Your July 8 article on the Connecticut Supreme Court ruling that a “profanity laced tirade” and body shaming did not constitute what a reasonable person would consider provocative was disturbing to me (”Profane tirade protected speech, high court rules”). What about all the worry about civility? A person in authority should expect this? Anyone want to bet on someone getting off on a contempt of court punishment by quoting that ruling?

A “reasonable” adult may not start hitting because they wish to avoid assault charges. But the social contract is that when the government takes away the right to respond yourself, it will do it for you. This sounds like the German rape law that says if you didn’t get hurt resisting, you weren’t attacked.

What is provocative? I was not very upset when someone called me “boy” at work (at 50), but a black man I knew was still bitter about being called “boy” while wearing his uniform in World War II. Provocation is most often a matter of attitude and intent.

The governent failing to protect people is a lot more likely to result in a rise in freelance violence than the much worried about availability of firearms.

Tom Heyns

Chelsea