The kid who got Tased by University of Florida cops didn't deserve it.
Q: But wasn't he causing a disturbance?
Q: You shouldn't cause disturbances.
As a general guideline. But how do you handle it when they occur? Should everyone who inconveniences you and your horribly important life be arrested and given electric shocks?
Q: Actually ...
OK, you've never, say, asked a gate agent to explain to you why you couldn't get on the next flight to Minneapolis? Or asked a pointed question?
Q: He could have had a bomb.
Um, yes. Technically, he could have. So could everyone you pass on the street. This means nothing.
Q: OK, fair enough. But he should have played by the rules. The event organizers were right to throw him out.
Certainly, it's their prerogative. But do you really think the use of this much force is justified to remove a loudmouth from a lecture hall? What if he resisted the Tasing? Should they have clubbed him? Shot him? I think we can agree that there's a line and that its location is open to debate.
Q: But the cops told him he had to leave. Once an officer tells you to do something, you have to submit, or you're going to jail.
Well, that assumes that the cop is in the right. But even so, there's still a line. Do you really want to live in a society in which the police are directive-issuing robots?
"Sir, you have to move your car." "But my friend's flight just landed." "OK, now you're under arrest for refusing to obey an order." "Wait, what? For double-parking?" ZAP!
Your view of the role of police and order in society frightens me to my core. You and Mike Bloomberg should found a small entrepot fortuitously situated near major shipping lanes.
Q: Order is important.
How important? Some things have to trump it, right?
Q: It's pretty important. I don't want people thinking they can just waste everyone's time. Other people wanted to ask Sen. Kerry some questions, too.
I bet you hated it when students asked questions about stuff that wasn't going to be on the test.
Q: What are you saying?
Never mind. Go on.
Q: OK, order isn't the most important thing. But this guy wasn't like Martin Luther King or something. I think he just wanted attention.
So what if he did? You think Martin Luther King had rose petals cast at his feet by sheriff's deputies? This guy's previous writings suggest he might have been a self-regarding know-it-all. I thought they were pretty stupid. But who cares? You don't have to be friends with him. The beauty of living in a free country governed at least nominally by the rule of law is that dicks and douchebags get the same protection as you and I. Or would you want others to justify violence against you because they didn't like what you wrote or suspected your motives or just plain didn't like you?
Q: I would never do something like this. I'd play by the rules.
Q: Hey, what do you mean?
Never mind. Hey, I hear O.J.'s in trouble again.
Q: I know! What goes around comes around. Serves him right. You know, he totally killed her. Oh! And I guess what happens in Vegas doesn't always stay in Vegas! I can't wait to see him carted off to jail.
Q: Hello? You still there?