Monday, August 18, 2014

What about the Ferguson Curfew?

Two days ago, after the Missouri governor announced the midnight curfew to go into effect that night in the town of Ferguson, Missouri, MSNBC had a panel of commentators who made the ridiculous allegation that the protesters' "First Amendment rights ended at midnight". They all thought it was just horrible.

We are talking about a host, three commentators there with him, and then another one at a remote location on the west coast. All agreed with the sentiment expressed above.

This is one of the stupidest things I have ever heard on a national network. Anybody with half a brain knows that there are all kinds of limitations on free speech; just think of libel laws, laws against blackmail and extortion, laws against making terroristic threats, disturbing the peace, and on and on. The First Amendment has never meant that we have the right to say anything we want, at any time we want, at any place we want, in any manner we want, at any decibel level we want, and so on.

I could go on with numerous examples, but the point has been made. The point of the First Amendment is that anybody with a political message has a right to get that message out. The protesters in Ferguson can protest all they want from 5 AM to midnight. If their point has not been made in those 19 hours, perhaps they should go home and reconsider their approach to make it more effective.

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