All over the nation, there are a lot of people who don’t like the police. They’re blaming their local departments over the actions of officers in completely different states, but they’re blaming them none the less.
Over recent weeks, we’ve seen these protests turn violent more times than we care to count. So much so that armed citizens started turning out at these protests to, hopefully, discourage such things. If not, then to be able to protect businesses.
However, many didn’t likely see it that way. They saw gun people trying to muscle in on their protests.
In Lansing, Michigan, it seems that some of the anti-police protestors figured turnabout was fair play.
A political rally supporting gun rights was interrupted Thursday evening by counter protesters speaking out against police brutality and racism. A few tense, confrontational moments at the state Capitol building ended peacefully, but without any resolution of the differences in opinion between the two groups.
Jason Howland, one of the organizers of the “American Patriot Rally,” says he’s not a member of any group calling itself a militia, but that the rally was meant to urge people to learn more about militias across Michigan.
“What we want is for people…. to understand (militias) aren’t wrong. It’s not evil or violent. It’s here to create peace,” Howland said. “We started originally when the government said we couldn’t gather and couldn’t go to church. We were upset about that so we came together,” Howland said.
Midway through the rally, a group of counter protesters silently walked into the crowd in front of the Capitol steps with their arms up. Then the diverse group of 20-30 mostly younger people laid down on the cement with their hands behind their backs – an homage to victims of police brutality.
Unsurprisingly, many in the crowd offered insults to the intruders because, well, they were being jackwagons.
Probably, in their mind, what they were doing was warranted because gun people have taken to showing up at leftist rallies in an effort to protect landmarks or businesses. It’s a thing that’s not going to stop.
However, one of the pro-gun folks stepped up.
Mt. Pleasant resident Taylor Stalter, a member of a group called the “Michigan Militia of Love,” defended Birdsong’s group of protesters. He yelled at members of the crowd that the protesters too were simply there exercising their rights.
With an AR-15 style pistol slung across his chest, Stalter tried to convince Birdsong’s group that the goals of militia groups and their protest weren’t in conflict. Stalter said he’s been traveling to Detroit to support protesters against racism and police brutality in that city.
I suspect Stalter and I disagree on a fair bit, but I actually agree that the goals of the two groups aren’t in conflict.
After all, it’s not the gun rights crowd that wants to make it so only the police have guns. Quite the contrary. If police brutality is that pressing of an issue, why would you want them to be even more powerful by taking away people’s means to defend themselves?
However, this may well represent a potential problem going forward.
You see, if every rally that can be equated with the right starts getting crashed by leftists–even when their goals aren’t actually in opposition to one another–you’re likely to start seeing conflicts erupt. After all, in some of their minds, we’re crashing their things. They believe that we’re trying to intimidate them into silence when there’s nothing of the sort taking place.
It’s entirely possible that we’ll start seeing these things escalate and get ugly.
So, if you’re at a rally, please be wary and prepared. Sooner or later, someone’s going to try and test someone else and it could get ugly, so be cautious.
Then again, none of that may happen. People might just settle down and recognize that people are being stupid these days and everyone just agree to let it end.
I just know which way I’m leaning these days.