journalist did a search for “corruption in New York politics”. The investigating authority deems this search as hostile to the sitting government and denies permission to the journalist to write the article.
The above described scenario would cause the citizens of New York to cry out against this oppression of the first amendment and the right freedom of the press. They would look at this invasion of the privacy of the journalist and an encroachment on the freedom of this journalist. Why do we allow this type of encroachment on another of our basic rights?
Choosing between rights
The rights protected by the Second Amendment are as valuable as any of our other rights. Some would say that they are more valuable. Because the Second Amendment gives us the means to protect our other rights. So, why are we so complacent when it comes to this right? Why do we allow people like Senator Parker to force us to choose between two inherent rights?
Senator Parker is using the trust and authority granted to him to deny the citizens of New York the rights that they inherently have. These rights are not granted by any authority. Because these rights are not granted by the State the State has no authority to deny people of these rights. It does not matter if that right is the freedom of speech or the right to be secure in our persons, houses, papers and effects. One right does not triumph over another. All rights are invaluable and not subject to control by any authority.
By forcing the people of New York to choose between one right or another Senator Parker is saying that the State has authority over your rights. When the state has authority over a right it quits being a right and is a privilege. Privileges can be taken away. But when you’re really think about it how can someone take away something that we are born with?
Rights are not GRANTED
These rights are as natural to us as breathing and as our heart beating. Yes, they can be taken away from an individual but when they are taken the individual is denied their life. The founding fathers said:
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
Declaration of Independence July 4, 1776
Infringing on the rights of an individual is denying them their right to Life, Liberty, and The Pursuit of Happiness. When you deny these to the people you institute governance not for the people but, one for the rulers. Governance, where the rulers determine the freedoms their subjects are allowed.
This country was not founded on the principle that a ruling class was put in place to lord over the subjects. This country was founded on the people ruled the country. Those elected to represent them were to serve them and to above all else protect the rights of the people they serve. Senator Parker is not protecting the rights of the people. Instead he has decided that it is his place to decide which rights you are allowed. Senator Parker is positioning the state as the ultimate authority responsible for overseeing the rights of the subjects. An authority determining which rights they are allowed and which rights they are not.