To the editor:
The heading reads, "At least 18 states are considering legislation aimed at deterring demonstrators."
I think that we should examine the definitions of these words. A protest is, "a statement or action expressing disapproval of or objection to something."
Let's look at rioting, "A riot is a form of civil disorder commonly characterized by a group lashing out in a violent public disturbance against authority, property or people. Riots typically involve vandalism and the destruction of property, public or private."
And finally, demonstrations, "a public meeting or march protesting against something or expressing views on a political issue."
With the recent spate of protests cum riots we see, for the most part, riots. When this is mentioned the liberals point out to a peaceful "Women's March." But the news, if researched, says a much different thing. One will find in such a search"Some of the roughly 1,000 protesters in Oakland broke store windows, left graffiti on buildings and threw M-80 firecrackers, Molotov cocktails and bottles at police officers," authorities said.
Another, "Nov 9, 2016 - Clinton supporters were filmed setting fire to the US flag while ... from the University of Oregon shouted 'f*** Trump' as they staged angry riots."
What the MSN is calling in many instances a protest is in reality, a riot.
The First Amendment is quoted by all in these events both lawful and unlawful, it says in part, to wit: "or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble," The operative word here is "peaceably"; a riot far exceeds this provision.
And so, "At least 18 states are considering legislation aimed at deterring demonstrators." However, the real culprit is not being a demonstration, which is lawful, but a riot which is not.
As for the elected officials in Washington they should dispense with encouraging these actions and get back to the business of addressing the legislative needs of the people.
Joseph L. Kibitlewski, PhD.