The Internet remembers everything. In particular, even if I had made an effort to stuff something I said on Twitter last week down the memory hole there would still be a record of it. So before I start on my next post, a bit of air clearing is probably in order.
Last week a discussion arose about a man who had used pepper spray on a member of the Westboro Baptist Church while they were protesting at a military funeral. I got up on my Libertarian high horse and maintained that nothing would do but that this fellow should be jailed for assault. After all, he not only committed an assault on the WBC member, but he trampled their freedom of expression. I was guilty of what I mock the Big-L Libertarians for, being so proud of my ideological purity that I lost sight of the fact that we’re human.
I got so heated that I said things I shouldn’t have, especially to one person. I thought about the incident later and realized that the real reason for my anger wasn’t what anyone else said, but because I knew somewhere inside me that I was wrong about the issue. I had forgotten that the law was made for man, not man for the law.
Part of me was hoping I could just sort of forget it, and not mention Westboro again for a while. Another part of me knew that of all of the online stalking one can do, one of the worst is to relentlessly pursue someone you wronged, demanding that they accept your apology. But it appears that I need to write about Westboro at least a bit. So let this post stand as a marker that I am sometimes foolish and temperamental, but I really am sorry when I realize that I’ve screwed up yet again.