OP-ED: And the Shots Rang Out
By Clayton Callahan, WashCo Dems Communications Team
On July 13th of this year, I wrote an op-ed called Never Bring A Gun To A Word Fight. Tragically, the people who would have benefited most from that advice apparently didn’t read it. And as I type this, August 30th 2020, the blood is still fresh on our streets. From Kenosha to Portland, armed “protesters” are now killing their fellow Americans.
Somehow, I wish I’d not seen this coming.
This past spring, I walked in on a conversation between a security guard and a truck driver that proved to be especially prophetic. The truck driver was praising the anti-lockdown protesters who were then at the Oregon State House. As I approached, I could hear him say, “…and they brought their guns, too!” It was clearly his opinion that armed protests for a cause he agreed with was a fine thing. It “sent a message” and “lets them know we ain’t playing around.” I tried to dissuade him, of course, but I doubt if I changed his mind then.
I wonder if the dead in our streets are apt to change his mind now? I hope so but I doubt it. Oftentimes people are happy when their side gets aggressive but outraged when the other side does.
Fundamentally, the problem is that guns are designed to kill people. They are not designed to “send a message,” or to show someone that you’re “not playing around”. They are built for killing—pure and simple. And right now, there’s a seventeen-year-old kid in a Wisconsin jail who figured that out a bit too late. The question is, is it too late for the rest of us?
I will say it again, and I will say it plainly lest my message be misunderstood.
And I will say it as many times as I need to.
DON’T BRING A GUN TO A PROTEST!
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