Free speech purists may make some extreme claims about hate speech legislation, claiming that it prevents people from thinking what they want to think about the world. The position often adopted by those on the libertarian side of the political spectrum, an example of which was the piece by Bruce Logan (NZ Herald, May 6), is that restrictions on freedom of speech are a slippery slope to tyranny.

But there is all the difference between what you can think and what you can say or do: speech and actions can impact others, which is why regulation is proper. The