Dear BSL Advocates,
Even though Freedom of Speech in the United States is a constitutional right, its a very limited right. I understand that this topic can be rather difficult since it basically says that: even though you can say anything you want to say- you are not always protected by the 1st amendment. In fact- the majority of your violent rants about killing things are not protected and that includes Mr. Richard Prince’s violent instructions on how to kill and torture pit bulls.
Lets take a gander at what’s not covered by the 1st amendment:
You know, when Jeff’s new fishing buddy was talking/encouraging people to stab, beat, duct tape, chain saw, sledge hammer, choke, run over and anally probe a pit bull? Nope, not protected.
2. False statements of fact
In Gertz v. Robert Welch, Inc. (1974), the Supreme Court decided that there is “no constitutional value in false statements of fact.
A great example: “ALL pit bulls are purpose bred fighting dogs that will eat you for Thanksgiving.” Nooooope. Not protected either!
3. Fighting Words
In Chaplinsky v. New Hampshire (1942), the Supreme Court held that speech is unprotected if it constitutes “fighting words”. Fighting words, as defined by the Court, is speech that “tend[s] to incite an immediate breach of the peace” by provoking a fight, so long as it is a “personally abusive [word] which, when addressed to the ordinary citizen, is, as a matter of common knowledge, inherently likely to provoke a violent reaction“. Additionally, such speech must be “directed to the person of the hearer” and is “thus likely to be seen as a ‘direct personal insult’. Along with fighting words, speech might be unprotected if it either intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly inflicts severe emotional distress.
You know, when you attack innocent dog owners and their families? When you post their address and steal pictures of their children and you threaten to go kick their asses or pay “visits”? Riiiiiiight- totally not protected.
Threats of violence that are directed at a person or group of persons that has the intent of placing the target at risk of bodily harm or death are generally unprotected.
Well…. every day you threaten bodily harm and death….
So, yes- you are free to say whatever you want, however- stop trying to hide behind the 1st amendment because it won’t protect you…