Coulter’s Speech is Not Being Suppressed 

Ann Coulter was on all the networks last night complaining that she doesn’t have an outlet to speak freely. I am guessing that she has lived so long in her make believe stipulated reality that she lost the ability to detect irony. 

If all she wanted was the freedom to spew her hate speech she could have done so while the cameras were rolling. Coulter reglarly appears on tv and has published books spewing her thoughts, delusions, and ideas. To claim that she is being denied freedom of speech is laughable. 

It is not freedom of speech that she craves but the freedom to instigate violence and to burnish her image amongst the whacky right. Sorry, Ann, there is no Constitutional right to incite violence. Get over yourself, the rest of us already have. 

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An Unpopular Post

This post is in response to the KKK rally and resultant riot in Anaheim today.

I would like to open by stating unequivocally that I oppose the Klan and its beliefs in all of their forms in the strongest manner possible. They and their adherents are despicable and their ideas can and must be challenged whenever and wherever they raise their head.

However, I also firmly believe that it is not the popular speech that needs protecting.

The LA Times has an article describing a large crowd of counter-protesters swarming the much smaller group of klansmen with weapons and fists and dragging at least one to the ground. Three people were stabbed at least one counter-protester was stabbed with a Klansman’s flag pole/spear. The spear wielding klansman and an unannounced number of counter-protesters were arrested. This is early and some of these “facts” are bound to change. The rest of this post is based upon these early reports and a change in the “facts” may change the sincerity of what I am about to say.

Two things strike me about this incident that may be unpopular to state. First, the spear wielding klansman should be promptly released from custody. You do not need the law to grant you the right to defend your person, it is an unalienable right. Secondly, and probably more controversially, any of the counter-protesters who took place in the attack should be charged with a hate crime. Allow me to expound on this second point below.

I oppose the very concept of hate crimes and believe they should be repealed. Hate crime legislation is thought crime legislation and has no place in a free society. If a group attacks and injures or kills a man leaving a bar, I am not particularly concerned with the “why” as I am with the “what”. It doesn’t matter to me what the thinking process that led to the attack was and I fail to understand why it is worse if the reason is that the attackers hated gays or blacks or whatever than if the reason is that the attackers just wanted to see what blood looks like seeping into the ground. There are already laws on the book making it illegal to attack/kill people, the judge has some leeway in sentencing in which to consider motive and relate it to length and severity of punishment; we do not need to add another crime making their thoughts illegal too.

However, if we are going to have laws on the books to protect certain classes, I can think of no group as hated as the klan nor one more in need of protection.

The first amendment needs protecting, even for these abhorrent people. This is not to say that their statements should go unchallenged. For example: a counter march across town, a picnic, a celebration that these cretins can only muster 5 people should be enjoyed by the masses. We should celebrate how far we have come and strategize on the ways to move further toward the ideal. I think it is only fair to assume that a celebration of 1000 or more will get more publicity than a sad pathetic group of 4 or 5 speaking to no one will.

The klan is a group based on hatred. But when I see pictures of the faces of the counter protesters as they surge for the attack, I feel like an animal at the end of Animal Farm peering through the window; I can not be sure who is the pig and who is the human.

Agree? Disagree? Let me know in the comments, don’t forget to include why.

TL/DR: Hatred should be opposed in all of its forms. We already have laws targeting specific actions, we do not need specific laws targeting thoughts.

 

Guns, gun control, and their discontents

I’ll be up front; I don’t give a fuck about folks’ right to own guns. I do, however, care a lot for a little old thing called the Bill of Rights. To weaken any of its protections is to weaken them all. The Second Amendment has already been weakened to mean only guns. 2nd Amendment crusaders are effectively gun crusaders. The 2nd Amendment refers to “Arms” with no reference to guns. The gun nuts stood by while daggers, spears, blow-guns, swords, nunchuks, crossbows, switchblades, blackjacks, throwing stars, etc… were made illegal (this short, off the top of my head, list  are all illegal in the US or parts of the US.)

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

No mention of guns, but if arms includes guns, logic dictates that it also means every arm less lethal than the most deadly firearm that we qualify for protection. With this understanding, it is clear that we have already lost 99% of our 2nd Amendment protections. Gun nuts do not care about the 2nd Amendment, they care about guns, machismo, and a pseudo-patriotism (which serves to justify the other two.)

That leaves me very little sympathy for the NRA and its minions.

On the other hand, behind the histrionics of the other side of the debate, is little else other than anti-ruralism.

Some numbers may help to illustrate this. Guns account for approximately 36000 deaths, 60% of these are suicides and 3 percent are accidental. This leaves around 13500 gun homicides a year.  As many people die from automobiles, falls, or accidental poisoning as die from all of guns and suicide exceeds them all. All of these other dangers can be lessened without infringing further on the Bill of Rights. If you really cared about saving lives, why not reach for the low baring fruit? Mostly because the anti-gun folks aren’t as anti-gun as they are anti-gun culture.

So, neither side really garners sympathy while both support the Orwellian concept of a national database of the mentally ill. This leaves me in the awkward position of not caring about guns while simultaneously opposing further restrictions on them.

In short, gun nuts need to become weapons nuts to gain my sympathy, while anti-gun nuts need to amend the Constitution to gain my sympathy. Until then, I can only feel contempt for both sides of the debate.