A New Threat to Free Speech

By Jeffrey Goldberg

Rep. James Clyburn asserts, without evidence, that the Tucson shooting proves that this country needs to curtail free speech in the name of public safety:

'Free speech is as free speech does,' he said. 'You cannot yell 'fire' in a crowded theater and call it free speech and some of what I hear, and is being called free speech, is worse than that.'

Clyburn used as an example a comment made by Sharron Angle, an unsuccessful U.S. senatorial candidate in Nevada, who said the frustrated public may consider turning to 'Second Amendment remedies' for political disputes unless Congress changed course.

Clyburn said the man accused of shooting Giffords did just that.

'He saw a Second Amendment remedy and that's what occurred here and there is no way not to make that connection,' Clyburn said.

Despite Clyburn's position, law enforcement has not yet revealed the suspect's motives in the shooting.

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2011/01/a-new-threat-to-free-speech/69307/