I am all for peaceful demonstrations, I want people to voice their opinions, I especially want to hear the other side. What I will not tolerate is rudeness.
The changing times
Recent events have pretty much polarized our country. I am still having a hard time trying to figure out what the real problem is because it is not an increase in police shootings. Maybe there are some nefarious motives, but they sure as hell do not warrant the total disregard for the rule of law. On top of that, when these peaceful demonstrations deteriorate to riots I’d say we have had enough.
Is it any wonder why folks shake their heads these days. Mention the word protest and I think of Wall Street and Ferguson. Both of which seemed to drag out the very bottom of our moral fiber. I don’t care what the reason, I do believe folks have a right to peacefully protest. I don’t have to like it, hell chances are if has to do with current events I probably don’t, but that doesn’t mean I don’t support the effort. I hear some rumblings about all the protests, how they shouldn’t be condoned or encouraged. Take a second to listen to what you are contemplating. That is pretty much tantamount to censorship and we have lost too many lives defending our way of life to see it decay on our own streets.
Set the example, don’t be the example
Part of the problem is there seems to be a complete lack of leadership and accountability. Leadership needs to step up and take control of the situation. Lay out clear guidelines with a stern warning that for the message to be heard, it has to be done in the context of the law. Simple, otherwise you run the risk of looking pretty much like hypocrite. On the one side you want justice, but you will steal, loot, damage, destroy, rape and even kill. That is in no way helps your mission, in fact it only aides in distancing you from the people who you want to hear your message.
Don’t do stupid
There is a great saying that goes something like, “don’t do stupid, so avoid stupid places”. If you are serious about your personal safety you might want to reconsider your attendance at these events. There is nothing glorious about them and truthfully I believe they are counter productive to success, but I still support others if they feel it is the best venue. Think about the risk you knowing subject yourself to by attending these events. I don’t care if it is a pro-gun or pro-life protest, the environment is the same. It is a pressure cooker waiting to go off and when it goes off it usually goes big.
Avoid, diffuse and defend
If you are going to legally exercise your constitutional rights then by that nature you would at every turn avoid, diffuse and as a last resort defend. I was reading about a family who happened to stumble across the riots in Baltimore across from Camden Yards. Right in the middle of a baseball game, with sight of the field this family comes face to face with the protestors who immediately turn aggressive and violent. Gaining access to the occupants of the vehicle with women and children seems pretty frighting to me. You really have little options at that point, but it just goes to show you cannot always predict when bad things will occur. I’m sure this family was mortified to be out on a sunday drive and end up the target of a mob. Being armed comes with great responsibility, but when the safety of your family is at stake I would rather be armed and prepared than completely vulnerable.
Buckle up folks, we are in for a bumpy ride.
"I might disagree with your opinion, but I will give my life for your right to express it. François-Marie Arouet, French Philosopher