Gun owners, especially those of us who carry firearms for self-defense, can take some comfort in the confirmation of a Supreme Court Justice who appears to be a staunch believer in the Constitution. But we can also learn some important lessons from the recent Supreme Court battle.
First and foremost, it should be noted that the most vicious critics of Justice Brett Kavanaugh are the very same people we run into when battling for our Second Amendment rights. This should not be a surprise, given that those who view the Constitution as a piece of Silly Putty would naturally be opposed to anyone who believes that it means what it says.
Beyond the legal and philosophical arguments, we should also be concerned about the tactics used in the attempt to destroy Kavanaugh. Every one of us could just as easily find ourselves in the same position. Today, merely expressing our views on social media has the potential to be used against us by the anti-Second-Amendment folks.
Look at what has happened to Dana Loesch, NRA spokesperson and tireless activist for our rights. As a result of her stances on guns and self-defense, she has received numerous threats from gun-control advocates:
Perhaps the most glaring threat, at least to many of my attorney friends, is the unprecedented attack on a fundamental tenet of American justice: that one is always presumed innocent until proven guilty by the weight of evidence. For if mere accusations are the standard, then none of us are safe.
After all, we have already seen the phenomenon of “swatting” — where an anti-gun neighbor can call police and claim, however falsely, that he or she heard or saw you behaving in a “reckless or threatening” manner. Even if you are lucky enough to avoid having your door kicked in (or being shot) and are ultimately not prosecuted, police reports will be retained on file, potentially being resurrected if and when you do have to use your firearm.
Another troubling aspect of the Kavanaugh hearings is the depths to which his attackers were willing to go to destroy him — from trying to find something sinister in his high school yearbook to apparently attempting to “recruit” accusers to testify against him. We’ve all seen in other cases how text messages, “tweets” and even Instagram and Facebook posts can be devastating.
Should you find yourself in a lethal-force encounter, there is nothing keeping anti-gun zealots from using these newfound tactics on you. It doesn’t take much imagination to envision some prosecutor showing a jury all of your social media postings, “proving” what a violent and bigoted person you are. So be warned: Everything you post on social media can come back to haunt you.
Also, you could be involved in what you saw as a clean shoot, but then “witnesses” could suddenly appear, giving testimony that is completely at odds with what actually happened. Think that’s unlikely? I would not want to bet my life or my freedom on the hope that they won’t apply this tactic to me or anyone.
As always, awareness, common sense and being on our best behavior (including online) go a long way in protecting ourselves — physically and legally.
Be aware. Be smart. And stay safe.