You Can't Hand Out the Constitution Without a Permit, Says Modesto Junior College

Happy Constitution Day, kids of Modesto Junior College! Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) reports on the latest from the world of "Free Speech Zones" in the U.S. of A:

Modesto Junior College in California told a student that he could not pass out copies of the United States Constitution outside the student center on September 17, 2013—Constitution Day. Captured on video, college police and administrators demanded that Robert Van Tuinen stop passing out Constitution pamphlets and told him that he would only be allowed to pass them out in the college’s tiny free speech zone, and only after scheduling it several days or weeks ahead of time.

It is a very, very old document, not relevant to the circumstances of today, so we are told. The student wants to start a Young Americans for Liberty group on campus.

Video of the incident:

 

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  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Please, please, PLEASE let the education bubble burst already and force universities to scale back on the number of bureaucrats they have on staff.

  • Pro Libertate||

    I like to think universities will be utterly destroyed by the bubble and the Internet, reduced to guys lecturing outside under olive groves. All of the research going to private institutions and most of higher ed becoming pure distance learning, also privately delivered.

  • Auric Demonocles||

    OT, but what is your suggestion for a Tampa themed tailgate?

  • Auric Demonocles||

    And I don't think I can get any python meat on this short notice.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Well, Tampa has a variety of options, but here's what I would suggest:

    * Beach stuff, including beachy drinks
    * Stripper stuff, including strippers
    * Tourists and old people snowbirds
    * The obligatory Jimmy Buffet crap
    * Australian food (Outback is based in Tampa)

  • Pro Libertate||

    Kidding about the Australian food. Seafood and/or Cuban food.

  • Auric Demonocles||

    Aww man, I love bloomin' onions.

  • Pro Libertate||

    You can do whatever you want. It's not like Tampa branding cops are wandering the streets up there. Just don't involve Disney in any way.

    Oh, and cigars. We're famous for cigars as well as strippers.

  • PD Scott||

    Don't eat the cigars, especially deep-fried.

  • DontShootMe||

    Grilled drop bear?

  • UnCivilServant||

    No, stir fried cane toad, you don't eat the drop bears, they eat you.

  • Auric Demonocles||

    I'll start my own tailgate. With blackjack and strippers!

  • Drake||

    This is just daycare for young adults. Offer no-go and Betty-Bureaucrat are there to make sure the kids behave and don't hurt each other.

  • Paul.||

    I like to think universities will be utterly destroyed by the bubble and the Internet, reduced to guys lecturing outside under olive groves

    Wearing togas?

  • Pro Libertate||

    No, that's Roman. I was thinking more ancient Greece.

  • Paul.||

    Wait, I'm no greek historian, but what did the greek upper classes wear? Or was a white sheet strung over one shoulder called something different by the greeks?

  • Paul.||

    And why did the Greek Fraternity system have "Toga parties"? I feel like I've been let down.

  • Exocetmd||

    Chlamys. Very similar to toga. Different shape, worn a little differently. Not nearly as easy to pronounce when you're drunk.

  • Calidissident||

    If the education bubble bursts, I think it would help, not harm, junior colleges

  • Loki||

    They won't get rid of bureaucrats, they'll eliminate their engineering and science degrees first.

  • sarcasmic||

    Freedom means asking permission and taking orders.

    Sure you're free to pass out copies of the Constitution. Just be sure to ask permission first, and then once you have permission go and do it where they tell you you may do it.

    Freedom!

  • ||

    And don't forget to schedule your "free speech time". We can't have just anyone walking around on a public campus exercising inalienable rights whenever they wish. It would be anarchy!

  • sarcasmic||

  • Loki||

    "He'll hand out constitutions. We'll all hand out constitutions. It'll be anarchy!"

  • thom||

    Probably not as ridiculous as it should be. You need a permit to exercise your second amendment rights. It's no different to license the exercising of first amendment rights. I wouldn't be surprised if within ten, twenty years speech is regulated like firearms.

  • Finrod||

    Except that no one's ever accidentally killed someone with speech.

  • thom||

    I'm sure you could find examples that "prove" otherwise.

  • SugarFree||

    Good job, California.

    The administration here holds a public reading of the Constitution and Bill of Rights, passes out pocket BoR, and gives out free cider, lemonade and apple pie.

  • prolefeed||

    Where are you at where they have such a great attitude toward the BOR? Hillsdale?

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    You can hear the pigs being raped in the background of his comment. It's Kentucky. Maybe Tennessee. One of those kinds of states.

  • ||

    He lives in Fantasyland and works at the University of Dreamland. His one assistant is a fairy, and his other assistant is gay. NTTAWWT.

  • SugarFree||

    Kentucky. Yee-Haw.

  • Scruffy Nerfherder||

    It's Hee-Haw.

    You suck at everything don't you?

  • SugarFree||

    No, no, no. "Yee-Haw" is an expression of boisterous joy and agreement. "Hee-Haw" is a TV show.

  • ||

    REBEL YELL

  • Scruffy Nerfherder||

    From the urban dictionary:

    Yee - a term used by thin teenage boys to express their joy

    Haw - a term that originated in southern Ontario, Canada, which generally refers to a very gorgeous girl that acts like a 13 year old boy. This term can be used positively or negatively depending on the situation

    You can't explain that.

  • Hyperion||

    No, no, no. "Yee-Haw" is an expression of boisterous joy and agreement. "Hee-Haw" is a TV show.

    What about that thing that Turtle Man does, what is that? Can you do that if you have more than 3 tooths?

  • SugarFree||

    Can you do that if you have more than 3 tooths?

    Nope. I best to be getting to drinkin' mah Mountain Dew.

  • Paul.||

    I thought "Yee-Haw" was something a teafucker yelled right before he went on a mass shooting with his AR-15 machine gun.

  • Hyperion||

    We'll have to ban that phrase. Where is congress when you need them?

  • Hyperion||

    Kentucky. Yee-Haw.

    And look at what Kentucky has wrought.

    Rand Paul and Thomas Massie.

    Can't we invade them or something? I think Lindsey Graham has been pointing his war boner in the wrong direction.

  • BakedPenguin||

    Yeah - between UK handing out Constitutions, Paul and Massie, and the fact that every single person in Kentucky owns and operates a still, I'd say it's the most libertarian state in the country at this point.

  • Pro Libertate||

    You left out another libertarian.

  • SugarFree||

    robc? mad libertarian guy?

  • Pro Libertate||

    I was thinking of you, actually.

  • BakedPenguin||

    Larry Flint?

  • Loki||

    Don't mind SF, he's having hallucinations brought on by low blood sugar.

  • SugarFree||

    Who said that? I'll kill you!

  • mr simple||

    gives out free cider, lemonade and apple pie.

    Sounds like hell for you.

  • SugarFree||

    I just eat a little of the pie. Because America.

  • ||

    Well it is only an hour drive from Hillsdale

  • Duke||

    Just think if the police had allowed him to pass out those baby constitutions.

    Sort of reminds me how the catholic church of yore banned the laity from owning/reading the bible.

  • Scruffy Nerfherder||

    Can't have the peons realizing they have any of the power

  • Archduke of Pantsfan||

    "Distributing Hate Speech"?

  • Anonymous Coward||

    Why would you want to hand out a document as racist and patriarchal as the Constitution?

    Better to hand out copies of Critical Race Theory.

  • Loki||

    Well, he was distributing "subversive and controversial political material". Can't have that, now can we?

  • DontShootMe||

    Right, he should've been passing out the EU constitution. Assuming anybody could lift the thing.

  • CatoTheElder||

    He was just handing out the Heritage Foundation publication of USC.

    The Cato version is even more subversive since it also includes the Declaration of Independence.

    Hat's off to the kid.

  • Loki||

    The Cato version is even more subversive since it also includes the Declaration of Independence.

    That probably would have gotten him shot on sight, since he obviously would have been one those domestic terrorists we keep hearing about.

  • Art Vandelay||

    Are there THAT many students in Modesto who are fluent in Ye Olde English?

    /Ezra Klein

  • Bryan C||

    "Thank you for your opinion, officer. You are dismissed."

  • ||

    this comment made me laugh uproariously, even as it depressed me

  • Hyperion||

    Colleges still have them? I thought they were replaced with gender studies and feminists poetry.

  • Hyperion||

    Wow, I am thread challenged today. That reply was to this:

    Loki| 9.19.13 @ 3:15PM |#

    They won't get rid of bureaucrats, they'll eliminate their engineering and science degrees first.

  • Loki||

    Some still do. The ones that have already gotten rid of them will be really fucked. They'll just have to get rid of everything except [insert protected class here] Studies and Feminist Theory.

  • Hyperion||

    The ones that have already gotten rid of them will be really fucked.

    And their graduates. No wait... make that the parents of the graduates and the tax payers.

  • BiMonSciFiCon||

    I was really hoping this was a private college. Nope.

  • ||

    Free speech has its limits. You can’t just yell “constitution” on a crowded campus.

  • The Rt. Hon. Serious Man, Visc||

    Indeed. People might start thinking and there's no greater threat to state security than that!

  • Paul.||

    FTW!

  • CatoTheElder||

    Such Amendment I limitations have a long history.

    Supreme Court "Justice" OW Holmes likened distribution of the text of Amendment XIII to shouting fire in a crowded theater.

    Schenck v United States

    Well, the guy also wrote seditious stuff like "Assert your rights" and "Do not submit to intimidation".

    The kid got off easy; Schenck got ten years in federal prison.

  • Raston Bot||

    That majority opinion is disturbing. OW Holmes was a real piece of shit authoritarian.

  • Paul.||

    That's why progressives idolize him.

  • ||

    As stupid as this is, from a Property Rights perspective, I always have a hard time getting behind F.I.R.E. Their whole standing on this is due to the acceptance of Federal funds by colleges. Yes, I have no sympathy for the colleges sucking off of the public tit. But still, this just seems...unseemly.

    In the absence of Federal funding, would you support the legal avenue that F.I.R.E. walks? I wouldn't. Public ridicule? Absolutely.

  • PD Scott||

    This isn't a private school, it's part of the state of California.

  • Paul.||

    All private property is theft anyway.

  • Hyperion||

    So then, if it's on fire, make sure that no one calls the fire department.

  • Calidissident||

    I don't think you can just toss aside the fact that this is a public school like that

  • ||

    Potentially, but F.I.R.E. doesn't particularly care. And ultimately, is this of concern because it's a Public School, or because it's stupid?

  • Paul.||

    Robert Van Tuinen stop passing out Constitution pamphlets and told him that he would only be allowed to pass them out in the college’s tiny free speech zone, and only after scheduling it several days or weeks ahead of time.

    The right of the people to speak with their unamplified voice, in a time and place of the government's choosing, shall not be infringed.

  • ||

    I would never make it through college these days. Jesus. All my life if I called some asshole on his assholeness and dared him to push it, they backed down. I suspect it was because they knew I was right and willing to go to the mat, figuratively and literally.

    The assholes these days seem to have no grasp of right or wrong. Yep, I would end up in jail.

  • ||

    Right and wrong don't enter into it.

    In the past, authority figures depended on people submitting to their authority. They backed down when someone seriously challenged them because they were bluffing.

    But now they hold the cards. If you don't comply, the system will no longer respect your freedom, it will deem you a threat. So yes, you'd wind up in jail.

  • Paul.||

    Oh, and it's Modesto Jr. College. How much of an education do you really expect students to get there? This is just the college doing its job: toning down expectations.

  • ||

    I'd have more sympathy if he was passing out US Constitutions printed by the CATO institute.

  • Death Rock and Skull||

    Not that I'm a student or anything, but I might have just picked up three Cato pocket constitutions at a university library the other day.

  • Juice||

    "You're trying to get me into an argument."

    "You're the one who stopped me, asshole!"

  • Juice||

    I love how both bureaucrats involved insisted that no one was restricting his free speech.

  • Adam330||

    These petty dictators need to be sued good and hard. Open invitation to this student to represent him pro bono.

  • GroundTruth||

    How bout "The Communist Manifesto"? Would that have been ok?

  • LarryA||

    Everyone there already has one.

  • Pinky||

    Where is the end of the video where he goes outside, continues to exercise his rights and gets himself arrested? This was very disappointing.

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