The world dumps on me, my friends. The world dumps on me, and I dump on a select few other people. Associates. Certain clients. Opposing counsel. Stupid people on the internet. Over long periods of time, I ridicule them.
That may make me an outlaw in France now.
See, France just made "psychological violence" a crime:
Those found guilty face up to three years in jail and a fine of 75,000 euros, or about $90,000.
. . .
The law defines mental violence as “repeated acts that could be constituted by words,” including insults or repeated text messages that “degrade one’s quality of life and cause a change to one’s mental or physical state.”
There's no apparent exception permitting nagging. There's no savings clause if you complain about your in-laws a lot.
The French were apparently attempting to address domestic violence. [Note: I've seen varying reports, and haven't been able to find a copy of the law, so I'm not yet clear if it only applies to mental violence against spouses and domestic partners.] Domestic violence is a terrible thing. People who commit assault upon their purported loved ones should go to jail, just like people who commit assault upon strangers on the street.
But broad police discretion is, frankly, a terrible thing as well. So is government regulation of expression. And of relationships.
Should a free people let the government shoulder the burden of protecting them from mentally harmful speech?
Last 5 posts by Ken White
- Hate Speech Debate on More Perfect Live - September 5th, 2017
- Popehat Goes To The Opera: Un ballo in maschera - August 19th, 2017
- Department of Justice Uses Search Warrant To Get Data On Visitors to Anti-Trump Site - August 14th, 2017
- America At The End of All Hypotheticals - August 14th, 2017
- Lawsplainer: Why John Oliver Is Anti-Diversity Now - August 11th, 2017