Tommy: Where's the line between free speech and making a threat?
by Tommy Tucker,posted Mar 15 2017 10:36AM
Snoop Dogg recently released a music video in which he shoots a toy gun at a clown that’s clearly supposed to be President Donald Trump. A flag that says “bang” comes out the gun when he pulls the trigger.
Is this free speech, or is it way out of bounds?
Personally, and I’m usually an absolutist when it comes to the 1st Amendment, I’m 100% against this. I don’t think it should have been made or put out there. It sends a bad message. I didn’t agree when things like this were done about President Bush or President Obama, and I don’t agree when it’s done about President Trump.
That’s how I feel, anyway. To look at it from a legal angle, though, I spoke with a friend of ours, Ron Krotoszynski , a Professor of Law at the University of Alabama School of Law.
He said, basically, while it may be irresponsible, the Constitution protects a lot of irresponsible speech.
“Snoop Dogg doesn’t directly call for an unlawful act against the President or a member of his family or administration, so I don’t think he would be prosecutable…I think it’s going to fall along the line of like a Tom Clancy novel where he writes about a dirty bomb going off in Baltimore. That’s irresponsible, too; that could give someone a bad idea. But we protect it reflexively as speech.”
Listen to the entire interview with Professor Krotoszynski HERE.