Speech, causes and credibility

Published 10:01 pm Monday, March 26, 2018

By Joe Bass

Robert Kennedy once said Americans have freedom of speech, but there is no requirement that anyone listen.

The most important aspect of freedom of speech is the credibility of words spoken and the cause promoted. Some people confuse freedom of speech with credibility. Some people confuse the characteristics of the person speaking with credibility. Some people say the same words over and over and promote seriously flawed causes.

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Examples of these confusions abound. A supposedly-learned professor can say words yet promote foolishness. A child and an imprisoned felon can speak and promote credible causes. The mainstream media can repeat the same erroneous messages over and over but should have no credibility. Millions can march in Washington, D.C., and promote harmful, wrongful legislation.

During the early 1900s, two erroneous causes were actively promoted through freedom of speech. The American people eventually suffered because too many listened, marched and voted. The Ku Klux Klan staged massive marches in Washington, D.C. in 1925 and 1928. The group promoted racial hatred and exercised considerable political power. Temperance leagues succeeded in adoption of the Eighteenth Amendment resulting in increased violence, the growth of organized crime and a growing disregard for law among the American people.

Today, we are experiencing a renewed effort to promote gun control. The fact that many adults and children are again promoting this flawed political concept seriously calls into the question the completeness, balance and quality of our educational system and media credibility.

An informed, critically thinking American should be able to recognize the foolishness of this effort. We are experiencing serious social challenges including violence in schools, churches and other public institutions. But what uninformed citizens fail to recognize and think about is that these problems did not exist previously when nearly all types of firearms were easily purchased.

For example, the renewed gun control effort focuses on “military style” rifles as if these types of rifles are newly available and cause the new violence. An informed citizen knows that military style rifles and handguns have been available to the public for decades through Civilian Marksmanship Program sales. This government sponsored program was established in 1903. It continues to sell surplus military firearms today.

In 1969, the U.S. military adoption of AR-15 style rifles left a large surplus of M1 Carbines that were sold to the American public. Both rifles operate much the same and each feed from 30-round magazines. The major differences are the AR-15 has a plastic stock and the M1 Carbine’s stock is wood; the M1 Carbine shoots larger .30 caliber rounds while the AR-15 shoots smaller .22 caliber rounds. The only reason surplus M1 Carbines are not being sold through the CMP today is none is left. New ones can be purchased commercially.

It is sad and tragic that children, teachers and worshipers are being killed or wounded while uninformed, non-critically-thinking Americans are focused on non-issues instead of determining and acting on the real causes of the problems.

Joseph L. Bass is the executive director of ABetterSociety.Info Inc., a nonprofit organization in Hobson. Email him at ABetterSociety1@aol.com.