To the editor:
Here we go again, just like Baltimore, Ferguson, Chicago and now cities in California: Demonstrators destroying public and private property, attacking more peaceful demonstrators and law enforcement casually watching from a distance. I apologize in advance because I respect and look up to law enforcement officials. They have a tough job and they do it well. That said, how many times have we witnessed demonstrators destroying property in full view of law enforcement without being arrested?
The press and media all espouse, it is their right under the First Amendment to the Constitution to assemble. The one word they conveniently and purposely leave out is “peaceably.” The First Amendment actually reads, “Interfering with the right to peaceably assemble.” In other words, the mob cannot destroy property, public or private, cannot attack property owners, cannot attack counter-demonstrators or, in any manner, disregard the laws of the city, state or country.
Why don’t the police arrest the bad demonstrators? Why are they not brought to justice? Why are the property owners and taxpayers left holding the bag? Why do we not see mass arrests of those breaking the laws? Is everyone afraid that the illegal immigrants or those who support them will riot more? If so, arrest more of them. Put them on chain gangs working the roads until they pay back every penny of the public property they ruined or destroyed. Fair is fair. If you or I did it to our neighbor, we would have to make restitution and serve jail time. There is a right way and a wrong way to peaceably demonstrate.
Those running for president will continue to campaign over the next coming months. Many will want to demonstrate and it is their right to peaceably assemble and demonstrate. Our law enforcement officials should ensure that no public or private property is maliciously or intentionally destroyed and that opposing peaceable demonstrators are not harassed or attacked for their views. Standing by and watching the mob act like crazed idiots or someone making a prison break just encourages the lawless behavior. It’s time to make those who destroy other people’s property pay for it, both in monetary compensation and incarceration time.
Christopher A. Acker