Throw Sarah Brady from Podium
This article was in response to a gun magazine article claiming a victory for gun owners when Sarah Brady was disrupted by hecklers.
by Mark A. Laughlin
Copyright © by Mark A. Laughlin
Throw Sarah Brady From the Podium?
There has been a round of cheering and back slapping after Sarah Brady was booed off the stage during her visit to the UNLV campus. But such actions are not worthy of our sanction. To disrupt a speaker, no matter how tasteless and evil they are, is not an action in support of the right to bear arms. Such an act denies the concept of "property rights" which is a prerequisite of the right to arms.
Some unthinking Pro-Gun activists tried to pass off this behavior as an exercise of their first amendment rights. This is an attempt to assert a right while at the same time denying its roots. Free speech and press does not mean the right to scribble on another man's sheet of paper. It does not mean the right to disrupt an event funded and organized by another man. It means the right to use your property, your press, your paper, your hall without violation. You can have no claim on the press, paper, broadcasting company or hall owned or rented by another.
When you entered the hall that the Gun Control advocates rented and organized to present their views, you accepted THEIR terms. They had the right to demand your absolute silence while within their hall. They had the right to demand that all hecklers leave. Moreover, they had the right to use force, if necessary, to remove hecklers. If I ever make a pro-gun presentation and I am continually interrupted by anti-gun hecklers, I will first make it clear that any questions must be reserved until the question period. If the interruptions continue, I will ask the hecklers to leave the room. If they still won't let me speak (under the terms granted me by the promoters of the event) or they won't leave the room, I will request campus security to physically remove the violators. If security is unable or unwilling to remove them, then my choice is: defend my rights by means of my own force or abandon the speaking engagement.
The battle for the right to arms is, fundamentally, a battle for every philosophical principle upon which that right rests. The right to arms is not compatible with the notion that we have a right TO housing, jobs or health care; or a right TO someone else's podium. The right to arms depends upon a certain view of reality. It depends on particular view of the means to knowledge (which itself depends on the view of reality). It depends on a unique view of ethics and man's nature (which, again, depends upon all of the above). Finally, the right to arms is a part of a specific social system that arises from this particular philosophical system.
Whenever you find yourself trying to balance the conflicting rights of two individuals, look deeper into the issue; somewhere you will find an invalid concept of rights.
So long as you understand that the right to arms arises from man's nature, his means of survival and property rights, then we, as gun rights advocates, do ourselves no service or honor by abandoning the very concepts upon which the right to arms rests. Sarah Brady, despite her National Socialist views, has a right to present (not implement, mind you) her ideas without violation.