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Rights have limits, even rights guaranteed in the Constitution. This post is not about gun rights. It's about free speech.

Free speech must have limits, too. You should not be allow to go around saying anything at all, without consequences. You should not be allowed, for example, to spread malicious lies that you know are falsehoods and that you know are causing pain to the people you are lying about, without consequences.

Lots of people do such things these days, unfortunately, and find a platform for their vitriol on social media. But perhaps the worst of them is Alex Jones, who has a national radio show and a website — Infowars — where he has spread the lie that the Sandy Hook shooting was a hoax. He has pushed this foul lie despite pleas to stop from parents whose children were killed. He has pushed this foul lie despite widespread, cruel harassment of those parents by people who are easily influenced.

His heartlessness should be punished, and now that three parents of Sandy Hook victims have sued him for defamation, maybe it will be. 

It is endlessly astonishing to me how many truly cruel people are around. I didn't realize this before the emergence of the internet, but I've gotten used to it. It will not surprise me if mean-spirited comments are made on this post. How the tormenting of grieving parents can be defended, I don't know.

But the point is, even free speech has limits. Intentionally causing hurt by spreading lies is past the limit.

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Will Doolittle is projects editor at The Post-Star. He may be reached at and followed on his blog, I think not, and on Twitter at



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