July 4, 2013 Adam Kokesh, an Iraq war veteran and self-proclaimed activist, is organizing an armed march on Washington DC. He is calling for supporters to carry loaded rifles “slung over their backs” as they cross the Potomac River into DC. On a FaceBook page for the event, he candidly admits that there is a risk of arrest, and while he discourages resistance, he has acknowledged the risks, encouraging participants to submit to arrest peacefully.
Mr Kokesh acknowledges this is not a permitted event, which gives authorities one more basis for arresting participants. Frankly, living near DC, I have a sense of what July 4th is like in Washington. In a word, crowded. The National Mall, the green space in the center of the city that is flanked by the Lincoln Memorial on one end and the Capital on the other, generally hosts a concert, fireworks and is packed with people. On that very busy day, when police will be stretched thin watching everything, especially in light of the recent bombings at the Boston Marathon, Mr Kokesh plans to lead a group of unknown individuals, with loaded firearms, into the city.
I’m a strong supporter of the 2nd amendment, I believe in speaking out for what I think is right. I do not support deliberately antagonizing a stressed protective force, or being arrested to make a “statement”. Mr Dick Heller has shown that you can fight “city hall” and win with the Heller vs DC Supreme Court cases. Mr Heller worked within the law and won. Mr Kokesh is deliberately leading his followers, like an armed Pied Piper, into a confrontation with police. Both sides will be armed, it only takes one slip, or one unstable person, to turn the ”Civil Disobedience” into a deadly confrontation.
I sincerely hope that Mr Kokesh rethinks his idea of an armed march and works within the law to encourage unarmed “Civil Disobedience”, and not force a police force that will be stretched thin by the influx of people on the holiday celebrating the independence of our nation into diverting resources to manage his march. If not, I can only hope that it is resolved without injury and that the necessary diversion of police and security forces does not leave a gap somewhere else that results in a tragedy.
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