The Convenient Confusion Regarding Our Right to Free Speech

There seems to be a bit of convenient confusion regarding our right to free speech. Let’s look at the source….

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
First Amendment to the United States Constitution

We’ve seen and heard arguments from those who interpret the First Amendment to suit their immediate desires but I don’t look between the lines as there’s never anything there.

The First Amendment allows for freedom of speech. I’ve always disagreed with the conditions some readily quote like shouting fire in a crowded theater. You can do it. You just have to be ready to accept the consequences, which is obviously problematic to those who want limited responsibility for those actions.

Whether it be on a street, highway, or college campus, a growing segment of our population believes they not only have the right to say what they want and because of where they’ve strategically decided to say it, but they also have the right to be heard.

I don’t see that right in any of our Constitutional amendments.

When the Tea Party held their many events across the United States, they first applied for and obtained a permit. They held their event in a static place so people had the choice to attend and hear speakers exercising their First Amendment right of speech. Police were in attendance due to the size of the gatherings, and almost all were relaxed as those in attendance were appreciative of them and their service. Permits for Tea Party events appear to have been issued with relative ease as the reputation was the areas used were normally left cleaner than when the group first arrived. Attendees did not routinely vandalize or destroy surrounding public, private property and businesses.

Speakers at Tea Party events enjoyed the right to speak and did not force anyone to hear their words.

For the last decade or so, left wing groups seldom acquire permits for their “events”, and I use that term loosely.

They exploit any opportunity to take to the streets, disrupt the free flow of traffic on our highways because it’s loosely illegal.

The better to secure and perpetuate mutual friendship and intercourse among the people of the different States in this Union, the free inhabitants … of each State shall free ingress and regress to and from any other State.
Articles of Confederation, Article 4

The Founders thought our right to freedom of movement so obvious, they didn’t bother adding it to the Constitution. The informal education system was better then than today’s taxpayer-funded abomination so the obvious didn’t require dumbing down. We can be detained and even arrested for walking in the middle of the road but if it’s a “protest” and it’s “free speech”, you get some leeway?

The left considers their modern mode of free speech via disruption as the “right of the people to peaceably assemble”. They obviously have no permit to block traffic and yet get in the faces of captive motorists and demand they listen to their message. Maybe that’s “mostly peaceably”.

The same now can be said as to their activities on college campuses. They take over large areas, decide who can and cannot be admitted to facilities, and force all in the area to listen to what they have to say. Their areas are routinely left in a more disheveled condition than when originally occupied, surrounding buildings and statues are vandalized and sometimes local areas experience disruptions in commerce, if not also damage to property. Let’s not leave out violence than can lead to injury and/or death.

And when it all gets ugly and fingers are pointed, we’re all told it’s a free speech issue.

It is not.

In this case, all of these protesters can call for the divestment from Israel, issue death threats, hurl racial slurs at a black congressman, and more. Those involved believe that their abhorrent words are justified and they should be able to say them. I agree as we should know what’s in their little heads.

But what really pisses them off is that our ability to ignore nullifies their speech. In this case, we can blow their words off as the sophistry of the young, uninformed and duped. If they don’t even know what they’re protesting, there’s no reason to succumb to demands. That would be dumb.

Until there’s a Constitutional Amendment forcing The People to have to hear the words of others (which would be kind of interesting to enforce), the children will have to scream until they’re hoarse.

Then again they’d go full Clockwork Orange on their opponents if they could force us to see and hear them at their worse.

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