As gun rights advocates, it’s very likely that you are concerned about your rights as an American (assuming that you live in the U.S.). This means, of course, the right to keep and bear arms, the right to privacy, the right freedom of assembly, the right to freedom of religion, and others. And, along with the Second Amendment, the First Amendment is near and dear to the hearts of many gun rights advocates.
But, unfortunately, in our modern day and age, while you may have the right to talk openly about your guns and gun ownership, it may be wise to consider whether you should post about your guns and gun ownership online, especially on social media. Kat Ainsworth writes,
We’ve all heard the phrase “the internet is forever.” That’s certainly true. Once you put something out there, it’s out there for good. But other things are forever, too, like screenshots and social media histories.
Just how much does your social media presence matter as a gun owner? It matters a great deal more than many people realize or care to admit.
All too often gun owners fail to considerable the possible repercussions of their online behavior. Just this morning there was a guy on a friend’s Facebook post saying he didn’t understand why Kyle Rittenhouse didn’t shoot one of his attackers in the head twice rather than shooting him in the bicep because, the commenter said, that’s what he would have done.
Sound innocent? It’s not. Someday a prosecutor could have a field day with it. Don’t be that guy.
So, what should you do? Again, from Ainsworth:
A good rule of thumb to follow is to post, text, and email like it will one day be read out loud in court to a judge and jury. That doesn’t mean you can’t have fun, but don’t be a blatant idiot.
Now, in the age of COVID-19 lockdowns, restrictions and a crazy amount of looting and rioting, things are at a tipping point. There’s a ludicrous amount of posturing, swagger, and “wish a motherf***** would” going on out there on social media platforms.
Throttle it back, guys. Stop and consider what this could do to you one day. Stop and imagine “one day” might be a lot sooner than you think.
Ainsworth is right. We have a First Amendment right in the U.S. to able to speak our minds, but understand that there can be consequences with being the loudmouth (even figuratively on social media).
Remember, just because you can say it doesn’t mean that you should. Sometimes it’s better to stay out of jail and stay at home with your family than to win brownie points in your own mind against people that you disagree with online.