I was wondering what this blog would cover today.Then it hit me,all the news all the talk, opinion shows on cable were discussing speech. What they had to say about it pretty much divided along party lines. So it got me to thinking just what is the assumption concerning speech, especially in this day and age.First of all I believe we should state the priniciple that was enshrined in our founding docunment,the Constitution of the United States.Our founding fathers were so concerned about speech they made sure that future generations would have no question as to how much speech the citizens of this new country would enjoy.
In the Bill of Rights, in Amendent 1 it states,Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
Speech must have been very important to the founding fathers, after all four of the six rights mentioned in the Admendent dealt with some form of speech.We know that speech was important to them after all they started the American Revolution with speech. Politics it was once said is just another form of war being fought in a peaceful manner.Except for a few rare instances no one dies during a spirited debate.So what is the assumption that is being made. Its relatively simple, that the more speech the better and that the solution for bad speech is more speech.
Now how does that relate to what is happening in the news today.Well in the wake of the Tucson shooting by by someone who it seems was mentally unstable, there have been calls to ban certain speech metaphor. Figures of speech such as, being targeted, in the crosshairs,metaphors that deal with descriptions of fighting or war.It is being alleged that this type of descriptive speech can make individuals who are close to the edge, to act out in the manner that the figure of speech is describing.Is it possible, of course it is, but is that sufficient reason to ban certain types of speech.If it is, then were do we draw the line.How about someone saying in a fit of anger,"I hate that person and wish they were dead." Is that a call to action? Will some unbalanced individual use those words to act.Any sort of discussion,rating,emotion will usually use some sort of violent imaginary.Do we ban any speech that uses imaginary? What do we think that the founding fathers would say about this.On which side of the line would they support, more or less speech.I know what I believe,But the question is what do you believe. Do you want to limit someone elses speech,what if it is what you want to say.? Think carefully about any type of restrictions that you want to impose. More speech or less speech?