Gun rights advocates often describe the Second Amendment as a backstop for the First Amendment and its guarantee of free expression. But what happens when unaccountable censors limit your ability to advocate for gun rights?
A pro-Second Amendment group is learning this lesson the hard way after getting permanently zapped by Facebook “without explanation,” the Washington Free Beacon reported.
2nd Amendment group banned
Virginia has been the site of considerable pro-gun activism since Democrats introduced an ambitious agenda last year, prompting the rise of Second Amendment “sanctuaries” throughout the state in response.
The Virginia Citizens Defense League has played a leading role in these protests, but their ability to organize against Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam’s agenda was limited Tuesday when social media giant Facebook removed their page, according to the Free Beacon. Facebook’s comment was opaque, as is typical.
“This was correctly actioned and we will not be republishing,” Facebook spokeswoman Kristen Morea said, as the Free Beacon reported.
The president of the Second Amendment group, Philip Van Cleave, told the Free Beacon that the restriction is a warning sign.
“If they did this to us, it’s just a matter of time,” Van Cleave reportedly said. “I think we’re a high-profile group and that’s why we got singled out. Those who aren’t as high profile as we are, I’m sure they’re on the chopping block next.”
Censorship on the rise
As TheBlaze notes, the group’s advocacy efforts include an annual pro-gun protest in the capital of Richmond called Lobby Day.
Some might be led to surmise that Facebook sought to interfere with the group in the wake of the recent “insurrection” by Trump supporters at the U.S. Capitol, which has led to alarmingly broad crackdowns on free speech and vague rhetoric about fighting extremism from America’s power centers.
Facebook previously suspended the group in January before reversing the move, the Washington Free Beacon noted. “It’s just a yo-yo effect,” Van Cleave said.
Shortly before Lobby Day, the group was booted from its email marketing service, Mailchimp, which cited “serious risks associated with the account,” according to Fox Business. But Lobby Day came and went without violence, much like President Joe Biden’s inauguration, despite panicked predictions to the contrary, reports noted.
The censorship comes amid widespread concern among gun owners about Biden’s anti-gun agenda. He has yet to make any moves on gun control, but his press secretary Jen Psaki recently said he “would love to see action” on that front soon, according to Breitbart.