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November 19, 2017

10/18/2017 12:51:00 PM
License this, Rep. Lucas
Brooke Bechen
Reporter/News and Features

It's a weird world to live in for a journalist right now. We're bashed daily for just doing our jobs and our president doesn't value us, blasting us for "fake news" and spreading lies about us...on Twitter...
Some of the phrases that come out of the president's mouth (and keyboard) are absurd, but what I'm about to share with you really takes the cake. A friend passed this article along, and I read it with interest. And a little bit of fury.
The headline reads: As Trump slams media, an Indiana lawmaker has drafted a bill to license journalists
According to the IndyStar, an Indiana lawmaker has drafted a bill that would require professional journalists to be licensed.
Under his proposal, professional journalists would have to submit an application to the Indiana State Police. Journalists would be fingerprinted as part of the process and have to pay a $75 fee for a lifetime license. Journalists with felony or domestic battery convictions would be prohibited from getting a license.
"If you're OK licensing my Second Amendment right, what's wrong with licensing your First Amendment right?" Representative Jim Lucas said.
He continued, "If I was as irresponsible with my handgun as the media has been with their keyboard, I'd probably be in jail."
Yes, Rep. Lucas - because gun rights and journalism are the same thing.
There are so many issues with this illogical thinking, the first one being that journalists have an important job of informing people and holding the government accountable. By requiring professional journalists to have a license, the government is ultimately deciding who gets to and who doesn't get to practice journalism. That's a scary thought!
I like to think that politicians are just every day people like you and I, and I keep that in mind when I meet and interview them. But something seems spiteful and personal about Rep. Lucas's bill, especially after reading this quote:
"[Filing the bill] depends on you guys," he told IndyStar in June. "It depends on how egregious and irresponsible you are between now and then."
Seriously?! Has it ever occurred to you, Rep. Lucas, that your bill is egregious and irresponsible?
It is not right for a politician to try to tell me whether I'm worthy of being a journalist or not. It is not right to fingerprint me and put me on some journalism registry. And it is not right to threaten me and our country's network of hard-working journalists with an unconstitutional and ridiculous proposal such as this one.



Reader Comments

Posted: Monday, November 13, 2017
Article comment by: Marie Lewis

Seems to me Brian you missed her point all together.
Her point as I understand it is that a representive of our government believes a journalist needs a license and to be finger printed. Which seems ridiculous when neither is needed for owning and possessing a fire arm. even regulations that were in place for owning a firearm such as a waiting period, background check, and age requirement for hunting are all gone. Frankly, the 1st bill of rights would also include this rebuttal that you have written, have you even gone to school for journalism? Another ploy by our representatives to control the media, that's all this is.....


Posted: Wednesday, October 18, 2017
Article comment by: Brian Gottschall

Rebuttal to the above piece of absurdity

Brooke Bechen sarcastically made the following statement in her piece of fury: "Yes, Rep. Lucas - because gun rights and journalism are the same thing."

Obviously, no, they are not the same thing. However, they do have equal status as Constitutional rights given to the citizens of this great country.

She further states: "By requiring professional journalists to have a license, the government is ultimately deciding who gets to and who doesn't get to practice journalism. That's a scary thought!" But does not government not have just as much right to decide "who gets to and who doesn't get to practice journalism" as the government has to decide "who gets to and who doesn't get to [own a gun]"? Does not our Constitution GUARANTEE both rights? Why is one right more important - at least to Bechen - than another right? That is wrong thinking!

Bechen concludes by stating that "[i]t is not right for a politician to try to tell [her] whether [she is] "worthy" of being a journalist or not" yet she apparently has no problem with politicians telling other citizens whether they are "worthy" of owing a gun or not."

Yes, we believe in freedom of the press but we also believe in the right of the people to keep and bear arms. Neither right is to be taken from an American citizen without due process.

And does Bechen understand that without the right of the people to keep and bear arms - not for hunting, but rather for self defense from both criminal activity but also for the right to overthrow an out-of-control government - there will be no freedom of the press?

I think Bechen completely missed the point of Rep. Lucas's bill. She certainly doesn't understand the Bill of Rights.




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