Free speech and anti-gun hysteria

Matthew Hoy
By Matthew Hoy on August 3, 2018

This has been a banner week for attacks on free speech and general anti-gun hysteria from the usual corners.

Open carry coming soon

I spent an hour Monday talking with Dave Congalton about a recent decision from a 3-judge panel of the 9th Circuit that found a right for law-abiding citizens to openly carry a handgun in public.

You can listen to the interview here:

A few points that I want to emphasize from the interview:

  1. This decision is a direct result of the 9th Circuit's en banc decision in the Peruta case. Peruta sued for the right to carry. The 9th Circuit found there was no right to concealed carry and just ignored the entire point of the case that Peruta was suing for some form of carry. So, if the 2nd Amendment means what it says, that there is a right to keep and bear arms, and concealed carry is not protected, then open carry must be protected.
  2. One caller, dishonestly concerned for my safety, rolled out the old bogus statistic that you're more likely to kill yourself or a loved one with a firearm than an intruder or someone threatening your life. This statistic only kinda works due to the large number of suicides. But it also doesn't take into account all of the ways you can protect your life or those of loved ones without actually killing the criminal. Brandishing, shooting and missing, and shooting and wounding, to protect life are all ignored, and the assumption is the criminal wouldn't have killed you if you didn't have the gun.
  3. The caller suggested I just use pepper spray and I pointed out that cops don't just use pepper spray because the criminal may have a gun. The caller thought that this was a reason to support stricter gun control laws. This is stupid. The criminal in this hypothetical would be fine breaking the law to illegally enter my home. The criminal would be fine attempting to kill me. The criminal would be fine attempting to rape my wife. But, dagnabbit, the criminal would follow gun control laws.

3D Printed Guns

The anti-gun hysteria this week has been over the availability of plans for the manufacture of firearms on the internet.

First some facts:

  • The lawsuit the State Department (not the Department of Justice) is settling that's allowing the publishing of the plans involves the effective export of the plans by publishing them on the internet. The right of Americans to see and use these plans has never been in dispute.
  • The plans have long been available on the Internet anyway.
  • The 3D printed guns are not undetectable. They still require a metal firing pin and the bullets are, of course made of metal as well.
  • Undetectable firearms are already illegal, and have been for 30 years.
  • Americans have been making so-called "ghost guns"—unregistered, unserialized, homemade firearms—for the entire history of the nation. Doing so is only illegal in one state—California—and only in the last couple years.

This is not about gun control. This is about free speech. Frankly, the idea that this is going to be a big source of firearms used in crimes is laughable.

Reason magazine has a great article on some of the facts behind this here.

Judge does the prior restraint thing

July 31 a judge in Seattle issued a temporary restraining order prohibiting the State Department from settling the lawsuit with Defense Distributed (one everyone told the State Dept. they would lose) and barred defense distributed from allowing the files to be downloaded.

The state attorneys general bringing this suit claim that this TRO bans anyone from publishing the files online.

"This is a nationwide ban. ... It takes us back to a period of time before the federal government flipped on their policy regarding these 3D ghost guns," Washington state Attorney General Bob Ferguson said on "Anderson Cooper 360˚".
"What it means is if anyone posts this information online, they are in violation of federal law and can suffer very serious consequences. So, it makes it unlawful to post that information and make it available to the public.", it doesn't. To say you can prevent a legal settlement from taking place between to parties to encompass anyone who may publish those files is a new legal theory that's laughable.

The Firearms Policy Coalition, the Calguns Foundation and the Second Amendment Foundation have (rightly) defied this legal interpretation and posted the original files at Interestingly enough, Facebook apparently won't even let you post that link to your timeline.

Defying unjust rulings

As someone who spent 15 years in newspaper newsrooms, prior restraint to publishing information really harshes my mellow. So, without further ado:






The file for the vz58 is too big for my site; this is sufficient to make my point.

2 comments on “Free speech and anti-gun hysteria”

  1. Hello Matt; Listening to the replay today and it strikes me there were many missed opportunities where the usual cliche's get dragged out, "need," "tackled, didn't need a gun," "too many guns," on and on. To me, at times you sounded defensive or got caught flat-footed.

    It would be valuable for you to review your interviews, question by question, premise by premise with a real expert on both guns and debate. Many of us are cringing at missed responses and false premises. Even if I call to back you up I'm at a disadvantage of no time to get into a groove and cover more than one or two points with little elaboration.

    Not bagging on you but, though Dave is fair, he's still ignorant and biased. There's low-hanging rhetorical fruit to be picked...

    Thanks, -Bill

  2. Bill, it's a little tougher than it sounds. I've listened to a lot of 2nd Amendment advocates and am pretty well-read.

    If you'd like to go on next time there's some gun issue in the news, let me know and I'll have Dave get in contact with you.


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August 2018



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