Law and Order is not welcome in Greenville, South Carolina. Anarchists thought they had it made when the police were ordered to stand down. They weren’t happy at all to have local citizens, armed to the teeth, standing by in case things got out of hand.
Law abiding citizens armed with rifles and shotguns
Furious demonstrators protested that it makes them “uneasy.” While “you’re having a peaceful protest,” they complain, people are walking around with rifles and shotguns. If police won’t enforce the law, citizens will. Granville’s Black Lives Matter leader Travis Greene is beside himself with rage. “There is absolutely no need to have a long gun that is intimidating to some people that are trying to be peaceful.” Actually, Travis, there is a need. He has to admit that nobody burned anything down either. If police showed force ahead of time, the militia wouldn’t feel a need to be there.
When “more than a hundred people,” as Greenville Online reports, swarmed into downtown, bent on destroying a Confederate monument, the citizens took it upon themselves to enforce the law, if the need arose. “Men with guns who called themselves a ‘militia’ showed up, too.” While protesters were screaming and shouting, demanding “the monument’s removal,” they were well aware that “a group of men stood nearby, holding rifles, sweating in heavy tactical gear.”
Police were there too. Law enforcement officers were “tasked with keeping the peace” and actually “made a few arrests that day.” The BLM Lieutenant in charge of the squad of rioters was glad to see that police “were there to protect the protesters and help keep the peace.” They just didn’t like the look in the eyes of the Militia guys. They may have snarled about it but nobody burned anything and the statue remained un-toppled.
Not fair to judge
The incident in Kenosha, Wisconsin, involving Kyle Rittenhouse underscores the tension. Chuck Wright, a Sheriff in “upstate” South Carolina, notes, “I don’t think it’s fair to judge these groups based on what happened in Wisconsin. Just using the word ‘militia’ gets people excited.” It’s not the boogie boys coming out to play, even though the Deep State forces of darkness would love to see that happen. As Sheriff Wright points out, “the ones I’ve met here believe in God, they believe in peace, they believe in people exercising their First Amendment Rights. They’re not all about guns.” As he sees it, “You protect the things that you love.” The militias stand for law and order. It’s the anarchists who cause all the trouble.
Protesters like LaBonne Bailey feel intimidated. How can they have one of those 100 percent off sales, like they had in Kenosha, with all those White guys in camo hanging around, with serious weaponry. They actually obeyed the law and remained peaceful. They really didn’t like it though. “To me, coming here with rifles shows they’re hateful. It made it feel as though we are violating their territory and that (they were trying to say) we shouldn’t be here.” If they were there to cause violence, then they shouldn’t be there. If they were there to be peaceful, they shouldn’t have felt intimidated.
The far-left-leaning Southern Poverty Law Center lists at least seven ‘patriot’ groups and two ‘militias’ as active in the state in 2019. Their membership numbers are growing steadily too. The Militia groups are proud of what they do. Jon Truett, founder of One Republic Militia explains, “Anyone that goes to a protest with issues against other groups will feel intimidated, but people that are there with the long guns, most of the time, and understand I said most of the time, are there for everybody’s protection.” His group was at the Confederate monument rally in Greenville last month. The group simply went to the protest to “protect and defend if any type of violence went on.” Just standing around kept any violence from happening.