A Regrettable Incident & A “Regretful” Choice of Words

The video of the incident in which a student was tasered while speaking out at a University of Florida campus forum for John Kerry has been plastered all over the news channels today (as well as YouTube).

The incident and the video that captures it are disturbing on so many levels.

First and foremost on the disturbing list is the fact that this student, Andrew Meyers, is so clearly detained, tasered and arrested merely for exercising his First Amendment rights. Is there a reason why a microphone was placed in the audience other than to capture questions and opinions from participants?

It’s also equally disturbing that John Kerry is heard on the video continuing to address the rest of the audience, while the police are dragging this student out. How quickly would the police have ceased their tactics had Kerry addressed them directly from the podium and asked them to leave Meyers alone? It was completely within Kerry’s power (if not his ability) to defuse the situation and he didn’t. Perhaps what we got from Kerry in this incident is what we should expect from candidate Kerry, who failed or refused to address the tough issues during his Presidential bid?

The fact that the police were so willing and ready to pounce is also pretty suspicious. In the video, it looks like there are at least seven cops surrounding Meyers. It’s absurd to think that seven cops can’t subdue someone who is merely yelling. He’s not fighting them, he’s not flailing, and he’s not resisting arrest. He’s merely begging them for a reason why he’s not being allowed to speak and, then, begging them not to taser him.

Add to this increasingly disturbing list the fact that several of Meyers’ fellow students — their brains apparently turned to Alpo from overdoses of “Jackass” and “Girls Gone Wild” — can be seen laughing as the cops are zapping Meyers. These dimwits apparently didn’t get to the part in their American History books about Kent State. (Am I crazy to have higher expectations of higher education?)

Here’s the kicker. The media, who have the most to lose in this deterioration of the First Amendment, seem to be perfectly content to camp out outside O.J.’s jail cell (both physically and metaphorically), apparently reminiscing about the good old days of Camp O.J., and determined to provide wall-to-wall coverage of this non-essential story.

One final (and admittedly more trivial) level of “disturbing” is that, when the University’s President J. Bernard Machen spoke out today, is that he referred to the incident as “regretful.” Clearly, he was never an English major. It’s regrettable that a university president doesn’t know the difference between “regretful” and “regrettable.”