On Free Speech Zones

A few commenters on sites I’ve read have brought up objections to people carrying guns to public events and mention that cases of people bringing guns to presidential events were rare during the Bush administration. They continue by saying that peaceable protesters against Bush were herded into “free speech zones” and wonder where the outrage was then.
I can’t speak for everyone, but from my perspective “free speech” zones are an abomination against the Constitution, and are a dark mark on our nation’s history. Perhaps a relatively small, easily corrected mark (( Unlike, say, major things like slavery. )), but a mark nonetheless.
During Bush’s presidency, I regularly wrote polite, concise letters to the president and my congressmen voicing my objection to such zones. Such policies weighed heavily upon me when I went to the ballot box (( I voted third-party in both of his elections. )). Fortunately, President Obama does not seem to be repeating the same mistakes, and this pleases me greatly.
I think that “zones” of that type are outrageous — there should no more be “free speech zones” than there should be “no quartering troops here zones”, “Second Amendment zones”, “no slavery zones”, or “privacy zones”. The whole country is such a zone.
Of course, there are exceptions: I don’t consider it unreasonable for authorities to remove someone disturbing a public event. For example, if someone is being obnoxious at a presidential speech, town hall meeting, etc., the police can kick them out of that event — interrupting and disrupting a speech or meeting is bad form and impolite. This is completely different than establishing “free speech zones” a distance away from the event that protesters must stand within.
Similarly, I have no problem with the Secret Service and police securing the building where the president will be speaking, prohibiting arms within that building, and inspecting people to ensure that they’re not bringing weapons into his immediate proximity.
Kicking out disruptive people and prohibiting arms within the immediate proximity of the president are not, in my view, infringements on one’s rights.
If the government starts establishing Bush-era “zones”, I’ll be one of the first to be writing to my congressman and voting officials who support such zones out of office.

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