Last year we watched America burn. Images of rioters standing amid the flames, their fists raised in protest, circulated in the mainstream media, suggesting that these were images American schoolchildren would see in their history books, as if it were a proud moment for change in the country.
Many of us have resigned ourselves to the media justifying the behavior of the rioters and equating burning the livelihoods of innocent people with necessary social change. Doctors signed letters stating that the social changes underway were more important than the possible spread of the coronavirus, which still poses a serious threat to public health.
My wife and I wondered what kind of world we live in where these actions can be described as largely peaceful. These were not attacks on authoritarian regimes determined to suppress future free Americans. These were attacks on neighbors and people that had nothing to do with police brutality. The summer of 2020 is all about destruction, murder and chaos.
On Thursday, we published an article about the siege of the U.S. Capitol. Many of those who entered did so by committing acts of violence and vandalism. Many were let in by Capitol Police. At the time of the deadline mentioned in the article, it was 5pm. IT. There were several skirmishes between the police and the rioters at the time, and people rushed around the Capitol building as if it were the first time they had ever been inside. Some of them sold out to the Capitol Police. It was largely peaceful. In fact, video footage of people entering the Capitol shows them picking up trash left behind by others. So, mostly peaceful, at what cost? We must not only prosecute criminals, but also protect the innocent and prevent crimes where they can occur. That’s why my wife and I are betting on the Blue. An alternative is not so desirable, even if the criminal justice system has to change, which it does.
There was an element of violence in our reality that led to death and destruction. It happened in the summer and on the 6th. January on Capitol Hill. By the time our article was published on Thursday, the woman had been shot, but we were told she was alive and not in critical condition. No other injuries were reported.
My wife and I did not support the violent demonstrations this summer, and we do not support violence. We were shocked and appalled by the summer and shocked and appalled on the 6th. January. At the time of our print edition, a man was shot and killed breaking into the Capitol building. It seemed neither unlikely nor cruel. In fact, she broke the law by climbing through a window into a room where a man was clearly pointing a gun at her. I don’t blame the officer involved in the shooting. It was a messy and dangerous situation, and I suspect from the photos I saw that he warned them repeatedly. She was a threat to his safety, and he neutralized her. As Americans, we condone the use of deadly force to protect the innocent. Violent and threatening people are often shot. In 2019, nearly 1,000 people were killed by police in various circumstances in America. Justice had to be done.
We deplore their reckless actions and we regret the death of Officer Siknik, who was wounded during the siege of the capital. The D.C. mayor reportedly refused the help of the National Guard and FBI for the protest. Over the summer, states in the midst of violent rebellion made similar denials.
As non-party members, my wife and I have witnessed death and destruction all over our country due to the failure of those responsible for ensuring the public good. Police were ordered to retreat in the face of violent protesters. When they act, they are demonized and criticized. As non-party members, we witness the defense of both parties, as if the political agenda or grievances they support are worthy of destruction and death. The media played the cover for both sides.
And now this. We are ashamed of the actions of January 6, as we are in 2020 across the country, including here in San Luis Obispo County. Many events have been peaceful and are protected by the First Amendment. But peace, and especially peace, are two extremes. One is protected and the other is a crime. It is interesting to hear how people defend one crime and condemn another based on their political views.
Most of us are perfectly peaceful, understand our constitutional charter of rights and use it. They stop where they interfere with another. In California, our Constitution includes the protection of property as an inalienable right. We have been under attack for over a year and it is time to count on your support for the violence. Violence is not a constitutional right, it is a right to protect your life.
There are people in our world who are not peaceful, or rather peaceful, which is synonymous. As a country, we should essentially not tolerate peaceful demonstrations.
The Constitution protects our rights to freedom of speech, religious exercise, peaceful assembly and reparation – we must never jeopardize them by confusing them with essentially peaceful activities.
If you were bothered by our coverage on Thursday, we couldn’t agree with you more.
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We’ll get through this together, Atascadero…
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