There are a lot of people who are less than pleased about how the election turned out. For some, it’s really just a matter of their guy losing. For many others, though, they’re not so sure their guy did. After all, there were a lot of sketchy things taking place, and while it hasn’t played out well for the right in court so far, there’s a reason so many people are less than comfortable with the outcome.
Among those is a Connecticut gun store owner. Using his First Amendment rights, he put up a sign, and it’s upset some of his neighbors.
First Selectman Mark Nickerson said he’s received more than a dozen complaints over a sign recently erected in front of the home of town resident and Ron’s Guns owner Ron Rando.
The sign reads “Scumbag Democrats Have Stolen the Election! Lying – Cheating – Ballot Padding!” It’s in the yard of Rando’s Boston Post Road home, which is adjacent to Ron’s Guns and other businesses.
Nickerson, a Republican, wrote in a post on his personal Facebook page Tuesday morning, “The good citizens of our town are disgusted and outraged by the hateful message … AND I AM TOO.” He went on to say he contacted the town attorney to ask if anything can be done but said Rando’s “free speech rights” “unfortunately will probably win the day.” Nickerson included a photo of the sign and two pictures of the Grinch in his post, as he wrote that Rando is “a GRINCH in every meaning of the word. He is obviously damaged and bitter.”
The first selectman removed the post later in the day. In a separate post, Nickerson apologized for offending anyone and said he took down the first post “because I don’t want my post to be the reason we turn on one another … but that is exactly what happened. My (original post) was meant to promote peace and unity and I am removing the message for the same reason.”
Nickerson later, in a phone interview, said he was taking issue with the tone of the message, which is all fine and well, except that it’s clear he doesn’t actually value Rando’s freedom of speech. Saying his rights will “unfortunately win the day” [Emphasis added] tells us all you really need to know about where Nickerson’s values really are. Rando being able to say what he wants to say and win the day isn’t unfortunate. It’s what makes this country what it has been for over two centuries. The idea that we can criticize and react to thinks without worrying about the government coming down on us like a ton of bricks is central to the United States, just like our Second Amendment rights.
Of course, Nickerson is a Republican, so we can’t put this on the people with “D” after their names, but that doesn’t change the absolute reality. The truth is that politicians don’t value your rights. If they’ll try and take away your right to freedom of speech, there’s no reason to trust them with your right to keep and bear arms.
You should just people by their actions, how they respond to threats against your rights–and I mean all of your rights–and not what flowery words they might say.
Make no mistake. The lawmakers who would shut down Rando’s sign would also shut down his business in a heartbeat if they thought they could get away with it.