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An American Social Credit System Will Hurt Gun Rights

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There are way too many people in this world who read George Orwell’s 1984 and thought it was an instruction manual. A prime example is that of a social credit system, where people are scored based on how they live and what opinions they hold. This is a thing over in China, where only approved opinions can be uttered.

Basically, the social credit system is a way to control what you say and, by extension, what you think.

This is a problem for the gun rights crowd.

The new domestic “War on Terror,” kicked off by the riot on Jan. 6, has prompted several web giants to unveil predecessors to what effectively could become a soft social credit system by the end of this decade. Relying on an indirect hand from D.C., our social betters in corporate America will attempt to force the most profound changes our society has seen during the internet era.

China’s social credit system is a combination of government and business surveillance that gives citizens a “score” that can restrict the ability of individuals to take actions — such as purchasing plane tickets, acquiring property or taking loans — because of behaviors. Given the position of several major American companies, a similar system may be coming here sooner than you think.

Last week, PayPal announced a partnership with the left-wing Southern Poverty Law Center to “investigate” the role of “white supremacists” and propagators of “anti-government” rhetoric, subjective labels that potentially could impact a large number of groups or people using their service. PayPal says the collected information will be shared with other financial firms and politicians. Facebook is taking similar measures, recently introducing messages that ask users to snitch on their potentially “extremist” friends, which considering the platform’s bias seems mainly to target the political right. At the same time, Facebook and Microsoft are working with several other web giants and the United Nations on a database to block potential extremist content.

The potential scope of the soft social credit system under construction is enormous. The same companies that can track your activities and give you corporate rewards for compliant behavior could utilize their powers to block transactions, add surcharges or restrict your use of products. At what point does free speech — be it against biological males playing in girls’ sports, questioning vaccine side effects, or advocating for gun rights — make someone a target in this new system? When does your debit card get canceled over old tweets, your home loan denied for homeschooling your kids, or your eBay account invalidated because a friend flagged you for posting a Gadsden flag?

The thing is, this isn’t new.

For a few years now, there’s been an effort to stigmatize gun ownership. We’ve seen it over and over again. People are kicked out of school, not because of threats, but because they posed for photos with firearms as just one example. And there are plenty of people that have been suspended or expelled because of their guns.

That’s really what makes some of this so damn scary. They want to take the current hysteria and ramp it up to 11.

If there is any kind of social credit system, it won’t be based on ideas of freedom and personal responsibility. It’ll be about espousing the correct ideas, and those who push that kind of thing are invariably hostile to the Second Amendment.

I’m sure most of you reading this didn’t really need another reason to oppose such a totalitarian measure, but it turns out there’s yet another reason to despise it.

Don’t let it happen, folks, because if it does, you’re going to get punished for believing in our constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms.

Sep 22, 2021 6:30 PM ET