Sheriff Grady Judd of Polk County, Florida, has the right idea about demonstrators versus rioters.
Sheriff Judd said ... he does not believe Polk County residents were the ones creating problems.
He said there’s a difference between a protester and a rioter and rioting will not be accepted.
Judd said they received information that law enforcement would come under attack at 8 p.m. near Interstate 4 and Highway 27, but the Polk County Sheriff’s Office and Florida Highway Patrol were ready.
Judd said the Highway Patrol did a “marvelous job” helping stop the few who showed up for that alleged effort.
“We are going to hunt you down and lock you up if you engage in any criminal conduct,” Judd said.
Judd said there were rumblings on social media that rioters planned to bring violence into the neighborhoods of Polk County.
“I would tell them, if you value your life, they probably shouldn’t do that in Polk County. Because the people of Polk County like guns, they have guns, I encourage them to own guns, and they’re going to be in their homes tonight with their guns loaded, and if you try to break into their homes to steal, to set fires, I’m highly recommending they blow you back out of the house with their guns. So, leave the community alone,” Judd said.
The sheriff encouraged anyone wishing to express their First Amendment right to free speech to keep the focus on George Floyd, who Judd said was a victim who should be honored.
"All of that ugliness has taken away from what we're united about," the sheriff said. "We're united about the conduct that you saw with George [Floyd]."
There's more at the link.
I couldn't agree more. As I said right at the start of this rioting, I'll gladly join any street protest or demonstration against the way George Floyd met his death. It cries out for judicial action, and it seems that action is being taken. However, that's no excuse for rioting - particularly pre-planned, organized riots such as those we're currently seeing.
A riot is no longer a protest: it's thuggery, looting, mayhem, anarchy and chaos. Peaceful protests and demonstrations are lawful, and as such are protected by the First Amendment. Riots are criminal, and are therefore prime candidates to be dealt with using the provisions of the Second Amendment. Any violence offered by rioters to citizens like you and I needs to be resisted to the utmost, right from the start.
As the late, great Jeff Cooper once said:
One bleeding-heart type asked me in a recent interview if I did not agree that 'violence begets violence.' I told him that it is my earnest endeavor to see that it does. I would like very much to ensure - and in some cases I have - that any man who offers violence to his fellow citizen begets a whole lot more in return than he can enjoy.
Well said, sir! It looks like Sheriff Judd got the message.