Innocents must be protected. Period.

(May 28) In a free society with ample, representative means to correct systemic errors, there is never an excuse for mob rule.

The United States, even with flaws, is such a nation. Here, mobs on one side and bullies on the other must always be opposed. Always.

That’s why, as sickeningly horrendous as was suspect George Floyd’s “death by cop” in Minneapolis, there is no excuse, none at all, for the horrific riots in response. Police have not just the right but the duty to quash the riots forcefully.

This comes with a caveat. Yes, even in response to riots that harm innocent people and property, police should use the least forceful means necessary to stop the looting, arson, and violence. The key word, though, is “necessary.” Police must use enough force to get the job done. If that means tear gas, so be it. If that means pepper spray, so be it. Whatever lawful tactics it takes, the rule of law and the rights of innocents must be preserved against the anarchy of a violent mob.

The scenes from Minneapolis Wednesday night and the aftermath Thursday morning are horrifying. Likewise, even if not quite as bad, from Los Angeles. These rioters are not protesters. These rioters are criminals. Vicious criminals. Period, end of story.

All residents of the U.S. have the right to assemble and to protest. Nobody has the right to victimize innocent people during a protest. Not ever. Protest is a right; mayhem isn’t. Violent mayhem is never justified. It must always be stopped, and it must always be severely punished. Civilization depends on the elimination of deadly pandemonium.

Shop owners have lives just as George Floyd did. Store owners have families to feed. Their customers may desperately need the wares or food they sell, not for luxuries but for the essentials of life….

[The full column is here.]


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