Sunday, February 12, 2017

Defending Freedom of Speech Against the Violent Attacks from the Left

by Navy Jack

"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." -  1st Amendment to the Constitution of the United States
There are a significant number of public speakers on both the left and the right that I personally disagree with. As an Oath Keeper, I do not have the latitude to determine what speech is worth defending. There are numerous ways short of physical confrontation to defend free speech. This article will address what is legal and what is not legal with regard to exercising the right to freedom of speech and the right to peaceably assemble. This article will also review the false narrative that the 1st Amendment somehow provides protesters with the right to use actions other than peaceful assembly and speech to protest against the actions, policies, politics or speech of others.

The Bill of Rights makes no distinction on what is acceptable or unacceptable speech. The U.S. Supreme Court has made it perfectly clear that all speech and all freedoms of the press cannot be regulated by the Federal Government or by the States unless that speech meets one of the following conditions:
  1. The speech promotes intentional libel or slander, or
  2. The speech is a criminal threat, or
  3. The speech is directed to inciting imminent lawless action and is likely to incite or produce such action.
Even though the Constitution guarantees the right of free speech, that right is not absolute. The courts have long recognized specific limitations when it comes to speech, such as prohibitions against slander and libel. Many States have laws regarding libel or speech that intentionally slanders.  There are no Federal restrictions on libel or slander.

Both Federal and State laws recognize that criminal threats constitute a crime. A criminal threat, sometimes known as the terrorist threat, malicious harassment, or by other terms, occurs when someone threatens to kill or physically harm someone else.  Criminal threats are made with the intention to place someone in fear of injury or death. However, it isn't necessary for a victim to actually experience fear or terror. Rather, it's the intention of the person making the threat that matters.

To read more, or to comment on this article: GO HERE

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