Explore The NRA Universe Of Websites

APPEARS IN News

August 2012 Standing Guard: "People's Rights Amendment" Threatens Free Speech

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

By Wayne LaPierre, NRA Executive Vice President

Remember when President Barack Obama, in his first State of the Union speech, had the gall to publicly attack the U.S. Supreme Court for upholding freedom of speech in its decision on Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission?

Now Obama’s allies on Capitol Hill want to deny the right to political free speech to you, me and groups like the NRA completely and forever—even if they have to amend the U.S. Constitution.

For months I’ve warned you of the grave consequences our freedoms will face if Obama, his administration and its Capitol Hill enablers are re-elected on Nov. 6. If you ever needed proof that they oppose your freedoms and endanger all of the rights you cherish as an American, here’s yet more evidence:

On Capitol Hill, U.S. Rep. Jim McGovern, D-Mass., joined by House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and dozens of other Democrats, has introduced House Joint Resolution 88, proposing a “People’s Rights Amendment” to the U.S. Constitution.

But the name “People’s Rights Amendment” is false advertising at its most frightening. It would effectively revoke your First Amendment right to freedom of speech when you exercise your freedom of association through organizations like the NRA.

Under the amendment, the rights enshrined in our Constitution would be guaranteed only to so-called “natural persons.” In other words, you’d have rights as an individual. But as soon as you associate with other individuals and pool resources to exercise your rights collectively—as you do through the NRA—you no longer would have those rights.

As the amendment’s text dictates, “People, person, or persons as used in this Constitution does not include corporations, limited liability companies or other corporate entities. ...” And as its author Rep. McGovern explained, “ ... all corporate entities—for-profit and non-profit alike—are not people with constitutional rights.”

Under the “People’s Rights Amendment,” anyone who tried to exercise his or her constitutional rights collectively with other people would be “subject to such regulation” as Congress deems “reasonable.”

If that sounds to you like a blank check for government censorship, that’s because it is.

In practical terms, the “People’s Rights Amendment” would shut groups like the NRA out of the political process by denying our right to freedom of speech. We wouldn’t be allowed to speak out on your behalf regarding legislation, elections or any other political issue.

You could stand on a street corner giving speeches or distributing leaflets, but if you pool efforts with like-minded people—your rights would cease to exist. You and I know that’s just the opposite of what our nation’s founders intended. As Chief Justice John Roberts wrote in the Citizens United case, “The First Amendment protects more than just the individual on a soapbox and the lonely pamphleteer.”

Apparently, the politicians pushing this madness either don’t understand the danger or are willing to accept it for purely partisan political gain. What they ignore at their peril is that the “People’s Rights Amendment” could be used by government to censor or silence anyone—even those promoting the scheme. As they say, “What goes around comes around”—and everyone pays the price.

The New York Times, MSNBC and Time-Warner are all corporations. Would Obama and his allies try to silence them? Or only groups like the NRA that try to stop his anti-gun, anti-freedom agenda? Make no mistake: This is a sinister and profoundly dangerous proposal.

Before you dismiss it as some radical, leftist pipe dream that would never be adopted—or be overturned by the courts if it were—consider this:

At least four states—Hawaii, New Mexico, Vermont and Rhode Island—have already passed resolutions calling for this amendment. At this writing, Massachusetts is poised to become the fifth state to endorse it.

That’s why it is critical that you and everyone you know who cares about American freedom go “ALL IN” on Election Day, Nov. 6.

If we don’t stop them by defeating them at the polls, Obama and his freedom-hating allies could, with this dangerous constitutional amendment, destroy the vital checks and balances that keep Americans free and our democracy stable and strong.

As Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote in the Citizens United decision, “Speech is an essential mechanism of democracy, for it is the means to hold officials accountable to the people. … The right of citizens to inquire, to hear, to speak, and to use information to reach consensus, is a precondition to enlightened self-government and a necessary means to protect it.”

IN THIS ARTICLE
Elections Election 2012
TRENDING NOW
Pittsburgh Mayor Declares Intent to Ban Guns in Violation of State Law

News  

Friday, December 14, 2018

Pittsburgh Mayor Declares Intent to Ban Guns in Violation of State Law

Yesterday, we reported that it was likely that sweeping gun control measures would be proposed in Pittsburgh. Today, Pittsburgh Mayor William Peduto held a press conference to propose a trio of anti-gun city ordinances that, if enacted, would constitute ...

News Flash: Michael Bloomberg Not a Fan of the First Amendment, Either

News  

Friday, December 14, 2018

News Flash: Michael Bloomberg Not a Fan of the First Amendment, Either

Michael Bloomberg, former NYC mayor and billionaire patron of the Nanny State, may be gearing up for the presidential race in 2020. He gave the idea of running as an independent candidate “serious consideration” in ...

California Department of Justice Releases First Set of Proposed Ammunition Sales Regulations

Friday, December 14, 2018

California Department of Justice Releases First Set of Proposed Ammunition Sales Regulations

Today, the California Department of Justice released the first in a series of regulatory proposals regarding the mandatory background check process when purchasing ammunition, which is scheduled to take effect on July 1, 2019.

Stealing Rights and Property in Steel City? Pittsburgh Reportedly Considering Sweeping Gun Control

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Stealing Rights and Property in Steel City? Pittsburgh Reportedly Considering Sweeping Gun Control

The NRA has received copies of what are reported to be draft ordinances being considered by the Pittsburgh City Council to enact sweeping gun control measures within the city.

“This Hollow Display of Security” – Canada’s Liberal Government Presses for Even More Gun Control

News  

Friday, December 14, 2018

“This Hollow Display of Security” – Canada’s Liberal Government Presses for Even More Gun Control

Speaking in Montreal this month on the anniversary of the 1989 Ecole Polytechnique tragedy, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau confirmed his government’s plans to further restrict legal access to handguns and “assault weapons” and refused to rule ...

Misleading Headlines and the Murder Rate

News  

Friday, December 14, 2018

Misleading Headlines and the Murder Rate

We hear a lot about “fake news.” We regularly see data miscoded and statistics misused. What we have seen several times over the last several months does not really fit any of those categories.

Guns and Taxes

News  

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Guns and Taxes

David Hogg wants a federal tax on firearms and ammunition. He has repeatedly broached the idea, including multiple times on Twitter, and only sometimes suggests a use for the tax revenue. Hogg’s tweets on a ...

Surprise: Study Finds No Rise in Violent Crime Attributable to Adopting Right-to-Carry Laws

News  

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Surprise: Study Finds No Rise in Violent Crime Attributable to Adopting Right-to-Carry Laws

As we’ve noted recently, much research purporting to demonstrate connections between access to guns or right-to-carry laws and increases in crime is seriously flawed.  Often it's an attempt to curtail or eliminate Americans’ rights under the Second ...

New Jersey: Third Circuit Court Refuses to Stop Unconstitutional Magazine Ban

Thursday, December 6, 2018

New Jersey: Third Circuit Court Refuses to Stop Unconstitutional Magazine Ban

Yesterday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit allowed an unconstitutional magazine ban to proceed with its December 10th deadline by a 2-1 decision.

Washington: Anti-Gun Group Announces 2019 Agenda

Friday, December 7, 2018

Washington: Anti-Gun Group Announces 2019 Agenda

On December 5th, the Alliance for Gun Responsibility, a group backed by out-of-state elites, announced it will pursue its most extreme anti-gun legislative agenda to date during the upcoming 2019 Washington Legislative Session.

MORE TRENDING +
LESS TRENDING -

More Like This From Around The NRA

NRA ILA

Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.