Outing the Gun Owners and the Left's New Savagery

As Michael Walsh noted last week at PJ Media, the Westchester Journal News has published the name and addresses of legal gun owners in Westchester County, New York. While many have rightly upbraided the paper for endangering innocent people and giving criminals a map of homes without guns, the paper has stuck to its guns (so to speak!), not only defending its action but warning that more gun owners will soon be outed. And thus in a nutshell we see the Left's narcissistic, solipsistic and savage new moralism.

The Journal News editors believe that they are in the right to victimize Westchester gun owners, making them subject to possible vigilante attacks, legal harassment, and who knows what else, because they think they have the moral high ground, and are so morally obtuse as to assume that since they have that high ground, any action in its service is justified.

The American Left, which thoroughly dominates the mainstream media, no longer believes, if it ever did, in the concept of reasonable and respectable people disagreeing in good faith on core issues; it increasingly demonstrates that it believes all opposition to its own outlook and policies must never be tolerated, but only eradicated. Its opposition is never to be engaged on the level of ideas, but only ridiculed and held up as evil. The Left has done nothing but demonize its opposition for years. Organizations like Media Matters routinely repeat remarks made by conservative politicians and commentators as if they were obviously risible and/or morally offensive, without ever bothering to explain why or to offer a substantive refutation of any kind. They and others like them never debate or discuss issues, but only deal with their opposition with endless games of "gotcha" and searches for "gaffes."

After the Left has played such games for so long, this new level of savagery was perhaps inevitable. For the Westchester Journal News, owners of legal guns are evil, and thus have no rights they are bound to respect. For the Left in general, their opponents are evil, and so can and should even be put in physical danger if that is what is needed in order to bring about its silence and submission.

This savagery grows more common by the day, and doesn't extend only to gun owners. I myself have been on the receiving end of this thuggery because of my work in opposing the global jihad and Islamic supremacism -- as has my colleague Pamela Geller and other defenders of the freedom of speech and equality of rights for all people. A Leftist journalist named Nathan Lean, the editor-in-chief of Aslan Media, who has been published in the Los Angeles Times, Washington Post and New York Daily News, has sent me several tweets and emails containing personal information about myself: where he thinks I live, who he thinks my wife is, and more.

The purpose of these messages was unmistakable: Lean was signaling to me that he thought he knew my whereabouts (and that of my family), despite my attempts to conceal them because of the many death threats I receive. And why would he want me to think that he knew where I was? So that I would be frightened into silence, afraid that one of his many violence-inclined allies might do me in if I continued to speak out for freedom and human rights. Yet despite his appetite for menace, Lean had no trouble getting published in flagship mainstream media outlets -- which tells you a great deal about them.

In the 1930s, when the National Socialist German Worker's Party, aka the Nazi Party, was consolidating its power in Germany, its storm troopers regularly terrorized its opponents: showing up when they spoke to shout them down and intimidate them, vandalizing their messages, and sometimes attacking them outright. We are rapidly approaching the same situation in America today, as the Left's demonization of its opponents descends to this menacing new level.

The Westchester Journal News does not have the moral high ground, and never did. Any doubt about that was removed when it published the addresses of the gun owners. But soon thuggish demonstrators outside the homes of those gun owners and others targeted by the Left will be a commonplace of American life. And the next step after that will be even worse: it is only going to get more dangerous -- physically and in other ways as well -- to oppose the policies of those who style themselves our moral superiors. With four more years of Obama coming, there is no stopping them now.

Robert Spencer is the director of Jihad Watch and author of the New York Times bestsellers The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades) and The Truth About Muhammad. His latest book is Did Muhammad Exist?.