Norms vs Laws

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Noam Scheiber rebuts Jack Shafer:

A call to cool inflammatory speech can be just thata call to cool inflammatory speech. It is by no means interchangeable with a call to ban certain words. Shafer is missing the distinction between a rule or a law, on the one hand, and a norm. 

One simple norm is not making a violent threat in words or images that singles out any individual human being. Wage war against abstractions, not people. Is that so outrageous a suggestion?

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