Free Minds & Free Markets

Words Aren't Weapons! (Reason Podcast)

A discussion about last week's congressional shooting, Michelle Carter, Cuba sanctions, and DnD Creator Gary Gygax.

"Implying that anyone should be put into a wood chipper is definitely kind of a dick move," says Reason's Katherine Mangu-Ward. "But a fully legal dick move, not an actual threat, [so] I'm going to stick up for fully legal dick moves."

On today's episode of the Reason Podcast, Mangu-Ward joins Nick Gillespie, Matt Welch, and Andrew Heaton to discuss weaponizing words in the broader struggle for free speech; the recent congressional shooting; whether heightened political rhetoric in Trump's America is responsible for violence; Michelle Carter's conviction of manslaughter for convincing her boyfriend to kill himself (setting a precedent that equates words with weapons); Donald Trump taking America's Cuba policy backwards (though his rhetoric is outpacing his reforms); and a new FOIA request obtained by Reason's C.J. Ciaramella revealing the FBI's misgivings about Dungeons & Dragons creator Gary Gygax (also a libertarian).

Audio production by Ian Keyser.

Subscribe, rate, and review the Reason Podcast at iTunes. Listen at SoundCloud below:

Don't miss a single Reason podcast! (Archive here.)

Subscribe at iTunes.

Follow us at SoundCloud.

Subscribe at YouTube.

Like us on Facebook.

Follow us on Twitter.

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    "Implying that anyone should be put into a wood chipper is definitely kind of a dick move," says Reason's Kathrine Mangu-Ward. "But a fully legal dick move, not an actual threat, [so] I'm going to stick up for fully legal dick moves."

    You know who else stuck up for dick moves?

  • timbo||

    Ru paul?

  • Aloysious||

    Peter North?

  • Red Rocks Baiting n Inciting||

    Dirk Diggler?

  • Cynical Asshole||

    Ron Jeremy?

    Your mom?

  • L'carpetron Dookmarriot||

    caitlyn jenner?

  • ||

    Frigging French,

    I just snorted beer out my nose. .........

    +10 :-)

  • timbo||

    hence the throngs of leftist pussies in America turning themselves into insane crybaby 12 year olds.

    The way you bring down a successful business model/economy is to convince the losers and complainers that some boogey man stole their opportunity.

    America is getting what was inevitable when the complacency of wealth runs its course. When the most useless among us has a free place to stay with flat screens and cell phones, nothing is left to do except start listening to the propagandists.

  • esteve7||

    they are worse than 12 year olds. I have a 13yo cousin and one of his friends, at 12, was ranting over "social justice crap" that some of his friends at school are spewing, so there's hope.

  • Elias Fakaname||

    As long as males continue to have a negative knee jerk reaction to the whining of pussies, there is hope.

  • Unlabelable MJGreen||

    "Implying that anyone should be put into a wood chipper is definitely kind of a dick move," says Reason's Kathrine Mangu-Ward.

    *cancels subscription*

  • Citizen X - #6||

    We revel in dick moves here, pansy.

    Not in the same way that your mom does, of course.

  • Cynical Asshole||

    "Fully legal dick move" was my nickname in college.

    Words as Weapons.

  • Zeb||

    You know what else is a dick move? Sending people to prison forever for facilitating peaceful transactions among consenting individuals.

    Anyway, the woodchipper works because it's so over the top that it's funny while still being an effective way to deal with tyrants. For more sober traditionalists, drawing and quartering would do the job too.

  • Philadelphia Collins||

    Planned Parenthood agrees.

  • Citizen X - #6||

    For most minor functionaries of tyranny, getting tarred, feathered, and ridden out of town on a rail should suffice.

  • Elias Fakaname||

    The progressives must be taught the Way of the Woodxhipper...........feet first!

  • Will4Freedom||

    "Them there is fightin' words, Partner"

  • OldMexican Blankety Blank||

    [...] Michelle Carter's conviction of manslaughter burning at the stake as a witch by the fearful and the ignorant folk for convincing casting a spell on her boyfriend to kill himself[.]

    There. I fixed it in a way that more accurately describes the situation.

  • C. S. P. Schofield||

    The Progressive Left MUST push the idea that the First Amendment doesn't protect "hateful" speech, because even as delusional as they are, they have come to the realization that none of their positions stand up to examination. They've lost. What's left is the death throes.

  • ransom147||

    I really like the Andrew Heaton format. Good shit.

  • Texasmotiv||

    I'll second that Heaton makes the podcast 00 better.

  • Texasmotiv||

    1000 percent*

  • mortiscrum||

    I think there might be a bit more nuance to "words as weapons" than this podcast admits. For starters, I'm not ready to let Islam off the hook on terrorism. Clearly, the religion has a very unfortunate relationship with violent extremism and it'd be illogical to separate the propaganda of Islam and the motivations of (Islamic) terrorists. Most of them SAY that their motivation is their religious beliefs. Do we not believe them or something? Do we think nearly every member of ISIS is clinically mentally unhinged? Where's the agency in that scenario?

    And then there's the suicidal boyfriend situation. I know nothing about this case other than what I heard on this podcast, so I don't know if what I'm about to say applies or not, but again, I'm not ready to absolve this woman of all blame. Imagine a situation where a depressed, emotional and mentally compromised individual is purposefully manipulated and prodded in to doing something bad (for example, committing suicide) by someone they trust. The manipulator really has no culpability because free speech?

    Free speech isn't carte blanche; the "yelling fire in a crowded theater" example is a logical limit to free speech. I think it would be reasonable to generalize that principle to include cases where the outcome of someone's speech are plainly obvious, harmful, and show a reckless disregard for others.

  • ||

    "........ is a logical limit to free speech."

    Sorry there is not a limit to free speech. But there are consequences to personal actions, including the expression of free speech, just as there are of utilizing ones second amendment rights.

    If folks in the theatre injured by ones exercising first amendment rights and it proved that action was the cause you will need to face any consequences.

  • mortiscrum||

    How is what you said any different than what I said? By "limit to free speech," I clearly mean legal repercussions. Usually, when an action has legal repercussions attached to it, no one would say anyone is "free" to do that action. Physically being capable of doing something is not the same as being free do to that thing from a societal perspective.

    So yes, there are in practice limits to free speech.

  • Chippy McChippy||

    Words ARE weapons.

    Sharper than knives.


Get Reason's print or digital edition before it’s posted online