was a little "Draw Muhammed" free-speech thing held by Muslim-hater Pam Geller, and featuring Geert Wilders, so, really, what could go wrong?
Uh, what one might expect if one was impressed with the furor over the Jyllands-Posten cartoons and the fatwa against Lars Wilks, or the fairly recent Charlie Hebdo massacre? There was a shooting, but a security guard was shot non-fatally, and both the suspects were killed. And this is a shitty thing to happen, but as outcomes go, it certainly could have been worse.
You know, I had been trying to work in a Charlie Hebdo post regarding the PEN Awards abstainers. It's not that I give a fig about whether Charlie Hebdo had great satire or good cartoonists, it's just that I don't think it makes sense to slag people when several of their number actually died, having even received threats, for doing the kind of commentary they believed in and which was understood by people who "got" the joke as actually anti-racist.
I don't celebrate Pam Geller's Muhammed to-do the same way. I think she is unnecessarily incendiary in her rhetoric, and I think she provokes.
Which still doesn't mean I condone a shoot-out as the answer to her rhetoric. I deplore the kind of single-minded dope who just added legitimacy to her rhetoric, by once again highlighting how some speech is deemed punishable by death by intolerant Islamists. (And yet, I can imagine even a similar event, where the threat of a distortion of the image of Jesus might at least garner death threats. Single-mindedness in the service of faith isn't any one creed's bugbear.) But would it not be much better to let the speech go, so as not to make Geller and her coterie able to claim martyrdom-status?
I believe in free speech. I think armed assault is not free speech, but terrorism. I can excuse one, even if I disagree with it. I can not condone the other. Shoot your mouth off all you like--just not guns and bombs.