You articulated your case perfectly. And we agree completely about the role of free speech and the role of the government in the process. i.e. as little as possible.
The case you illustrate in the bus is a good one. No matter how open our societies, we’re still going to have disrespectful people driven by hatred, that do terrible things. It’s very hard to legislate against things like that. You can have consequences and that does seem to prevent a lot of crimes. But I think it’s also our lifestyle, our freedoms and economic prosperity that makes it less likely. That’s an open question as to how we could fashion our institutions to minimise that kind of disrespect in the public sphere. We’d still need police and an ethic that encourages the public to stand up for others. I think in the end a more civil, advanced society pushes that kind of behaviour into the fringes until it’s simply too costly.