When someone is elected to public office we expect that person to be of good character and to act with integrity.  Even though he isn’t a congressman in my district, I certainly had no question that former Navy SEAL Dan Crenshaw would fit that bill perfectly. 

By now that name is one we are all more than familiar with.  As of late his name is usually followed up with something to do with red flag laws. I won’t get into the whole debate over red flag laws and the unconstitutional nature of them because that’s not what this article is about. 

I have an Instagram account like many other Americans, and I use that account to interact with people from all walks of life.  Some I have even become good friends with over time.  Congressman Dan Crenshaw was one of those people I engaged with on Instagram. 

I would regularly comment on his posts regarding red flag laws, and also tag him in posts of my own with memes pertaining to red flag laws.  I was trying to get the attention of Congressman Crenshaw in an effort to have a conversation just as he has said we all need to do as Americans.

I wasn’t terribly surprised when Mr. Crenshaw didn’t engage or respond to me, but I was surprised to find out that a sitting congressman blocked me from his public profile on Instagram.  I’m no stranger to being blocked, but Dan Crenshaw is the first congressman to block me so that has to be like some sort of gold star or something. 

Normally after being blocked I may make a post about it just to poke fun, but this block was different.  It’s different because there happens to be a federal court ruling prohibiting public officials from blocking on public accounts. 

Surely Congressman Crenshaw is aware of this ruling because it first came out of the Southern District of New York in May 2018 in reference to President Trump blocking users on his Twitter account.  The issue was most recently ruled on in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit when they affirmed the district court’s ruling on July 9, 2019 stating essentially the practice of blocking critics violates the First Amendment. Now let’s delve into the irony of all this.

Congressman Crenshaw has advocated heavily for red flag laws… the thought being that more laws will make our country safer.  So basically if the courts say you can’t have firearms for whatever reason then you won’t have firearms, and we will all be safer because of it. 

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That’s all fine and good if you live in a world with Peter Pan and the Easter Bunny.  The courts clearly ruled public officials aren’t allowed to block people on a public account, and yet that ruling still didn’t stop Congressman Crenshaw from blocking me. 

Weird how that works… people doing whatever they want despite laws to the contrary.  If nothing else all Congressman Crenshaw has done is further prove the point that more laws will do absolutely nothing to prevent criminal acts. Furthermore he has also proved he is perfectly fine with being a criminal himself if you don’t agree with him.

Now for the real question I have for Congressman Crenshaw.  Why?  Why does he feel the law doesn’t apply to him? 

If President Trump has to abide by a federal court ruling, then what makes Dan Crenshaw above the law?  I truly hope this article finds the right audience and allows us all to get some answers. 

As Americans we have an obligation to our countrymen to ask these questions, and hold public officials accountable for their actions.  I would love the opportunity to have a very public face to face conversation with Congressman Crenshaw about these issues; although I highly doubt he would be willing to take me up on it. 

It’s very disappointing to see Congressman Crenshaw had the courage and fortitude to serve in the most difficult of places, to the point of losing pieces of his body, yet Instagram is where he draws the line and crosses over into ignoring our federal court system.

Brandon Smithley is a veteran and former police officer.

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