By Robert Farago
January 22, 2016
TTAG reader Dylan Schumacher writes:
What if we treated the first amendment like the second? Sure, you have the right to freedom of speech, but first, you must get a permit. But not too fast, before you are allowed to mock the government or become part of the press or worship freely, you have to take a class. This class can range anywhere from 4-12 hours depending on the state you live in. At the end of the class you’ll be asked to give a small speech to make sure you’ve learned how to use your freedom safely and responsibly . . .
After the class, now you can go to your local governing body to request your permit to speak freely, report the news, or pick a church/temple/synagogue/mosque, etc. Now, depending on what state you live in, good luck getting your permit. A few unlucky individuals among you won’t be able to get your permit to speak freely depending on your state’s issuance rules. You’ll just have to abide by the state standards on the subject and no free speech, worship, or press reporting for you. Sorry.
Now, for the rest of you, depending on where you live, it could take well over 30 days to even receive that permit. Don’t you dare think about speaking freely before you receive that permit either, as that will be a crime, up to and including jail time.
Once your permit arrives, congratulations! You can now speak freely! Yeah, you’ll have to take a class and renew it in a couple of years. But for now, freedom is here! But wait, there are some common sense, for the good of society, speech safety restrictions. Some private business establishments, have the right to refuse your permit. They can post a sign on their door, with a list of words that aren’t allowed in their establishment.
If you use those words in that establishment (again, depending on the state that you live in), the police can be called and you can be looking at criminal charges. We in the free speech community suggest you stay out of those establishments entirely.