Mississippi Congressional candidate Ron Williams is upset about the opposition to Chick-Fil-A because of gay rights. He is particularly upset with Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanual and Boston Mayor Tom Menino for wanting to push Chick-Fil-A from their cities. Williams has a point. No matter what one thinks about same-sex marriage, everyone has a right to engage in business on a level playing field. People who oppose the beliefs of Chick-Fil-A’s management should not eat there. Those who support it should eat there. It is that simple. No business should be barred or discouraged from opening because of political reasons. Fortunately, that is illegal.
Unfortunately, Williams takes a sound position and turns it into a problem. In a letter to the Biloxi Sun Herald, Williams wrote that Mayors Emanual and Menino “need to be introduced to the Second Amendment ASAP:”
“Let me make it clear, the CEO is being punished by government officials because he exercised his First Amendment right of free speech. The Constitution is very clear. When government restricts and punishes the people for exercising their First Amendment rights, then we are to default to the Second Amendment (right to keep and bear arms). These two mayors need to be introduced to the Second Amendment ASAP.”
Williams followed those lines with the statement that “The correct response to these mayors would be to send troops or whatever to remove these men from office, by whatever means is necessary.”
It is clear what he means. They should either be shot, intimidated or chased from office without regard to the legal processes involved.
It is dumb enough that Emanual and Menino put questionable pressure on Chick-Fil-A, but Williams has gone full bore into idiot mode. It is these kinds of statements that make many Americans view pro-gun people like Williams as a crazy gun nut alongside people like Ted Nugent.
When questioned about his letter, Williams replied that “his comments were ‘hyperbole, non clarity,’ and that ‘I don’t want anybody to go shoot anybody, but I want people to understand what a slippery slope we can be on and what the purpose of the Second Amendment is.’”
How did the Second Amendment get into this debate? The Chick-Fil-A issue is about both sides expressing their First Amendment rights. Besides, the purpose of the Second Amendment is a “well regulated militia” not intimidating mayors.
If mayors do something illegal or offend the populace, there are ways to remove them from office. Bringing in troops or guns is not that way. Even to suggest this if offensive to the Constitution. Both Emanual and Menino may have gone too far in their opening positions, but the Chic-Fil-A matter is pushing both sides to extremes. That is fine. As long as people stay within the boundaries of the First Amendment, this is how it is supposed to work. On the other hand, referring to the Second Amendment has only one purpose — to squelch the rights of those exercising the First Amendment. Williams needs a refresher course on the Bill of Rights. That is all the more disappointing since he is a candidate for federal office.