Middleboro Approves $20 Fine For Swearing
MIDDLEBORO (CBS/AP) — The townspeople of Middleboro have passed a ban on cursing. At a town meeting Monday, they voted 183-50 to approve the proposal from the town’s police chief to impose a $20 fine on public profanity.
Supporters say the ban isn’t meant to censor casual or private conversations, but instead crack down on loud profanity heard in downtown areas and public parks.Right. Because nothing says "prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech" like getting hit with a fine. I mean, I suppose the Middleboro selectmen don't qualify as Congress, so they're abiding by the intent of the First Amendment. But it's hard to imagine that this doesn't set a precedent that *would* reverberate before Congress, as they start getting the notion that, hey, we don't have to *outlaw* that pesky speech we don't like, we can just start fining people for it!
$10,000 fine for writing something unflattering about Obama? No problem! It's not a law passed, right? Your First Amendment rights are intact, because it's not outlawed. I've got a better idea. How about if, rather than fining folks for writing things we don't like - because, you know, words can hurt - we require all writers to have a Writer's License. They can pass a test showing that they know what speech is allowed; can only use Approved Writing Devices from a state-sponsored Roster; and won't have any high-capacity ink cartridges.
Sounds pretty silly, doesn't it? Yeah. We gunowners thought so. You place undue burdens on one right at the expense of all others. Massachusetts has treated the Second Amendment like the redheaded stepchild for so long that it's second nature; it's only fitting that the mindset that takes a big steaming crap all over the Constitution with regards to the Second Amendment should then set its sights on other Amendments.
As for Middleboro, I heartily invite them to go fuck themselves.
That is all.