Local governments across the United States are enacting discriminatory anti-gun regulations against gun shows and small local firearms businesses.
One local gun store in Washington state was recently oppressed by restrictions while trying to host a booth at an annual logging show. The business owner, who has been in the log show for the past three years, was prohibited from displaying signs advertising guns and barred from auctioning a gun at the show. “This isn't fair to target my little LOCAL business!” the business owner wrote on social media, questioning whether other businesses had been initially banned as well. He almost was prevented having a booth there. Last year at the show, the gun store was stopped from distributing flyers. At this year’s event, however, the business owner noted that the products in a nearby knife booth were not subject to the same restrictions. After the event, he posted a video on social media showing the booth with large knives on display.
One must ask what the benefit is of enforcing arbitrary bans on law-abiding local business owners. These measures do not address criminal activity with firearms; instead, they muzzle the local economy and the freedoms of citizens seeking to prosper in their communities.
One thing that most of these scenarios have in common is that anti-gun activists in local governments say they are acting to “send a message,” or “make a statement,” or do something “symbolic.”
But it is not “symbolic” to hurt the livelihoods and freedoms of hardworking and law-abiding people in society. Discrimination is not a statement. It is something that has a direct effect on people’s lives.
It is disturbing that local officials are willing to sacrifice honest people’s livelihoods for the sake of posturing and so-called “statements.” It is disturbing that activists are so preoccupied with their own gestures that they do not fairly consider how their actions harm other people trying to explore legitimate interests and earn a decent living.
It is no less troubling that local governments are trying to control citizens using money. How unjustified it is that governments across America are trying to deprive their own people and communities of lawful income—directly impacting people’s daily lives, all for the sake of making “statements.”
If someone in America wishes to make a statement, they may exercise their right to free speech. There is no need to make personal opinions into law.