By far, most of the thousands upon thousands of American laws, statutes, edicts, decrees, rules, regulations and other draconian legislative enactments of the federal government and all the 50 states are concerned with things that you and I cannot do as opposed to the few things we can. That’s the nature of our statist government.
The purpose of the American government, which was to preserve, protect and uphold individual liberty, has evolved into the primary means of restricting it.
But the first law of the new republic; the supreme law of the land; the Constitution and Bill of Rights, was intended as a short list of restrictions, that is certain things that the government can and cannot do.
One of the fundamental things the government plainly cannot do is to make any law abridging the freedom of speech. That’s what the First Amendment provides. “Congress” (the government) “shall make no law … abridging the freedom of speech.” Period; no exceptions mentioned.
And next there is the Second Amendment which provides that “the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.” It’s an individual right that the government may not contradict.
So it would certainly seem that any individual in the United States of America should be freely allowed to express himself with speech at any time and everywhere regarding his constitutional right to bear arms. That goes without saying, right?
“Absolutely not,” say the statist lawmakers down in Texas. They think they can get away with passing a law restricting an individual’s right to express his approval of the Second Amendment and gun rights if he does so within 100 feet of a polling place.
Texas resident, Chris Driskill, went to his polling place to cast his ballot in the Republican primary, but was prohibited from voting because he was wearing a black T-shirt with a logo on the front and back reading, “2nd Amendment -- America’s Original Homeland Security.”
"I heard a gentleman's voice over my shoulder say ‘he can't vote with that shirt on. You'll have to either turn it inside out or you'll have to leave,’” Driskill recalled of his encounter at the Walker County Courthouse in Hempstead, a Houston suburb. "I didn't quite understand it at first… I was thinking they just didn't like something about the Second Amendment."
Texas election law bans campaigning for any “candidate, measure or political party” within 100 feet of polling place. Violators can be charged with a misdemeanor. In other words, the statist authorities in Texas regarded Driskill’s wearing a T-shirt expressing gun rights at a polling place as a crime.
Exercising one’s First Amendment rights in Texas is a crime. It’s considered a crime because his T-shirt could be construed as campaigning in support of gun rights. The primary ballot includes a proposition asking for a yes or no vote on expanded support for the Second Amendment and the places where a concealed weapon can be legally carried.
Mercifully, the guy wasn’t charged with a crime, though he might have been under this patently unconstitutional law. The statist goons allowed him to vote after he borrowed a suit jacket from a local Republican candidate outside the courthouse and wore it over his T-shirt.
Afterward, Mr. American Sheep wasn’t even upset about what happened. "If you have to turn around and go change shirts, you know, so be it…. But get out and vote,” he meekly explained.
Right! Get out and vote while the First Amendment weeps.