The Fretts Perspective

Subscribe to the newsletter to get these articles as they are posted!

From the late 18th century until relatively recently, there was only one "free speech zone" that U.S. citizens had to worry about - it was called "the United States." The whole concept of a "free speech zone" is, on its face, a preposterous self-contradiction. If one must be within dictated confines to express a "freedom," then one is not truly free. While the idea has been around in the U.S. for a few decades now in limited forms, it has been greatly expanded just since the turn of the millennium. Now, the prevailing standard is that, in order to speak your mind or protest in public, taxpayer-funded areas, from universities to sidewalks, you must request permission from the government and restrict yourself to the areas they decide upon. This runs perpendicular to the freedom our nation was founded upon.

Take for example the "protest zones" at this year's Republican National Convention in Tampa. There were a couple such zones where, if you had something important to convey, you were granted the opportunity to do so; but only at the specified times, mind you. The rest of the city of Tampa was "off limits" to free speech. This means that citizens of Tampa who may have no problem expressing their freedom of speech on an average day were arbitrarily barred from doing so for this particular week. Of course, freedom of speech means nothing when nobody can see or hear you. Governments and public institutions have a tendency to relegate these "protest zones" to areas where they are "out of sight, out of mind."

You may have heard of H.R. 347, the "Federal Restricted Buildings and Grounds Improvement Act of 2011." What this bill does is criminalize the First Amendment if you are in an area where individuals under Secret Service protection are temporarily located, even if you don't know you're committing a crime. Of course, who tend to require Secret Service protection? Politicians! So your politicians in U.S. Congress passed a bill making it illegal for you to express your freedom of speech or protest in the same area as them if they are under Secret Service protection. H.R. 347 passed the U.S. House of Representatives by a "bipartisan" vote of 399-3, including your own U.S. Representative Jeff Miller. This ought to infuriate you.

Now I'm going to say something which may shock you. The U.S. Constitution does not guarantee freedom of speech. Why would I say that? Because a document, even one as visionary and revolutionary as the U.S. Constitution, cannot guarantee anything. The Constitution merely recognizes your natural right – as a free human being – to freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom of association, freedom to own and bear firearms; freedom to exercise dominion over your body and your property, so long as you harm no one else. These rights are yours from the time you are born until the time you die. They are not given and cannot be taken away – that is, they are unalienable - but they can be infringed upon by others – most usually governments. The Constitution recognizes these rights, but it is you who must guarantee them.

So, how do you secure these rights? You start by drawing a line in the sand. You must decide for yourself at what point you will cease complying with illegal, un-Constitutional, and immoral infringements on your natural rights, whatever the cost. You must exercise these rights, and familiarize yourself with them and their nature, and educate your family and others so they are not forgotten by future generations. And of course, you must refuse to re-elect politicians who repeatedly insist on violating your natural rights, as the majority of those now in Congress – including your own U.S. Representative – have done.