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Volokh is a noted first amendment scholar and is concerned about the spate of prosecutions for things like insulting a police officer or saying mean things on facebook. He has a very good point re taunting, especially when you can define "vulnerable" anyway you like post fact. e.g. Lady in SUV cuts me off on my bike and I cuss her out. Is the fact that I am a large male and she a petite female make her vulnerable?

Its another thing if the taunting is done in a manner that leads someone to believe that they will be harmed, and that harm is objectively reasonable (e.g. SUV cursing at cycling).

Of course, Throwing is another thing entirely.

If you follow the link, they define vulnerable.

If verbal abuse were egg foo yung, I'd have shitload of egg foo yung. In my forty odd years of commuting, training and goofing around, yelling only twice eventuated in overt violence (rocks and fists) and in the four or five instances where I have been actually struck by cars, the driver has had no bad intent.

For those of you who weren't on the roads in the 70s (and earlier, I assume), things have gotten pretty benign in the last few decades. I agree with SJE on the principle and if there''s one way to bring the hate, it's to claim special protections on a basis that oppressed white people might perceive as politically tinged.

That said, assault is assault, of course.

Washcycle: you start with defining vulnerable, and it inevitably gets expanded to unjust ends. For example, there are lots of prosecutions for violation of privacy are by the police against citizens who record them, but very few going the other way.
Even after they passed laws that said you can record police, people get arrested for doing so.

Taunting me as a cyclist on Facebook is one thing. Taunting me as a driver with a window rolled down is another thing all together.

The proposed Arizona law at least has the virtue of clarity. The WABA doesn't even make it clear whether a bicyclist (defined as some who "rides a bicycle") actually need to be riding at the time of the harassment.

At the risk of restating Volokh's point, "if the point of banning taunting is to ban distracting or intimidating others" then we need to restrict those things (intentional restriction and intimidation), not create ad hoc restrictions on free speech and new protected classes.

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