Megaphone vs. bagpipe

Originally published at:


Why are non-students allowed on campus anyway?


Florida, you say?


Hell and bagpipes. For those of us who play bagpipes this has a certain resonance…


I don’t think it was the music or volume of the music, I think the preacher guy was just creeped out by the very idea of bagpipes, like. . . just the name “bag-pipes” . . . he probably thinks they’re gay.


Now you see why Trump’s building that wall! He’s going to make Scotland pay for it, believe me.*


  • Trump 2016!

I hear Hadrian totally made the Picts pay for his wall. It was really effective too. That’s why you don’t see any Picts in England!


While I completely disagree with the preacher guy, this is a perfect example of what is called the heckler’s veto in constitutional jurisprudence. Assuming this guy was allowed to be there with his megaphone, he was exercising his First Amendment rights to express his (hateful) views, but was almost shut down by a heckler.

If you think that result is acceptable, consider the situation where someone is saying something you agree with and gets shut down by a heckler. Would you put it on a website, celebrating it as a victory? If not, then we shouldn’t celebrate this one either…


The guy has a right to rant, but not with the megaphone which can be heard up to a fucking mile away. I should not have to move that far away to not hear that shit.


I think we watched different videos. I could still hear the preacher quite clearly over the bagpipes and they were both exercising their First Amendment rights in an open space. If he stopped it was his own choice.



It’s a public university. Usually the outside areas, quads, walkways, parks on public university campuses are open to the public for limited uses. Many are specifically dedicated for use as public forums. It means that while you can be asked to leave if you violate a law or a campus policy, you’re usually okay to be there. Some universities have controversial free speech zones where you can only speak publicly and hand out stuff to passersby in designated areas and sometimes you’re supposed to get permission to do so. A lot of Christians focus on college campuses because they’re otherwise seen as hotspots of non-theistic activity and places where previously religious kids get un-indoctrinated.


I saw the headline and figured that it was surely going to be about a man with a megaphone trying to shut down someone with a bagpipe. But perhaps we are past that age of simple innocence.

ETA: The preacher will no doubt take comfort in knowing that the counterprotester will surely face the Lord’s wrath in the form of bagpipe lung.


Not a Heckler’s Veto. It’s fighting assholery with assholery.

This is America! This country was founded on the right to be a loud asshole! Why do you think Ben Franklin invented fireworks? Because America!


because it’s public property, and you can’t pan just some of the public without good reason. Besides, what’s to stop a Jesus-loving (or Jesus-hating) student from coming out with their own megaphone?

This is a prime example of ‘the antidote for bad speech is good speech.’

or bagpipes, apparently.


Bagpipe players don’t deserve First Amendment rights?

Exactly. It’s not her fault the bigot didn’t appreciate an awesome soundtrack for his his hateful rant.

This oxygen thief is no Christian.


The answer to speech you disagree with is more speech. The bagpipes is just another form of free speech. You have the right to speak, but you don’t have the right to force people to listen and others are allowed to speak too, at the same time, in the same place. If you want a dedicated place to speak where you can eject hecklers, rent an auditorium.


If he was properly allowed there by the campus authorities, then yes, he has the right to stay there. If the megaphone was not allowed, then the campus authorities can ask him to stop using the megaphone.

Certainly the university can have a no megaphone policy, as that would be a content-neutral restriction on speech, which are allowed so long as they are reasonable. To have a content-specific restriction, e.g., no megaphone for anti-gay preachers vs megaphone allowed for anti-abortion preachers, that would be unconstitutional.

If you’re okay with a band having a PA system in that same spot, then you should accept the preacher’s megaphone, as the PA system will probably be much louder…

Which is exactly what this asswipe was doing by using a megaphone. He was also probably causing classes to be disrupted in the nearby buildings.


Crivens! What an asshole!

I am pretty sure I saw an invisible pointy hat on that young lady’s head? a hat full of stars

(miss ya Sir Terry!)