Back in my college days, there was a sophomore who had a letter appear in every weekly issue of the campus newspaper. He apparently wrote tons of letters to the editor -- half of which were indignant accusations of censorship because the paper didn't print one of his letters ("You sent three letters this week," the editor would note, "and we do have other stuff to print") or didn't print the entire text of his letters ("It went on for five pages, single-spaced," came the reply, "How are we supposed to have room for all that?"

His letters were also quite controversial -- he was loudly opposed to abortion, non-Baptists (his famous "Methodists are going to hell because they don't dunk" letter), Disney cartoons (he said they promoted occultism, one-worldism, pansexuality, and Islam), women's rights ("If God had meant women to have equality with men, He would have given them penises." Yes, he really said that in one letter. Yes, the whole campus was flabbergasted), and letting the football players eat in the cafeteria (He said they ate all the sausage pizza). Of course, many students and faculty wrote letters of their own to disagree with or refute his letters, prompting him to write more letters to the paper, accusing both the newspaper and the other letter-writers of depriving him of his right to free speech by the simple act of using their right to free speech to disagree with him.

Up to this point, he was just a weirdo who wrote lots of letters, but during the spring semester, he upped the ante when he started handing out leaflets in front of the cafeteria. Nobody really cared that much -- most people I knew read them for giggles -- but one day, he handed one of his leaflets to a girl who was going into the cafeteria. She took it, crumpled it in one hand, dropped it on the ground in front of him, and walked off. That was, apparently, too much. He tackled her as she was picking up her tray, knocked her to the floor, and hit her twice (minor damage -- a couple of bruises on her arm). Her boyfriend, who was standing right next to her, one of his friends, and the cafeteria manager grabbed the guy and wrestled him to the floor. Then he started yelling, "Censorship! Censorship! Censorship!" And he kept it up until the campus police got there and arrested him.

As it turned out, he was lucky, because the girl decided she didn't want to press charges, and the cafeteria manager contented himself with banning him from the cafeteria. However, the newspaper editor was in the cafeteria when the incident happened, and she made no secret of the fact that she planned to write the whole thing up as a story for the paper. The letter-writer raved and threatened, but the editor told him to get bent. So on the day the paper was published, the letter-writer took a quick morning tour around the campus, picking up every stack of papers he could and stowing them in his car. His plan to suppress the media didn't last long -- he got picked up by the campus cops after his third stop. His defense was, again, that arresting him for theft violated his right to free speech. The newspaper editor gleefully had him charged, and his court-appointed lawyer told him to quit flapping his gums and take the plea offered by the DA. We didn't hear from him again -- I never found out whether the university had him kicked out or if he just split town in disgrace...

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