Being an Insensitive Jerk Doesn’t Make You a Criminal

And I am so very thankful for that.

Via AL.com – Blount County man jailed after Facebook post saying he was so irritated he could “shoot up an elementary school“.

Sometimes the knee-jerk reactions of Americans (yes, and others), grasp of their own constitution, language and the law is fucking shocking.

If being an insensitive jerk equated to a terrorist threat or marked me as a criminal then I would probably be locked away for at least ten offenses every morning. That’s before I have my coffee BTW, then I really get started, and doesn’t even touch on the reckless abandon with which I slaughter song lyrics.

I posted this on my Facebook when sharing the article:

I’m sorry but you do NOT have a right not to be offended. This guy may have been a jerk. May have been a royal asshole, but he did NOT make a terrorist threat. “I could” does not equal “I will”.

I’m so hungry I could eat a horse right now…

Reference the twitter joke trial in the U.K. for more info as to why this is BS. Yes the guy is a dick, nobody is debating that, but, he has a right to be one.

Perhaps it wasn’t the most succinct of explanations, but I’m sure you understand the point I was making.

Now, go and have a read of the comments section of the linked AL.com article for a good chuckle at all the people willing to throw away their right to free speech in exchange for not having their sensibilities offended.

The guy was being a complete wanker but that’s his right, and I hate to inform you, but you do not have a right “not to be offended” or not feel hurt by what others say or their opinions. You have a right to disagree.You have a right to point out how stupid they may be, how insensitive, how it may hurt your feelings and those of others, but that does not make them criminal. If it did, Ann Coulter would have been given the chair years ago.

Think about this:

“Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.”

C.S. Lewis

Watch this: Penn & Teller – The Right Not to be Offended

And this: (wait at least until you get to the 14 minute mark where he talks about Social Media): Tony Gilland -The Right to Offend