Monday, May 4, 2015

Asking For It

     First of all, the link, in case you haven't heard about it yet: a bunch of people got together in Dallas at an event which included a Mohammed-drawing contest. A couple nutjobs showed up with the intention of killing people because of this.

     This is not shocking.

     What is shocking is that some people are shocked. I mean, you host an event specifically to generate religious controversy. Just a few months ago, this same sort of thing resulted in the deaths of 12 cartoonists, for God's sake! (no pun intended). It's in Texas, where, as far as I'm concerned, everyone not only owns a gun, but carries it everywhere. It's in Texas, where everyone seems to have very loud and controversial opinions. Nutjobs run rampant in those southern states. I think the heat just fries some people's brains or something.

     Now the listing of the obvious: Yes, people should be allowed to draw literally whatever they want to draw. Yes, people should be allowed to hold an event like this. No, people should not be killed over something like this. Yes, having tight security at an event like this, provided by the police, is a really, really good idea.

     However, this exact sort of thing highlights why, though you should be allowed to say (or draw, or whatever) any little thing that pops into your head (provided it's not defamatory or threatening, of course), that doesn't mean you should actually do it, unless you're prepared to face the consequences. Unfortunately, in this day and age, the consequence for drawing a picture of Mohammed often includes some crazy person trying to kill you. This is no longer a surprising series of events. It shouldn't be like this, but it is.

     Now, mind you, if you are prepared to put yourself in a position to be shot at, and wish to risk becoming a cartoonist-martyr, go for it. Someone needs to challenge the bullies. Just don't be surprised about it if you end up dead. After all, you were asking for it.

And, because I am such a big fan of assigning extra reading to those few who actually read this blog, a link.

 And another, slightly off-topic, but worth the read:
"Free speech includes the words of those who hate. Who hate racism. Who hate the Nazis. Who hate terrorists. Who hate radical Islam. Who hate King George. Hate is at the core of what free speech protects."

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