|Article in response to gun magazine proposal to use FCC bludgeon to take on NBC.
Copyright © by Mark A. Laughlin
After NBC's recent assault on the right to arms, many gun rights activist have advocated that we put pressure on the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to revoke NBC's broadcasting license. I believe such a proposal is disastrously ill advised and that a radically different response is required.
The right to keep and bear arms arises out of man's right to property. Without a right to property (i.e. self-ownership and ownership of the fruits of one's efforts), there is no need for a means of protection. Only the entity that has title to your life, whether it be the state, god, society or you, needs a means to defend that title. Since the right to arms presupposes the right to property, much of our battle as gun rights advocates consists of defending property rights.
The FCC is not a defender of property rights, but is based upon the annihilation of the idea of property rights as such, i.e. is based upon a corrupt view of the purpose of government. Instead of seeking to protect the rights of radio and TV pioneers who should have been granted title to certain wavelengths on the "homesteaders" principle, the FCC declares that the "public" owns the airwaves and that they, the FCC, are the interpreters of "the public interest." To call on the anti-property FCC to redress our complaints is as sensible as seeking socialist Senator Metzenbaum's assistance. If we sanction, in any way, the agenda of the FCC we are denying the concept of property rights upon which the right to arms depends.
As it stands today, broadcasters must be careful to "self-censor" themselves to meet the undefinable needs of "the public interest;" which means the arbitrary statist agenda of the FCC. The first amendment does not exist for the electronic media and we, as gun rights advocates, should be working to make this so. We, as defenders of property rights, must let Congress know that the FCC is responsible for the state of today's electronic media. Congress should abolish the FCC, auction off the rights to radio and TV frequencies, and allow freedom of the press on TV and radio as it exists in the print media. Then those who do not provide value to their subscribers and advertisers will soon find themselves out of the broadcasting business without recourse to maintaining their bogus livelihoods via the FCC; while those most efficacious in broadcasting will prosper.
Imagine if we applied the FCC principle to the field of book publishing. "There are a limited number of printing presses" say FCC supporters, "therefore we must make sure that all books meet the needs of the public interest." Meaning some FCC Czar will determine which books are in the "public interest" and may be printed.
If book publishing were under FCC control and the National Book Corporation published a radically biased assault on the right to arms, would we plead with the FCC to revoke their publishing license? I should hope not. We should seek to apply the principle of private property so that first amendment rights can be properly exercised by both pro and anti-gun forces. Otherwise we would be deluged with the same lame, statist promotions that today dominate the electronic media.
The right to arms is based upon reality and reason. We have nothing to fear from competition in the marketplace. Anti-gun forces are irrational super naturalist mystics, who have everything to gain from the promulgation of Brave New World policies like the FCC. It is no accident that anti-property legislators are also leading gun control advocates. Both positions are based upon and arise from the adoption of corrupt philosophical ideas. The right to property and arms both arise out of the correct philosophical ideas. To call upon the powers of the FCC to gain a temporary, feel good victory now; may very well cost us the philosophical strength to win the war for the right to keep and bear arms in the 21st century. Lets make sure that we don't undercut our own ideas by sanctioning illegitimate government functions like the FCC.