The fearless activism of the curiously well-covered David Hogg, a student at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, FL, has resulted in exactly what he wanted. The school is taking action, and will be requiring all students to have clear backpacks.
Hogg, however, didn’t realize that this was, in fact, precisely what he’d asked for.
One of the other important things to realize is many students want their privacy. There are many, for example, females in our school that when they go through their menstrual cycle, they don’t want people to see their tampons and stuff. It’s unnecessary, it’s embarrassing for a lot of the students and it makes them feel isolated and separated from the rest of American school culture where they’re having essentially their First Amendment rights infringed upon because they can’t freely wear whatever backpack they want regardless of what it is. It has to be a clear backpack. What we should have is just more policies that make sure that these students are feeling safe and secure in their schools and not like they’re being fought against like it’s a prison.
Why on earth would we want to have a “right” to privacy? After all, you’ve got nothing to fear if you’ve got nothing to hide, right?
Having nothing to hide is a nice way of putting people’s minds at ease, but in fact, we all should have things that we hide. Having nothing to hide only makes sense in a world where we can trust everyone, and there are a lot of people who we should not trust, most of all the government.
Consider why you lock your doors. If you have security cameras and door codes, why would you be okay with everyone knowing where and what they were?
Information is power, and the more information I have about you, the more power I have over you. If I know where you live, and what your number is, I can blackmail you to pay me money, or else I can send that information to religious or political radicals and tell them that you’re an enemy. If I know where your security cameras are, I can break into your house without being identified. We keep secrets as security from and a check against untrustworthy people in the world. A friend of mine even suggested that perhaps it would be right to treat being observed as an act of aggression, if the observation is persistent. It certainly coincides with the way we react to the act of stalking (the word itself invokes a predatory purpose).
Guns function in the exact same manner. They are power, and something to hide. They are a protection and a final resort against would-be predators, and the fact that guns can also be used by predators could also be said of secrets: predators keep their very nature a secret. Predators, above all others, are exactly the sort you’d expect to quietly, thoughtfully, suggest that perhaps you’ve got nothing to fear if you’ve got nothing to hide…
David Hogg’s quixotic crusade against guns and the NRA may give him some surprising results. It turns out that when you put safety above rights, the right you wanted the state to violate may not be the only one that gets violated. In any case, there is no principled difference between a right to privacy and a right to be armed. In both cases, it is about protecting ourselves when we are most vulnerable. I think Hogg may be in for another surprise when he finds out that his activism actually will threaten the second amendment, no matter what he himself thinks.
“Common sense gun-control,” what they say they’re asking for, should always be placed in quotation marks, in the way that the media loves to bracket conservative values as if they aren’t being sincere when they talk about “free speech” or “immigration reform,” both of which are implied to be euphemisms for defending harassment and racism. As used by progressives, “common sense gun-control” does seem to be a euphemism for ratcheting back the second amendment. This seems likely because most of their stated interpretations (background checks, restrictions for the mentally ill, etc) are already laws on the books. But even if it is not intended as a euphemism, the phrase deserves quotation marks for its vagueness. It does not at all seem like common sense to me to ban guns from schools, and yet we have done exactly that, or attempted to do that… using–of all things–the commerce clause. United States vs. Lopez established that in fact, the commerce clause is not a blank check for restricting anything and everything for any reason, including banning weapons from school zones. That hasn’t stopped schools from pretending otherwise, of course.
If someone can explain how restricting weapons from school to protect interstate commerce is common sense, I’m all ears.
That self-defense, and the tools necessary for self-defense, are an essential right–on and off of campus–seems like a much more self-evident kind of “common sense” to me. But if you live in certain areas, you apparently lose that right if you happen to smoke pot, for medical or recreational reasons.
The fifth amendment seems to have been gone since the NSA formed, and American Universities are laying the foundation to ratchet away the first amendment. In Europe, freedom of expression is already under fire., using arguments identical to those gaining traction in our own educational system.
But don’t worry. I’m sure they’re not coming for your second amendment rights. They only want “common sense gun control.” If you’re a law-abiding citizen with no secrets, you’ve got nothing to worry about.
Here’s a counter-proposal: not only should all uppity progressive students be required to wear transparent back-packs, but all politicians and media pundits cynically using children for their own purposes should be required to wear transparent clothing. How else are we to know what they’ve got hidden up their sleeve?
I’m sure they have nothing big to hide.