by Lee Williams
In a letter sent Monday to YouTube’s Chief Executive Officer Susan Wojcicki, five U.S. Senators expressed their “serious concern that YouTube continues to host videos that instruct viewers on how to make and manufacture ghost guns.”
The five Democrats, who were led by Sen. Richard Blumenthal, include Sens. Christopher Murphy, Edward Markey, Robert Menendez and Cory Booker.
The lawmakers insisted that the homemade firearm videos were a “direct violation of YouTube’s existing Community Guidelines on firearms.”
“While we acknowledge and appreciate that YouTube has engaged with congressional staff about this
problem and, in recent weeks, removed some of these videos, we are alarmed that an extensive amount of this dangerous content still exists on YouTube. It appears that the steps that YouTube has taken thus far are insufficient,” the Senators wrote.
They claimed that homemade firearms have become the “weapon of choice for gun traffickers and convicted felons as well as domestic violent extremists and foreign terrorists” – as if foreign terrorists would trade their AKs for guns they built themselves in their cave.
The lawmakers cited a 2021 story by NBC News, which cited a letter from Everytown for Gun Safety, which alleged that there were “dozens” of videos about homemade firearms watchable on YouTube even after the site said they were taken down.
The Democratic Senators also posed a series of questions to the YouTube CEO and demanded that she respond to them in writing no later than March 7.
Some of the questions include:
“What steps does YouTube take to prevent users who have repeatedly violated the firearms related Community Guidelines from continuing to post or upload such prohibited content?”
“Does YouTube acknowledge that its Community Guidelines related to firearms prohibit content that provides instructions to viewers on how to construct a ghost gun or 3D-print a firearm?”
“Once YouTube has determined that content violates its Community Guidelines related to firearms, does YouTube review other content on the same channel or posted by the same user to determine whether additional content violates its Community Guidelines?”
“The number of videos actually removed from YouTube’s platform, including the number
specific to ghost guns.”
The letter contained an appendix that included links to YouTube videos featuring homemade firearm content, which the Senators said were still live as of last weekend.
Americans have been making guns in their homes since before there was a United States of America. It remains perfectly legal in all free states.
The current jihad against homemade firearms, which the gun-ban industry calls “ghost guns,” is just the latest attempt to infringe around the edges of the Second Amendment by getting the media to label a legal firearm or accessory with a provocative name. There’s a long list of similar labels: “assault weapon,” “high-capacity magazines,” “cop-killer bullets,” “Saturday Night Specials,” not to mention the list of alleged “loopholes,” which seemingly grows every single day, even though they too are completely fictitious.
I have personally spoken with sheriffs and other senior law enforcement officials from across the country – from Florida to Washington State. Not a single lawman said they were concerned about homemade firearms, nor have they scene the “scourge and surge of gun violence” that Blumenthal and the other Senators claim homemade guns are causing. Most of these officials said they’d never seen a homemade firearm at a crime scene – not one. A few top cops even volunteered to check their property rooms for “ghost guns.” They could not find a single homemade firearm that was seized as the result of a crime.
I should also point out that the vast majority of firearms that the ATF and other anti-gun groups classify as “ghost guns” because they lack a serial number are not homemade firearms. They are factory-made weapons, which have had their serial numbers removed or altered by criminals, which is itself a felony. The ATF classifies all such weapons as “ghost guns,” regardless of whether they were made in someone’s home or had the serial number removed by a criminal.
In May 2020, Blumenthal introduced the “Untraceable Firearm Act,” which was co-sponsored by Sen. Dianne Feinstein and then-Sen. Kamala Harris and was endorsed by Everytown for Gun Safety, Giffords and Newtown Action Alliance. The legislation would have banned all homemade firearms made from either kits or 3D printers. Now, it appears that not only does Blumenthal want to ban homemade firearms, he wants to ban videos of homemade firearms too.
The Senators’ letter raises some serious questions and more than a few concerns.
First, who is Blumenthal to start policing YouTube’s Community Guidelines for possible violations. Does he not have enough to do? He sits on the Armed Services, Judiciary, Commerce and Veterans’ Affairs committees, as well as the Special Committee on Aging. It looks like Joe Biden is about to drag us into another war, so perhaps the good senator should spend a little more time with his fellow Armed Services committeemen and a bit less time trolling YouTube.
Second, if an elected official pressures a private business owner to censor free speech, how is this not a violation of the First Amendment? The First Amendment prohibits the government from censoring free speech. So, if five sitting U.S. Senators conspire to misuse the power of their office to violate the First Amendment, where is the FBI? For that matter, where is the ACLU? This is a blatant civil rights violation.
Homemade firearms may not be for everyone, but for gun owners and those who appreciate freedom that should not matter. Today, the anti-gun industry wants to ban homemade firearms and even videos about homemade firearms. Unless we resist this and every other infringement, tomorrow it will be something else, since the gun-banners will never be appeased. After all, their goal is total civilian disarmament, but if you don’t believe that, you have only to look at some of Joe Biden’s campaign promises.