Letter: Gun rights and free speech deserve equal respect

I see from your editorial that the Gazette is concerned about any infringement of the First Amendment. (“Shooting the messengers of shootings,” Jan. 18.) I can only hope that the editor is as concerned about infringement of the Second. To illustrate the absurdity of the arguments in favor of restricting the Second, I’ll apply them to the First:

1. No one needs to make violent video games. All they need is to be able to make video games.

2. The Founders never envisioned the First Amendment applying to video games because electronic media did not exist when they wrote it. The same goes for cell phones, the Internet and computers.

3. Only the government and its agents should be able to exercise their full First Amendment rights. We should allow them to tell us the truth; ordinary citizens do not need those rights.

4. A lunatic might get their hands on a violent video game, and the images might cause that person to go on a violent spree. These games are too dangerous.

5. The First Amendment was written by slave-owning white men who used it to keep their privilege and power. This amendment has racist roots.

But, if you want your First Amendment rights, I have some proposals a la state Rep. David Linsky of Natick:

1. You must have proof of liability insurance to have these games.

2. There will be a 25 percent tax on these games and their consoles to fund violence prevention.

3. There should be a license required, for which you must sign a mental health waiver.

4. These games must be stored at an approved facility at all times outside of the home.

You may consider these an infringement of your rights, but if even one child is saved in the future due to a ban or onerous regulations, it would be worth it.


James Hinsman

Jamaica Plain

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