Letter: Peaceful protests allowed under Constitution, but destruction is not


The July 25 edition of the Whidbey News-Times contained a few comments by Steven V. Horton of Langley.

It would appear to me that Mr. Horton is not knowledgeable about the 33th word of the First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States.

To me, setting fires, looting, blocking emergency vehicles, destruction of property is not “peaceable.” Those are acts of vandalism.

If any of those protesters laid a hand on me, any member of my family, or my property, I would be free to use my rights under the Second Amendment.

The July 29 News-Times contained a letter from Linda Morris, also of Langley. She used many unflattering words about President Trump and tried to make the actions of the protesters look like a gathering of Boy Scouts.

In my years of working with the Boy Scouts, none committed any vandalism. Setting fires and destruction of property does not fall within the bounds of “peaceable.”

I ask Linda Morris that, if a group of protesters were trying to set fire to your house and destroy other property, would you dial 911 and demand immediate police and fire protection, or would you pull up a chair, have a beer and cheer on the protesters?

My bet is that you would scream at the 911 operator and police for their slow response.

In the past, I have seen a few gatherings with signs and yelling at State Highway 20 and Pioneer Way in Oak Harbor. I don’t know what they were protesting or cheering, as I was trying to drive and not have an accident.

Many other vehicles were using their horns to support or object to the subject matter. I know of nothing they destroyed. That is authorized in the First Amendment.

Yes, Trump could use some training on how to use his mouth. But so could all of us.

Destruction is not “peaceable.” Check out those two words in the dictionary.

Robert D. Brown

Oak Harbor