Sunday, July 03, 2011

Gary Moore is an idiot

So Tennessee just increased its offensive bumper sticker fine to $50 every time (up from $2 to $50 per judge's discretion).  As the word "increase" would suggest, this is a change to an existing law, but unlike my brother I've never had to live in Tennessee, only drive through it, so the whole thing is news to me.

The very concept of an offensive bumper sticker law is idiotic.  What offends one may not offend another, obviously, and at any rate offensive or not I'd figure this as a First Amendment issue.  Gary Moore, who is a Tennessee politician--and a Democrat, to prove yet again how open-minded and tolerant those folks are--co-sponsored the bill to make the change, and he doesn't agree that this sort of thing is protected:

In his opinion, Rep. Moore said the law does not violate any constitutional protections, including freedom of speech.

"When you get into crossing the line so to speak you do not have a right to impose your speech on other people," he said.


The hell?  Has the man even read the Constitution?  Did he pay attention at all during history class?  You absolutely do have a right in this country to speak publicly, even if that speech offends someone.  I daresay offensive public speech is what America was founded on; certainly King George would have taken umbrage at that which was said about him in public houses of the time.

I realize this is a small thing, but dear God I hope someone challenges this law on up the ladder. Where the hell is the ACLU when it could be doing something worthwhile?


Dave said...

Interesting. Two weekends ago I saw this lady in the HEB in Lytle with an interesting tattoo. She was wearing an ill-fitted tube-top (or something like that) that left her entire back and shoulders in view. It wasn't the tattoo that caught my eye at first, it was her repeated use of the F-word as she and her husband struggled with the 3-year old at the little H-E-Buddy dispenser. When I turned to see who the public potty-mouth was, I saw the 3 inch tall Gothic script letters tattooed on her back, "Fuck You". I was not so offended by the words, but at the shoddy workmanship of the prison tattooist.

I see more and more bumper stickers and t-shirts with the use of the F-word and other, once offensive words. As I've gotten older, I have found that I cuss a lot less than I did but I have also found that these words are used so commonly now, it is hard to imagine people being offended by them.

I'm not a huge fan of the ACLU, simply because of their selective outrage, but I sure do hope they find some time to get to Tennessee. When are people going to learn that not being offended is not one of your rights.

peter d said...

I've never heard of that law. Don't TN legislators have better things to do? He seems to be one of those who believe the First Amendment includes a right to not be offended. People need to get over it. What offends me is those people who have ''testicles'' hanging from their trailer hitch. What the heck is the purpose of that?