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President Elect Donald Trump recently tweeted that flag burners should face jail time and/or loss of citizenship. Speaking of Fidel Castro, if you want to imprison and remove the civil rights of flag burners, you’re no better than a geriatric communist. It doesn’t matter if you think Trump was “trolling” or not. He made the comment. I’m a gun owner and I think the resulting controversy impacts those of us who cherish our gun rights.

The First Amendment states that “Congress shall make no law . . . abridging the freedom of speech.” The Second Amendment states that “the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.”

It seems simple enough. If you support the Constitutional ban against government intrusion into freedom of speech, you support Americans’ rights to burn a flag without government interference, no matter how distasteful you may find the practice. If you support the Constitutional guarantee of the people to keep and bear arms, you support Americans’ right to own and carry any firearm of their choosing.

Liberals who want the government to implement gun control want to dictate the what, how, when and where of the Second Amendment. Conservatives who want the government to punish flag burning want to dictate the what, how, when, and where of the First Amendment. Neither position is acceptable.

Second Amendment supporters believe the federal government doesn’t have the right to tell them what they can and cannot do with their firearms — except using their gun to threaten or injure innocent life or illegally remove or damage property. How can it be OK then for the government to tell someone what they can and cannot do with their flag? Other than inflicting “emotional distress” — a concept that seems especially vague and SJW-ish — how does flag burning hurt anyone?

I would never burn an American flag. I wouldn’t associate with someone who did. But gun owners who seek retaliation for this callous act should think long and hard before deciding that it’s OK for the government to imprison or otherwise punish a flag burner for the “crime” or offending someone’s political sensibilities. The Second Amendment protects the First, but as readers here should realize, the First also protects the Second.

182 Responses to On Firearms and Flag Burning

      • And comments like yours continue to reinforce that the human race is swirling down the toilet bowl. You do realize that we’re about to have a president whose handlers need to revoke his Twitter access because he can’t stop acting like an unruly teenager? I’m starting to buy into the theory that the Electoral College needs to save us from ourselves and replace Trump with a Republican who has some damn sense. Maybe the founders were right and we really are collectively too stupid to choose for ourselves…

        • Yum yum… Keep them tears a commin son. Trumps gonna win again in 2020 too, so get used to “the new normal.”

        • “Cjstl is female, and I’m not sure she’s from here.”

          OK, Joe. Not sure why you would assume either of those things to be true, but by all means, keep guessing.

        • The electoral college tries that, they will be shot, and I’ll help. Have you whiners ever paid any attention to the frolics of JFK or Bill Clinton, in the White House? In the oval office? In the Lincoln bedroom? Have you heard of the spot on the blue dress? Marilyn Monroe? Have you paid any attention to the public and private words and actions of LBJ? Get a life, get over yourself, and let’s see how it goes before we get stark staring stupid. Just to begin, Trump’s concept of a “thank you” tour of America sure beats the crap out of Osama’s apology tour of the whole world. Contrast looks a lot like the actions of a patriot to the actions of a moron.

        • Larry, I’m not sure what any of those things has to do with a president that has no respect for freedom. Now, if you said something like, “Have you heard of Bill Clinton’s assault weapons ban?” then I’d be right there with you. Whatever JFK might have been doing up Marilyn’s skirt, or “Little Bill” squirting something on Monica’s blue dress had no impact on the freedom of Americans. Might have upset some people to know their president was wasting their tax dollars by not turning his attention to matters that affected the country, but their indiscretions weren’t assaulting constitutionally-protected freedoms.

        • If the American electorate is too stupid it it because we are 1) Lacking in faith, 2) Misinformed. The founders knew the only way to hold a republic together is by a people who were good and well educated. We are losing our goodness because our judeo christian principals are being eroded by the public education system and a corrupt media that fails to speak the truth to power and parents who trust that education system and that media. We are poorly educated as a nation because of the same poor system and parents who are too busy working two jobs to pay attention. The US ranks 56 among 110 industrialized nations in Math and verbal skills not to mention we don’t teach American History in school properly. It can all change for the better if Education goes local again and if we stop paying media sponsors and put them out of business in favor of media outlets who do the right thing – i.e Levin TV, Rush Limbaugh, most of FOX News etc,

        • “Larry, I’m not sure what any of those things has to do with a president that has no respect for freedom.”

          I’m not sure what any concern for freedom has to do with “acting like an unruly teenager”, if you were in any way discussing “freedom” you were extremely unclear, probably because your assumptions are pure nonsense. I say again, there was not even a name of an “elector” on my ballot, if whoever benefitted from it decides he has the power to alter my vote to accommodate his personal whim, I will hunt him down and kill him. Your assumption that all the Trump voters will allow that is imbecilic. If you’re that crazy for Hitlery, go pledge your allegiance and I’m sure she and Huma will find a way to utilize your talents. Hee-hee. But the election is *OVER*!! Get used to it.

        • I didn’t vote for Hillary. I didn’t want that conniving wheel of the machine as my president. But I think Trump is making an absolute fool of everyone who voted for him. My opinion, I know. But if you re-read my OP, you will notice I did say maybe the EC should replace Trump with a REPUBLICAN who has some sense. I’m not crying over the results of the election – I did a write-in of an actual Libertarian, Austin Petersen. I had no illusion that Austin was going to win. I knew Trump had Missouri in the bag no matter what, so I was free to vote my conscience.

        • > The electoral college tries that, they will be shot, and I’ll help.

          Why do you hate the Constitution? It explicitly grants the electors the power to vote for whoever they see as best fit for office, you know.

        • 19th ain’t from here, and no, the electoral college (people) won’t survive that, and then the people of the U.S. will go after those that attempted to interfere in the world.

        • The founders had FAITH in the common sense SMARTS of a self reliant electorate. Did you know that the literacy rate in the 13 original colonies dwarfed every European Nation at the time. If we have become too stupid to recognize BS when we see it, blame the Dept. of Education for dumbing the education system down and preventing our public school curriculum to include teaching founding principals.

  1. A guy here got shot by some lunatic over a disagreement about a flag.
    The victim had on display a porcupine Gadsden style flag.
    The clown who shot him was angry the flag didn’t have a snake on it.

    People who get so emotionally wrapped up in symbolism that they would seek to imprison, deport or murder over that symbol are sick in the head and if they stopped to think for a moment they would see their absurd reaction to any perceived disrespect of that symbol is only encouraging more disrespect.

    • Agree 100%.

      It’s something often seen in fascist, authoritarian governments–reverence for symbols of the state, and a tendency to retaliate against those perceived as insulting or disrespecting those symbols of the state. Such prohibitions have no place in a free country.

    • F2 the hue.
      If someone unsheathed a sword in front of you, you’d have a problem, if they pressed it to your shirt you’d shoot them. Proponents of flag protection are just giving fair warning to such ahole as they get out of bed that day.

      As I’ve stated in another post, there is a manner or matter of Proportionality, but where do you draw the line, where do you make the cut? WHEREVER IT IS, THAT’S FOR YOU, NOT THE OTHER PERSON.

      DECLARATIONS OF WAR CAN BE MADE INCREMENTALLY, BUT THAT IS NOT HOW THEY’VE BEEN SOLELY ASSESSED HISTORICALLY.

      Is the U.S. Flag worth your life? Let me bottom line it for ya, your life isn’t worth half a wet tick-turd. Now try and convince me otherwise while you are desecrating the flag. To those who hope to someday have the honor to be buried under it, it means a great deal. Why would we have bothered to write and enact rules of its display and use? https://www.ocio.usda.gov/sites/default/files/docs/2012/DR5160-006.htm.

      AS IN ALL CASES

      YOU
      WATCH
      YOUR
      FING
      ASS

    • I agree: this flag-worship needs to stop! What next, a classroom shooting over a refusal to stand for the Pledge?

      • I know, we can’t do Globalism until people give up their Nationalism. Ditch the flag, the pledge, hell RUN THE F OFF TO CANADA BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN WANTS TO WRITE A NEW NATIONAL ANTHEM.

        Oh yeah, ditch the 2nd Amendment because we cannot control you unless you have lost the means by which you can prevent us.

        LOOK PEOPLE, we have only a very very few and sacred things binding us together, the flag is just one of the ways we provide a warning to each other that sh-t between us is TENTATIVE AND DECIDED MOMENT TO MOMENT.

        F with whatever you want, but I’ll sit by and watch someone f you up and then let them go after your kids and everything that’s important to you if it’s the flag. You can say that’s stupid, I can reply “whatever”. Just sayin.

        • Fun fact for you: that pledge of allegiance that you so worship, was authored by a self-professed socialist (the real kind, not like Obama) with an explicit intent to strengthen the federal government and diminish states’ rights.

          Now, carry on with your programming.

  2. One can argue that burning a flag is an action, not speech, and therefore shouldn’t be protected. I don’t subscribe to that view, personally. (And of course, only burn a flag you own … stealing a flag to burn is still criminal.)

    But if flag burning is protected, then so should be acts like carrying (unloaded? with no ammo on your person?) a firearm where it is not welcome. No? If not, what is the difference, especially in this era when it seems many overly criminal behaviors (riot=protest) are being treated via freedom of expression.

    • You were doing so great… and then you face-planted right into the deck. There is no such thing as “freedom of expression”. The CotUS specifies SPEECH for a reason. Words don’t harm people, actions do. I would argue that burning a flag can constitutes “fighting words” and thus falls outside the protection of the 1st amendment.

      • If I cast aspersions on your mother’s virtue (e.g., by calling you a SoB) then I am articulating “fighting words” directed at you (and, arguably, your mother).

        If I cast aspersions on the political party with which you are affiliated I think that would be far-enough removed from a personal insult that you can not claim “fighting words”.

        I don’t “like” that someone disparages me, a member of my family, a political party with which I am affiliated, or the supreme law of the land that I recognize as my home. Nevertheless, if someone speaks or writes or takes any symbolic action against any of the foregoing then I have to accept that suffering – albeit not silently – such affronts is part of what I must accept to enjoy living under this regime as contemplated by the Constitution.

        Now imagine that we were living in the era of Prohibition. At that time, the manufacture, transportation and sale of alcohol for beverage purposes was prohibited and was an enumerated withholding of an unenumerated right. Should have I had the Right under the 1A to burn a copy of the text of the 18A “in effigy”? I invite you to argue either way: I have such a right; I do not have the right to burn any part of the sacred text of the Constitution.

        I think you will conclude, however reluctantly, that I have such a right to burn the text of the 18A as a protest against a foolish provision of the Constitution. If so, it follows that I have the right to burn a copy the entire Constitution – however misguided such an action might be. If I have such a right to burn a copy of the entire Constitution then I also have a right to burn a copy of the American flag.

        Such an act is so culturally offensive that it has the effect of backfiring. If so, then why stop someone who is undermining his own credibility?

        • Again… No, you do not have a right to do any of the above. The 1stA protects your freedom of SPEECH. There is no freedom of expression implied or protected. That means that you can stand in front of Congress and yell all day. The second you start lighting anything on fire or commit any other act, your ass is going to lockup.

        • First off, the SUPCOURT disagrees; burning a flag is speech.

          And good thing, too, because if the 1st only protected literal “speech”, then it doesn’t protect you typing on your keyboard. Neither does the 2nd protect ammo sales.

          My God, why would you argue the most restrictive interpretation possible for a right? Listen to yourself, and listen to how you’re willing to rationalize just to protect a piece of colored cloth that doesn’t even belong to you. You sound like a zealous prosecutor.

        • Actually, there is only one such decision and it was a 5/4. The SCotUS has no authority to expand the meaning of words. They can all go smoke a cock.

        • Sorry, serge. He’s right. Tons of cases dealing with other things that are speech. Try One, Inc. v. Olesen. It’s one of the first that comes up. The implications of 1A applying only to the sounds made by ones vocal cords are hilarious. For one, the government could censor any and all publications for any reason. Or are printed symbols that represent words which could be formed by vocal cords a clear exception to your facile absolutism?

        • Sorry Pseudo, that one would fall under freedom of the press. Again, a specifically protected right.

        • So you agree that at least since that 5/4 decision it DOES protect more than just verbal speach? Good.

        • It’s a decision based on the legal fiction that the SCotUS has the right to create interpretations to the CotUS not found in the text. Such rulings aren’t worth the paper they are printed on.

        • Except for the precedent, which will weigh heavily on all court decisions, including SCOTUS, until an actual revolution.

        • How about United States v. O’Brien in 1968, which recognized symbolic speech?

          Or Cohen v. California, also 1968, which recognized words on clothing as speech?

          For that matter, there’s the classic case of symbolic speech in the U.S., the Boston Tea Party.

      • I agree.
        Arson is not speech. Destruction of property is not speech. Endangering people around you to ‘make a point’ is not speech.
        Why does this change when a flag is involved?

        If you want to burn YOUR flag on YOUR property and it is legal in your locale to do so without a burn permit, have at it. As I live in the National forest I would need to get a permit before setting anything on fire outdoors, and an IQ test before setting it on fire indoors.

        I don’t subscribe to comments so, just my $0.02

        • We (and in particular, pwrserge) are talking specifically about a hypothetical law that would ban flag burning by itself. Not because of safety etc (there are already laws dealing with that), but because they are fascist wannabes who worship the state, and hate the idea of someone burning a symbol of the state as a protest against some oppressive policy.

      • > I would argue that burning a flag can constitutes “fighting words” and thus falls outside the protection of the 1st amendment.

        “Fighting words” are defined as words inciting hate or violence towards their target.

        What is the target of flag burning?

    • There is no “freedom of expression” in the Constitution. The Liberal progressive socialist use that term because they don’t support the freedom to practice your religion. That is part of the 1st amendment. They also don’t support religious speech.

      They do how ever support homosexual erotic art and pedophile art. But they don’t support high school kids in California wearing American flag t shirts on Flag day or the 4th of July.

      • Have you ever perchance read this:

        “The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.”

      • If you want to see what Trump’s dedicated followers really are, and how they think, just read the comments by pwrserge and ChrisT here.

        If it stinks like fascism, that’s not a coincident. These people LOVE big government – but they love it when it’s the government of them and by them, and they can use it to trample on everyone who disagrees.

        And you other guys who voted for Trump, you just gave them the keys to what they wanted. Congratulations! You won’t get to feel the jack boot on your face right away – they have us liberals to stomp first – but your time will come.

        I hope all your talk about how “the Second is there to protect the rest” will translate into some real action then (or, preferably, before), and that it’s not all just meaningless bravado.

        Or will you just sit and watch quietly as the rest of the Constitution is torn down or rendered into meaninglessness, as with this “it’s freedom of speech, not freedom of expression” bullshit, so long as they let you have your guns?

  3. If flag burning is always protected speech, why isn’t cross burning near a black person’s home always protected speech? Why isn’t painting swastikas near a Jewish day school or house of worship always protected speech?

    Neither of them are always protected speech according to SCOTUS, so why isn’t Sara rending her garments over those infringements?

    That was a rhetorical question. I know the answer.

    Last month, she called Trump a Nazi. Today, she calls him Fidel Castro. Tomorrow, maybe she’ll be calling him Evita Peron. Who knows.

    I get that Sarah is so sad that Trump beat her beloved Hillary, but I think she’ll get over it eventually. Most adults would.

    • I’d posit that your examples appear to be ones that could more reasonably be construed as personal and direct threats than burning a flag.

      • So when dealing with swastikas and burning crosses, we are supposed to judge or infer the intent of the “speaker,” but when a flag is burned, the intent is irrelevant?

        Got it.

        • Courts judge intent all day, every day. It’s an important part of some crimes.

          It isn’t that a flag burner’s intent is irrelevant. It’s that it’s obvious: I wsnt everyone to know I hate America.

          *yawn* What else is new?

          Cross burning’s intent, despite the poster’s expedient phrasing “near a” black person’s home, is a threat to an individual and is on that person’s property. Go burn a cross on your own property, with no blacks nearby, and nobody will care. *yawn* You hate blacks.
          What else is new?

          It’s funny how willfully daft everyone becomes when justifying their pet stance or cause.

      • So I’m allowed to shoot a jackass who gets in my face with a “communism will win” sign because his actions can be reasonably interpreted by me as a direct threat? Cool.

        • If I said you’re not allowed, should someone else rely on the that fact as a guarantee that you won’t?

        • No. There are Supreme Court rulings that address exactly what constitute “speech” and “fighting words” and it’s all diametrically opposed to what you’ve been saying.

          The Bill of Rights makes us a more tolerant country than even most of us would like to be. Anti-flag-burning laws are highly popular. But people have the right to be offensive and stupid, and it’s an especially bad idea to make it a governmental function to enforce that people be inoffensive or smart.

          If some jerk wants to burn a flag, then let him burn a flag. The vast majority of people will see him as a moron and associate his cause with morons. The country is better off with a few flags burned if it means a government deprived of the power to target individuals for unpopular beliefs.

      • Action physical man
        Do you support the burning of cross on private black property???
        The Jewish lawyers of the ACLU have always supported cross burning on private black property.

        Black people have historically viewed this as a violent act.
        Enlightened white people disagree.

    • 100% agree with you Ralph. Tipton’s beloved Hillary also sponsored or cosponored an anitburning flag law. Also, it can unlawful to burn the flag due to the location. People cannot just start a fire where ever they want. Btw Sara, I voted for Trump in Wisconsin, and my vote did matter. Your welcome.

    • Because the cross-burning is targeting a family and implicitly threatening them with being lynched. The swastika, similar.

      Of course desecrating a flag is protected speech. It says: I hate this country. Why do you think people do it? It takes their message and transmits it in the strongest possible terms, in visual form, with no room for ambiguity. The fact that so many people are angered by it proves this.

      • No, burning the flag does not necessarily mean “I hate this country”. It can, in fact, mean quite the opposite.

        I once saw a flag burned, and they collected the ashes, put them in a little box, and held a funeral. They believed that what this country is supposed to be had died.

    • Ralph, have you considered a possibility that Trump is not exactly G/god? We may agree that Hillary is the devil, but that doesn’t make Trump a saint. He is a socialist, although of a more palatable nature than the Progressive socialists, but he still believes in Big Government and government control of citizens. From an economics perspective (read up on macroeconomics before you dismiss this), Trump is closer to a fascist than to a capitalist, so Sara has a point. Again, no one on this site would argue that Trump is much better than Hillary (except for a troll or two), but blindly believing in his saintliness and shutting down any criticism is akin to what the Progressives do.

      • “Ralph, have you considered a possibility that Trump is not exactly G/god?”

        I never said H/he was. What I did say is that comparing him to Hitler or Castro reveals more about the complainer than about Trump.

        Calling Trump a Nazi or a Commie is no different than what Hillary said about Trump’s supporters. Yeah, we’re a basket of deplorables. That level of slimeswomanship is expected — from Hillary.

    • I’d say there are some distinguishing characteristics:

      1. The American flag is a symbol of our government and confederation of states. As such, burning the American flag is a direct statement of disagreement or even contempt for the government. The First Amendment protects our right to protest against the government. It does not protect any implied “right” to insult other religions, races, etc.

      2. Where the burning or protesting speech occurs is also of importance. Flag burning or other protest on your own property should be protected. Public property too, with some “reasonable(!)” restrictions to prevent harassment or obstruction of other public users of that property. Demonstrations on other private property falls within the same purview as a retail store’s right to prohibit weapons on premises, etc. IOW, still not fully-settled law.

      • “The First Amendment protects our right to protest against the government. It does not protect any implied “right” to insult other religions, races, etc.”

        You argument is wrong on its face. For example, Sharia Law prohibits insulting Islam, but the Constitution does not.

      • You couldn’t be more wrong. The speech clause of the first amendment does not specify the target of the speech. It does however, specify SPEECH.

        • Under your definition – is only oral speech protected?

          How about books — they’re not speech, they’re writing (same as the difference between libel and slander).

          How about movies – can they be protected speech? What if they’re silent films?

          How about naked statues of Donald Trump? There’s no writing at all, no speaking at all, so — they’re not protected expression in your view, right?

          What about if it’s a naked statue of Hillary?
          http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/naked-statue-hillary-clinton-sparks-fight-manhattan-article-1.2834970?utm_content=buffer8ac00&utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook.com&utm_campaign=buffer

          The Hillary statue wasn’t up three hours before “a furious bystander named Nancy (she refused to give her last name) knocked it to the ground and yelled, “This is obscene. To put something up like this in front of my workplace . . . I shouldn’t have to see this,” she later said.

          Is any of this stuff protected? Or should all of these people be arrested because they weren’t using “speech”?

        • Apples and oranges. Burning an American flag had been illegal for decades before a 5/4 activist court ruling.

        • What about a mute? Are they denied the Constitutional protection of the First Amendment because they physically cannot speak verbal words?

          What about Stephen Hawking? He can’t speak, so he uses that computer voice thing — does that make his expressions become “speech” or is he still out of luck?

        • “Burning an American flag had been illegal for decades before a 5/4 activist court ruling.”

          Yes, and the 2nd Amendment was broadly interpreted as a collective right until a 5/4 ruling in 2008 held for the first time that it protects an individual right to own a handgun in their home… so does that invalidate the argument? Or does it say that the right is the right, and the court only just now caught up to acknowledging it?

        • “Yes, and the 2nd Amendment was broadly interpreted as a collective right until a 5/4 ruling in 2008 held for the first time that it protects an individual right to own a handgun in their home… ”

          TexTed, that is patent bullshit. Invented history, I think you nutbars call it, proudly. The “right of the people” was *never* interpreted as a collective right until some extremists produced that magical interpretation (which would require the assumption that the founding fathers were illiterate) in the vicinity of 1960. The BOR was adopted as one modification, and was a requirement for adoption of the constitution itself. The meaning of “the people” is clear if you look at all 10 amendments, yet morons like yourself (who think you are so *SLY*!) try to pretend that it is just so different, here, let *me* tell you what it means. We know what it means, keep lying at your peril.

      • “2. Where the burning or protesting speech occurs is also of importance. Flag burning or other protest on your own property should be protected.”

        Really? How about this scenario:

        You are a Caucasian and a Black family moves in across the street from you. You don’t like them, so in your front yard, on your private property, you erect and burn a wood cross soaked in kerosene.

        Protected speech?

        • Perhaps, but (as an historic symbol of something ‘threatening’) the neighbors might prosecute it as an act of war (whether supported by Societal Agreement or codified in law).

          It is unhelpful to how we all get along to separate those two notions.

          You don’t ACTUALLY set the other persons’ boundaries, not even by engrossing regulation(s).

          “We maintain the check and balance to our conflict by the measure of our action and inaction, for and against.
          The appraisal of the success of our efforts may hereby be measured. These are the Terms.” J.M. Thomas R., TERMS, 2016, Pg. 18.

        • Absolutely protected. What are you thinking? Also protected, and I would do it first, would be marching across the street and saying to the man’s face, “You are not welcome here. You should go away, If you choose to stay, I will not be responsible for the consequences to you or your family. Are there any questions?” Idiotic, barbarian, uncivilized, and protected. Are you thinking there is magic?

      • > The First Amendment protects our right to protest against the government. It does not protect any implied “right” to insult other religions, races, etc.

        Oh yes, it absolutely does protect any such right. And there’s nothing implied in it. It’s inherent in the very concept of freedom of speech.

        The “right to protest against the government” thing is just plain BS. Look at the wording of the First. Did you see the word “government” there anywhere?

  4. Whether we like it or not, the right to free speech isn’t limited exclusively to that which is not offensive. In a land with ideological diversity anyone expecting to never be pissed off by another is deluding themselves. Freedom has that cost.

  5. Flag burning is an act of war. All your 1st Amendment right to free speech doesn’t give you the right to change someone else’s (especially 1000’s of year long-standing understanding) definition.

    Gun burning is heinous and stupid as are those who order it and those who perform it. Anyone who’s carried a thermite grenade to be able to accomplish it ‘just in case’, would tell you that it was a dread nearly as large as that for carting off friendly KIA / WIA and destruction of their weapons/ammo/comms/intel or destroying any associated vehicle.

    • I haven’t heard of flag burning as meeting the definition of an act of war before. Could you site your sources, especially ones relevant to the US, for that notion?

      • 18 U.S. Code § 2331 – Definitions
        https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/2331#
        “(4) the term “act of war” means any act occurring in the course of—
        (A) declared war;

        (B) armed conflict, whether or not war has been declared, between two or more nations; or

        (C) armed conflict between military forces of any origin; and ”

        You can say it does not rise to that of under Section (A) only if I ignore it long enough. You want me to change my definition, I want to prevent me from having to.

        IF YOU AIN’T FROM HERE I ESPECIALLY DON’T GIVE A FAT FLYING F OF A RAT’S ASS WHAT FORM OF PROTECTION YOU THINK YOU’RE ENTITLED TO IF YOU BURN OUR FLAG. Nor do I care where you attempt it, with regard to its meaning or to whatever required penalty.

      • “An example of this would be one parties inflicting a wrong on another party in a societal agreement, and then proffering a demand upon that party to only seek separate or diminished remedy through a third party. Or for such person to prevent remedy by appeal to any other external pressure [2]. Such a demand reduces the upholding of societal agreements mores and ethics to that of a separate exercise. It is not then the respondent’s Casus belli (an act used to justify war) but the Principium finis (first-beginning of the end). Separate and distinct is the notion of Satisfaction, or remuneration, and false is the notion that societal agreement survives the slightest encounter with any such ideas.” J.M.Thomas R., TERMS, 2012 Pg. 136

        Casus belli is a Latin expression meaning “an act or event that provokes or is used to justify war” (literally, “a case of war”).[1] A casus belli involves direct offenses or threats against the nation declaring the war, whereas a casus foederis involves offenses or threats against its ally—usually one bound by a mutual defense pact.[2][3] Either may be considered an act of war.
        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Casus_belli

        Jus ad bellum
        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jus_ad_bellum

        • Hey Joe, how about this.

          I’m “not from here”. I’m going to arrange for a convenient time and place for you to come over and watch me burn the flag. You’re welcome to try to assault me with any tools at your disposal. I do, of course, reserve the opportunity to exercise my Second Amendment rights in addition to my First Amendment rights, should you present a convenient cause to do so.

          If I walk away from that encounter, I’ll toast to one more dead fascist, and the memory of my granddad who killed quite a few in his service in @@. If you walk away… well, I guess the cops won’t let you walk too far. But, WA being a libtard state, we have a moratorium on death penalty, so the worst you’d get is a nice cell for a few years to life. Totally worth it, though, right?

    • Ok Joe. Since you think burning a flag is an act of war you should saddle up and go after the flag burners. After you kill a couple see what you get. But nothing will happen because you’re all hat and no cattle Joe. A key board commando without the requisite balls to take action.

      • Again, I did previously post about “proportionality”. As far as you know, your’re late, but thanks for the invite.

        • Okay, seriously curious here – why are you an insane frothing madman lunatic fringe “see-something, say-something” poster boy with all caps when you’re posting your opinion on something…

          … but if someone asks you a question, you appear to be able to react rationally and interact politely?

          It just doesn’t make sense…

        • Holy Sh_t man, how many times do I have to post this?

          There IS A THING called internet etiquette, but there is ALSO A REAL AND PERMANENT THING ABOUT THE WAY THE HUMAN BRAIN WORKS.

          If I TYPE IN ALL CAPS, YOUR BRAIN 1) REGISTERS IT AS IMPORTANT; AND 2) IS MORE OPEN TO THE WORDS / IDEAS IT READS [EVEN JUST SKIMMING OVER IT] BECAUSE THE HUMAN BRAIN REGISTERS IT AS SOMEONE HELPING IT TO DO ITS VERY DIFFICULT JOB OF DECIDING WHAT’S IMPORTANT.

          I can even
          S P R E A D
          THEM OUT
          and your brain will be even more accepting. If I could post them in blue, it would be even more so. Less if in pink.

          THIS IS YELLING ! ! ! ! (We have punctuation for it)
          THIS IS NOT

        • Advertisers of the products you purchase every day prove this.

          They do it in ALL CAPS, or “small caps” (can’t demonstrate that here). It’s not just what is visually appealing, it’s to trigger something in your head.

          Yes, you may feel used, but I have always been very open about it, and knowing is half the battle. Think of this post as your daily email list after you came back from a week’s vacation. If you looked over the list and saw a subject line of
          1 2 : 3 0
          P R O J E C T
          M A N A G E M E N T
          M E E T I N G [line wrapped to not get run-together by the website software]

          your brain would “see” it even if you were just scanning down the list and would “like” it for it’s offer of “help” in sorting out what’s important in a lot of information and would want to return to it BUT WOULD ALSO “LIKE” THE “MESSAGE” OF IT, MERELY BECAUSE IT DID HELP IT DO ITS JOB and it would COALESCE WITH THE SENDER on some level of its thinking merely due to that fact.

          I’m trying to tell your brain what’s important, but at least cause it to want to read it.

        • Actually, I see the shouty wall of all caps, and it signals my brain to start scrolling. Decades of Internet experience has taught me that the chances of gleaning anything useful of all caps text are basically zero.

        • Yeah, sorry Joe, it doesn’t work that way. When I see your all-caps posts, it just looks like you’re a frothing-at-the-mouth, die-hard right wing lunatic. Your comments with the all-caps are nearly always extremely offensive, offputting, and vile. I ignore them entirely. You come across as a guy wearing a suicide vest and preparing to blow up an IRS building.

          However, when you respond as a human being rather than an internet troll, and I find the dichotomy truly intriguing.

          If the all-caps is a marketing act, just know that it isn’t working…

        • Like I’ve said, (and I promise no malice in it) if you can scan the page (webpage) slow enough to recognize that there is indeed TEXT IN ALL CAPS on it, it doesn’t matter if you wish to ignore it, your brain has already read it. Where it stores it, how it uses it, isn’t always the same, but it is somewhat unavoidable.

          It is not my invention.

        • Not so. Noticing all caps is a pattern recognition matter that doesn’t require distinguishing any of the individual elements. Just about everyone I know recognizes all caps without having the slightest clue what any of the words were. Just as well-educated and well-read people can scan a page for a single word without reading any others, it’s easy to recognize all-caps and move on.

  6. The flag is the national symbol of a nation. Burning it is to cause the greatest outrage, to garner the most attention. I know the court has ruled it a form of freedom of speech, much like many other things. The courts have expanded “free speech” to be “free expression” which I don’t think is a true interpretation of the 1A.

    Burning the symbol in protest- because you feel the right to- is a direct contradiction. The flag represents the US government and all it stands for. Once you burn the flag, you destroy everything it stands for, including your rights you just exercised. To me, it looks like a flag burner is symbolically protesting their own rights.

    I believe burning the flag isn’t an exercise of freedom of speech, because it comes across as an incendiary action (pun not intended) rather than a protest of the government. It is one of the few symbols we can destroy without breaking the law. Can’t kill bald eagles. Can’t burn a government building. Although you can occupy a remote wilderness shack…

    But what I believe isn’t what the SCOTUS has decided. Therefore, I will acknowledge the right to burn a flag is an expression of free speech.

    • “Once you burn the flag, you destroy everything it stands for, including your rights you just exercised.”

      Uh, no. Not even close.
      Burning the flag doesn’t destroy anything. The principles of our constitution and country can survive any form of flag desecration. That’s why flag burning is, in fact, protected speech. Banning flag burning would harm our principles, but flag burning itself just makes them stronger.

      Am I alone in thinking that our country, our principles, and our civil rights are stronger than some asshole with a Bic?

      • Thank you. As a younger man, I made the mistake of assuming that such things are obvious – they apparently are difficult for some to grasp.

      • I’m with Kevin. I was born under the flag, pledged allegiance to the flag, went to school under the flag, fought under the flag, all of it. And you can burn it all you like, it is a symbol only, and there are many more. As long as it’s yours, of course, if you try to burn one of mine I may take it as an attempt to burn my house down, with me in it. That might cause me to defend myself.

        • Now that made a lot of sense, and I totally agree. I’m a den leader for my son’s Cub Scout pack, and we conduct flag ceremonies at every meeting. We’re also fortunate enough to retire one or more flags at one of our campouts every year. It’s a very moving ceremony, which teaches the boys the importance of respecting our flag and everything it stands for.

          While I would never dream of burning a flag that wasn’t in need of a respectful retirement, protecting the right of someone else to burn the flag as a symbol of expression is one of the things for which it stands. But like you said, it better be their own flag, because burning mine would just be destroying my property, and could be construed as an act of aggression against me.

  7. Yeah. I saw that comment. I didn’t even know wtf the guy was talking about when he brought it up because I have better things to do that follow whatever nonsense Trump is tweeting. Obviously, flag burning should be legal for reasons stated in the article, even if it’s not really any type of argument against anything, it’s just making you look like an idiot because the best argument you can come up with is “I’ma burn da flag to prove how much I hate this country.” but they bought it, it’s their property, they can do anything they like with it as long as they don’t catch someone else’s property on fire.

    I would encourage push back against those who think such a law would be acceptable. I’ve seen the SJWs take over the left and I have seen some people who come across as the right wing equivalent of SJWs. I mean, they’re getting upset over jokes, going on witch hunts for political correctness, making excuses for people on the right because they’re on the right. I would hate for the pendulum to swing so far that the right becomes as bad as the left.

    That being said, I’m more concerned with action than tweets. Call me when he proposes such a law officially, then I will be pissed.

      • Yeah. I know. But Hillary Clinton has already reached rock bottom on the respect meter from me, so there is nothing more to be pissed about. If she had won the election on the other hand…

      • The REASON the act was proposed was due to liberal aholes and those who tolerated them. Not due to anything else, unless we need recite that Hillary needed to butch-up and beef her resume as well as appear to support America and not the globalist aholes that she regularly took money from (LEST WE FORGET: PROSECUTION PENDING).

        BING search (’cause Google is fing POS) “Flag Protection Act” and you’ll find no less than six previous Acts suggested. However, previous times did not call for flag protections as they were understood and the morally corrupt, broken, POS liberal_progressive_communist_globalist [&] (D) were more hidden and insidious, occupying more of their skulls and back alleys of Society and the World than they do presently.

        See also:

        https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/700#

      • Yet another thing to loathe that old authoritarian for. Is her position on this issue something Trump should emulate?

      • That particular act was proposed, because Congress was considering a constitutional amendment banning flag burning at the time. The act was prima facie unconstitutional, and its sole goal was to allow those members of Congress who opposed the amendment to cast a vote for something that made them look as if they were against flag burning in principle, as far as their voters were concerned, but with no real effect even if the law were to pass.

        It was a really stupid thing, and shame on Clinton for ever proposing it. But she did not spearhead the effort to pass the amendment, which was the real threat.

    • Extreme Left = Communism
      Extreme Right = Fascism

      Both are extremely dangerous and nearly impossible to persuade with reason.

  8. A constitutional republic is about compromise, and infringement is a pretty cut and dry definition today as it was for the founders. I’m more than happy to say you can burn that flag if I can keep and bear whatever I want, whenever I want, however I want. Someone “speaking” and removing all doubt of their idiocy which has no direct impact to me & mine is a fine compromise for me to be able to ACT responsibly for the safety & security of whats mine and those I love.

    • Because only an idiot wouldn’t worship the government…

      Better check your Bible, son – there’s a pretty clear section about not worshiping any other gods!

      • “any other”? Like, the bible, Jesus, the “holy ghost” (really?), the saints, the pope, and on, and on …?

  9. I don’t really have a huge problem with someone who decides to burn our flag – AS LONG AS THEY DO IT IN A “CONSTITUTIONAL CARRY” STATE!

    But if you burn our flag in a state which denies the Second Amendment to our Constitution, then you should be arrested and charged for “burning a flag without a license” or for “open flag burning” or “possession of an unlicensed flag” or whatever would be illegal if a gun, and not a flag, were involved.

    The First Amendment doesn’t trump the Second Amendment, or vice versa.

  10. Sorry bro, actions are not speech. There is a reason why the founders specified SPEECH rather than EXPRESSION. The 1st amendment protects your right to speak. It does not create a right to incite, riot, destroy, or otherwise act like a jackass. If somebody tried burning a flag in front of me, they’d be waking up in the hospital with a broken jaw and crushed testicles.

    • I studied Comparative Anatomy in college and I can tell you that it’s not possible to break a woman’s testicles, even though they do seem to be experts at breaking men’s.

    • And if you did that to a flag burner in front of me, you’d end up in the hospital with a couple of nice bullet holes in you as I justifiably came to the defense of the person on whom you initiated the use of force.

  11. People, with limited exceptions like myself, are incapable of generalization; they think in terms of their particularge tastes. Hence, people of the gun who believe we should hunt and cage potheads. After all, their cousin died of an overdose. We want our rights but everyone else can foad. The problem with this is obvious but ignored.

  12. Honestly I don’t give a flying f*ck that Trump said that, you know why? A few years ago, I’d be right there with you in your all important convictions, but honestly, after watching the behavior of the left and the Democratic Party over the past 8 years, I just don’t give a f*ck anymore. Lock em all up. Honestly, if Trump was like let’s deport everyone that’s openly liberal, I’d say hey, where can I sign up to be the train conductor. I’ll proudly do it pro bono.

    • Bill: I’m not willing to become a “progressive,” that is THEIR style; although I might frequently dream of doing THEIR style to them, I just don’t want to hop that fence.

  13. Burning a flag is NOT speech. It is an act. It is a symbol of our nation. No matter where in the world we may be as citizens, the flag is a symbol of our home.

    Doesn’t it bother anyone to see demonstrators, in the middle east burning our flag in protest against us? What is the difference between our flag being burned by them or being burned by BLM or any other group?

    Many countries have stiff laws against desecrating their flag.

    Personally, I get irked seeing people waving the flags of other countries as they demonstrate while being here illegally. I get irked when I call a business and get “PRESS 1 for English”. English should be automatic, and it should be “PRESS 1 for Language Assistance”. None of the countries I have traveled through do this.

    So many people have died for that flag that it is an insult to those who serve.

    • Perhaps when Trump replaces the late, great Scalia, there might return some sanity to SCOTUS, and an ability to distinguish speech from arson (a crime which includes burning your own property)

  14. The burning of the flag is pure political speech, and as such, falls directly within the parameters of the First Amendment. The First Amendment is no more limited to someone pontificating on a soap box on a street corner or in the public square than the Second Amendment is limited to smooth bore muskets and cannon. Burning the flag is almost always a protest against the then sitting government and its policies, again a political act, rather than an attack on the foundation of the government, the Constitution. So I personally have no issue with people doing it.

    And besides which, I’ve attended a flag burning. With the Boy Scouts of America. It was a very solemn affair. The ONLY approved method of disposing of a US flag, as far as I am aware, is by burning. Any other method, such as throwing it in the trash, is desecration.

    • Flags are fun, and all, but what should be discussed is the concept that a mob burning down someone else’s business is “political speech”. By people who must be given “room to destroy”. Get about something real, IOW.

  15. I’m glad flag burning counts as free speech here, because that makes the U.S an even better place to live than the gaggle of countries, historic and current, that have flag burners arrested and executed.

    However, just because people are burning the flag doesn’t mean we shouldn’t monitor their particular message behind it. Penn and Teller did it on stage with the intention of spreading awareness about the First Amendment and its importance. SJW’s and their professorial/political cheerleaders do it because they want to see America, capitalism, and the entirety of western culture supplanted/destroyed by Marxism, Sharia Law, or both.

  16. It’s a strange catch 22. The flag burning thing really became popular in the mid to late 60’s. In my lifetime, it was not considered free speech as it was not speech. This addition of flag burning as a “speech” thing is fairly recent in US history. One of the key tactics of those who are against gun rights is to change the meanings of words and concepts so that something with plain and clear meaning from our founding documents changes and “breathes” as they like to say. So the same people who support gun control and confiscation of my guns support the right to burn the flag. It takes having lived a bit longer life to see those things happen because it takes multiple decades for the indoctrination to take place to the point that people who support gun rights have mistakenly conflated flag burning as a right.

    • There is ample evidence that the right to free speech meant expression, not only the sounds that come out of your mouth. That’s not erosion of the meaning of words, but your point is well taken with respect to the fight for 2A rights. Also, that’s not a catch-22 either way.

    • BluesMike, there’s difference there: in the one case, the protection of individual liberty is being expanded by extending the literal meaning of the word “speech” to include all forms of expression (with a few limitations), while on the other the meanings of words are being changed in order to narrow the meaning and thus reduce individual liberty. If the Second were to be treated as the First is, the words would be expanded to bar passage of any law with the word “gun” or “weapon” it it.

  17. i simply shun people. if some jackanapes engages in behavior my community finds socially unacceptable, i dont associate with them. no buying from, no selling to, no holding the elevator, no letting them merge in traffic. fair is fair. i dont need the government to punish them.

  18. Just so y’all understand my position on flag burning — I support flag burning. No, really. I might wish that the flag burners were wearing the flags for diapers while they set them alight, but I still support it.

    I also support cross burning, swastika painting, the burning of effigies of certain politicians while hung from nooses, mooning, flipping the bird, foul language, devil worship, public sex involving religious objects, pornography involving barnyard animals, and every other form of expression no matter how stupid, disgusting or dangerous.

    None of which makes Trump a Nazi.

    • This is my stance as well. However, I believe that violence by individuals against people who perform those actions is morally acceptable even though it is not and should not be legal.
      And of course president-elect Trump is not a Nazi. But sometimes, he’s just a crazy old man.

    • Trump is not a Nazi. He’s a populist who will pander to any group that can serve as a power base, especially if it enthusiastically supports him in return.

      Right now, white supremacists are one of those groups.

  19. You know what the best part of Trumps victory is? We get to listen to all this crying and Butthurt never trumpers slowly turn into liberals over the next four years. It’s ok though. We don’t need you, to win AGAIN in 2020!!!! Y’all can follow Lindsey graham into the Democratic Party and become NeoLibs.

    • That doesn’t seem to be the case. It seems they’re swallowing their words and limping back to him for whatever scraps they can get. Look at Romney.

      • Seriously. I mean, are there even any NeverTrumpers left? Romney was the most vocal and vociferous and highest-profile, and he has turned around 180 degrees and says Trump is the man that can lead us to the promised land.

        Maybe you could put the Hamilton Electors in that class, but they seem to be Democrat electors who can’t actually change the outcome of the election; I think there’s 7 of them in total, and I think they’re all electors bound to vote for Hillary from Hillary states. There was one Trump elector who resigned because he couldn’t bring himself to vote for Trump, but by resigning he opened a slot on the Texas slate for an elector who will vote so…

        I think the “nevertrump” thing has already flamed out and the converts are “coming home”.

        • Ah no Tex- they’re still around. Mostly holier than thou Christian types who believe Trump is an irredeemable heathan. They don’t and didn’t have a ready answer when I asked(on FB)if the Hildebeast was their alternative. God uses sinful men. SEE:Cyrus the Great of Persia…

  20. The supreme court has already had its say on banning flag burning. It also already had its say about the government using the threat of revoking citizenship as punishment for activities the government finds distasteful. Both are no-nos. You make like his stance on guns, but a constitutionalist Trump is not.

    • We’re under no illusions about Donald Trump being a constitutional scholar who reads The Federalist Papers by the Christmas fire every year.

      But, when your enemy has been beating you with a board for the last few minutes, and suddenly you find you’ve snatched it from him, you start whacking him back.

      Trump’s election has give us a respite, but all Obama’s illegals are still here, with many of them approaching voting age.

      Trump has bought us the time to make alliances, strengthen state legislatures, and figure out who in town needs to die when the time is right.

      Make no mistake, our overseas (and lots of domestic) Allahu-Snakebar crowd hate us because of who we are and what we believe.

      The Democrats hate us because what we believe will never permit us to become their slaves. You’ve seen that. White democrats can be as racist as they want and don’t ever get singled out. It’s not racism, or wealth inequality, or anything else they hate, it’s that we won’t left them use these concepts to subjugate us.

      We are going to have to kill a lot of them. It’s going to happen, or we will all live as slaves.

      What Trump might do is provide me with enough time and a friendly business atmosphere so that I can really accrue a respectable amount of money and weaponry.

      Not every man will kill on principle, but almost all will kill for money. The colonial army under Washington didn’t subsist on fervor alone.

  21. I support more freedom – not less. So if they want to burn the flag they can and should be able to. Also, allowing them to burn their own flag alleviates any need for me to ridicule them as they are doing such a good job of humilating themselves knowingly or not. I could burn a flag in my yard too. But I have respect for my veteran neighbor who was drafted against his will and fought anyways. I have respect for my friends, my family, my other neighbors, and my countrymen. Many of them have made sacrifices for what they perceived was a benefit to our country as a whole. The vast majority of them are good people and there is no benefit to disrespecting the sacrifice they made.

  22. my gun, my property, not yours, ill destroy it if i want.
    my flag, my property, not yours, ill destroy it if i want.
    The american way. Muslims will kill you for destroying your KoRan or drawing a funny cartoon of MooHaMed….lets not be like them. Stop the nonsense.

  23. Proposed Law:

    It shall be unlawful to burn the flag if the United States of America and the act of burning the flag shall be punishable by a fine of up to $10,000 and/or 10 years imprisonment.

    Exception: Burning the flag of the United States if America shall be legal and not punishable if, and only if, the flag is properly installed, pursuant to Appendix A herein, prior to burning.

    Appendix A: To properly install a flag, it shall be tightly wrapped around the center-mass area of the nearest available politician.

  24. It is wonderfully refreshing to hear a soon to be president defend the flag. Is seems there are many people who are uncomfortable with Trump defending the American flag. Why???
    No one is going to jail for flag burning. Is it his free speech that publicly shames flag burners. That is a good and new refreshing thing for a president to do.

    Americans should be tuff enough to take a public shaming from their president who has free speech as a leader.

    • Huh? You say no one is going to jail for flag burning in response to an article about Trump commenting that people should go to jail for flag burning? It isn’t the public shaming of flag burners that has people riled up. Most of us believe that flag burners publicly shame themselves.

      What has everyone riled up is our president elect suggesting that people who exercise their 1st Amendment rights should be imprisoned or lose their citizenship. That statement is a direct slap in the face to anyone who believes in freedom.

  25. Flag burning:
    1) Stupid – check
    2) Counterproductive – check
    3) Offensive – check

    4) Legally allowed by a free nation – CHECK!

    If Trump doesn’t like it, he should go rip up the constitution of some other country.

  26. I give an Empire State Building tall middle finger to all of the intolerant self serving rants and rant-ers pervading this thread, and although that’s my finger and not my mouth, it is, I think you will agree, the functional equivalent of speech, because it conveys my thought and position. And if you think that’s fighting words you are just as frail in spirit and mind as all of the weeny liberals complaining about microaggressions and demanding trigger warnings. Grow a pair, and grow a little grey matter while you are at it.

    I revere what the flag stands for- which is freedom. Freedom is what our countrymen and forefathers gave their all for, not a square of cloth. The protection of freedom is the right to express ideas, whether they are popular in a given time or not- the free market of thought, able to flow and be judged on its merits is the essence of freedom (along with the right to defend one’s self, with force if necessary, against thugs, both official thugs and unofficial thugs). As Sarah points out, the protection of the free market of ideas is the best way to protect the Second Amendment against the politically correct idiots, who, sooner or later, will return to positions of power to some degree or another. Free speech is an essential part of our arsenal of freedom.

    By idolizing the mere object of the flag, you rant-heads trash the principle for which it stands. I think of the principles for which the flag stands as something that cannot be destroyed no matter what someone does to the object of the flag, but can be destroyed by those who can’t tolerate dissent. If you happen to be a Christian, think of how Christ and what he stood and stands for for could not be extinguished despite being nailed to a cross. You intolerant flailers are just as feeble in spirit and mind as the whiny liberal weenies demanding “trigger warnings about microaggressions.”

    Antonin Scalia hated flag burning and flag-burners- but he “got it” that it is expressive conduct equivalent to speech, and is therefore protected, even thought it is despicable; he said that he’d jail flag-burners if he were king, but he realized that under our flag, we have no kings: That (no kings who can force their will to prevent others’ speech) IS the truest principle of the flag
    http://www.businessinsider.com/scalia-talks-texas-v-johnson-at-brooklyn-law-2014-3

    Hats off to Sarah for “getting it” and daring to say it to an audience bound to contain many who refuse to get it.

    Long live freedom, the real kind

  27. This is settled law. The Supreme Court ruled years ago that flag burning was free speech protected by the First Amendment. So was the Neo-Nazis’ parade through a Jewish neighborhood in Skokie, Illinois. The best way to discourage flag burning is to shake your head, mumble “Stupid assholes”, and ignore them thereafter.

  28. I know this sounds a bit trollish but I am really trying to get a handle on what is going on here. Why are some people here upset w/ Sara Tipton?

    • Because some people here are massive hypocrites, who cherish freedom as long as it applies to their guns, but believe freedom ends if it applies to speech or actions that offend their patriotism or their religion. They get as butthurt over their version of “offensive” speech as those SJWs that they love to sneer at.

      • Hypocrisy check for you sir
        Do you support the burning of the homosexual rainbow flag??? It is just a piece of cloth correct?

        Or how about burning the flag of the Mexican invaders violating the American border???
        I think burning the American flag is protected hate speech.
        Do you support all forms of hate speech???

        • Yes, I definitely support all forms of hate speech. I believe Freedom of Speech applies to any form of speech or expression that does not constitute an immediate threat of violence to another person. I could call someone a filthy f@g. I could even wish aloud that person would suffer harm. Where I believe the line is crossed is when the language becomes a threat of action. For example, I could say, “I hope you die.” I don’t believe there’s anything wrong with that. Now if I said, “I’m going to kill you,” that is a direct threat and is not protected speech. Same as how burning a cross in a public space is an expression of speech (though local ordinances might prohibit such demonstrations). But if you were to go onto a black person’s property and burn said cross, that would not only be trespassing, but could very well be construed as a threat of violence.

          There are plenty of despicable people on this planet. And in a free society, you have the right to be despicable. You just don’t have the right to harm or directly threaten someone. People as a whole need to develop thicker skin.

    • > Why are some people here upset w/ Sara Tipton?

      Because she didn’t vote for Trump, and openly advocated against doing so.

      Trumpkins, like all adherents of authoritarian cults, value loyalty above everything else. Thus, any refusal to worship the Dear Leader is seen as ultimate heresy and treason.

  29. I couldn’t agree more. Freedom is not an à la carte menu. You don’t get to pick and choose which freedoms people are allowed to have and which they aren’t, just as nobody has the right to dictate yours. You either support freedom, all freedoms, or you don’t support freedom. Don’t like people burning their flags (I say their because it’s their property. if they stole the flag, then it’s destruction of private property), then don’t associate with them, don’t support them, but you don’t have the right to stop them or imprison them. And yes, I would say the same thing to those that support gun control. Don’t like it? Disassociate. But be consistent and support their freedoms even if you disagree.

  30. Really?
    You just don’t get it.
    In one fell swoop, The Donald has forced defenders of Safe Spaces and Hate Speech laws to come out in support of Free Speech.
    Make them live by their own rules.

  31. My father (20 year vet of the AF) had a saying, he may not always agree with what you have to say but he will defend your right to say it. I agree with him on this… we may not like what someone has to say, but the have the right to say it. I will NEVER burn the Flag but I will standby, armed, to defend their right to do it.

  32. “Pete” (9:43) brought up a good point. Even simpler: Trump was planning a victory tour during which there would undoubtedly be demonstrations to “dis-credit” him. His flag tweet all but guaranteed that there will be a burning flag front and center of every anti-Trump demonstration that would dis-credit the demonstrators in most people’s eyes.

    “Pete” suggests a more subtle process. I like it.

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