October 22nd, 2020

Harassment, threats never acceptable


By Letter to the Editor on August 28, 2020.

Re: Letter to the editor, Aug. 21, “McKenna must listen to the people.”

Linking comments of threatened violence, hate and harassment against politicians for stating ideas and government policy, regardless of how bad they may be, is never acceptable. Come up with better ideas. I’m surprised and disappointed that the Lethbridge Herald would print and perhaps legitimize such conduct from letter writer Andy Thomsen.

Henry Bosman

Lethbridge

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johnny57

Maybe censorship is equally a bad idea Henry!

biff

there is no room for threats in public discourse; that is well apart from censorship.

johnny57

Even against the cons biff? If so you have come along way!

Last edited 1 month ago by johnny57
biff

surely, j57, you know the difference between what constitutes one’s right to disagreement and what crosses the line into the realm of hate and threat?

Seth Anthony

There is no line. What you call “the line” is ambiguous and subjective.
To disagree with any form of free speech is to disagree with human rights. People are so self centered and egotistical (insecure), that they have a need to force their dogma on others. They want to incriminate them based on what they say, what they think, or how they spend their money (eg. charity).

Last edited 1 month ago by Seth Anthony
Tom Johnston

I share Mr. Bosman’s consternation at the ideas contained in the McKenna letter, but publishing it was the right decision. While McKenna’s comments were obviously unacceptable to most people – in what sort of a society is it okay to threaten those with whom you disagree? – he has the right to be heard.

When statements cross the line into criminal territory, the state has a role to play, but when they don’t cross that line, then members of civil society have a responsibility to call people out.

Seth Anthony

Yes, society has the responsibility to call people out for what they say. But for the government to criminalize words is ludicrous. You might as well start opening up additional prisons for the thousands of people each day that informally say, “I hate those type of people”, “I’d like to kill that guy”, or, “I wish he were dead”. Those are just words, not actions. Now if the person was performing an action, such as plotting to kill someone, then that should be the offense, not the mere words. Sheesh, what’s next? Make it a criminalize offense because someone didn’t like the way you looked at them?

Last edited 1 month ago by Seth Anthony
Tom Johnston

Sorry, but simply nonsense. First, none of examples given — all Red Herrings — satisfy the Criminal Code definition of uttering threats ((see Section 264.1(1)). Wishing someone were dead is not the same as threatening to kill someone. And the final comment is a classic example of a “Slippery Slope” argument, which is one of the weaker forms of argumentation.

Seth Anthony

It seems you’ve completely missed my point, as the actual said words are irrelevant to my point. In my point, all words are irrelevant.
Again, my point is, words are not actions. If the person was performing an action, such as plotting to kill someone, then that should be the offense, not the mere words.

Seth Anthony

BTW- I think it was obvious to everyone except yourself, that my final comment was tongue in cheek. Not just because of the comment itself, but also starting it with, “Sheesh”.

Last edited 1 month ago by Seth Anthony


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