BRETT: Front and center this hour, we’re looking at this debate, this discussion over this move by the Biden-Harris administration to restrict your Second Amendment rights. In a presentation yesterday — I won’t call it a news conference, right?
But it was essentially a presentation, a series of remarks by the president alongside the vice president talking about why it is you need to have your Second Amendment rights rolled back, pushed back, what have you. Joe Biden came out, and he talked about the need to create some restrictions on gun rights, the idea that we need to curb access to guns from people who have access to them.
Some of these people are people who shouldn’t have access to these firearms. That’s one big component of this. The other one was of course the idea of whether it’s an absolute right. We’ll get into the absolute right notion and the fire-in-a-crowded-theater conversation in a few moments.
But let’s drill down and into this notion of these red flag laws because we keep hearing a lot about all we need are these red flag laws. If we get these red flag laws where we can thwart and attack before it happens preemptively by having somebody in the family call the police and warn about somebody.
A loved one, a spouse, an ex-spouse can raise the alarm about somebody who should not own those firearms, and we get them in front of a judge, and we can hold them and make sure that they don’t get to use those firearms. We’re gonna be able to save lives, right? That’s the narrative that we’re seeing develop through this conversation, through this through line.
So the question then becomes this, right? How many mass shootings…? How many mass shootings have occurred where the person is known to be getting ready to do that? And we’ll get into that in just a second ’cause it’s an important point, but let me start at the beginning of this. And let me go to Joe Biden yesterday at the Thursday press conference talking about red flag laws.
BIDEN: We know red flag laws can stop mass shooters before they can act out their violent plans.
BRETT: Can they? Have they? How many mass shootings? One of the things you hear from people that knew the shooter is that they knew the individual was somehow off somehow, somehow troubled. Well, Rush talked about the real purpose of these laws.
RUSH: Here is Lance in Madison, Wisconsin. Hey, Lance, great to have you with us, my man. How you doing?
CALLER: A couple thoughts on this red flag rule and what it’s really about. Most of us out here know and you pointed out that it’s about the left and some on the right trying to meddle with our Second, Fourth, and Fourteenth Amendment, and you look at when you look at some time say from the Boston bomber, Florida, Texas, Ohio, credit.
When friends, family, coworkers, neighbors were asked why they didn’t get involved and say something when they knew something, they said, “Well, they were concerned about retaliation threats. They didn’t want to be involved. The big thing was, well, we didn’t think it was really gonna be that big of event or that it would end up like this.
So we look at last 10 years, law enforcement, politicians, public figures, Hollywood, they’ve been running their television that comes that if you see something, hear something that you’re supposed to say something so we go to this red flag rule and what it’s really about, undermining and meddling with the Second Amendment.
Whether it’s the last 10 years or going forward from here, if I had a neighbor, a family member that was going off the deep end threatening and becoming a concern, do you think that I’d turn on my spouse and say, hey, honey listen, you know, we really need to call the sheriff today and make this report because after all, you know, now we’ve got that red flag rule. It’s not gonna make any difference. The whole idea is they get their fingers in the pie if they pass anything like this.
RUSH: That’s right.
CALLER: — and start meddling —
RUSH: The red flag law being pushed by these so-called people concerned with guns, it’s not about; it never is. The left, any idea they have is never a solution. It just opens the door to new problems. And what they want with this red flag law is to create a tattletale society on everything, not just guns.
Yeah, I heard I had a party and was one of the guests here, and you should have heard what he was saying about Obama, or you should have heard what he was saying about Elizabeth Warren. That’s what they want. And it’s all disguised as a red flag law get deranged lunatics away from their guns — ’cause who could oppose that, you see.
BRETT: And we’ve seen is fail time and time again. What you had take place at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland… That individual, that murdered all those children, all those students was well known to people, and nobody did anything about it. He was kept mainstreamed in the system, right, because of the social justice orientation of the superintendent in that district.
Two weeks ago, we’re talking about the horrible shooting in Boulder, Colorado, at the supermarket. The family told the press and the police in the days running up to the murders that the brother had been walking around with, quote, “a machine gun” (it was AR-15), and was threatening he was gonna do something about it.
There’s no reason why a red flag law on the books is gonna… That’s not gonna get you to make that phone call as the caller said to Rush and as Rush agreed. You can call the cops now! (laughs) You don’t need a red flag. Law. You can call the cops now. “You know, my brother says he’s gonna do something here. Can you guys maybe do a welfare check on him, make sure everything’s cool?”
You can do that. So the red flag laws like the ghost guns or these terms that Biden-Harris are gonna use as little, tiny inches. “What we want is get the ghost guns gone, get the red flag in. This is just so reasonable.” But yesterday Joe Biden talked about the idea of no right being absolute, right? The “crowded in a fire theater.” Sorry. I transposed like he did yesterday.
Here’s what President Biden said yesterday.
BIDEN: No amendment to the Constitution is absolute. You can’t yell crowd… You can’t yell “fire” in a crowded movie theater (mutters) call it freedom of speech. From the very beginning you couldn’t own any weapon you wanted to own. From the very beginning the Second Amendment existed, certain people weren’t allowed to have weapons. So the idea is just bizarre to suggest that some of the things we’re recommending are contrary to the Constitution.
BRETT: So no right is absolute, right? But a right could be absolutely reachable, engrossing? You can find them in the penumbra of the Fourth Amendment, the right to abortion, right? In the penumbra, the shadow of the moon in the Fourth Amendment, you can find a right to abortion. But the Second Amendment doesn’t mean you can own the guns because no right is absolute.
You can’t yell, “fire!” in a crowded theater. According to an amazing team in The Atlantic (one of the great members of the team found this piece) from November 22, 2012 by Trevor Timm, “It’s Time to Stop Using the ‘Fire in a Crowded Theater’ Quote — Oliver Wendell Holmes made the analogy during a controversial Supreme Court case that was overturned more than 40 years ago.”
That case was nothing to do with limiting an amendment. The original case that Oliver Wendell Holmes was voting on, was ruling on, and was talking about was U.S. v. Schenck, which was a case that dealt with the Espionage Act. Charles Schenck was the secretary of the Socialist Party of America, and he was facing conviction under the Espionage Act because he wrote and he distributed a pamphlet that expressed his opposition to the draft during World War I.
He didn’t call for violence. He didn’t call for disobedience. He just didn’t support the idea of a draft. And there were later cases that addressed this very thing. And for years, decades, a hundred years, you’ve had these progressives come out, liberals come out and say, “You can’t yell ‘Fire!’ in a crowded theater.” Well, you do have freedom of speech.
Despite the fact that the crowded-theater quote is irrelevant to any of these conversations because advocates of censorship have never stopped trotting it out as the final word on the lawful limits of the First Amendment. You can’t specifically advocate for violence, but you can express your opinion that the draft doesn’t work.
So for Joe Biden, who’s not a great constitutional scholar, to take fire in a crowded theater and apply it to the Second Amendment is terrible! It takes a case that’s irrelevant to the Second Amendment and turns it into something it’s not. You should read this piece. I think it’s over…
Are we linking at this at RushLimbaugh.com? I’m sure we probably are. You can check this out. We have such lazy arguments in front of us, and I’m not tying it to a specific person or a president or anything. But what passes for political discussion and rhetorical argument is just so lacking that we throw these shorthand things around that we think apply.
The reason why you have the right to keep and bear arms is because you have that right granted by God to defend yourself. That’s what it comes down to. And yet we have these wannabe legal scholars and the president and these other folks coming out and saying, “Oh, just come on. You can’t yell ‘Fire!’ in a crowded theater. Give me your gun!” What does that have to do with that? Nothing!