When I first broached my “don’t piss off the crazy dangerous people” observation, I knew it was getting bad. I just didn’t know how bad.
At that point, we had as proponents such high-ranking figures as General David Petraeus, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and President Obama all saying “forget about your Constitutional rights; it’s more important that you not piss off the crazy dangerous people.” At that point, you’d find yourself saying “well, it couldn’t get any worse.
Yes, it could.
According to this quite liberal Justice (appointed by President Bill Clinton), burning a Koran just might be the equivalent of “shouting ‘fire’ in a crowded theater” — so explicitly dangerous, that it cannot be tolerated.
Note that Justice Breyer doesn’t take into account the fact that the harm caused by the ‘fire’ incident is from the entirely-understandable panic caused by people believing that their lives are in imminent danger. In the Koran case, it’s one step removed — it’s not the burning of the Koran that causes the danger, but the reaction by others to the provocation.
Further, Justice Breyer omits an even more significant point: the responses that he views as entirely predictable and understandable are in itself a violation of the law.
Arson. Vandalism. Assault. Disorderly conduct. Rioting. Inciting a riot. Attempted murder. Murder.
It’s a form of blaming the victim. “Yes, you didn’t break any laws when you burned that Koran. But you still had it coming. You pretty much deserved what will happen to you. We might try to protect you, but don’t count on it.”
I thought we were past that.
I guess not.
Oh, well, if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em. Could someone tell me what sorts of provocation I can use when I feel like beating the hell out of someone, and not having to worry about the authorities trying to stop me?