December 23, 2012

DAVID HENDERSON: Free Speech for Me but Not for Thee: The Case of Erik Loomis.

It turns out, by the way, that Crooked Timber also misled by omission. Everyone knows that the expression “head on a stick” is a metaphor, and that is how Crooked Timber defended Loomis. But see here for some of his truly vile comments. Crooked Timber quoted none of these.

Also, the other person, besides the people at Crooked Timber, who is unwilling to defend freedom of speech is . . . Erik Loomis. When given a chance to clarify his views on LaPierre, he wrote, “Dear rightwingers, to be clear, I don’t want to see Wayne LaPierre dead. I want to see him in prison for the rest of his life.”

And what would he want LaPierre in prison for? For murder? No. It would be for speaking out in favor of, and lobbying for, people’s right to own guns. So, again, “freedom of speech for me, but not for thee.”

That’s consistent with their general approach. They’re lefty-defenders, not liberty-defenders.

Plus this: “Reading how vile the comments of this ‘gifted young scholar’ were, I did start thinking that, at a minimum, some people at URI should occasionally monitor his class or question his students to find out whether he brings anywhere close to that amount of venom to discussions with students who disagree with him.”

And, from the comments: “One irony of all this: While FIRE (Foundation for Individual Rights in Education) is already at work defending Loomis against possible sanction by URI, I doubt very much that Loomis himself would be supportive of other work FIRE does to protect the rights of students who, for example, agree with Wayne LaPierre.”