A friend caught me the other day making a simple but profound mistake. While bemoaning the recent SCOTUS decision on ObamacareTax,Image stolen from PatDollard.com I brought up the wrongness of striking down the Stolen Valor Act, which made it illegal to claim to be a war hero.

“Why do we need a law against that?” He asked. “We’ve already got laws on the books against fraud. We don’t need to pass another law every time someone gets their panties in a wad about some hot-button issue, especially when there’s usually a law already on the books to address a particular infraction.”

Much as I hate to be wrong, I was. I let my respect for our veterans cloud my judgement. I was reminded yet again to be wary of issuing laws at the whim of what seems expedient which, like my friend pointed out, usually serve to be just another tightening of the clamp around our freedoms.

Don’t let your emotional response to an issue cloud your reasoning. Of course it’s despicable to imitate a war hero or veteran, but it’s not a crime until that person uses the deception for monetary or personal gain. So in this case, the SCOTUS ruled correctly.

We must maintain vigilance over our own righteous outrages in order to be true to the real cause of liberty, even and especially if it’s speech we don’t agree with, because that is one thing distinguishing us from those that would silence our opinions just because we express dissent.

I do not agree with what you have to say, but I’ll defend to the death your right to say it. ~ Voltaire

The right to free speech is one of the many things our heroes fight for. We would do them a grave disservice by diminishing that right in the slightest, especially with some attempt to defend their honor which can never, ever be stolen by anyone.

  • Frank Koza July 3, 2012 at 11:44 am

    “Don’t let your emotional response to an issue cloud your reasoning.”

    Reminds me of an incident soon after my brother mustered out of the Marine Corps. We were socializing in a local gin mill with one of our friends who was soon to be on his way to Paris Island to join the brotherhood. An old drunk at the end of the bar piped into our conversation, saying some derogatory things against Marines… Our friend jumped to his feet ready to rumble to defend their honor. My brother put his hand on his shoulder, pushing back down onto his barstool and said, “That’s what our job is, protecting idiots like him to keep them free to speak their mind.”

    Excellent post, Bot. :)

    • robot July 3, 2012 at 6:32 pm

      Great story, Frank. Glad you liked the post.

      Hope you have a happy Fourth of July, my friend.

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