One Of These Crimes Is Not Like The Other

The abortion issue is always ugly, but protesters on both sides of the issue in Fargo made it particularly ugly recently.

A man named Nik Severson has been trolling pro-life demonstrators in front of North Dakota’s only abortion clinic in Fargo, calling the names and holding up signs to mock them. He even went so far as to dress up like Jesus and hold up a sign pointing to the pro-life demonstrators saying they should have been aborted.

Which is all well and good. That’s free speech. But then things got physical.

Tyson Kuznia, a passerby who objected to Severson’s antics, displayed his disapproval by spitting at him. He’s now facing a misdemeanor disorderly conduct charge, which seems entirely appropriate to me.

Severson, on the other hand, responded to Kuznia with a “judo throw” and a “leg sweep,” according to the Fargo Forum. “He broke Kuznia’s glasses and injured his knee in the process,” the paper reports.

Severson is now facing charges too, only it’s the same misdemeanor disorderly conduct charge that Kuznia is facing. Which doesn’t seem at all appropriate to me.

Spitting on someone undoubtedly fits the definition of disorderly conduct. Kuznia shouldn’t have done that, and he should face the consequences (neither man is disputing their actions at this point). But Severson assaulted Kuznia. That’s a whole different ball of wax in my mind.

According to initial reports police initially recommended a simple assault charge for Severson. That seems much more appropriate to me.

Some on the left are having a big laugh about it – Severson has picked up the nickname “Judo Jesus,” because assault is hilarious – but this is a serious issue. The abortion issue is fraught enough without enabling the sometimes violent actions of someone who, to this observer, seems to be borderline mentally ill

Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com, a columnist for the Forum News Service, and host of the Plain Talk Podcast which you can subscribe to by clicking here.

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