The First and Second Amendments are inextricably intertwined. It might not make sense to the ordinary fence-sitter, but a holiday event in Australia proves just how far-reaching even the most innocuous-seeming gun control can be.
Australia, as you know, has an array of gun control laws on the books, including one addressing the proper storage of firearms. Stay with me here, because it’s hard to make this leap, but the Aussies did. So this past holiday season, the powers that be put enough political pressure on the Ad Standards regulatory body that the ad group determined that a billboard—that’s right, a piece of wood with a message—violated the firearm storage act.
A billboard depicting a handgun wrapped in gift paper and asking “What’s under your tree this year?” was deemed to be illegal because of a firearm storage law.
The final ruling tried to justify the decision by including a comment about how “leaving a firearm unsecured or under a Christmas tree is incorrect storage of a firearm and is illegal.”
The anti-gun crowd in America has oft scoffed when the NRA has said that attacks on our Second Amendment rights can affect our First Amendment, too. But in Australia, it merely took a handful of complaints about the billboard to cow the Ad Standards group into telling retailer Gun World Australia that its message was a no-no.
That’s why we fight to protect our God-given rights here in America. And judging from what’s going on Down Under, our argument is not for naught.