Choose Your Battles

This Salon article about an MIT student arrested for a hoax bomb threat is disturbing. What disturbs me about it is how some people interpret the event. Without doubt, many will view the occasion as an example of our disappearing freedoms. But freedom and responsibility are joined at the hip. Any discussion of individual rights vs. public safety has to start with the understanding that a society is more than a collection of individuals. Consequently, societies have rights that may limit how individual members express themselves.

I left a post at Salon’s Tech blog with my thoughts on the matter. An excerpt is below.

In NC we have a General Statute that says you “cannot go armed to the terror of the public”. It basically means that your right to own and carry a gun (any weapon) has some restrictions. Those restrictions are partly determined by the public’s perception to and reaction of a person walking around “strapped”.