Freedom of Speech, as intended by Constitutional Design (Bill of Rights), is to protect open dissent and opinion without which the free exchange of or challenge to opinion could not occur without risk of government sanction. There is however, limits to expression and we observe these limits in cases where libelous claims are made. To suggest that speech or actions that insight adverse action or outcome is protected speech clearly takes the First Amendment argument beyond its ideals.
It must be clearly understood that the Constitution (and the Bill of Rights) must always be understood on these specific terms: they express the barriers of Government and not public prohibitions. It is reasonable to assume that Pamela Geller, founder of the American Freedom Defense Initiative, considers the sponsoring of their “cartoon” event to be an extension of Freedom of Speech. And decidedly incendiary as it may be the media, instead of vilifying Ms. Geller, has largely missed a very serious problem that, by the manner in which they shape their coverage, is bordering on an open endorsement of militant-like response.
They have completely missed that the chosen response to a “cartoon” contest (mind you), was an armed assault and I assure you that this is a form of expression never considered by the architects of the First Amendment!
Curtis C. Greco, Founder