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Crony Online Gambling Ban Threatens Gun Owners’ Rights

Internet Regulation's Slippery Slope

It is no coincidence that the post-Newtown battle between good and evil ultimately came down to an anti-gun Manchin-Toomey proposal which would, conspicuously, have banned the private sale of firearms and many firearms parts and accessories on the Internet.

But Manchin-Toomey is only the logical culmination of decades of proposals to destroy the Second Amendment by destroying the integrity of the Internet. Those measures include anti-gun avatar Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-NY) and her “Stop Online Ammunition Sales Act.” That bill would have banned Internet sales of ammunition.

Not to be outdone in his hatred for the Constitution, Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) has introduced legislation to stop what he calls “virtual gun shows” and “online arms bazaars.”

Through it all, Second Amendment supporters have worked with Internet freedom activists concerned about the heavy hand of government regulations to shoot down these measures.

The Internet remains one of the last true vestiges of freedom in the world, and its role in ending the stranglehold of the liberal oligopoly has been central to the emergence of conservatism, as it now exists.

So we need to think long and hard about a federal Internet gambling proposal which will soon be introduced in Congress. Nevada, New Jersey and Delaware have all legalized online gaming. California is reportedly considering a measure to legalize online poker.

Now, you don’t have to like gambling to defend the right of Americans to engage in it.

Each morning, I wait for a long line of probable illegal aliens to purchase lottery tickets at my local 7-11 — and to pay for them in nickles, dimes, and quarters.  And, while I’m personally a bit annoyed by their inefficiency and moral sloth, I do appreciate the fact that those lottery tickets make it possible for me to purchase my armful of morning newspapers only a block away from my office.

Similarly, whether you agree with online gaming or not, Nevada, New Jersey, and Delaware have exercised their Tenth Amendment rights to allow their citizens to spend their money.

And, frankly, the fact is that neither the sponsors nor the beneficiaries of the Internet gambling regulation are people who have given a lot of thought to constitutional principle — or the precedential impact of extending regulation into this area.

Sen. Dean Heller (R-NV) is sponsoring the ban on behalf of the owner of a Las Vegas casino, and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) is reportedly jumping on board. Heller represents Nevada and will hawk the interests of the casino owners who handed Harry Reid his current six-year term. Thanks for that!

Graham has a different reason for his involvement.  Billionaire casino owner Sheldon Adelson has pledged to “spend whatever it takes” to have it the federal ban enacted. And Graham, after years of stabbing conservatives in the back, has his back against the wall. With a contentious primary and polls suggesting Graham could be forced into a runoff, he would like nothing more than a billionaire casino owner to rain campaign ads from the heavens to help him survive.

True, billionaire Las Vegas casino owners are on both sides of this issue.  And I certainly don’t begrudge billionaires their billions.

But I’m staking my claim with the billionaires who don’t believe that Big Government should stick its heavy hand into the market in order to protect their billions.

The bottom line? This “camel’s nose in the tent” of Internet regulation creates a dangerous precedent for those concerned about Internet freedom.  It should scare those who want to stop Chuck Schumer and his gun-grabber choir form moving the central element of Barack Obama’s gun control agenda.

To coin a phrase, “Ideas have consequences.” And regulation of Internet gaming opens the door to regulation of other things congressmen or billionaire political spenders find objectionable. Obviously, that includes firearms.

 

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