Hypocrisy – it’s what anti-constitutionalists are all about these days. In a free market system, constitutionalists recognize no authority given to government to interfere in private businesses when it comes to freedom of association in regards to customers. Businesses can choose which customers to serve or not to serve, letting customers decide whether the business survives based on its policies. However, anti-constitutionalists demand governments interfere in the free market system by forcing private businesses to accept all customers regardless. As an example, the government sided with homosexuals against private businesses that refused to participate in an activity conflicting with the business owners’ religious beliefs. Yet, anti-constitutionalists have little difficulty supporting private businesses that refuse to sell items to consumers based on age.
Anti-constitutionalists are cheering the decisions made by retailers – WalMart, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Kroger, etc., etc. – to refuse to sell firearms to individuals under the age of 18. Despite laws created against discrimination based on age, religion, sexual orientation, race and gender, the argument used to defend these retailers’ decision is the “federal age discrimination protections only relate to certain categories or employment, and generally only cover discriminatory practices against older people.” This is what James Bardwell, the National Association for Gun Rights (NAGR) in-house counsel claimed.
Bardwell stated, “Picking on 21-year-olds in any category of commerce is not prohibited by federal law. I have not reviewed the anti-discrimination laws of every state, but I have never heard of any state law that bars discrimination against young people — only old people.”
Echoing Bardwell’s sentiments was UCLA School of Law professor Adam Winkler, who has written extensively on Second Amendment issues. Winkler said, “There is no constitutional issue whatsoever. The Constitution limits what government can do, not what a private business can do.”
So, for the large retailers, who are private businesses, one rule exists – government cannot interfere in what private businesses do. But, for the small “mom and pop” retailers, such as bakeries and florists, another exists – government can force private businesses to do what it wants. It’s either one way or the other. Both cannot exist in a constitutional republic where the laws are equally binding upon all.
So, the age discrimination law only applies to “old people” and freedom of association only applies to large retailer corporations. Now, that sounds fair. [eye roll, shaking head]
The Washington Times claimed, “Some legal analysts predicted the companies’ policies would hold up, saying they have a right to refuse sales. But others say there’s room for a challenge.”
“If these billionaire corporate bullies are illegally discriminating against people based on their age, then maybe some 19- or 20-year-old law-abiding gun owners should sue them,” said Brandon Combs, president of the Firearms Policy Coalition, a nonprofit advocacy group.
The FPC pointed to recent data from the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) saying more than one-third of the states in the country have public accommodation or civil rights laws that prohibit age-based discrimination.
Matthew Maruster, a firearms instructor from Ohio, said there could indeed be a “protected class” argument to be made for people ages 18-20 who can legally buy a gun but wouldn’t be able to do so at those stores.
“I don’t know if that’s going to hold up in court,” said Mr. Maruster, who has written about the constitutionality of private stores prohibiting the concealed carry of weapons where it’s otherwise legal.
“You can’t discriminate against someone based on their age,” he said. “I think that would be the angle if someone would say ‘Hey, I want to sue Dick’s Sporting Goods because they’re keeping me from being able to buy a gun based on my age.’”
He added, though, that an actual legal challenge could be an uphill battle, as courts have sided with private businesses in other similar cases — including a gun store in Florida that got an anti-discrimination suit tossed by a federal judge in 2015 after banning Muslims from the store.
Yet, lawsuits brought by homosexual sodomites against Christian bakeries and florists that are private businesses resulted in the closure of the businesses and payment of exorbitant monetary settlements, by the government, because of complaints of discrimination based on sexual orientation using States’ civil rights laws barring discrimination. Despite these private businesses serving these individuals in all areas, except where it conflicted with their religious beliefs, government interfered, denying these private businesses their right to freedom of association and practice of religion using force and threat. The Supreme Court is deliberating on the Colorado cake baking case, with the ruling expected later this year. But, the agenda of gun control is different, one could say.
The Washington Times reported that federal law prohibits the sale of rifles and shotguns to individuals under the age of 18 and handguns to individuals under the age of 21. But, according to “law experts,” private businesses can discriminate against individuals under 21 and over 18 for rifle and shotgun sales because the government has no constitutional authority to interfere in private businesses. However, the government has already interfered in private businesses regarding what these entities can do.
In looking at the issue of discrimination and equal application of the law, it becomes clear government cannot interfere with private business when the issue involves gun control, but can with everything else. Moreover, age discrimination laws, according to the “experts,” do not protect individuals under 21. So, age discrimination can only occur when one is an “older person.” That’s akin to saying only whites are racists. Anti-constitutionalists always miss the point when it comes to the free market system.
The free market system means freedom from government interference in private businesses. If a private business chooses whom it wishes to serve, consumers, through freedom of association, choose whether to utilize that business or not. So, if the policies of the business are against what consumers support, they can choose to be a patron at another business where its policies are more in line with the consumers’ belief. Government doesn’t have to interfere or need to interfere. The free market system will determine which businesses survive and which ones do not because consumers will either praise or criticize a business for their policies to their friends. Through word of mouth, businesses gain good or bad reputations determining the ability to survive in a free economy.
Now that government has chosen to intervene with the free market system by telling private businesses who they are to serve, it would be fair and in keeping with the government dictate that private businesses are required to serve all individuals regardless of the owners’ belief system or what the business owner “believes” is right. Individuals experiencing discrimination by these large corporate retailers should file lawsuits using the precedents established and arguments made against Christian bakeries and florists, who were “forced” to violate their beliefs when conducting business. What’s good for the goose is good for the gander, so to speak.
However, the object of government interference into the operations of private businesses has nothing to do with being fair and everything to do with sanctioning those considered “conservative,” “Christians,” “Second Amendment supporters,” and “constitutionalists.” It’s the adage, “the free market is free only when the government says it is.” Despite the government setting the precedent when it sided with homosexual sodomites that a business owner’s personal religious beliefs are not to be exercised, meaning any type of religion to include moral relativism, secular humanism, etc., when serving the public, it will be inapplicable here because the issue is gun control. Moreover, pushing the homosexual sodomite agenda down the throats of constitutional Christians was government’s intent when sanctioning “mom and pop” private businesses, not upholding God-given individual unalienable rights recognized and protected by the Constitution.
With anti-constitutionalists determining the narrative with government, inequity of the law is the norm since the object is to silence constitutionalists and Christians through the bully pulpit of government using force – serve all the public or face exorbitant monetary fines that will result in business closure and loss of livelihood. These retailers are being “praised” for their proactive stance on gun control using the argument of “free market” and “right to determine policy without government interference” despite their actions conflicting with anti-discrimination laws and unconstitutional gun control federal laws. The public and consumer still maintain some control.
So, what is the remedy? Individuals experiencing discrimination should file lawsuits against these large retailers, if there are lawyers worth their salt willing to take the cases – class action might be an option. Constitutionalist consumers should refrain from providing these retailers with their patronage. The list of companies are as follows: Dick’s Sporting Goods who also associate with Field and Stream; WalMart; Kroger through its subsidiary Fred Meyer; and, LL Bean; along with any other business cowing to anti-constitutional rhetoric.
Remember, any law affecting an individual’s God-given unalienable right to keep and bear arms to protect against a tyrannical government and used to protect one’s life in self-defense is unconstitutional. It is the responsibility of the family to keep firearms out of the hands of those whom it determines should not have them – not government. When people relinquish their responsibility to government, increasing infractions against inherent rights by government will occur until the government controls who is worthy of having “rights” and who is not.
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