South Carolina Politicians Propose Ridculous Plan To Register Journalists... To Make A Statement About Gun Control

from the damn-those-journalists dept

In a move that seems pretty clearly designed to piss off journalists (but will likely backfire seriously), South Carolina State Rep. Mike Pitts, has introduced a bill to "register journalists" supposedly to make a "point" about gun control. The bill is, laughably, called South Carolina Responsible Journalism Registry Law which would "establish requirements for persons before working as a journalist for a media outlet and for media outlets before hiring a journalist. It would fine people for conducting journalism without registration or for hiring a "journalist" not on the registry.

From the details proposed so far, it appears that Pitts either has never heard of citizen journalists, or doesn't think they should be allowed to exist. Instead, only "approved" journalists will be allowed. And to be approved, you have to submit to "a criminal record background check, an affidavit from the media outlet attesting to the applicant's journalistic competence, and an application fee in an amount determined by the office." Reporters would need to renew their listing every two years.

Importantly (and unconstitutionally!), the bill lists out reasons why the state might "deny, revoke or refuse to issue a registration," including if the Secretary of State determines "that the person is not competent to be a journalist."
(1) The Secretary of State's Office may deny, revoke, or refuse to issue or renew a registration if the office finds that the person:
(a) has filed an application for registration that contains a statement that is false or misleading with respect to a material fact;
(b) has failed to pay the proper application fee or any other fee or penalty imposed pursuant to this chapter; or
(c) has failed to comply with any provision of this chapter.
(2) The Secretary of State's Office shall deny, revoke, or refuse to issue or renew a registration if a media outlet has determined pursuant to Section 40-85-40 that the person is not competent to be a journalist.
So, yeah. The whole First Amendment thing guaranteeing freedom of the press? Yeah, that kinda makes this whole entire bill unconstitutional. But, Pitts, apparently, isn't too concerned about the Constitution. As for what makes you not competent to be a journalist? Apparently, it includes not being objective enough. Really!
(A) A person is not competent to be a journalist if:
(1) within the three years before submitting an application for registration, the person has been determined by a court of law to have committed:
(a) libel, slander, or invasion of privacy; or
(b) a felony if the underlying offense was committed to collect, write, or distribute news or other current information for a media outlet; or
(2) as a journalist, the person has demonstrated a reckless disregard of the basic codes and canons of professional journalism associations, including a disregard of truth, accuracy, objectivity, impartiality, fairness, and public accountability, as applicable to the acquisition of newsworthy information and its subsequent dissemination to the public.
Considering how frequently people like to throw around charges of bias towards basically any reporting they dislike, you can just imagine how well that one will go over.

And what happens if you happen to practice journalism without being on the registry? Well, then you face increasing fines and eventually imprisonment:
A person who works as a journalist without registering pursuant to Section 40-85-30(B):
(1) for a first offense, must be fined not more than twenty-five dollars;
(2) for a second offense, is guilty of a misdemeanor and must be fined not more than one hundred dollars or imprisoned not more than fifteen days, or both; and
(3) for a third or subsequent offense, is guilty of a misdemeanor and must be fined not more than five hundred dollars or imprisoned not more than thirty days, or both.
Right. Not that this bill has any chance in hell of becoming law (or remaining law if it somehow did pass), but I think I'll be avoiding South Carolina for a while.

For what it's worth, Pitts told the Post & Courier newspaper that he was really trying to start a discussion about proposals to register gun owners. Because... reasons.
Pitts told The Post and Courier his bill is not a reaction to any news story featuring him and that he is “not a press hater.” Rather, it’s to stimulate discussion over how he sees Second Amendment rights being treated by the printed press and television news. He added that the bill is modeled directly after the “concealed weapons permitting law.”

“It strikes me as ironic that the first question is constitutionality from a press that has no problem demonizing firearms,” Pitts said. “With this statement I’m talking primarily about printed press and TV. The TV stations, the six o’clock news and the printed press has no qualms demonizing gun owners and gun ownership.”
That leaves aside some fairly big differences in the issue of gun control and a free press, but that's a debate for another website.

Even Pitts admits that he doesn't think the bill is going anywhere:
“Let’s be realistic; this is an election year,” Pitts said. “It is well into the second year and the Senate is not going to do anything this year and certainly not going to do anything controversial. So no, I don’t anticipate it going anywhere. Would I mind getting a hearing on it to further the debate and discussion? I would love to have that.”
If you squint, you can kinda sorta maybe see the logic behind the argument he's making, but it's difficult to see how he's kicking off any serious discussion of much beyond "Hey, you proposed a really stupid bill."

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 20 Jan 2016 @ 1:07pm

    fair game

    If you support the requirement that gun owners must register then you are already willing to shit on the constitution and therefor have no standing to challenge this law.

    You either support the constitution... including the parts you don't like or you don't deserve to enjoy the benefits of any of them!

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    • identicon
      coward (anon), 20 Jan 2016 @ 2:52pm

      Re: fair game

      The constitution says nothing one way or the other about registering guns. It may (or may not depending on how much of it you skip over) say you are allowed to own a gun, but registering it doesn't prevent you from owning a gun (unless you are a felon in which case you've already lost many of your constitutional rights).

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 20 Jan 2016 @ 4:52pm

        Re: Re: fair game

        SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED!!!

        This DOES mean something! Just asking for someone to wait 2 seconds is a breach of the 2nd. I can't help that you juvenile understanding of language makes you a blithering idiot.

        Try to get out of the way of those of us who are not intellectually corrupt. Robbing a felon of their 2nd amendment rights is also unconstitutional. Once a citizen is released from prison they have their rights back.

        YOU are EVERYTHING that is wrong with this nation.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 20 Jan 2016 @ 4:54pm

          Re: Re: Re: fair game

          Yes, it's a good thing that all the other amendments are completely absolute in every single way.

          Did you get your law degree from a box of cereal?

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 20 Jan 2016 @ 5:02pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: fair game

            Go and read what the founding fathers had to say. They made it damn clear what it means. The only people saying otherwise are liars or ignorant sheeple that have to be told by their democratic leaders how to think and live. Help yourself out of your intellectual corruption before you try to help someone else into it!

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 20 Jan 2016 @ 5:10pm

          Re: Re: Re: fair game

          "Once a citizen is released from prison they have their rights back."

          This includes the right to vote ... right?

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          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 20 Jan 2016 @ 5:39pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: fair game

            Actually, incarceration is a condition of servitude. It is unconstitutional for a felon to be denied the right to vote.

            The voting laws were all terribly written but the letter of it is certain.

            Sadly, it would be constitutional to prevent anyone with a zit on their forehead or in poor health from voting because there is no protection for that in the Constitution. Like I said... they are terribly written.

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            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 21 Jan 2016 @ 6:12am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: fair game

              Interesting.

              15th, 19th, 24th, 26th all have something to say about voting.
              Which one or all are you referring to ?

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            • icon
              J. C. Salomon (profile), 21 Jan 2016 @ 10:49am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: fair game

              Not so: It’s perfectly constitutional that punishment for felony includes loss of certain rights for various lengths of time, whether loss of liberty for however many years or loss of right to vote or bear arms for life. You might argue whether it’s a good idea—but it’s constitutionally valid.

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              • icon
                nasch (profile), 21 Jan 2016 @ 11:56am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: fair game

                but it’s constitutionally valid.

                Unless it's found to be cruel and unusual, which it has not been (no idea if that question has been ruled on).

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 20 Jan 2016 @ 7:54pm

          Re: Re: Re: fair game

          Just asking for someone to wait 2 seconds is a breach of the 2nd.

          That seems rather unlikely. I'm often asked to wait for a few seconds. The last time I bought a gun, the clerk asked me to wait for a few seconds while he went to unlock the case. And that was after I had to wait in line.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 21 Jan 2016 @ 6:15am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: fair game

            It is an outrageous violation of your rights to make you wait in line, THIS IS CLEARLY STATED.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          nasch (profile), 21 Jan 2016 @ 7:55am

          Re: Re: Re: fair game

          I can't help that you juvenile understanding of language makes you a blithering idiot.

          Try to get out of the way of those of us who are not intellectually corrupt.


          If you're actually trying to convince people of something, and not just vent, this is not an effective technique.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Eldakka (profile), 20 Jan 2016 @ 6:14pm

        Re: Re: fair game

        but registering to become a journalist doesn't prevent you from becoming a journalist (unless you are a felon in which case you've already lost many of your constitutional rights).

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      JBDragon (profile), 20 Jan 2016 @ 3:39pm

      Re: fair game

      I think this bill is pretty funny and clearly pushing the gun control law issues and how dumb they are. Most of these reporters are Liberals. With their Anti Gun agenda. Only reporting the Negatives and completely ignoring all the Positives. Let alone statistics!!!

      It's clearly means to prove a point.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 20 Jan 2016 @ 4:57pm

        Re: Re: fair game

        Yea, its shocking that lefties will hate this bill while there are lefties in college signing petitions to rescind the 1st amendment... they need to kinda pick which position they are going to hold on to and stick with it.

        No wonder they need young and ignorant children to spew their morally and intellectually bankrupt garbage!

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 20 Jan 2016 @ 5:13pm

          Re: Re: Re: fair game

          Yup - it is only the lefties that want to destroy the beloved constitution. Whereas conservatives simply want to improve the constitution by removing several amendments and altering others. Amirite?

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 20 Jan 2016 @ 5:21pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: fair game

            Actually, the conservatives are trying to destroy it as well. Just a different set of constitutional amendments.

            The left wants to destroy the 2nd and the right wants to destroy the 4th.

            Both are in favor of a police state but only a police state that targets malcontents they disagree with.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 21 Jan 2016 @ 6:17am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: fair game

              Then why not state that to begin with?

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

              • identicon
                Wendy Cockcroft, 22 Jan 2016 @ 5:22am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: fair game

                Presumably because they thought it was obvious. Most of the left-leaning people I know are not anti-gun per se, they just don't want loonies and criminals to have them. I agree with that stance: if you're a sane and sensible law-abiding citizen, play with your boomstick to your heart's content, you're not the problem and you're not a threat.

                However, even MENTION the possibility of a discussion WRT enacting reasonable legislation in that general direction and on go the tinfoil hats and out flows the froth. The worst argument I've ever seen is, "There's no point in making laws against gun ownership for criminals as criminals won't obey it."

                Okay, so, why are there laws against burglary?

                "It's better not to have laws in that case."

                Seriously, that's the (circular) discussion. The point of having laws is to hold people to account when they are broken, and to impose penalties for breaking them.

                You can't resolve your social problems by shooting them, you'll have to learn to get along with each other, including that little git over there with the wonky eye who has been looking at you in a funny way. Why is that too much to ask?

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                • icon
                  Christopher Best (profile), 22 Jan 2016 @ 10:17am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: fair game

                  Most of the left-leaning people I know are not anti-gun per se, they just don't want loonies and criminals to have them.


                  That doesn't seem to describe anyone proposing gun control legislation currently.

                  However, even MENTION the possibility of a discussion WRT enacting reasonable legislation in that general direction and on go the tinfoil hats and out flows the froth.


                  Much the same as people become outraged when you try to have a discussion about legislation to limit free speech, and for the same reason: a knowledge of the history of all such laws and how they are always applied.

                  Seriously, that's the (circular) discussion. The point of having laws is to hold people to account when they are broken, and to impose penalties for breaking them.


                  Maybe then we should try actually enforcing the existing laws instead of proposing new ones that don't actually solve any problems.

                  You can't resolve your social problems by shooting them, you'll have to learn to get along with each other, including that little git over there with the wonky eye who has been looking at you in a funny way. Why is that too much to ask?


                  Ah, there we go. Now the truth comes out.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 20 Jan 2016 @ 5:29pm

          Re: Re: Re: fair game

          Good to know they read TechDirt in Oregon.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        nasch (profile), 21 Jan 2016 @ 7:59am

        Re: Re: fair game

        Most of these reporters are Liberals. With their Anti Gun agenda.

        I doubt most of them really care that much, it's more about the news business. Guns are potentially dangerous and scary, and so guns and gun violence can easily be portrayed in a sensationalistic scary way. I don't see a way to report the opposite point of view in a way that would resonate with the average viewer/reader.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 21 Jan 2016 @ 12:41pm

          Re: Re: Re: fair game

          For many, journalists are potentially dangerous and scary.

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        • identicon
          Wendy Cockcroft, 22 Jan 2016 @ 5:29am

          Re: Re: Re: fair game

          Invoke the Constitution, fairness, and fair play. Broadly-written laws are often abused and cause misery for decent people. The trick to winning the argument is to provide a solution that answers the questions put forth by the other side instead of waving them away.

          You may find that the other side is more interested in solutions than in imposing controls on decent people. Once you stop seeing them as the enemy and start to empathise with them you can have a reasonable conversation about what to do to arrive at a solution that works for as many people as possible. During this time you may well discover that they're actually quite reasonable and that it's well worth taking the time out to talk to them.

          I don't agree with everybody all the time and that's not a requirement for discussing the things that matter to them even if they're coming from an opposing point of view. I don't always win but sometimes it works.

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  • icon
    Machin Shin (profile), 20 Jan 2016 @ 1:07pm

    While I certainly agree that this is a really stupid bill. I actually can understand where he is coming from and can see his logic. Instead of just making an analogy about restricting the press like they are trying to restrict gun he just made a bill to do it. It is obvious that it is unconstitutional and I think that is a big part of his point. Gun laws often seem to try and find a way around the constitution often with the "but it is for the children" excuse.

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    • icon
      Arthur Moore (profile), 20 Jan 2016 @ 1:46pm

      Re:

      The interesting thing is this bill is using almost word for word the same language used in many concealed carry permit laws.* The part about registering, background checks, and competency is pretty boilerplate.

      *There are so many of these I'm not going to track down which one he's probably copying.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 20 Jan 2016 @ 5:15pm

      Re:

      "Instead of just making an analogy about restricting the press like they are trying to restrict gun"

      The pen is mightier than the gun, or something like that.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 20 Jan 2016 @ 1:20pm

    Unintended Consequences

    This would probably outlaw Fox News, which would be amusing.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 20 Jan 2016 @ 1:20pm

    So just like in the UK, South Carolina sees the free press as a group of people waiting to commit terrorist acts?

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 20 Jan 2016 @ 1:22pm

    Everyone needs to go make Marc Randazza feel shame. Randazza gets PWNED by Troll.

    As long as I'm mentioning Popehat: Patrick Zarrelli still can't spell Tim's last name.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    mike, 20 Jan 2016 @ 1:22pm

    agreed...

    Take any gun control argument and substitute '1st Amendment' for '2nd Amendment' and you'll see his point. Otherwise some parts of the Constitution are 'better' than others.

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  • icon
    Christopher Best (profile), 20 Jan 2016 @ 1:24pm

    I'm pretty sure he's well aware the law is stupid and I don't think "But, Pitts, apparently, isn't too concerned about the Constitution." remotely describes him based on the available evidence.

    If anything, you (and any other 'media' outlets who write similar articles filled with righteous indignation) are falling right into his trap.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Mason Wheeler (profile), 20 Jan 2016 @ 1:28pm

      Re:

      Exactly. This "bill" has satire written all over it. It's a bit disappointing to see the author unable to recognize that, treating it as if it were an actual attempt to pass an actual law! :(

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    jupiterkansas (profile), 20 Jan 2016 @ 1:27pm

    When reporters start killing people with their journalism, maybe we can start considering this bill.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      MikeC (profile), 20 Jan 2016 @ 1:35pm

      Re:

      When reporters start killing people with their journalism, maybe we can start considering this bill.

      I am assuming that is sarcasm? How much space do we have to talk about all the people irresponsible journalism helped to be killed?

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 20 Jan 2016 @ 2:00pm

      Re:

      really? Journalism has publicly assassinated a lot of people. There are a lot of people that have been destroyed by a fate worse that death due to some of this shit.

      Dying is NOT the only bad thing that can happen. Additionally as some people will verify... death is better that what journalism can produce as evidenced by people that have committed suicide once their stories went public.

      Lets pretend that you were falsely accused to being a pedophile, and the evidence stacked against you was damning to the core and the most Published Scandal of the year! How long would it take for you to consider suicide yourself? Even if you are innocent! Going to prison where you will not enjoy life is now clearly in view.

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    • icon
      JBDragon (profile), 20 Jan 2016 @ 3:51pm

      Re:

      Who says they don't? I'm sure there's been a number of murders from what a reporter wrote about. In effect got the person killed!

      Fact is people have been killing people for thousands of years. Not a single gun in site in all that time. you can kill a person with your bare hands. A Rock, a Knife. Or a Pressure Cooker like in Boston. Not a single GUN was used!!!
      There has been at least one Mass Murder in a School in Japan and all the person had was a Knife. That's not the only place. You can Google this stuff up. The UK banned Guns, and Murder by Knife went up! Their murder rate is almost as high as ours. Gun's don't kill people, People Kill people

      have you heard the saying "Cop's are minutes away when seconds count!" That's how it's normally is. Criminals don't stick around. If you can get the police to your mouse in minutes, consider yourself lucky.

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  • identicon
    JustShutUpAndObey, 20 Jan 2016 @ 1:34pm

    Mason Wheeler said...

    "... This "bill" has satire written all over it."

    Possibly. Our problem is that these days it's impossible for us to tell anymore.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 20 Jan 2016 @ 1:47pm

      Re: Mason Wheeler said...

      Is Poe's Law Constitutionally valid?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Socrates, 20 Jan 2016 @ 6:36pm

      Re: Mason Wheeler said...

      Mason Wheeler: "... This "bill" has satire written all over it."
      JustShutUpAndObey: Possibly. Our problem is that these days it's impossible for us to tell anymore.
      Yes

      And besides, registering journalists is so common and blatant in USA, today, that people traveling to USA have to fill out a form where they have to specify if they are a journalist.

      The same goes for the constitution:
      Free speech zones? as in fenced of areas?
      ISDS? as a power able to convict a government?
      Torture? as condoned by Condoleezza Rice?
      Consentration camps in eastern Europa? as documented by the air travel when they were filled up, but not by anyone being released?

      The founding fathers would be ashamed

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  • icon
    ysth (profile), 20 Jan 2016 @ 1:52pm

    SCRAWL

    I'm surprised they resisted the temptation to make it "South Carolina Responsible Article Writers Law".

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  • icon
    MikeC (profile), 20 Jan 2016 @ 1:52pm

    If the Pen is mightier than sword - should it be registered?

    The saying goes that the pen is mightier than the sword, then it must be even more dangerous in the wrong hands.

    How can we allow this much deadly force to wielded by those who are un-registered and un-regulated? We must at once give the government the tools and power to protect us from a such a force so it can be only be used for good.

    We must think of the children, they might be corrupted or mislead. If you seek to wield this power, you must have a background check so we know you are not a criminal or heaven forbid mentally a danger to yourself or others. If you aren't a registered journalist how can we be sure you aren't writing inflammatory copy that will endanger or even offend someone?

    So I can see the need for the below kinds of processes:


    Every place where there are large gatherings of diverse people should be JFZ (journalist free zone) so we can be sure there will be no drive by journalistic attacks. No offensive stories, no reason for people to feel unloved.

    Police need you to disclose if you are CJP(concealed journalistic press) credential holder so they can be safe in the performance of their duties. You must surrender you stories to any officer if he/she feels it is necessary for their own or bystanders safety.

    Every time you transfer a journalistic story to another person, you need to fill out RI-69(journalist story transfer) form. Keeping one copy, giving one to your reader and dropping one off to the local law enforcement office so they can enter it in the Journalist Registry.

    Every time you send in a story you can not just publish it, it must go through a FJL(federal Journalism License) holder who will background check your publisher to insure it's not going to some with some criminal or mental issue that would prevent them from legally publishing your story.

    This is just a start of the things we need to do to protect everyone from irresponsible journalistic activity so we can prevent mass misleading lies from being published to the detriment of our society.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 20 Jan 2016 @ 2:10pm

      Re: If the Pen is mightier than sword - should it be registered?

      You seem to be confused. A sword and a gun are not the same thing.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 20 Jan 2016 @ 2:54pm

        Re: Re: If the Pen is mightier than sword - should it be registered?

        You're right. Guns have a lot of uses outside of killing humans. Swords are for killing humans, period. If you're hunting with a sword you're going hungry. We need laws against swords.

        What you've failed to mention is that pen ownership does not equal journalism. If you're going to nitpick, please do so from all angles and not just the one that makes you the happiest.

        Let's get real for a second. Who can and has destroyed more lives: gun owners or journalists? Before you answer, look at the people who have been falsely accused and later found out to be innocent, but were so demonized in the press that it destroyed them. Look at the people who have killed themselves because they were accused, not convicted, but made to look guilty by the news media.

        I get the guy's point. He's not really wanting to pass this bill, but to highlight why the way gun rights are handled is kind of stupid in his opinion. I don't know if he's right or wrong, and nor do I have even the smallest scrap of "give a shit" over this. What I do have a problem with is people who refuse to actually put some thought in before they spout off their ridiculous opinions.

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        • icon
          JMT (profile), 21 Jan 2016 @ 4:13pm

          Re: Re: Re: If the Pen is mightier than sword - should it be registered?

          "Who can and has destroyed more lives: gun owners or journalists?"

          Can you point to evidence of journalists "destroying" over 30,000 lives in one year? I think your claim may be out by a couple of orders of magnitude.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 20 Jan 2016 @ 3:01pm

        Re: Re: If the Pen is mightier than sword - should it be registered?

        You seem to be confused. A sword and a gun are not the same thing.

        Hoping once again for sarcasm... but just in case:

        Not in Michigan, swords and many other weapons are considered deadly weapons and you have to have a permit to carry them. They fall under same statutes as firearms. I can carry a pistol concealed, but I am murky water if I am carrying a 6" fixed blade hunting knife unless I have a hunting license and are in a prescribed hunting season.

        Though some things like blackjacks, billy clubs, fixed blades beyond a certain length (read swords) are banned outright even if you have a CPL. Can't carry a taser either w/o a special permit.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 20 Jan 2016 @ 4:25pm

      Re: If the Pen is mightier than sword - should it be registered?

      There's no way in hell I'm gonna let the government catalog, track, and regulate my willy. This is the sort of th--- oh. Never mind.


      (Sorry. Obligatory.)

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  • identicon
    Zem, 20 Jan 2016 @ 1:57pm

    The bill should make em wear badges on their clothes as well so we can see em coming, damn journalists making us poor.

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  • identicon
    Peter Nelson, 20 Jan 2016 @ 2:09pm

    It's called satire Mike.

    ... it's the same as the Eating Babies proposal to stem hunger... Yes... it's unconstitutional. He knows that very, very well.. The point that you seem to be intentionally overlooking is that all of your arguments about why this bill is stupid apply to gun owners as well... all of whom are just as protected as citizen journalists by the constitution...

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 20 Jan 2016 @ 3:03pm

      Re: It's called satire Mike.

      You would think my sarcasm was obvious, but I guess not.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Mike Masnick (profile), 20 Jan 2016 @ 4:48pm

      Re: It's called satire Mike.

      I got the satire. I just thought it was *bad* satire.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 20 Jan 2016 @ 5:04pm

        Re: Re: It's called satire Mike.

        I think it was the feel of the writing. Is there an analogue to Poe's Law wrto literary tone?

        I mean, I got that you got it, but I can see someone not getting that you got it and thinking that you didn't get it, when, in fact, you had gotten it. Satire is rife with gotchas.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 20 Jan 2016 @ 5:06pm

        Re: Re: It's called satire Mike.

        actually... its the very best kind.

        It shines a light on the intellectual corruption that pervades politics right now.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Christopher Best (profile), 20 Jan 2016 @ 6:09pm

        Re: Re: It's called satire Mike.

        To be honest, I started wondering if your response article was satire, considering how you gave him pretty much every choice quote he was looking for from a 'media' personality vis a vis constitutional protections.

        If I was Mike Pitts, I'd print your article out and post it on the outside of my office door. Right under a giant Troll Face picture.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        MikeC (profile), 21 Jan 2016 @ 10:29am

        Re: Re: It's called satire Mike.

        From a career journalist, why is it bad satire? I merely applied what is current Michigan gun law and substituted journalist for it. It's not anti journalist, just showing how corrupt political agenda's are and how the narrative changes when it's something a person is not in favor of. That would seem to be the purpose of satire.

        In the spirit of mocking any idea that a journalist need to register their activities, I would think that fits the spirit of the original article quite well. Just curious

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      J. C. Salomon (profile), 21 Jan 2016 @ 10:55am

      Re: It's called satire Mike.

      He should have given the bill the title “A Modest Proposal”, so his satire would be recognizable more swiftly.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 20 Jan 2016 @ 2:19pm

    proposing this should immediately disqualify someone from public office. The typical oath taken when entering office is that one will uphold the constitution (state in this case). Seeing as this is a clear violation of that oath they are unfit for office

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    radix (profile), 20 Jan 2016 @ 2:23pm

    Techdirt just got trolled.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Matt Bennett, 20 Jan 2016 @ 2:27pm

    He's making the point that the 2nd ammendment is as important as the first and for all the same reasons. He's just mocking requirements to register guns. Not sure what you don't get.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 20 Jan 2016 @ 3:03pm

      Response to: Matt Bennett on Jan 20th, 2016 @ 2:27pm

      Registering has been frequently up held as legal. The second amendment, while broadly interpreted, specifically states that it is for a militia which has not existed in a long time.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Christopher Best (profile), 20 Jan 2016 @ 3:15pm

        Re: Response to: Matt Bennett on Jan 20th, 2016 @ 2:27pm

        The second amendment, while broadly interpreted, specifically states that it is for a militia which has not existed in a long time.


        Both assertions in this statement are false.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 20 Jan 2016 @ 5:10pm

          Re: Re: Response to: Matt Bennett on Jan 20th, 2016 @ 2:27pm

          You are correct and I would go further to add that they are intellectually corrupt as well.

          The founding fathers made it clear beyond the shadow of any doubt what ALL of the amendments meant. Everyone has just conveniently left them out of the discussion to muddy the water.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            Christopher Best (profile), 20 Jan 2016 @ 6:05pm

            Re: Re: Re: Response to: Matt Bennett on Jan 20th, 2016 @ 2:27pm

            We don't even have to invoke pseudo-deity figures. The definition of the militia is a matter of federal law. The meaning of the second amendment is a matter of supreme court opinion. Both are exactly the opposite of what the AC I was replying to said.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 20 Jan 2016 @ 7:46pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Response to: Matt Bennett on Jan 20th, 2016 @ 2:27pm

              I don't think you are playing with a full deck here bub.

              The definition of a militia is non sequitur. The 2nd makes it clear that the peoples right to keep and bears arms is so that a militia CAN be raised at a moments notice to combat all enemies foreign and domestic.

              You have forfeited your rights as a citizen and therefore deserve none of them.

              The People, are responsible for defending the nation. The People are responsible for ensuring that Law & Justice are ensured by serving as Fully Informed Jurors additionally wielding Nullification to stop tyranny in its tracks.

              Today's citizen instead, chooses to let the government they are supposed to rule over rule over them. They want to give up their rights and weapons to be protected like cattle and slaves. They want nanny government to protect them and tell them how to live and exist. They live in fear like the cowards they are of terrorism, drugs, and someone with a religion to spread.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 21 Jan 2016 @ 9:14am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Response to: Matt Bennett on Jan 20th, 2016 @ 2:27pm

                The People, are responsible for defending the nation. The People are responsible for ensuring that Law & Justice are ensured by serving as Fully Informed Jurors additionally wielding Nullification to stop tyranny in its tracks.

                In fact, the constitution is not a restriction on the rights of the people, it is a restriction on the powers of the government.

                reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

              • icon
                Christopher Best (profile), 21 Jan 2016 @ 9:30am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Response to: Matt Bennett on Jan 20th, 2016 @ 2:27pm

                Actually, I think it's pretty clear you're the one with a screw loose.

                I have forfeited my rights as a citizen? Really now? By saying every adult not currently serving in the active military is a member of the militia, and that the second amendment guarantees the individual right to bear arms? Do I offend The Party by not invoking the proper prayers and supplications, Comrade?

                Give me a break.

                reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Patrick, 21 Jan 2016 @ 12:58am

            Re: Re: Re: Response to: Matt Bennett on Jan 20th, 2016 @ 2:27pm

            Right, that's why they allowed for an entire branch of government devoted to the interpretation of The Constitution and subsequent bills passed into law.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Ron Currier, 20 Jan 2016 @ 2:55pm

    Journalists don't kill people, people kill people

    Nuff said.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 20 Jan 2016 @ 3:00pm

    I'm on mobile so forgive any typing mistakes.

    I am actually glad he did this. The bill is satire and designed to draw attention to an issue.

    Journalism I'd in some ways more dangerous than firearms because journalism shapes perception. Look at the gun debate. How often do the major networks like CNN stick to facts when it comes to firearm related topics? They push their ideology and ignore the opposition.

    They proclaim someone guilty or innocent in front of millions before a trial has even taken place. How many lives have been ruined because the news "got it wrong"?

    Maybe SOME regulation of the journalism field is warranted - I know, slippery slope.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Agonistes (profile), 20 Jan 2016 @ 3:28pm

    All politicians are bastards, at least this one is my kind of bastard.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Lawrence D’Oliveiro, 20 Jan 2016 @ 3:29pm

    Journalists Don’t Kill Or Injure People ...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 20 Jan 2016 @ 4:51pm

      Re: Journalists Don’t Kill Or Injure People ...

      Guns don't kill people, people kill people. But monkeys do too.
      (Note: not actually a video of a monkey killing a person. What's the opposite of a 'trigger warning'? Whatever it's called, that's what this is.)

      (https://youtu.be/vkPIJq0-gwM)

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      JBDragon (profile), 20 Jan 2016 @ 4:58pm

      Re: Journalists Don’t Kill Or Injure People ...

      People do! I gun is just a tool. it can't hurt anyone on it's own. You can pick up a baseball bat or a million other things and kill a person. A pressure cooker is a deadly weapon. Should we ban those? Those were used in the Boston bombing. Not a single GUN was used to kill anyone.

      Fact is people have been killing people for as long as people have been alive. There was not a single gun used for thousands of years and yet millions have been murdered.

      If you think you gun a gun to kill a lot of people, and want to ignore BOMBS. Just do some Googling. Here is one example, Quote "It took just 10 minutes for a man armed with a kitchen knife to unleash terror in a Japanese elementary school in a stabbing spree that left eight school children dead and injured 21 other people."
      http://abcnews.go.com/International/story?id=80964

      How about this one! Quote "A man wielding a knife wounded 22 children and one adult outside a primary school in central China as students were arriving for classes on Friday, the police said."
      http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/15/world/asia/man-stabs-22-children-in-china.html?_r=0

      You don't hear about these things because it doesn't fit into the Anti-Gun Message!!! See when you don't have access to a Gun, you just use a Knife. A Gun is a equalizer. It'll allow a Woman to protect herself from any MAN. A Gun can protect a Gay person from a gay basher!!!

      Gun Free Zone's only make people easy targets. The last place I would ever be around is a ZONE FREE ZONE!!! Criminals don't follow laws, that's why they're criminals.

      This is coming from someone who doesn't own a single GUN!!! Though one of my Brothers does and my Dad does. Their guns are locked up in Gun safes.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        That One Other Not So Random Guy, 20 Jan 2016 @ 5:03pm

        Re: Re: Journalists Don’t Kill Or Injure People ...

        Unlike a baseball bat or pressure cooker... their sole purpose is not to kill. Juss sayin.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          Christopher Best (profile), 20 Jan 2016 @ 6:17pm

          Re: Re: Re: Journalists Don’t Kill Or Injure People ...

          I assure you the match grade competition rifles used by Olympic shooters do not have the "sole purpose" of killing.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Lawrence D’Oliveiro, 21 Jan 2016 @ 12:57pm

            Re: assure you the match grade competition rifles used by Olympic shooters do not have the "sole purpose" of killing.


            1. I would be satisfied with legalizing those, and banning other types of guns.
            2. Even so, they should not be street-legal, just like F1 cars are not street-legal.

            Could you live with that? I think I could.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • icon
              nasch (profile), 21 Jan 2016 @ 1:01pm

              Re: Re: assure you the match grade competition rifles used by Olympic shooters do not have the "sole purpose" of killing.

              What's the difference between a legal gun and a street-legal gun?

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • icon
              Christopher Best (profile), 22 Jan 2016 @ 10:19am

              Re: Re: assure you the match grade competition rifles used by Olympic shooters do not have the "sole purpose" of killing.

              No, I could not, and neither could the U.S. barring a Constitutional amendment.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 20 Jan 2016 @ 5:11pm

        Re: Re: Journalists Don’t Kill Or Injure People ...

        I'm American, and I usually read the US version of the Guardian. One day I was checking out the UK version, though, and discovered that they actually had a section called 'Knife Crime'. I found it really odd. I mean, 'knife crime' in the US is just called 'foreplay'.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Lawrence D’Oliveiro, 21 Jan 2016 @ 12:55pm

        Re: gun is just a tool

        No, it’s a weapon.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    That One Other Not So Random Guy, 20 Jan 2016 @ 4:59pm

    "(2) as a journalist, the person has demonstrated a reckless disregard of the basic codes and canons of professional journalism associations, including a disregard of truth, accuracy, objectivity, impartiality, fairness, and public accountability, as applicable to the acquisition of newsworthy information and its subsequent dissemination to the public."

    Seems like Fox, NBC, etc. would all be guilty. Maybe he is on to something. /s

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 20 Jan 2016 @ 5:20pm

    I did not think people in SC understood satire, perhaps I was wrong. First there was the bill to require medical exams prior to getting your boner pills and now this - lol SC.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Mark Wing, 21 Jan 2016 @ 12:46am

    Stockpile those 10 packs of Bic pens before they are banned!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    tom (profile), 21 Jan 2016 @ 3:29am

    Given the number of Police blotter entries that include the phrase "Alcohol use suspected", maybe the next bill should require a background check for past DWI charges and a waiting period before all alcohol purchases.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Ninja (profile), 21 Jan 2016 @ 4:11am

    This should be done for politicians or wannabes. I'm sure we'd slash 80% of all Government under that "incompetence" part...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anomynuos Crowad, 21 Jan 2016 @ 6:57am

    Some seriously broad logical chasms being leapt in these comments; conflating registering ownership of something with the practice of a profession.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 21 Jan 2016 @ 7:45am

    There are no differences between the 1st and 2nd amendments

    That leaves aside some fairly big differences in the issue of gun control and a free press, but that's a debate for another website.

    There are no differences between the 1st and 2nd amendments. Both outline the rights of the people. Except with the 2nd amendment, the government and many people seem to think passing many thousands of laws around gun control somehow doesn't violate the "keep and bear" clause.

    I think what this guys is doing is extremely clever and points out the fatal flaw of all these gun laws. The flaw being that it says congress shall make "no law" yet here we are with many laws.

    What is sad is while the people are fighting keep their rights to "keep" arms, we are losing our right to "bear" arms. The whole CCW permit idea is unconstitutional.

    I understand some people don't like it, but we either are a land of laws or we aren't. If you don't like it, change the constitution, but don't violate it.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    AC, 21 Jan 2016 @ 11:10am

    Good.

    These assholes deserve to have some of their own bullshit being inflicted directly on them.

    They should make them pay a $200 tax for each published sentence that has more than one word in it, too.

    Next up: Free Speech Permits.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Jam, 21 Jan 2016 @ 11:17am

    I'm with Mike

    1. This bill is satire with the intent to provide a foil for similar gun control bills.
    2. This is bad satire, in that connecting the flaws of the foil with the flaws of the original is not automatic.

    Also he didn't highlight the flaws, and thus we have Poe's Law in action. What I think he should have done is package it with the prerequisite constitutional amendment bill (or whatever it's called) to strike the Freedom of the Press from the Constitution and repeal the 2nd Amendment, and add the law he was trying to criticize.

    For bonus points, the 2 bills and 2 proposed changes to the Constitution should be near-duplicates with certain keywords replaced, and he should release the fill-in-the-blank template so that anyone could satirize their unconstitutional law of choice.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Ed, 21 Jan 2016 @ 1:00pm

    Problem with satire...

    A journalist writes satire in a newspaper, or a blog - cost to taxpayer, nil.

    A politician proposes a bill as satire - cost to taxpayer $$$.

    Feeling good now suckers?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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