HARASS: Flaw in the law

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“You can observe a lot just by watching” was thought to be spoken by Yogi Berra on his competence to manage the New York Yankees. Without some special education, experience, or knowledge, the significance of what we see generally escapes us.

The Nov. 2 Coeur d’Alene Press Editorial quotes Idaho Code 18-6710 which makes a first offense a misdemeanor when someone uses a phone or other device to, “annoy, terrify, threaten, intimidate, harass or offend,” whether the target is an individual, a business, a school or any other entity.

President Franklin D. Roosevelt articulated the idea of four freedoms that people everywhere ought to be able to enjoy: freedom of speech, worship, from want and freedom from fear.

The very first Amendment to the Constitution prohibits Congress abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; interfering with religion, assembly or petitioning for redress of grievances.

18-6710 forbids an individual from phoning someone and annoying or offending them. Doesn’t that worry someone? America has an ample supply of easily offended or annoyed people. It is now possible to have a criminal record because someone was irritated and you offended them. That is some freedom of speech.

Doesn’t sending someone to jail for annoying someone on the phone seem a bit like overkill? If this is the law of the land, then I suggest the Attorney General start filling Idaho prisons with those responsible for robocalls. They are most certainly annoying.

BOB HUNT

Post Falls

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