Garland mayor blames Pam Geller: "She invited an incendiary reaction"

Even in Texas. Even in Texas.

This is the essence of the “fighting words” logic that Chris Cuomo got ripped for defending this morning, no? Geller picked a fight. She, not just the degenerates who attacked the event, is responsible for creating the threat insofar as a breach of the peace was foreseeable. It’s a logical next step from there to saying, “And therefore we should stop her from picking these sorts of fights, as they put innocent people at risk.”

Even in Texas:

Mayor Douglas Athas said he wished Ms. Geller, co-founder and president of the American Freedom Defense Initiative, hadn’t picked Garland as the site for Sunday’s event, the Dallas Morning News reported.

“Certainly in hindsight, we as a community would be better off if she hadn’t,” he told the paper. “Her actions put my police officers, my citizens and others at risk. Her program invited an incendiary reaction. She picked my community, which does not support in any shape, passion or form, her ideology.

“But at the end of the day, we did our jobs,” he added. “We protected her freedoms and her life.”

Her actions were the dangerous ones, huh? You would think this guy, if only in the spirit of solidarity with a fellow citizen who’s now been marked for death by ISIS, would insist on some moral distinction between drawing irreverent cartoons and trying to bomb a community center, but that’s hard to do conceptually if you don’t assign jihadis their own moral agency. To some segment of the population, Islamist nuts are almost part of the weather, not people who consciously undertake to do harm to others. And in a sense, that’s true: If it wasn’t Geller’s cartoon event that got the two Garland savages excited, it would have been something else. Lightning’s going to strike somewhere, whether or not you put your lightning rod out. And you don’t blame lightning for doing what lightning does.

By the way, this makes twice today that I’ve seen someone suggest that Geller’s real crime was organizing an event that required security. Larry Wilmore made the same point last night on his “Daily Show” knockoff, calling it “horrific” that Geller was “intentionally putting innocent, unarmed security guards in danger so you can make some bullshit free speech argument.” Why her free-speech argument is “bullshit” is unclear except that it serves the purpose of a show like his to delegitimize a right-wing villain they might otherwise feel obliged to side with. The security argument is interesting, though, and familiar: It’s basically the same line Martin Dempsey used when he dialed up Terry Jones a few years ago and asked him not to burn the Koran. Is it any worse, I wonder, to put armed security guards in danger? I’m sure it wasn’t Geller’s fault, after all, that the guard in Garland outside the event wasn’t packing, and even if he had been, he was still at risk of being murdered by having to protect the event. Same goes for armed cops, some of whom have been in danger at times after being deployed at anti-police protests in Ferguson and elsewhere over the past year. Presumably it’s okay to put cops at risk of being murdered for a legitimate free-speech matter, but once the demonstration crosses the magical line into “bullshit,” you’re on the hook morally for whatever happens. You trust the left not to abuse a “hate speech” legal regime once that’s been foisted on America, don’t you?

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