Speech v. Harassment: Why We Need the Second Amendment


“[T]here is a marked difference between speech and harassment,” observes a nationally renowned civil rights advocate, Marion P. Hammer, in her federal lawsuit filed on July 13, 2018. “[T]here are clearly delineated bounds of human decency that no person can cross by using fear, intimidation, and threats of violence to lash out at and try to silence those with whom they disagree.” [C-3]

The civil lawsuit is pursued by Hammer as an individual, however, she “currently serves as the National Rifle Association of America’s (‘NRA’) Florida lobbyist.” [C-1]

WARNING: There is graphic content in the Complaint. Excerpts identified as [C-¶]. Copy courtesy of the Tallahassee Democrat. Search the entire lawsuit here. [4:18-cv-00329-RH-CAS]

Stand up against harassment

“Tragically, online and electronic harassment masquerading as free speech often precede violent attacks upon the harassers’ victims.” [C-28] Therefore, “Hammer files this action to stand up for herself and others.” [C-8]

These concerns are shared by real free speech advocates such as Ben Shapiro; Milo Yiannopoulos; and Pamela Geller: Read her autobiography: “Fatwa – Hunted in America.”

“Defendants have transcended mere criticism and employed threats, harassment, and personal abuse to try to humiliate and intimidate Hammer in a manner that is utterly intolerable in a civilized community.” [C-5] The Complaint identifies four defendants: “Lawrence T. ‘Lol’ Sorensen” of  “Camarillo, California;” “Christopher Risica” of “New London, Connecticut;” as well as “Howard Weiss” and “Patrick Sullivan,” both “whose identity and state of residence are unknown at this time.” [C-first page; as well as C-11 to 14].

Defendants may also include other individuals – “part of a coordinated effort” – “It appears based on the form, content and methods of the communications,” using the “same specific terms and phrases,” including the “the same postcards from various individuals throughout the United States, often mailed from the same location.” [C-15; and fn 3].

Examples of harassment

Following are edited excerpts from the Complaint, ¶39:

“‘Dear Twat. You are a vile c**t. I hope you get to experience a (sic) ammo d**o (sic) … I hope to see [Wayne LaPierre, NRA Executive Vice President] died of a gun shot wound that took hours of pain before he succumed…’ – Chris Risica (Exhibit 30).”

To Chris: Would you say that in the presence of your mother? Liberals like you, without facts or logical arguments, resort to profanity. Shame on you.

‘I pray everyday that one of these ‘good’ people puts 100 bullets between your eyes so we can celebrate.’ – Howard Weiss (Exhibit 31).”

To Howard, consider: Are you effectively a co-conspirator who “eggs on” an act of violence? Your words are the same as the so-called “hate list” proffered by the Southern Poverty Law Center. But for the SPLC, would the shooter have attacked the Family Research Council? But for liberals’ rhetoric, would the shooter have attacked Congressional Republicans during practice for a baseball game?

‘Can’t you go be a nun like old hags like you used to do in order to get your jollies off of being sadistic to children? It’s perverse that you would rather watch them get killed… F**K YOU … Your enemy for life.’ – Patrick Sullivan (Exhibit 32).”

To Patrick: “Hammer is a 79-year-old grandmother,” who advocates for the Second Amendment to protect all children. [C-1]

Following are edited excerpts from the Complaint, ¶35:

‘you are a leader of a terrorist organization, no different from ISIS or any hostile organization.’ – stephen[]@[].com (Exhibit 18).”

An education for Stephen: ISIS – Islamic State of Iraq and Syria – seeks a caliphate (worldwide dictatorship) based on the allegedly perfect Muhammad, a self-identified murderer, thief, and pedophile.

The National Rifle Association protects your God-given right of self-defense, and by implication, your right of free speech. As reported by the NRA: “Dismayed by the lack of marksmanship shown by their troops, Union veterans Col. William C. Church and Gen. George Wingate formed the National Rifle Association in 1871. The primary goal of the association would be to ‘promote and encourage rifle shooting on a scientific basis,’ according to a magazine editorial written by Church.”

Thanks to the NRA’s training, we have the skills to stop a hostile organization!

‘Blood on your hands… Shame, horror, blood, money, profit, guns and dead children – that’s your legacy. Go find another country to live in, maybe Syria. They have lots of guns and dead people there.’ – korey[]@[].com (Exhibit 26).”

An education for Korey: Islamic dictators prohibit personal weapons. Muhammad used the sword to “persuade:” (a) convert to Islam; or (b) become a second-class citizen and pay Jiyza, a tax; or (c) die.  Make guns illegal in America, according to Iran’s Ayatollah Khamenei. CAIR-HAMAS would love that. Gun-free schools are loved by liberals, and terrorists, too, as summarized on the Geller Report.

“In a recent lawsuit filed to challenge the constitutionality of a Florida law imposing age restrictions on gun purchases, two young adults filed a motion to proceed as anonymous plaintiffs based on fears of harassment, intimidation, and potential violence.” [C-45] Read the Complaint.

Legal remedies

The lawsuit seeks injunctive relief and damages: “Hammer is a victim of cyberstalking, harassment, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and intrusion upon seclusion under Florida statutory and common law.” [C-49]

“In addition to violating Section 784.048, Florida Statutes, the above-referenced emails violate several Federal laws, including:” [C-51]

“(a)      18 U.S.C. §875: which prohibits the transmission of any threat to injure the person of another using the Internet;”

“(b)      47 U.S.C. §223: which prohibits the use of a telecommunications device to abuse, threaten, or harass a specific person; and/or”

“(c)      18 U.S.C. §2261A: which prohibits the use of e-mail to harass, intimidate and threaten a person or her immediate family member, or causes, attempts to cause or reasonably expects to cause substantial emotional distress to a person or her immediate family member.” [C-51]

The Golden Rule

“So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.” – Matthew 7:12 (ESV)

If everyone followed the Golden Rule, there would not be a need for guns [or lawyers].

Gerald Lostutter is a Florida licensed attorney, college professor, journalist, and life member of the National Rifle Association. This article does not create an attorney-client relationship. You should consult a licensed attorney for advice.

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