I’ve had quite a few thoughts about all that’s going on in our country right now pertaining to the “protests”. Here are a few things I feel needs to be said about acting as a responsible citizen in our American society.
Amendment 1 of the United States Constitution’s Bill of Rights mentions 5 “rights” alone. The one that really pertains to today, right now, is the one that states, “or the right of the people to peaceably assemble”. The key word being “peaceably”. That would be something like an old fashioned “sit in” or people walking about with signs in a “picket line”. What is going on right now is not that because various laws are being broken. For starters, disrupting the flow of traffic. Other ones would be assaulting people and their vehicles, moving from the protest site to other public domains and destroying public and private property. These are not protests and that is not protesting. The line has been crossed. The problem with this all and why it’s getting out of hand is because of leadership, or lack thereof.
City officials and law enforcement leaders in the masses are choosing the high road as to avoid confrontation. They are trying to avoid an explosion or a full-blown riot. Because of their tolerance, the line has been crossed. It’s hard to reverse course from that. I’m a parent with 4 children. If my daughter had asked me when she was a teenager if she could stay out until midnight, knowing her curfew was 10, and I said yes, there’s a chance she’d be home just a little after midnight. Why? To test the boundary. If when she got home after midnight and I told her just to “not let it happen again”, I pretty much just condoned her being late and let her know that my boundaries are flexible. You can’t budge an inch.
Years ago, in Israel when Ariel Sharon was the leader, if any Islamic state even looked at Israel wrong he went in full force and decimated that enemy. This happened so much that the Islamic states developed in their conscious a fear of losing. It had a major psychological effect on them. They knew they had no chance. So, for a long while, Israel was left alone. Our police, local and state government should learn from that. Instead, they let the “protestors” block roadways and move around during their protest giving them free reign. This is wrong because it affects the majority of the people. They are not serving nor protecting. They are being tolerant and letting the children of the streets run amuck. Personally, I see no problem with water hoses being used if and when they get out of line. It’s much less prone to injury than rubber bullets or tear gas cannisters hitting someone in the eye.
Because of the tolerance, the line is crossed immediately, and the situation escalates to the point the people and property are damaged. This could all be avoided. What’s really going on is a test. It’s a test of the breakdown of civil government in our republic to usher in socialism. When Theodore Roosevelt said, “For those who fight for it, life has a flavor the protected will never know”, this is exactly what he was talking about. It’s an appreciation for the amazing country we live in. One of the few on this planet. That’s why so many veterans get so upset about all these riots and “protests”. Those “activists” have no idea how good our country really is. Why? Because most have never been outside of the United States and those who have, few have spent time in oppressed third world nations. It’s unfortunate that George Floyd was killed the way he was and now his death has little impact vs the agenda that’s being pushed. It’s not about police brutality or the black community. It’s about anarchy and socialism. If the protests were for the black community, so many black folks wouldn’t be getting killed trying to protect their businesses like the retired black police officer in St. Louis. There is no real agenda other than chaos.
At this point, the rioters are terrorists and should be dealt with as such. Yes, let our people protest. I spent 26 years in the Army to defend our country and constitution which includes “the right of the people to peaceably assemble”, but it must be done peaceably. If the local government requires a permit, you get a permit and follow all local laws. Obstructing the flow of traffic and hitting people’s vehicles is not peaceful, so don’t be surprised when a citizen takes action to protect their property. In the state of Missouri, we have what is called The Castle Doctrine which states,
“Missouri laws allow individuals to use deadly force against intruders who disrupt the sanctity of private property and intend to cause harm. A legal owner of private property has no duty to retreat and has the right to use deadly force to prevent an attack”.
This is very important because the minute you surround the vehicle and strike that vehicle while yelling or creating fear in that property owner, they can shoot and kill you.
In closing I’ll add what I hit on in the beginning. The lack of strong leadership will always end poorly. Good leaders are not always liked. If you’re in a leadership position, like being a parent, being popular is not how you win hearts. It’s being decisive and having the courage to make the tough decisions based on the general welfare of the masses; the people that leader is charged with leading. That includes mayors, governors, police chiefs, fire chiefs and anyone else who may involved with protecting and serving the public. In my own city, our current mayor has shown weakness in his leadership. Taking on the position of “doing what all the others in leadership are doing” is not leading. That’s following. That’s taking the easy road. Taking the hard stance and holding that ground is much more productive. There’s an ebb and flow to leadership and that leader has to maintain that balance. Justice is and will be served for George Floyd. It’s a horrible thing and it turned my stomach to briefly watch that video. I just hope that the leaders in law enforcement take a good hard look at who their men and women are in their ranks. Everyone would benefit from taking an internal discovery into their own hearts and souls to find the grace, love and appreciation for other American citizens. Don’t blame an entire industry for a wrongdoing or an entire race for a wrongdoing. There are bad eggs in each one. Don’t be that bad egg. Lastly, I’ll just say that many people feel they are oppressed. If you live in America, you’re not oppressed. You’re choosing to wear that badge. Everyone in this country has the ability and right to rise above. Unlike many other countries on this planet. We have many successful and happy blacks, whites, Asians, Hispanics, etc. You choose. Edith Eggers has this to say about being a victim:
- “Contrary to popular belief, there are no victims in this world—only willing participants. You can’t always control your circumstances, but you can control how you respond to them. And everyone has the power to change at any time.”
- “Suffering is universal. Victimhood is optional.”
About the author:
Retired Army combat veteran who has found writing to be very therapeutic and an excellent vehicle to share a positive message with the world. Bryan Hood was raised in Springfield, MO and lives nearby today with his wife and children. He retired from his 26-year career in the Army on April 19th, 2018. During that time, he has been a travel agent, a father of 4, a husband (twice), soldier, CrossFit affiliate owner, son, brother, firearms trainer, SCUBA diver, mentor, author, CIA operative, actor, hunter and fisherman, carpenter, salesman, auto mechanic, helicopter mechanic and so much more.