Shouting “Fire!” in a Crowded Theater


Communists in the US will often cite the propagandist lie that, “Free speech has common-sense limitations; for instance you can’t shout “Fire!” in a crowded theater.” They most often do this in order to support their tyrannical and false idea that common sense requires infringements on your natural right to keep and bear arms. The one has nothing to do with the other and, in fact, the former has nothing to do with rights at all.

Point of fact: you can legally shout “Fire!” in a crowded theater. You can also legally shoot someone on the street. In the first instance, you may legally do so if your act is to alert innocent citizens to a deadly threat. In the second instance, you may legally do so if you are responding to a deadly threat (to yourself or others).

Those who despise liberty love to cite apparent limitations on your individual rights, but they inevitably do so by gross distortion or non sequitur. Shouting “Fire!” in a crowded theater has nothing whatever to do with free speech or the First Amendment to the US Constitution. On the contrary, it is a deliberate, malicious inciting to panic that is known to impel innocent people toward harm or death. It is not the word “fire” or the crowded theater, specifically, that holds the root of illegality. It is the specific aim toward harm; the threat. You may no more legally threaten someone toward harmful or deadly action with words than you may legally threaten someone by brandishing your legally owned and carried firearm. Both acts are are outlawed because we know they both tend to impel good, innocent people toward harm (to themselves or others).

Inasmuch as the “Fire!” lie is used to lend legitimacy to infringements on your God-given right to keep and bear arms (of any sort whatsoever), the criminal equivalent would be, “A right to arms has common-sense limitations; for instance you can’t walk into a crowded theater and whip out a rifle and point it at people.” Of course you cannot, but that deadly threat is simply an illegal act and has nothing to do with the Second Amendment or with rights at all.

Don’t let communists and other leftists in the US trick you into mistaking their ridiculous lies for logic. They despise logic and never use it. When they try, it is you cue that they’re lying to you.

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