by Mick Warshaw - Jul 21, 2015
Zach Silk makes no bones about it: His side won the gay marriage fight, and now he’s looking for the next battle. Silk says he’s found exactly the right issue – gun control.
“There is a moral element to the thing that has similarities to marriage,” Silk said, before going on to detail to the New Yorker how he and his lackeys plan to co-opt the language used by gun rights advocates and pervert its meaning, just as they did with marriage verbiage.
Silk helped spearhead the successful gay marriage fight in Washington state by taking the words right out of the traditional marriage playbook and using them for gay marriage, words like love, family, and commitment. Following the Supreme Court decision last month, Silk said he saw gun control as the natural next step in his activism.
Similar to the gay marriage battle, Silk and his ilk are looking for small, piecemeal victories in the states, one state at a time, to slowly shift perception over time. Silk himself has been fighting for stricter background check regulations in Washington for several years.
The gay activists won by essentially relying on the slippery slope. There was the Supreme Court striking down anti-sodomy laws, then there was tax benefits in several states, then hate crimes legislation, then gay adoptions, all of which eventually led to gay marriage.
Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito warned of further damage from this phenomenon in a wide ranging interview with Bill Kristol published earlier this week, noting that the Obergefell decision wipes away clear understanding of laws generally, and sets the stage for further distortions of law to suit the views of particular justices rather than the rule of law.
“Well, the decision was based on, really, one word in the 14th Amendment. The Due Process Clause of the 14th Amendment prohibits the deprivation of life, liberty, or property without due process of law. So this was all based on liberty and on a substantive protection of liberty, not a procedural protection…”
“The idea of substantive due process has been very controversial throughout the Court’s history… the New Deal Constitutional Revolution tried to either kill off substantive due process completely or relegate it to very, very minor role.”
“But it has experienced a revival in more recent years, not in the area of property rights, but in the area of some non-property individual rights, including same-sex marriage. So the jurisprudential question is what limits the definition – how do we determine what liberty in the 14th Amendment means? Liberty means different things to different people…”
“The Court’s conception, I said in this opinion and I believe to be true, is a very postmodern idea; it’s the freedom to define your understanding of the meaning of life. Your – it’s the right to self-expression. So if all of this is on the table now, where are the legal limits on it?
“If a libertarian is appointed to the Supreme Court, is it then proper for the libertarian to say, ‘Well, I think that there is a right to work less than the minimum wage? I think there is a right to work as many hours as I want without being limited by the government. I think I have the right to build whatever I want on my property irrespective the zoning laws and so forth.’
“If a socialist is appointed to the Supreme Court, can the socialist say, ‘I think that liberty and the 14th Amendment means that everyone should have a guaranteed annual income or that all education through college should be absolutely free,’ or whatever. There’s no limit…
“But the Obergefell decision… did not claim that there was a strong tradition of protecting the right to same-sex marriage, this would have been impossible to find. So… we are at sea, I think. I don’t know what the limits of substantive liberty protection under the 14th Amendment are at this point.”
Alito is correct in pointing out that the decision subverts previously understood clear meanings in the amendment, and thus weakens the position of law in every associated area – and in the discussion of equal protections, every area can be associated.
This describes exactly the tactics the Zach Silks of the world now want to employ in the gun control fight. Win small battles here, redefine a word there, and send the whole country sliding down the slippery slope to tyrannical gun laws that don’t allow for an individual’s right to defense.
“Community. Safety. Responsibility. Protecting my family.” These are the new buzzwords Silk hopes to take from the opposition and employ on behalf of the radical left, asserting that protecting a family is the responsibility of the community as a whole instead of individuals, ignoring that the community isn’t present to stop, say, a rape in a dark alley.
In his new fight, Silk is convincing the old guard of gun control to join with him and use his tactics. “We have more momentum than this issue has had in decades,” said Dan Gross, president of the Brady Campaign and Center to Prevent Gun Violence. “I do think you can make the strong case that this is the next big issue.”
Given the success of these tactics in completely redefining a huge portion of our culture, gun rights advocates need to take this threat seriously. This will not be a short fight, or a simple one. The radical left is re-organizing, and then they are going to come to your statehouse, and keep coming. Constant vigilance will be the price to maintain our freedoms.