Chairman's Message: We Must Not Be Silenced

Mar 28, 2018

It isn’t just the 2nd Amendment under assault in our nation today.

Throughout history the elimination of individual rights is almost always preceded by limitations to free speech and debate. We talk often about the importance of the 2nd amendment but all freedoms equally hang on the 1st amendment.

The anti-gun movement, emboldened by some recent success, seems reinvigorated in pushing corporations to discriminate against younger customers and now to limit speech and content. This is a dangerous tactic in that they seek to limit our ability to communicate and educate people on the misinformation they are spreading. Websites like YouTube and Facebook have now taken measures to restrict content, pages, and channels that focus on firearms. This is a significant challenge to our industry and our ability to educate the public about a lot of very important topics, which include firearms safety.

The all out push to control the narrative and silence opposing views is moving a step beyond what we have seen before and staking a step toward dismantling our constitution, the rule of law and our way of life. And if your businesses are utilizing these websites to educate consumers on products, firearms safety, political topics, etc., this move will drastically limit your ability to connect with consumers .

So what can we do as a collective industry? At this point, the policy change is so new, we aren’t sure yet. NSSF released a statement and is in the process of researching the best route. We can all start by flooding YouTube with feedback. In doing so, we can’t urge you enough to be professional, respectful, state facts, and leave your own emotional/political frustrations out. If you would like to respond to them you can CLICK HERE to visit the page regarding this policy change, and click on the link at the bottom of the page.

We don’t expect this to be the only website platform to create a policy regarding firearms. But YouTube and Facebook have set a precedent and carry a lot of weight in the digital world. Our society has become so dependent on social media and the ability to freely communicate through these mediums that we must work together to fight these restrictions. This issue of discriminating against our industry may very well find its way to the Supreme Court and it’s a battle worth fighting. Our voices are important and must be heard. Plus, when a former Supreme Court justice starts advocating repeal of the 2nd Amendment, it’s time to take notice.

Stay tuned to our partners at NSSF for more information in the days to come regarding these policy changes at YouTube and please join us in the effort to fight back. 

Until next time,

 

Brad Burney

NASGW Chairman

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