This is called foresight, he knew full well the potential reaction it would illicit, in persisting, he ignored that foresight and made himself liable for the consequences of his actions.
attempting to make a negative look positive, based on the negative reaction to your negative actions, is self serving, and just pandering to the hate crowd, making himself no better than those
he's aiming at.
It's like saying the rabid dog is responsible for biting the hand of the person who tried to pet him after he was told it was a rabid dog.
I mean cmon, I wonder what would happen if I start poking radical islam with a big Cross, gee I don't know, I have no frame of reference, or do I?
we are all liable for the consequences of our actions, be they good or bad, known or unknown, he is not an exception.
You may have a point here. I am not a Constitutional scholar but there is after all an exception to free speech, much along the lines that you are suggesting. I am referring to the settled law that one does not have the right to yell "fire" in a crowded theater.
Without getting into a lengthy history of Constitutional Law and the First Amendment I would offer the following:
Time, Place and Manner restrictions on the expression of Free Speech MAY be deemed constitutional, depending on the context and the legislative intent.
For example, the absolute prohibition of demonstrations on most public property, such as sidewalks or parks, is usually unconstitutional.(Obviously there is a different standard for military bases and the inside of buildings.) However, prohibiting the same without first obtaining a permit MAY be lawful. General restrictions about the time of events, the size of events and the costs of policing and cleaning up after such events MAY also be lawful.
A permit is supposed to be 'content neutral' and fairly easy to obtain. It may not arbitrarily be denied and one denied has a right to some sort of review or hearing and/or judicial review.
A permit may limit the time, size and noise level of demonstrations under certain circumstances, said limitations must be set out clearly in the permitting ordinance or law and they may not be arbitrary.
Permitting is usually justified by the need to assess public safety, sanitation, health, noise and other concerns. Distance from certain places may be established as well for safety reasons. However, that distance restriction has to be 'reasonable' and not be designed to 'hide' the demonstrators from the intended 'audience' of the demonstration.
You may recall from the case in which the Supreme Court permitted the Neo-Nazis to march in Skokie, Illinois (home to many Holocaust survivors at the time in the 1970's) and the recent Westboro Baptist case, these permitting ordinances are narrowly construed by the courts and may not be used as a cloak to prohibit unpopular or emotionally hurtful demonstrations. (Although there was a spirited minority opinion in the Westboro case which laid out an alternative theory behind First Amendment restrictions. See this for an excellent analysis of Justice Alito's dissent: http://www.trentonian.com/articles/2011/03/08/opinion/doc4d75c7f4162de944463932.txt
Now, Jones and his minions are supposedly going to picket at the largest Mosque in America in Detroit. This MAY be viewed in the light of the famous 'crying fire' in the theater case in that given Jones' past behavior and his written statements about Islam, his acts may unreasonably put the general public and public safety personnel at risk of bodily harm or worse. I think that it would be proper and necessary to stop him from burning a Koran or Korans there or for that matter burning anything at that time since what he was burning might not be readily discerned from across the street.
The theory behind the 'fire' analogy is that a reasonable person UNDERSTANDS the consequences of yelling 'fire' in the theater and the PROBABILITIES of harm to others. I wonder if the likelihood that the burning of the Koran in an act of religious opinion would PROVOKE a violent response across the globe should be viewed an differently than one provoked across the street in this day and age of instant communications, the internet, youtube and Facebook? The rules are changing and the law will no doubt have to adapt, for as Bob Dylan once observed, '...the times, they are a changing.'
Lawyers just can't be brief. Sorry if I rambled, but I hope this helped.