Outlaw that speech because it MIGHT be a threat…

Milo Nickels, Contributing Writer
Activist Post

It was only a matter of time before the Gabrielle Giffords tragedy was turned into a rationale for the government to take more of our freedoms.  This is how our government always responds to tragedy–it’s almost formulaic:

  • Step 1 – wait for tragedy to occur, or actually create the tragedy.
  • Step 2 – spread propaganda through the media, so everyone believes your story about the tragedy
  • Step 3 – pass laws, or institute policies, that take away people’s freedoms.
  • Step 4 – justify the increased Tyranny by citing the propaganda in step 2.

This same process, has led to the creation of most traffic laws, to the Patriot Act, to “enhanced pat-downs,” and countless other usurpations of freedom.

Shortly after Gabrielle Giffords was shot in the head by a psychopath, and the media started reporting about Sarah Palin’s crosshair map (which, as far as we know had nothing at all to do with the shooting), I began wondering how long it would be before we started seeing attacks on our freedoms.  In particular, I was expecting attacks on the second amendment because Jared Loughner used a gun; and I expected attacks on free speech (and proposals for more control of the Internet) because Jared Loughner spoke out against the government on YouTube and Facebook.

And, so it begins.  There is already an article on The Hill titled “Dem Planning a Bill That Would Outlaw Threatening Law Makers.”  The article begins like this:

Rep. Robert Brady (D-Pa.) reportedly plans to introduce legislation that would make it a federal crime to use language or symbols that could be perceived as threatening or inciting violence against a federal official or member of Congress.

Look at that language.  The language (or symbols) doesn’t have to be threatening or actually incite violence.  It doesn’t even have to be perceived that way.  If it could be perceived that way–through the widest, loosest, and irrational interpretations imaginable–that is sufficient to charge someone with a federal crime.  This kind of broad, widely subjective legislation would make it potentially illegal to disagree with the government about anything.

Here are several examples of fairly benign sentences that could be perceived as threatening or inciting violence against a federal official:

  • Gee, someone has to do something about our government.  They are out of control.
    By “do something” does he mean “shoot people” or “revolt”???
  • That politician is greatly harming America, and something should be done.
    What does he mean by “something should be done”???  Sounds like a rebel yell to me.
  • “The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants” – Thomas Jefferson
    Did he say BLOOD???  Oh my god, he is calling for violence!!!
  • “Concerted power has always been the enemy of liberty” – Ronald Reagan
    Oh my god, he is saying that a big government is the ENEMY…this means we should attack them!!!
  • “If they bring a knife to a fight, we bring a gun” – Barack Obama
    Obama just said to use guns against political opposition!!!!  I heard it!!!!

That’s right, virtually any political discussion or comment, especially if you express frustration or opposition, could be perceived as a call for violence.  Laws like this are nothing more than an assault of free speech.  Of course, they will forge ahead with this legislation–whether it’s constitutional or not.  They will probably name it after Gabrielle Giffords, and call it the “Giffords Act against Political Hate Speech” (or something like that).  Then, if you oppose the legislation, they will question your compassion and say you must agree with Jared Loughner.

I would say that we must stand up against tyrannical laws created by exploiting tragedies, but that could be perceived as a call to arms.  Rather, I will just implore you to read the Constitution, and employ some common sense. 

Milo Nickels began blogging and cartooning about politics in the year 2000.  After achieving some notoriety at that time, Milo took a break.  Now, Milo has launched a new website, Five Cent Revolution where he continues to write about political issues.  In particular, Milo focuses on constitutionalism, critiques of modern liberalism and progressivism, and defends individual liberty above all else.  Milo wants the government out of our wallets, out of our business, and out of our lives to the greatest extent possible.   

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