The Constitution of the United States of America gives its citizens the right “peaceably to assemble” (First Amendment). In the past few years we have seen protests, marches, and demonstrations. Some have been peaceful and some have had violence. It seems the violence at assemblies has been increasing. One of the reasons is that some people bring weapons to these assemblies.

At what point does a stick, club, chain, knife, gun, military weapons, or even torches and masks give anyone the feeling that this is a peaceful protest, march, or demonstration? The same goes for counter-protesters.

If you bring a weapon to an assembly, then you are saying that you are willing to threaten, harm, or even kill people who disagree with your opinion.

If you assemble without a weapon, then you are saying that your cause is so noble that you are willing to sacrifice your life for what you believe.

When you speak courageously without a weapon, you are speaking with conviction. People will listen.

When you speak with a weapon, you are speaking as a coward and your cause is not likely to be taken seriously. People just don’t want to be around you.

Go ahead and protest. That’s what makes our country great. However, do it courageously and be willing to die for your cause, but do not threaten, harm, or kill someone else for your cause.

MICHAEL VOLLMER

Flagstaff

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