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Watch Your Mouth In Neptune Beach!

Officials in one Florida coastal town want to criminalize public profanity when it leads to violence.

by
Chris Queen

Bio

May 19, 2014 - 7:00 am

shutterstock_4042327

These days, you can’t go too far in public without encountering profanity. From hip-hop songs blaring out of car windows to private conversations that aren’t so private to teenagers who don’t seem to possess more creativity than four-letter words, profanity has become increasingly prevalent. One beach town outside of Jacksonville, Florida may do something to try to stem that tide soon.

After a community Independence Day celebration last year that drew huge, boisterous crowds, David Sembach, Police Chief of Neptune Beach, is looking into an ordinance that would allow officers to issue citations for profanity in public when such language leads to violence.

Naturally, residents of Neptune Beach express divided opinions on the issue:

“There’s no place for that kind of stuff in a public forum,” beach-goer Ken Meadows said.

“I work with people a lot, so I kind of just ignore it when it’s unpleasant,” Kristen Nye said. “Just keep walking.”

[...]

As expected, some locals don’t like the idea; they think Freedom of Speech should always reign supreme.

“It’s a waste of time and taxpayer money to try and do something like that,” Edward Spear said.

The proposal is still in the infancy stage. In order for anything to officially get on the books, City Council will have to approve it. It will be discussed at the next workshop on May 19.

Sembach wants to go further in what he sees as ways to make his town safer:

In addition to pushing for citations if the aggressive language leads to fights, Sembach is also urging for ordinances that would result in penalties for blocking public passageways.

Here’s the reality check: Neptune Beach’s mayor is against the profanity ordinance because she knows it’ll be damn near impossible to pass it. Nice try, Neptune Beach.

What do you think? Is the city right in criminalizing profanity and abusive language when they lead to violence? Or is Sembach stepping on free speech?

This post includes an image courtesy of Shutterstock.

All Chris Queen wanted to be growing up was a game show host, a weather man, or James Bond. But his writing talent won out. By day, Chris is a somewhat mild-mannered office manager for an IT managed services provider, but by night, he keeps his finger on the pulse of pop culture and writes about it. In addition to his Disney obsession (as evidenced by his posts on this website), Chris's interests include college sports -- especially his beloved Georgia Bulldogs -- and a wide variety of music. A native of Marietta, GA, Chris moved with his family as a child to nearby Covington, GA, where he still makes his home. He is an active charter member of Eastridge Community Church and enjoys spending time with family and friends. In addition to his work at PJ Media, Chris spent nearly a year as a contributor to NewsReal Blog. He has also written for Celebrations Magazine and two newspapers in Metro Atlanta. Check out his website, www.chrisqueen.net.

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All Comments   (5)
All Comments   (5)
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"From hip-hop songs blaring out of car windows to private conversations that aren’t so private to teenagers who don’t seem to possess more creativity than four-letter words, profanity has become increasingly prevalent."

Yes, profanity is common. Obscenity and vulgarity, more so.

Chris Queen doesn't seem to know the difference.

Why are there so many poorly educated columnists on PJM?

14 weeks ago
14 weeks ago Link To Comment
Leftism is the soft rotting underbelly of western liberalism.
15 weeks ago
15 weeks ago Link To Comment
They are both great ideas, and in a better country, they would already be law. Such as in Singapore.

As for being unconstitutional, this country abandoned it's constitution long ago. So, will the King allow it, is a better way to put it. As regards to the actual Constitution, as written, there is nothing, at all, wrong with either of these two ordinances.
15 weeks ago
15 weeks ago Link To Comment
There are fighting words defenses and incitement to violence is illegal. This seems to go a step beyond and would be ruled unconstitutional. Not worth the legal fight that will end up being overturned.
15 weeks ago
15 weeks ago Link To Comment
Violence is caused by a person deciding they will be violent, not by another's language. This proposed ordinance is a very bad idea.
15 weeks ago
15 weeks ago Link To Comment
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