30 November 2016

Should Flag-Burners Go to Jail?


Maybe you should start by asking the right person . . . 

A certain Civil War blogger is all-a-twitter over President-elect Trump's recent tweet about jailing flag burners. This is yet one more case of someone taking Trump literally, but not seriously. It's also another example of the "moral outrage of the week club." I think most folks who read the tweet understood it for what it was: attention getting hyperbole. But here's a factoid overlooked by the hand-wringers: Defeated Presidential candidate and former Democrat Senator from New York, Hillary Clinton, actually co-sponsored a bill that would, in fact, have jailed flag-burners: The "Flag Protection Act of 2005", which reads, in part:
Any person who destroys or damages a flag of the United States with the primary purpose and intent to incite or produce imminent violence or a breach of the peace, and under circumstances in which the person knows that it is reasonably likely to produce imminent violence or a breach of the peace, shall be fined not more than $100,000, imprisoned not more than 1 year, or both.
Moreover, the New York Times opined that Clinton's bill was an attempt to equate flag-burning with cross-burning, writing:
The bill attempts to equate flag-burning with cross-burning, which the Supreme Court, in a sensible and carefully considered 2003 decision, said could be prosecuted under certain circumstances as a violation of civil rights law. It's a ridiculous comparison.
You would think these folks would be a bit more concerned about the reality of a bill with teeth filed in the U.S. Senate than they would a tweet by a man who is known for his over the top remarks. Then, again . . .😉 Oh my, it's going to be a very fun 4 (maybe 8) years. LOL.

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