Is a physical response to attacks on private property espousing protected political speech protected under the Fighting Words Doctrine or similar First Amendment exceptions?
For example, let’s take the Obama thief that ripped down the large Romney sign at the gas station (private property) in the video above, and then stole it. If the station’s owner or employees physically stopped him from destroying/stealing the sign, is that a justifiable response under fighting words doctrine?
Where would the line be drawn to an acceptable response? Just enough violence to stop the destruction/theft?
I would find it morally appropriate for any property owner to defend their political speech and personal property to a non-lethal degree, and suggest that an ass-whipping delivered to anyone caught defacing/destroying a sign is warranted, even if it goes slightly beyond what is needed to protect the speech (sign) and veers into “teaching you a lesson” territory.