Disgusted Arizona residents are locking arms to stop the Westboro Baptist Church from disrupting the funerals for victims of Saturday's shooting in Tucson, with bikers and others organizing a massive counter-protest and state lawmakers fast-tracking a bill to hamstring the so-called church.(emphasis mine)
I deplore the actions of Westboro Baptist. I think they are misguided and are a repugnant group. HOWEVER!! We have a 1st amendment. They have a right to their opinion. They have a right to be jerks. Just because someone does not like what they are saying does not mean that there oughta be a law.
The response of other residents, and the biker organizations, is the proper way to approach this. Respond in kind, within the law. We don't need more laws. We don't need thought crimes. We definitely don't need the legislature determining what is and isn't acceptable speech.
Even if this were a "content-neutral" restriction (and let's not waste time arguing that it is, because we all know that it isn't), which would theoretically be permissible, it's still a wrong idea.
Everyone just needs to put on the big-boy and big-girl pull-ups and start acting like adults. That DOES NOT mean running to your local legislator to have them "do something about those people." The next thing you know, you will be "those people."