Monday, April 02, 2007

Vandalism Is Not Free Speech

Lately, I've had the unfortunate displeasure of having my car vandalized, my flag torn off my antennea and it was broken. The "support the troops" magnets were tossed in the mud puddle. I just figured it was some local young idiots with nothing better to do. I have also had the unfortunate displeasure to learn that many have been suffering the same fate. Namely, "support the troops" magnets have been taken or torn up and left on the car.

Ala at Blonde Sagacity had her sticker torn in half and left on the car.

Soldiers' Angels have recently reported similar incidents.

Thus, I am compelled to conclude that it is not "young idiots" with nothing better to do, but "idiots" in general who think that they are expressing some political point of view by damaging our private property.

Let's be very clear: Vandalism is NOT free speech.

This is personal property. It's on MY car. I purchased the magnets with MY hard earned money. I do not damage people's cars even if they have offensive stickers on them or express opinions different than mine.

Personal property is protected in the United States and it is illegal to damage any part of it deliberately and with malice. It doesn't matter whether the magnet cost $1.99 or the antennea cost $59.99 or a car or a house. It is still illegal and it is still not "free speech".

Put a sign in your yard that says "Bush is a war criminal". I will walk by and shake my head, but your sign will stay there.

You could even post a sign that says, "Screw the troops!" and I would still walk by. I would still think you are an idiot, but your sign, your house, your car, everything you own would be safe from me.

Because it is your property.

Keep your hands off of my property, whatever it says, wherever it is parked, whether that is in my driveway or in the parking lot of my local grocery store.

Your free speech ends at my property line.

Now, if you disagree with me, see my magnets on the car and would like to speak with me, stand by the car in the parking lot. I'll be happy to talk to you about our differences.

Free speech is countered with more free speech.

Be forewarned, though, these days I carry a video camera and our conversation will be recorded for posterity, for my safety and for possible mocking on the internet.

Still, keep your hands of my car and the magnets. I will have you prosecuted. If the prosecuter thinks it is "too small", I will raise such a ruckus on the internet, in the media and everwhere that your name will be "mud" no matter what. I will also take you to small claims court and request damages. I don't care if the magnet cost $1.99. We are talking about the principle of the thing. Whatever it costs me, it will cost you more in time and money.

You will be reminded, regardless of outcome, that your "speech" ends at my property line.

It's private property.

Vandalism is NOT free speech.

By the way, tonight I prepared 10 copies of videos of "I support the troops" messages from several hundred people. I will be sending more on Tuesday and more the day after and the day after.

Did you change me with your pettiness?

Not only, "No!" but "Hell, no!"

In fact, you made me want to do more. Thank you for reminding me that I have to take up your slack, slacker.

Tonight, I packed a box with over 10lbs of personal care, snacks and entertainment items for our troops. When my mom came by, she asked what I needed for the next package. I expect to be sending out the next one in two weeks or less. When my step-mom called and asked what I was doing tonight, I told her and she is ordering puzzle books in bulk (as requested by my troops) to send to the front.

Thank you! You are truly an inspiration!

The antennea was replaced (with MY money). My mom brought me a new flag. I washed the magnets off and they are back on the car.

Let me repeat, keep your hands off the magnets and the car.

Vandalism is NOT free speech.

Blonde Sagacity

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