Ominous Anti-Free Speech Quote Of The Year: U.S. District Judge Robert Lasnik

“The Court declines to wade through these issues based on the limited record before it and instead presumes that the private defendants have a First Amend ment right to disseminate the CAD files. That right is currently abridged, but it has not been abrogated. Regulation under the AECA means that the files cannot be uploaded to the internet, b ut they can be emailed, mailed, securely transmitted, or otherwise published within the United States. The Court finds that the irreparable burdens on the private defendants’ First Amendment rights are dwarfed by the irreparable harms the States are likely to suffer if the existing restrictions are withdrawn and that, overall, the public interest strongly supports maintaining the status quo through the pendency of this litigation.”

—U.S. District Judge Robert Lasnik, in his preliminary injunction issued today blocking the federal government from allowing publication of the blueprints of 3-D printable guns.

The injunction will stand until final resolution of the multi-state lawsuit seeking to keep the blueprints offline. Lasnik had issued a temporary restraining order in the case July 31, prompting this post, which states the Ethics Alarms position still:

“It sure sounds like prior restraint to me, and I suspect, when this gets to the Supreme Court, which it inevitably will, that will be the conclusion.

This began as one more example of the Obama Administration playing fast and loose with the Bill of Rights. Now, it may well be, as the suit by the states alleges, that the Trump Administration didn’t handle its legal U-turn properly, it being, after all, the Trump Administration. Nonetheless, the government blocking the online publication of information, which is what a blueprint is, when no copyrights, patents or trademarks are being violated or national secrets revealed, seems like a pretty clear First Amendment violation.”

If Lasnik’s langauge about “abridged, but it has not been abrogated” doesn’t send chills down your spine, I guess that means you’re a typical progressive or Democrat these days. The First Amendment says that “Congress shall make no law…abridging the freedom of speech,” meaning that the judge here admits that his ruling and the law suit are efforts to cut another chunk out of our core national values. But hey, it’s all cool! The ends justify the means, and we all know that guns are bad. That Second Amendment thingy? Once we take down the First, the Second will be a piece of cake.

As was discussed at length in the excellent thread on the previous post, it’s a long, long way, not just from May to December, but also from having the blueprint of a #-D printable gun and actually having a gun. Does the judge full comprehend that? I doubt it very much. If there is one theme that runs through judicial decisions and opinion involving rapidly evolving technology, it is that most judges and too many lawyers don’t understand the technology well-enough to regulate it or make coherent policy.

I still think this is such an obvious example of prior restraint that the Supreme Court will knock it down, especially after Kavanaugh joins the Court, and I hope I am wrong that the anti-Second Amendment liberal wing will unite in dissent, but I believe that is likely.

Sigh.

Ought I to say this? What the hell….

I am increasingly coming to believe that what is really at stake in the upcoming elections is the Bill of Rights, and perhaps our democracy itself.  The “resistance’s” attempt to undo the election of President Trump is just part of a long-term, concerted assault on our institutions, by a growing faction that believes that freedom and liberty are too dangerous to be left in the wrong hands, and must be constrained—abridged, so to speak—by those who know best.

Them.

________________________

Pointer and Source: ABA Journal

37 Comments

Filed under Citizenship, Ethics Alarms Award Nominee, Ethics Quotes, Government & Politics, Law & Law Enforcement, Rights, Science & Technology

37 responses to “Ominous Anti-Free Speech Quote Of The Year: U.S. District Judge Robert Lasnik

  1. I was wondering if you were going to post about that judge’s words.
    It’s hate speech against maximized liberty for individuals, for sure.
    Heyyyyy- d’ya think, maybe, the guns-are-for-government-goons-only cult will see the error(s) of their way(s) in settled law on “unequal protection?”

  2. So – today he’s selling the plans. I don’t know if he’s uploaded them to the internet against the judge’s order, but he may be emailing and securely transferring them which it appears the order allows. I still don’t understand why everyone’s so crazy about stopping 3D printing innovations. If someone wanted an unregistered, unserialized firearm, they’d order a 5-pack of 80% lower receivers and build the firearms themselves.

    • dragin_dragon

      THANK YOU, Tim. First logical response I’ve seen to this. This whole thing is ridiculous.

      • Yeah, emails lists send sample books by new authors. That would avoid the order easily. The order just comes from people who are years behind in understanding. I’m not THAT tech-current and it’s more amusing than anything else,

    • Paul Compton

      Tim,
      “If someone wanted an unregistered, unserialized firearm, they’d order a 5-pack of 80% lower receivers and build the firearms themselves.”

      Here in Oz we had a Greens Senator effusing about how they had saved the country by keeping a seven shot, lever action shotgun banned for licensed shooters; the same day the police reported they’d busted a couple of crims mass producing Sten Guns – fully automatic, 30 round magazines and suppressors (silencers).

      All you need is a hardware store and the plans THAT ARE AVAILABLE ON THE INTERNET!

      • dragin_dragon

        That’s the way the STEN was designed, so it could easily be built by irregular troops in WWII.

        • Look… if I want an unsafe gun that will shoot a couple of times, I can build it in my garage with parts from Home Depot. It would be a risk, but doable.

          If I want a more reliable gun, I could make a sten gun or the like, with plans from the public library. Need better tools, but that is just what I own at the moment.

          If I have a friend with a commercial grade CNC (I do, come to think of it) I can buy the parts to any commercial gun and finish it myself (with plans available on the Internet, too)

          Any of those is safer, cheaper, and more reliable than a home printed plastic gun.

          This is a tempest in a tea kettle, because most lefties don’t realize the first three options are legal, or even exist.

          I am torn, though: let them remain blissfully ignorant, or TELL them and watch them writhe in agony.

          • I tell everyone I can at every turn about the law in Colorado. They passed a law in 2013 to ban magazines of more than 15-rds. But they didn’t “ban” them, they stopped people from buying new ones and if they were manufactured in the state, required a date stamp. Well, the manufacturer moved out to Texas & Wyoming and doesn’t stamp their magazines. People who already owned them prior to the date of enactment, get to keep their magazines. In fact, the law doesn’t say the magazines have to be in Colorado prior to the date, so…if you were going to move here (or just visit) and you already owned those magazines, you could bring them with you. Since the burden of proof is on prosecutors (specifically written into this law) they have to prove that you purchased a 30-rd magazine after the date of enactment, which means they’d have to track down a sales transaction and probably videographic evidence of you making the purchase (from out of state) and then proving that the specific magazine you bought is the one they found (they aren’t serialized.)

            Of course, the best part of that whole episode was congresswoman Dianna Degette saying that “Clips” were disposable. That once people shot these, they’d be gone and they’d be out of our society – she didn’t know that they’re just an ammunition holder, a feeding device that is reloaded.

            Anyways, when it comes to the left, I now have a solid view that if you leave them to their own devices, they can’t write coherent rules and thus, then there are no rules.

      • Rusty Rebar

        In Oz you guys are willing to throw people in jail for making 3D printed non working replica props for cosplay.

    • See, this is a step to get rid of THAT “loophole.” Once they establish the precedent, they push to further the agenda. It is what progressives do.

  3. I’d like the judge to accurately define the security differences between emailing and downloading from a website. Emails have much lower security than secure websites, even none in the case of spoofing. And what could stop blanket emails to everyone one huge email lists? They both connect to the eeeevil internet.

    (I’d like to know, to see if that could help block all those imaginary bank accounts that meed me to log in RIGHT NOW because they were hacked)

    • “I’d like the judge to accurately define the security differences between emailing and downloading from a website.”

      I’m not a lawyer, and I haven’t read everything, but I believe the distinction is that email can have controlled distribution but something available for download on the internet is available to everyone, particularly people outside the United States.

      This is important because the action is being brought under the Arms Export Control Act (AECA) as implemented through the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (“ITAR”). Back when the government was trying to keep a lid on strong encryption, they used ITAR in a similar way to limit distribution of PGP tools and web encryption with large keys.

      My theory is consistent with the judge’s ruling that the concerning files “can be emailed, mailed, securely transmitted, or otherwise published within the United States.” In other words, the judge is not blocking publication of these files within the United States, he’s blocking the export of these files under arms regulations. The people who brought this action figured this would force them off the internet, even if it doesn’t prevent distribution within the U.S.

      I think that’s still a First Amendment issue, but there’s a lot of precedent from back when the government was using ITAR against strong cryptography that says it’s not.

      • I’m not looking at this legally, but from a technical end. Handed over, physical mail and securely transmitted do NOT belong in the same list as simple email, I get spoofed email almost daily. Email is uploaded and downloaded and many use web interfaces for email or PM. It’s be like sending data through a 64bit prime number, or the Enigma, or Klingon or open text in strange colors. The open text option as a valid alternative says the list is wrong (just like on trick test questions) Mine is an objection to the insecure option in the list not that the others are insecure or that there should be limits. I expect he would also object to smoke signals and morse code because they are also too open.

        • Chris Marschner_

          Marie, this forces the “speaker” communicate to the recipient one at a time. It effectively makes mass communication non -existent. If applied to other speech that would mean that I cannot put up a free site to disseminate my ideas if public outcry exists and states claim irrepairable harm. I would be forced to communicate the same message to each individual recipient making it impossible to economically communicate to a broad audience.

          • Mark Putnam

            Why not have a database server setup to email a recipient automatically when they submit a request for the plans? It may be individual communication but accomplishes the same thing as a download.

            • Chris Marschner_

              Mark,
              Yes that would work but I am focusing on the larger issue which could involve other forms of mass communication. For example: assume BenShapiro is told he can express his ideas only if specifically requested in order to protect the delicate sensibilities of the masses who might be offended.

            • Why not have a database server setup to email a recipient automatically when they submit a request for the plans?

              My first thought. Same as a download instigated by a link, except for the extra step of collecting an email address.

              The judge is a technological buffoon, and a thug progressive. At least those limit each other.

            • Rusty Rebar

              The reason they are doing it via USB drive for now, at least according to Wilson, is that they already have that infrastructure set up. They already take orders via their website, and ship out product, so this whole flow already exists for them, they are just sending out a USB key instead of a CNC mill.

              I assume given a couple of days/weeks that they will have some different options, but there is a bit of technical work to get a workflow like that going.

      • Chris Marschner_

        Windy, if the issue is export control then why are states sueing and why should he rely on public interest?

        If I have my own server running an email server, a gmail or MSN email account no one can tell where I live in the world except the email provider.

        • Jeff

          Indeed, if it’s about export control, how would the states have any standing to bring suit at all? That’s a federal matter, is it not?

          • Again, not a lawyer, but the argument by the states seems to be that the feds failed to follow correct procedural rules when they allowed the plans to be published as part of an earlier agreement. The states were not parties to that agreement, so they couldn’t get involved. But as near as I can tell, when a suit is about procedural issues of this kind, anyone affected by the disputed action can sue.

            (Think, for example, of the EPA coming down on a factory over its emissions, and then coming to a sweetheart settlement that allows the factory to continue. If the EPA did not follow proper procedures, people living around the factory can sue the EPA to get it to do the right thing.)

            In this case, the states argue that they are affected by the availability of plans for printing guns, and they have sued the State Department to get it to do the right thing. Since that would have the effect of revoking permission to publish the gun plans, the judge has issued a preliminary injunction to hold off on the gun plans in case that’s how this ends.

      • Matthew B.

        The lawsuit was brought by several States’ attorney generals. The states have no standing to object under ITAR.

  4. Chris Marschner_

    So if public interest suggests that they want to ban what they label as hate speech and several states claim irrepairable harm then the speech can be halted unless the sender only offers it to unique recipients and not through mass publication.

    This is not a slippery slope it is a freefall off an escarpment.

  5. Matthew B.

    At least with Kelo v. City of New London, we had a few liberal leaning people asking “Why are our Justices voting for the big company over the little guy and the conservative Justices opposed?”

    Sadly from the top of the Democrat party to the peon trolls on Facebook, no one on the left will speak out about this. Trump, the alleged fascist is opposed to the government regulating speech.

    To me the real threat to liberty is clear.

  6. Matthew B.

    This should be slapped down. But that will take time. I’m surprised that it hasn’t been hosted outside the reach of this judge.

    I’d like to see them try to stop it then. What are they going to do, insist ISPs block it?

  7. “Ought I to say this? What the hell….

    I am increasingly coming to believe that what is really at stake in the upcoming elections is the Bill of Rights, and perhaps our democracy itself. The “resistance’s” attempt to undo the election of President Trump is just part of a long-term, concerted assault on our institutions, by a growing faction that believes that freedom and liberty are too dangerous to be left in the wrong hands, and must be constrained—abridged, so to speak—by those who know best.”

    There are lots of people that know something is wrong but kan’t figure out exactly what it is, so yes it needs to be said and said again!

    The real problem is that the anti-Constitution kind of thinking from the factions is growing at an ever increasing rate due to outright intimidation from the factions of perpetually paranoid people and they see nothing wrong with their illogical and anti-Constitutional behaviors. Unethical rationalizations completely rule their minds in a very absolute way, they are the only ones who are right and they are fanatical absolutists about it; they have been brainwashed. These factions (social justice warriors, totalitarians, and anti-Trumpers) are essentially being allowed, by the media and apathetic Conservatives, to have the only voices in public which leaves the impression for the masses is that there is no reasonable opposition to their nonsense. Apathy to these people and lack of stern public opposition to them is literally enabling them to grow their ranks.

    The time is now to be part of the adult crowd that physically stands up publicly against these perpetually paranoid brainwashed fools. Be a patriot, stop cowering in the safety of your homes, support the Constitution for everyone, and be part of the solution – take a public stand against this fools.

    Shout it from the rooftops Jack until it’s been heard and understood by everyone.

    • Zoltar: There are lots of people that know something is wrong but can’t figure out exactly what it is…

      This sort of statements always interests me, and I think it is important to stop and ‘interrogate’ it. The reason is because the one who makes such a statement implies that he, or she as the case may be, has a clue about that ‘something that is wrong’ and can therefor instruct those who ‘can’t figure out exactly what it is’.

      I must make the assertion, or put forward the suggestion, that here, on this Blog, there is a great deal of topical analysis of events and situations, and certainly an effort to see and determine ethical rights-and-wrong, but very little meta-political analysis and very little understanding, in larger senses, of what has led to the present crises.

      The time is now to be part of the adult crowd that physically stands up publicly against these perpetually paranoid brainwashed fools.

      What I notice here is the rhetorical charge, as it were, but one that — as far as I have been able to tell — is substantially absent of real and substantial intellectual content. In essence, this is a meaningless, emotional statement. It is rhetorical assertion disconnected from intellectual recommendation. The key term is ‘brainwashed’. The one who sees ‘brainwashing’, and condemns it in such terms, is stating that he is not similarly ‘brainwashed’ and could if need be assist in deprogramming a poor brainwashed soul.

      I suggest that this is an entirely false statement especially when it is seen in the light of a general ‘American brainwashing’. Therefor a statement about this general condition is advised. One would have to talk about what ‘brainwashing’ is, but then also work to see how the advertising industry is, in essence, a type of ‘brainwashing institution’. One would have to broach the topic of the function of PR in ‘crystallizing opinion’ as Eduard Bernays put it. There are so many facets to this particular question that are, it seems to me, glossed over with the far-too-easy rhetorical declaration that certain ‘brainwashed fools’ cannot see the light of day and are holed-up in their cave of ignorance.

      I further suggest that it is this sort of counter-statement — the one I am clearly, articulately and insistently making now and which is expressed in different ways in what I write — that sends the so-called American Conservative into minor fits. It is a critique that they a) cannot respond to because it involves a too demanding revision of their own ‘brainwashed’ platform, and b) resist with the full force of their rhetorical skill.

      This general *critique*, as I am calling it, of American Conservatism is what must be ‘shouted from the rooftops’. Not only must it be confronted but a method must be offered with which the errors of American Conservatism can be corrected. Therefor, the effort is not to communicate with and to *reach* the Radical American Progressive, but to succeed in getting through to the American Conservative who contributes, substantially, to ‘selling us out’. That is a tough statement but true as rain.

      This statement: “There are lots of people that know something is wrong but can’t figure out exactly what it is…, needs to be reformed as a series of questions, and the activity of making declarative, rhetorical (ie: loudmouthed!) statements when one could be seen and described as merely one of the benighted (these perpetually paranoid brainwashed fools), needs to be curtailed while a new method of analysis is developed. Obviously one based in some degrees of humility.

      These factions (social justice warriors, totalitarians, and anti-Trumpers) are essentially being allowed, by the media and apathetic Conservatives, to have the only voices in public which leaves the impression for the masses is that there is no reasonable opposition to their nonsense.

      A tempting statement really, one that invites you to be *seduced* by it. Sure, those SJWs ‘totalitarians’ and anti-Trumpers are an easily condemnable bunch. But when — if! — the analytical lens is turned around to examine, in detail, the American Conservative, one often finds a complicit fellow; one not in any sense free of ‘brainwashing’; and, as I have said now a number of times, one who essentially serves progressive purposes and stands just slightly to the right of progressivism generally, having absorbed all of its major tenets!

      I am also interested by this term ‘apathetic conservative’, but since I don’t find much conservatism in Conservatives — that is, the sold-out variety who have participated in a fantastic collusion with Progressives and have contributed mightily to the horrifying conditions we now face, and which will require radical efforts to reverse, I can only chuckle to myself as I try to imagine when an ‘impassioned Conservative’ will come on the scene and make his presence known.

      The conditions of our present cannot be reduced to any one cause. There are dozens and dozens of causes that are now functioning together. We live in a time of a crescendo of critical causal chains. What has ‘corrupted our democracy’ is not Russians who have ‘hacked it’ (my favorite line by California Chris!) but 100 years of previous causes that ‘brainwashed fools’ need to address. And the only way to approach curing it is through posing questions about it.

      Well? Let’s get on with it… 😉

  8. These are essentially toys. They will shoot, but not very many times (the one that started this is a single use gun) until they break, perhaps catastrophically (think “blown themselves into shrapnel”) Plastic is just not safe for firing bullets.

    If you harden key elements of the gun, you will get better results, but not like a gun off the shelf.

    And they are hideously expensive.

    I can get a gun off the government books today, legally, for less than $100. If I inspect the gun with an ounce of experience, I can tell it is in good condition and thus buy the gun and safely fire hundreds, if not thousands, of rounds.

    A printed gun will cost many times that, and fire a few times at most. While there might be 3D printers that cost around $2000, I would not trust them with my life. And the larger, more precise printers cost 6 figures and up.

    No, this is about control. The very idea that they do not know who owns a gun scares totalitarians.

  9. This isn’t the right place to drop this, but here’s your idiotic read of the day:

    ‘White People Food’ Is Creating An Unattainable Picture Of Health

    • Very interesting article. Reveals a good deal. Requires some analysis.

      African-Americans might say, ‘I don’t want to eat like white people.’ However, at the end of the day, it’s not eating like white people, it’s actually eating the way we used to eat before we were brought to this country.

      Though I do recognize that what the writer is trying to say — that the African body-type was developed in a different context, eating differently — there is another implication too, and one could extend it much farther.

      Stop eating like white people, but stop using white people language, concepts, mathematics, philosophy even technology. Give up the wheel. Certainly relinquish the white religion. No need to go to school either.

      Disconnect completely with the attainments of white civilization — so very harmful to the African soul! — and recreate Africa within America. I don’t know a great deal about the forms of tribal government in West African nations of that era, but surely these can be reestablished here within America.

      It is inevitable when you free your slaves that, at one point or another, ressentiment becomes the tool through which self-definition is expressed. One cannot but see oneself as in a ‘relational’ context. To gain self-definition you have to rebel against the status quo. It is really part of the entire question of being Black in America. The question ‘Who am I’ and ‘What am I?’ cannot but be asked.

      One must define oneself, but how can one do this when one had been ‘robbed from the shores of Africa’? (Angela Davis).

      Here’s how:

      [ https://nyti.ms/2NubYPX ]

    • I have very little sympathy for those too ideologically brainwashed and willfully ignorant to get over themselves enough to save their own lives.

      Don’t eat healthy if it offends your ‘blackness.’ I don’t care. At that point you are just autodarwinating.

  10. I have not seen this mentioned here, but the Texan has side stepped the judge’s shaky ban: he is selling the plans, which is not prohibited.

    Love me some progressives forcing the guy into capitalism!

    Proceed go to his legal costs.

    https://www.dailywire.com/news/35141/man-behind-3d-gun-files-spoils-lefts-celebration-amanda-prestigiacomo?utm_source=cnemail&utm_medium=email&utm_content=082918-news&utm_campaign=position3

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