Monday, February 06, 2006

Only those crazy ragheads would consider violence justified in response to a mere act of speech ... right?

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. -- Saying the nation's symbol "deserves more respect than the protest message of some liberal hippie," a Missouri state lawmaker has introduced a bill legalizing the use of force to stop someone from desecrating the American flag.

Republican Rep. Sam Gaskill, a former fighter pilot in Vietnam, defended his bill yesterday, insisting the measure would prevent the defilement of an important symbol rather than promote violence.

"You should be able to take hold of the flag and take it off the ground and rescue it," Gaskill said. "If the guy doesn't want to let go of it or he swings back then the person ought to fight back."

When asked if the bill would allow someone to take aggressive action against another person, Gaskill said: "I'm sure they could." ...

Gaskill's latest effort would allow the use of physical force if "the person reasonably believes" such force is necessary to prevent "the defilement or dishonorable destruction" of the flag.

A person using such physical force could not be charged with theft or assault under the bill, which would not allow for the use of deadly force....

--AP, 12/5/00

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