Right to yell "FIRE" in crowded theater
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Thread: Right to yell "FIRE" in crowded theater

  1. #1
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    Right to yell "FIRE" in crowded theater

    This subject came up in another forum I belong to, and I just found this link that has a very good article about it (yelling fire in a theater). The article also has to do with pre-enforcement (prior restraint) of laws, and about Gun rights.

    Keep and Bear Arms - Gun Owners Home Page - 2nd Amendment Supporters

    So, what do you think? I for one agree that you do have the "right" to yell fire in a crowded theater. However, you should be held accountable for doing so.

    Someone may find and post a relevant Supreme Court case that ruled on this very thing ( I know there is one) if they want to, I cant seem to find it. That ruling though.... states that you cannot claim the right of free speech (1st Amendment) as a defense in a trial if you did cause a panic by doing so.

    P.S. anyone have any spare parentheses ( ) ? I am running low.... man, I go through so many of those darn things...........

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  3. #2
    Join Date
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    True Freedom is just that very thing. A sword with 2 sharp edges. It can and will cut you if you abuse it.

    Murder is the extreme example. We all can.. but we don't (most not all)... Fear of the other edge of the sword...

    With Freedom comes responsibility. Some citizens understand this and some don't.

    ID vs. EGO..

    The battle rages on... Never is it easier than to hate the wrong doers. Never is it harder than to try and understand them.
    You can give peace a chance alright..

    I'll seek cover in case it goes badly..

  4. #3
    My belief is that an individual right ends when it removes another's right. In most case's you don't have a right to take a life (unless yours or someone else is in danger) because they have a right to live. This goes for placing someone in danger (the theater example), not having to listen to blaring music at 3 a.m., and many other examples. Simply put all rights are limited in some way. If people would use common sense, courtesy and be responsible there would be no need for laws. But then that's a pipe dream and the reason some rights have be regulated.

  5. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by ronwill View Post
    My belief is that an individual right ends when it removes another's right. In most case's you don't have a right to take a life (unless yours or someone else is in danger) because they have a right to live. This goes for placing someone in danger (the theater example), not having to listen to blaring music at 3 a.m., and many other examples. Simply put all rights are limited in some way. If people would use common sense, courtesy and be responsible there would be no need for laws. But then that's a pipe dream and the reason some rights have be regulated.
    Have to agree to disagree with your argument as presented...

    Yours is a logical fallacy...

    Declaration of Independence (in part)...
    "
    We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. That whenever any form of government becomes destructive to these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness.
    "

    NOWHERE in the founding documents is the Government (Federal, State or other Municipality) given the authority to REGULATE RIGHTS enumerated or protected in the founding documents...
    The Governments job is to SECURE & PROTECT our rights...
    Regulation is not synonymous with Secure...

    IF you make the argument that some rights can be regulated you can't make the argument that any can't be regulated...

    IF we continue to allow the Government to regulate more and more aspects of our lives, lock step with every Socialist/Marxist/Communist, now disarmed country on the planet, and in the history of the world; we will soon join the likes of current day England, Canada, Australia and others in being disarmed for the "Public Good" and "Public Safety" and being unable to refute anything our Government wants to do in a manner described in the Declaration of Independence, that we executed at such places as Lexington & Concord, and the Alamo...

    Thomas Jefferson and others refused to sign the original draft of the Constitution, without provisions or a "Bill of Rights" To set limits on what the government can and cannot do in regards to personal liberties, rights, etc...

    1st Ratified Amendment...
    Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances. (This is part of the Capstone Grievance, meaning WE THE PEOPLE have the last word, not any branch of the Government)

    The 5th Ratified Amendment... (this is the one that provides for prosecution for somebody violating another right's, thus we do not need any further laws or any regulations in this respect its ALREADY in the Constitution. (B.O.R.)
    No person shall be held to answer for any capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

    The 6th Ratified Amendment... (Further solidifies the 5th)
    In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district where in the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defense.

    The 7th Ratified Amendment... (Yet further solidifies the 5th & 6th)
    In suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise re-examined in any court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.

    The 8th Ratified Amendment... (Yet further solidifies the 5th, 6th, 7th)
    Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.

    The 9th Ratified Amendment... (Yet further solidifies the 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th)
    The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

    The 10th Ratified Amendment... (Solidifies the first 9)
    The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

    The 2nd Ratified Amendment... (I leave this for last because without the Unabridged 2nd Amendment all others including all our founding & freedom documents are unenforceable and have no meaning or value)

    The Federal Government and to a lesser extent many State Governments do not give the founding fathers the credit they deserve, virtually every law ever passed is already covered by the founding documents, including but not limited to the Bill of Rights and the Declaration of Independence...

    Thus far we have allowed the Federal Governments & State Governments and other municipalities to pervert the founding documents and to purport that "Just Because You Have A Right, Does Not Mean The Government Cannot Constrain That Right" - Barack Hussein Obama Jr.

    WTFU SHEEPLE...

    Take Back The Republic!

    "The people never give up their liberties, but under some delusion." - Edmund Burke

  6. #5
    If there is a fire, there is no duty to yell fire.

    If there is no fire and you yell "fire" and people are hurt in the stampede, you are perhaps criminally liable for their injuries and the theater may be sued by the injured and the theater will sue you for their loss.
    The people think the Second Amendment protects their rights;
    Government sees an obstacle to be over-come.
    NRA Life since 1966

  7. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Bohemian View Post
    Have to agree to disagree with your argument as presented...
    I expect nothing less from you.

  8. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by ronwill View Post
    My belief is that an individual right ends when it removes another's right. In most case's you don't have a right to take a life (unless yours or someone else is in danger) because they have a right to live. This goes for placing someone in danger (the theater example), not having to listen to blaring music at 3 a.m., and many other examples. Simply put all rights are limited in some way. If people would use common sense, courtesy and be responsible there would be no need for laws. But then that's a pipe dream and the reason some rights have be regulated.

    I disagree, our rights are absolute and not subject to regulation/restriction, until such a time that the actual Bill of Rights/Constitution is changed to allow such regulation/restriction. (which I hope never happens)

    That said, I do agree that with our Rights come responsibilities, and we are NOT to use our rights to harm others just because we have those rights.

    I contend that we DO have the "right" to yell fire in a crowded theater, period. Our Constitutional Rights cannot be (legally) PRE-RESTRICTED.

    Now, if we do yell fire in a crowded theater, and there is no fire, we are lying and if people get hurt, we are the one who is responsible for them being hurt, and need to be held accountable for that. The Supreme Court case I mentioned in my post affirmed this, We cannot use the "right" of free speech as a "defense" in court to try to get out of the consequences of practicing/using that "Right".

    We have the Right to say anything we want, own any type of "arms" we want, etc.... period, the Constitution has no restrictions written into it of that type. (Yes, it does in parts have restrictions to keep congress from doing some things, different application here).

    A "law" that would make it illegal to yell fire in a crowded theater is blatantly UnConstitutional, the 1A has no clauses that would allow that.

    Your example of not having to listen to blaring music is flawed (in my opinion) in that the Constitution has no part that say's you have a "right" to peace and quiet at 3 am. That example would fall under common decency and moral obligations, not Constitutional rights, which is what the subject is in this thread.


    My purpose in starting this thread was to get people thinking about just how far-reaching our "Rights" really are and what common misconceptions and modern thinking have done in restricting those rights and freedoms so far that we now seem to be too afraid to exercise our rights at all for fear of hurting someone else's "feelings", or offending them in some way.

    Just because we might not like the way someone else exercises their "Rights" we have no legal grounds to tell them not to do it that way. Freedom is disappearing by leaps and bounds these days. We need to get those rights back and go back to minding our own business and let others live their lives the way they see fit. It is "their" life isn't it? If the way they decide to act makes us angry, or we think that it somehow "harms" our cause, we would be blatant hypocrites (to me) to not fight for their right to be/act that way while saying our "cause" is being hurt if that so-called cause is fighting for say... the 2nd Amendment, and he is doing just exactly that, exercising those 2A rights!

    Wow, I think I went off topic there, lol

  9. #8
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    Awesome post Bohemian!

  10. #9
    Frankly, I'd not thought of it this way. But, it does make sense: Your 1A right cannot be infringed BEFOREHAND in any way. So, the gov't cannot pass laws which do so. However, if you ABUSE that right (yell "fire" and people get hurt), you can be punished. That works.

  11. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by JJFlash View Post
    Frankly, I'd not thought of it this way. But, it does make sense: Your 1A right cannot be infringed BEFOREHAND in any way. So, the gov't cannot pass laws which do so. However, if you ABUSE that right (yell "fire" and people get hurt), you can be punished. That works.
    And if someone dies you most likely will be arrested, tried, found guilty and perhaps sentenced to die. Thus loosing your rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
    By faith Noah,being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear,prepared an ark to the saving of his house;by the which he condemned the world,and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith Heb.11:7

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