Posts Tagged ‘First Amendment’

Cheeps and Chirps for Aug. 16, 2016

August 16, 2016

By Matthew E. Milliken
MEMwrites.wordpress.com
Aug. 16, 2016

There will be Twitter!

• Comedy!

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Arguing about American rights: The U.S. Constitution and its first two amendments

April 29, 2016

By Matthew E. Milliken
MEMwrites.wordpress.com
April 29, 2016

Perhaps the worst day in American history since Sept. 11, 2001, was Dec. 14, 2012. That Friday morning, a 20-year-old fatally shot his mother in their Newtown, Conn., home before driving to nearby Sandy Hook Elementary School, where he killed six adults and 20 children before turning a weapon on himself. The gunman used weapons that had been legally purchased by his mother.

Over the course of more than a year following that massacre, I spent a great deal of time on Twitter attempting to persuade people who held what I thought to be excessive enthusiasm for gun rights that their ideas were somewhat misguided.

“I no longer want to live in a country that shrugs and says the Second Amendment justifies every gun death,” I told one such fanatic several hours after the killings had taken place.

After right-wing conspiracy peddler Alex Jones told Piers Morgan in a January 2013 interview, “My point is that the Second Amendment is sacrosanct,” I quoted Jones and added a sarcastic parenthetical (“Kids’ lives? Whatever”) in attempt to highlight his skewed priorities.

When a conservative mixed-martial-arts fan told me on Twitter that “guns as written in the constitution are to protect countrymen from a tyrannical government,” I dryly observed that “[t]hat worked perfectly in Waco and at Ruby Ridge, right?” Shortly afterward, I asked the same individual, “So 31,000 gun deaths annually is the price of the Second Amendment?”

Reader, I’m 99 percent sure that I persuaded approximately zero percent of the people I engaged to alter or adjust their views in any way.

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On public spaces and the desire for privacy at the University of Missouri

November 10, 2015

By Matthew E. Milliken
MEMwrites.wordpress.com
Nov. 10, 2015

On the same day as protests by student-athletes over the handling of racist incidents contributed to the resignation of the president of the University of Missouri, attempts by journalists to interview and photograph protestors in a campus quad changed the narrative.

A nearly seven-minute-long video shot by Columbia, Mo., photographer and Mizzou alumnus Mark Schierbecker shows members and sympathizers of the group Concerned Student 1950 vigorously requesting that Tim Tai, a student photojournalist, leave the protestors’ campsite and refrain from taking pictures in the location. Near the end of the clip, the group pushes Tai away from the boundary established by the group. (“It’s our right to walk forward, isn’t it?” a young woman asks in what struck me as a sarcastic tone of voice.) People cheer.

Seconds later, Schierbecker approaches a woman — widely identified as Melissa Click, a communication professor at the university — and says, “I’m media, can I talk to you?”

“No, you need to get out,” Click replies, pointing. “You need to get out.”

“No I don’t,” Schierbecker answers.

“You need to get out,” Click repeats. At this point, she appears to jostle the phone or device Schierbecker was using to record.

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