Now we think people should "get what they deserve"?
A shocking notion in our criminal justice system, but yes. A good system would be one where people more frequently got what they deserve.
The bright line division between physical violence and all other forms of aggression has been accorded far too much significance in our modern society. A simple punch or slap has caused far less harm and solved far more problems than many examples of derogatory or inflamatory speech. And yet, we continue to insist that any act of physical aggression is automatically more evil than any combination of verbal or other nonphysical behaviours. That's just stupid.
The so-called "fighting words" doctrine had more merit than it was credited with having when we did away with it. Our system needs more rational analysis and less arbitrary, unjustified distinctions.