Who is to Blame for Buffalo?

 

From Kevin D. Williamson:

Before the blood was even dry in Buffalo, Democrats were asking the most important question:

“How can we well-heeled white progressives most effectively use the murders of all these black people to our personal and political advantage?”

The murderer in Buffalo didn’t kill anybody you’ve ever heard of, and so the first thing to do if you want to exploit the deaths of all these people — and that is what Democrats intend to do — is to connect the crime to some famous name or prominent institution. It doesn’t matter if there isn’t any actual connection: Just assert it, and that’s good enough for the newspapers and the cable-news cretins and the impotent rage-monkeys on Twitter.

The usual suspects: social-media platforms, Tucker Carlson, Donald Trump, the Republican Party, Fox News, the National Rifle Association, etc.

The shooter was actually well known in advance as a nut case.

Apparently, it never occurred to anybody in New York to keep an eye on the lunatic who showed up at school wearing a full hazmat suit. The kid who already was on the radar of the state police and the mental-health bureaucracy. The kid who was asked about his post-graduation plans and answered: murder-suicide.

New York does have a “red flag” law on the books but nobody bothered to try to take the shooter’s guns away under that law — even after he very publicly expressed his desire to carry out such a massacre.

To my mind, that would constitute more competent governance than chasing around 4chan and Twitter for “hate speech” after the massacre has taken place.

New York’s governor, Kathy Hochul, said she would soon be calling meetings with social media companies, and noted that “hate speech is not protected.”

“Noted” in this case means “lied.” I’ve heard this “hate speech is not free speech” meme from a lot of people who heard from somebody else and liked the sound of it, but Gov. Hochul is a lawyer and should know better. Maybe she missed class the day that was covered.

There is no such thing as “hate speech” as a matter of constitutional law in the United States, and the sort of thing that is classified as “hate speech” in countries that do have such laws is — pay attention, now — exactly the kind of speech the First Amendment is designed to protect: offensive, unpopular, detestable, the kind of speech that most people consider immoral and indefensible. The kind of speech nobody likes or wants is the kind of speech the First Amendment is there for — the other kind of speech doesn’t need any protection. Here is a useful heuristic: If you immediately want to suppress somebody’s speech, then that is probably the kind of speech the First Amendment was made for.

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