xander wrote:You and I have that right. As a group, we cannot shout down opposing points of view simply because we do not like them. The PotUS does not. The official policy of the government cannot be "You have these rights, but you shouldn't exercise them." What is the point of having rights on paper if you are not supposed to take advantage of them?
There is a difference between saying "you cannot do this," as opposed to saying "that is a really bad idea, I don't think you should do that." How else is a democratic society supposed to have open, honest, and necessary discussions about law, society, culture, and policy if groups cannot assert their views on a controversial issue? Further, I don't think that making a value judgment about the wisdom of a particular form of exercise of a right is an encouragement to not take advantage of that right, nor is it equivocating on those rights. Rather, it's an admonition to exercise those rights responsibly.
For example, were I to say to someone tomorrow "I'm going to go by an SL-8 rifle", I'd have every right to do so under the Constitution. They might say to me though, "you shouldn't do that." Might they be asking me to abandone my 2nd Amendment right? Possibly, or they might have meant it in a very different manner. They might have meant that "you really don't have the money right now, and that's not a good thing to go in debt over." Or, they might have meant, "I have had some experience with that gun, and trust me, you don't want to spend $2,000 on it." Regardless, the person isn't asking me to give up or equivocate on my right to purchase a gun, rather they are urging me to look at my situation and realize that exercising it in this form, at this time, and possibly in this place, isn't a good idea.
In the case of Pastor Jones, saying he shouldn't burn the Korans isn't asking him to give up his right to do so, nor is it asking him not to exercise his 1st Amendment rights. Rather, it's an admonition that he find a better manner of expression, that he make a wiser choice in the matter. Rights carry with them responsibility to exercise those rights in a wise and mature manner, and I see nothing wrong with saying to someone that they shouldn't do something that fails to meet that standard. They're free to still do it, they're free to not listen to what others have to say, but to not attempt to tell someone that what they are about to do is a bad idea when it most certainly is one makes you a negligent contributor (NyQuil kicking in, hope this makes sense).