A member of my in-house staff refers to limits of freedom as the freedom to move your arms around until you hit someone in the nose.
It’s with that in mind that I consider what to do if the street in front of my home is suddenly filled with 100s of “peaceful protesters” screaming and yelling and shining bright lights and lasers into my home late at night.
Certainly, they have the right to assemble and make their case. But do they have the right to disrupt my life? Do they have the right to scare my family? Do they have the right to block my driveway or street? Do they have the right to keep me up at night?
Obviously, I could call the police, based on a disturbing the peace complaint. This would be the best course of action. It keeps me from doing something I may regret or that could put me in jail. It may also save a life – that of one of the protesters, or my own.
But what if the police don’t come? Or what if they can’t get through? Then what do you do?
If you’ve been watching footage of the “protesters” on Twitter, you’ve seen plenty of examples of people vandalizing homes: spraypainting, egging, breaking windows, destroying property. Technically, I guess you have to wait until that happens before you can act. But could a person be blamed for acting proactively out of fear?
What if I were to turn on my hose and water them all down? Would that be instigating? Let’s say I chose to water my lawn. Am I responsible for errant water that happened to make it to the streets?
There’s certainly a body of footage out there to make one feel afraid, and I’d rather be proactive than reactive. But being proactive carries the danger of being the cause of escalation.
Unfortunately, I’m not sure the law agrees with my stance on this, but I go back to cause and effect, or consequences for one’s actions.
If something terrible happens, especially to one of the protesters, I would go back to them putting themselves in a position to make that happen. If they hadn’t decided to amass outside my home and make nuisances of themselves, nothing that happened as a result would have happened if they hadn’t made that choice.
Taking a longer term view of it, if I had children in the house, and they were scared, I’d take the opportunity to teach them a valuable lesson. I’d bring them to the window and talk to them about the people in the street and teach them about them.
I’d tell them, these are Democrats. They believe in liberalism and socialism. People who believe in socialism believe they have the right to throw temper tantrums and do whatever they want at the expense of everyone else.
They don’t believe in discussing or debating points of view. They only believe in silencing and intimidating those who don’t agree with them… people they perceive as a threat.
Don’t grow up to be a socialist, unless you want every day of your life to look a lot like what’s going on outside right now. Because that’s what a society bereft of law, order, civility, patience, and grace looks like.