There was nothing civil about Andrew Meyer, the 21-year-old University of Florida student who met the business end of a Taser on Monday at a John Kerry forum.
Events like this raise the often heated debate of security versus freedom. Not just freedom of speech but all freedom.
The reaction of the university police officers was unwarranted and excessive – overkill. After watching the video several times it is evident that Kerry wanted to answer the student’s question. The only real danger in Meyer was in was his poor posture at the microphone. Perhaps the university police were attempting to help Meyer with a bad habit that could cause him back problems later in life.
What Meyer was asking may not have been what everyone wanted to hear, but regardless, the First Amendment protects his right to express his opinions. What is more troubling is that with six police officers restraining Meyers, none of them were able to put the handcuffs on him. Were the police officers so inept they could not subdue a 21-year-old student who simply did not understand their logic?
If you’ve seen the video, the evidence speaks for itself. The fact is that Meyer was overzealous in his questioning of the former presidential candidate and the university police overstepped their bounds to keep the atmosphere safe for public discourse. Simply put, different ideas seemed dangerous to the officers. The six officers who subdued Meyer demonstrated the problem in American culture – the desire to be safe rather than free.
To quote Patrick Henry, “Give me liberty or give me death.”
Photo Editor Michael Bou-Nacklie for the Editorial Board