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Freedom of Speech is not Freedom to Prevent Speech

Reader comment on item: Speaker Shouted Down at U.C.-Irvine
in response to reader comment: FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION

Submitted by G Woodworth (United States), Feb 13, 2007 at 02:39


No, not EVERYWHERE. Freedom of Speech is not "Freedom to Disrupt." There is a proper time and place. Those who wish to disagree are entirely free to hold their own meeting where they can express their own opinions. They are also free to speak in the time provided during the Q&A session. But they are NOT free to disrupt another person's meeting or lecture and try to prevent him from expressing his. You are confusing the freedom to SPEAK with the freedom to DISRUPT. There is no freedom to disrupt! There is no freedom to prevent someone else's speech. Furthermore, a speech is not an open debate. There is a difference. Would you be allowed to go into a church (or maybe I should say a mosque), create a disturbance, and start arguing with the sermon? A sermon is not a debate any more than a speech is.

And don't offer a specious analogy to Parliament (which we don't have in this country anyway). Our Congress is governed by Rules of Order. NOBODY is allowed to create mayhem or to PREVENT anybody else from speaking.

I don't know why Third Worlders, in particular, have such great difficulty in comprehending what is meant by Freedom of Speech (perhaps because they're so unused to it), but those who can't grasp it reveal themselves as no asset to this country. If they can't comprehend it and accept it, they should be removed. That's why their countries are all in such chaos and they want to come and live here. Then they want to bring the same chaos with them that they left behind. In such hands, this fragile democracy that was left to us by The Founders will not long last.

And incidentally, there is no Amendment called "Freedom of Expression." You could "express" yourself in a thousand different ways, but speech is limited to one thing only: speaking.


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