Explore The NRA Universe Of Websites

APPEARS IN News

Alaska State Commission for Human Rights Director Attacks Human’s Rights

Friday, March 22, 2019

Alaska State Commission for Human Rights Director Attacks Human’s Rights

The Last Frontier is also one of the last places one expects to find rights-trampling government officials. The state’s strong libertarian streak is one of the reasons a recent report regarding the authoritarian behavior of an official from the Alaska State Commission for Human Rights is so jarring.

In mid-March, Workers for Sage Mechanical, an HVAC and plumbing company based in Anchorage, Alaska, were working on a contract for an office building where the Alaska State Commission for Human Rights is a tenant, when they received an intimidating message that appeared to come from the commission.

A company truck had been parked in the parking lot of the office building. The truck was adorned with a sticker of an AR-15 and the statement “Black Rifles Matter.” When an employee returned to the truck, they found that two business cards had been left on the vehicle.

The business cards were from Alaska State Commission for Human Rights Executive Director Marti Buscaglia and an Alaska Department of Corrections Chief Probation Officer. Written on the back of Buscaglia’s business card was the message “Please do NOT park this truck with that offensive sticker in this parking lot.”

This private act of intimidation was not enough for at least one Alaska State Commission for Human Rights official. An official also posted a picture of the Sage Mechanical truck and sticker to the commission’s official Facebook page. Moreover, the Anchorage Daily News has reported that “Buscaglia wrote the building owner asking that the company be banned from the property.”

Understandably upset with what had happened, Sage Mechanical owner Brenton Linegar took to his own Facebook page to voice his frustration with the officials’ bullying tactics. The small businessman posted pictures of the business cards and a statement explaining that the sticker was meant as a way to show support for Second Amendment rights. According to a news outlet that spoke with Linegar, the business owner acquired the sticker at a company-sponsored veterans event.

The negative reaction to the commission’s behavior was swift. After receiving hundreds of critical comments online, the commission removed their offensive post and issued a statement where they attempted to explain the intimidating conduct.

Governor Mike Dunleavy has also expressed his concern regarding the incident and announced that Alaska’s executive branch intends to get to the bottom of the situation. In a Facebook message, Gov. Dunleavy stated,

After review of a post made on the Alaska State Commission for Human Rights social media page yesterday, my office has requested the Department of Law launch an immediate investigation into the matter. Protecting an individual’s constitutional rights, including the 1st amendment, is of the utmost importance to this administration.

Buscaglia’s reported actions and subsequent comments reveal a fundamental ignorance of the Bill of Rights at the heart of the Alaska State Commission for Human Rights. Reporting on comments made by Buscaglia after her actions gained notoriety, the Anchorage Daily News noted,

Buscaglia said the commission’s aim is to seek out and eliminate discrimination, and she considered the sticker to be a discriminatory statement. She said she never intended to step on anyone’s constitutional free speech or gun rights.

"I think the line between being protected by the First Amendment and hate speech is very fine," she said. "And frankly I wasn't sure which one this was."

There is absolutely no legal mooring to Buscaglia’s interpretation of the First Amendment. As First Amendment scholar Eugene Volokh has pointed out, as recently as 2017 the United States Supreme Court reaffirmed that there is no “hate speech” exception to the First Amendment.

Articulating this principle in the case Matal v. Tam, Justice Samuel Alito wrote,

speech expressing ideas that offend … strikes at the heart of the First Amendment . . . the proudest boast of our free speech jurisprudence is that we protect the freedom to express “the thought that we hate.”

Writing separately, Justice Anthony Kennedy elaborated,

A law found to discriminate based on viewpoint is an “egregious form of content discrimination,” which is “presumptively unconstitutional.” … A law that can be directed against speech found offensive to some portion of the public can be turned against minority and dissenting views to the detriment of all. The First Amendment does not entrust that power to the government’s benevolence. Instead, our reliance must be on the substantial safeguards of free and open discussion in a democratic society.

Therefore, any investigation into the commission’s conduct should ask these questions: Just what type of political expression does Buscaglia believe government officials can police? Is Buscaglia under the false impression that she is empowered to dictate under the color of law others’ political expression based solely on her own political predilections?

Buscaglia’s views on the First Amendment are even more disturbing given her work history. The official was formerly the publisher of the Duluth News Tribune and worked for the Anchorage Daily News and the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner. Buscaglia was also reported to be in consideration to be the publisher of the Orange County Register back in 2007 prior to the discovery of a “misrepresentation” of “her educational credentials on her resume.” In an earlier age, such a track record in the news business might have engendered a respect for the First Amendment.

NRA and civil libertarians across Alaska await the results of the Department of Law’s investigation into this matter and hope that it will serve to vindicate the human right to freedom of expression.

TRENDING NOW
Dick’s Spends Big on Gun-Chopping, Virtue-Signaling Bonanza (But It Will Still Sell You a Firearm)

News  

Sunday, October 13, 2019

Dick’s Spends Big on Gun-Chopping, Virtue-Signaling Bonanza (But It Will Still Sell You a Firearm)

Ed Stack, the CEO of Dick’s Sporting Goods, wants you to know he’s committed to keeping AR-15s “off the street.” But he’s also committed (for the time being) to selling other types of firearms.

California: Anti-Gun and Anti-Hunting Bill Signed into Law

Monday, October 14, 2019

California: Anti-Gun and Anti-Hunting Bill Signed into Law

Prior to the October 13 deadline, Governor Newsom signed the final anti-gun and anti-hunting bills, AB 1254 and SB 172 into law.  

California: Governor Newsom Signs Anti-Gun Bills into Law

Friday, October 11, 2019

California: Governor Newsom Signs Anti-Gun Bills into Law

Earlier today, Governor Newsom signed the seven anti-gun bills listed below into law.  

Number of Concealed Carry Permit Holders Increased Again

News  

Sunday, October 13, 2019

Number of Concealed Carry Permit Holders Increased Again

Last week, economist John Lott of the Crime Prevention Research Center released “Concealed Carry Permit Holders Across the United States: 2019,” his annual report on the number of concealed carry permit holders in the U.S.

Kamala Harris and Her Perplexing Anti-Gun Ideas

News  

Friday, August 2, 2019

Kamala Harris and Her Perplexing Anti-Gun Ideas

U.S. Senator Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), one of the two-dozen Democrat presidential hopefuls vying to take on President Donald Trump in 2020, has been promoting her anti-gun platform for many months. This isn’t really news, as ...

Illinois: Task Force May Ponder More Gun Control

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Illinois: Task Force May Ponder More Gun Control

The Illinois House Firearm Public Awareness Task Force is scheduled to meet on October 16, 2019. The task force could potentially make policy recommendations with various gun control schemes. %MCEPASTEBIN%

Guide To The Interstate Transportation Of Firearms

Gun Laws  

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Guide To The Interstate Transportation Of Firearms

CAUTION: Federal and state firearms laws are subject to frequent change. This summary is not to be considered as legal advice or a restatement of law.

Virginia’s Anti-gun Politicians Put Politics Before Fighting Gun Crime

News  

Sunday, October 13, 2019

Virginia’s Anti-gun Politicians Put Politics Before Fighting Gun Crime

Virginia’s anti-gun politicians are serious about attacking law-abiding gun owners, but are indifferent about actual gun crime. As highlighted in a recent report in the Washington Free Beacon by Stephen Gutowski, the Virginia Department of Justice Services ...

Member Spotlight: Meet the Police Officer Who Told Congress She ‘Would Not Comply' with a Gun Ban

News  

Friday, October 4, 2019

Member Spotlight: Meet the Police Officer Who Told Congress She ‘Would Not Comply' with a Gun Ban

Last week, a retired Tulsa, Oklahoma law enforcement officer testified in a Congressional hearing that she “would not comply” if Congress passes a ban on firearms. Her bold assertion earned her national media attention and ...

Grassroots Spotlight: NRA-ILA Fighting the Bloomberg Money In Virginia 2019 Elections

News  

Sunday, October 13, 2019

Grassroots Spotlight: NRA-ILA Fighting the Bloomberg Money In Virginia 2019 Elections

The Nov. 5th election may be the most consequential ever for our Second Amendment rights in the Commonwealth. That’s because every seat in the Virginia House of Delegates and Senate is up for grabs and gun control ...

MORE TRENDING +
LESS TRENDING -

More Like This From Around The NRA

NRA ILA

Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.