California city may be outlawing free speech in its effort to combat bullying.

E for everyone
(Examiner.com)

CARSON, Calif. – The city of Carson has approved an ordinance that would outlaw bullying for residents as young as five-years-old

From PressTelegram.com:

The ordinance would target anyone from the ages of 5 to 18 who makes another person feel “terrorized, frightened, intimidated, threatened, harassed, or molested (in a way) that serves no legitimate purpose. First-time offenders could be ticketed for an infraction and fined $100.

On the surface, protecting vulnerable children from bullying seems like a noble effort. But great danger lurks just underneath the surface.

The freedom of speech and expression, guaranteed by the First Amendment, is perhaps our most valuable freedom, and it’s greatly threatened by laws like the one in Carson. Think about it. Under the ordinance, anything anybody does to make another person feel “terrorized, frightened, intimidated, threatened, harassed or molested” would qualify as a crime. That could be just about anything, depending on how sensitive the “victim” is. What if my neighbor has a Hillary Clinton for President sign in her yard, I put up a Rand Paul sign, and she calls the police, saying her sign was up first and I am harassing her by putting up mine.

Anyone can feel frightened, intimidated or threatened by just about anything, depending on their view of the world. That means the city of Carson will have the power to outlaw just about any form of speech or expression that might bother someone. And the local government will reserve the right to determine what form of speech serves a “legitimate purpose” and what doesn’t. If this doesn’t scare you, you do not understand our Constitution or the value of the Bill of Rights. Nobody in their right mind would give government that kind of power.

Authored by Steve Gunn

California city considering law that would charge bullies – as young as 5 – with a misdemeanor

boxer kid
(Getty Images)

CARSON, Calif. – Leaders of a Southern California city are considering an ordinance that would make bullying a misdemeanor offense, even for children as young as 5 years old.

From the Daily Breeze:

The (Carson City Council’s proposed) ordinance would target anyone from the ages of 5 to 18 who makes another person feel “terrorized, frightened, intimidated, threatened, harassed or molested (in a way that) serves no legitimate purpose.”

First-time offenders could be ticketed for an infraction and fined $100. For a second offense, another infraction ticket would be issued but with a $200 fine. Third-time offenders could face a criminal misdemeanor charge. Adults who bully would be charged with either an infraction or a misdemeanor, which could come with jail time.

Councilman Mike Gipson said the fines are meant as a way of getting parents of young bullies to “realize their child needs some help.”

Officials of the 93,000-person city “want to make it clear to bullies that the behavior – whether it’s physical, sexual, online or verbal in nature – won’t be tolerated, no matter the age,” the Daily Breeze reports.

Just how police would enforce the potential law remains very hazy. As the Associated Press reports, the Sheriff’s Department rarely hands out infractions and misdemeanors “unless the crime is witnessed by a law enforcement officer.”

Carson sheriff’s Lt. Arthur Escamillas added that a child would have to undergo a fitness hearing before being tried as a criminal.

How reassuring.

The city council is expected to vote on the proposed law next Tuesday. If it’s approved, the ordinance will take effect in mid-June.

Just a little something to keep in mind as you plan your summer vacation.

Authored by Ben Velderman