As is so typical of the argument, UK magazine editor and blogger Tom Jamison begin his attack on free speech by saying he supports “a free press” and “all forms of written expression.”
Then he reveals his main point: “I also, however, believe in restraint and punishment of those who abuse their right to free speech by printing defamatory, vilifying, unfounded or libelous material.”
Free except when he doesn’t like it so the speaker should be restrained and punished.
He asks rhetorically “would it really be a better world if we could all just say what we want (or even repeat aloud or in print that which we really think) without a second thought or concern over legal (and social) consequences?”
Yes, it would.
He makes a couple good points. As editor of Able Magazine, a disability lifestyle publication, he maintains,
Just imagine if you were identified by the phrase: ‘Tom is an epileptic’. At the very least, consideration for the person’s feelings should have you correct that to: ‘Tom has epilepsy’. Nevertheless, imagine for a moment if we were all identified and therefore judged, by our supposed weaknesses. Imagine being introduced with the line: ‘Tom is a non-swimmer’ or ‘Tom cannot spell’.