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The Buckhorn

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Winters Express
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It’s the first amendment for a reason

Amendment I. Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
Being able to protest is the basis for what makes America great. And we are a great country, contrary to what a certain politician might tell you. You may not like what people have to say, or condone their actions, but the Constitution of the United States protects our right to speak up, or sit down during the playing of the National Anthem, if we choose. I’m not saying that there won’t be consequences if you offend others, but you have the right to criticize, condemn, not participate, participate, get involved or stay home and watch television.
You also have a choice to not participate, or support, those who offend you or act in a manner that you can’t stand. You don’t have to buy peanut butter if you don’t like the spokesman or attend football games where you don’t like the attitude of the players or owners. It is your life and you can live it any way you’d like, as long as it doesn’t interfere with the rights of others.
You can’t park your car in my driveway, for instance, but you can be foolish and not subscribe to the Express if we have offended you in the past.
When Colin Kaepernick decided that he wouldn’t stand for the National Anthem before 49er football games, you would have thought that he had kicked his mother while she was down. Mr. Kaepernick was trying to draw attention to the police interaction with black people.
If you don’t think there is a problem with the police shooting people, watch some of the video that has been shown on television news over the past year and a half. Most police officers are offended by the action of the bad apples, and most cities are having conversations with their citizens to work on better communications. In the words of Rodney King, “Can’t we all just get along?”
We live in a city that has been lucky to have a good police department, but even we have had a bad apple or two over the years. We’ve had a police chief, Bill Lane, who lost control of his officers and when he couldn’t control them, to his credit, resigned. With a new chief and awake city management, the officers went to other cities, some continued to get into trouble, but not in Winters. Like I said, we’ve been blessed with good officers for decades.
Amendment II. A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.
I’ve listened to a few people badmouth Kaepernick, and not because he is a disappointment as a quarterback, but because he spoke out about what he sees as a problem in America. They think he is anti-American, but protesters are the greatest of all Americans, as long as they are protesting something that we agree with. I know that some of those complaining are gun rights fanatics, and I pointed out that if they want people to support the Second Amendment, they need to support the other amendments, too.
You don’t have to be a liberal to support the First Amendment, especially when you disagree with the protest, just as you don’t have to be a conservative to support the Second Amendment. All the amendments need support from time to time, especially when attacked by those who want to take our rights away.
We’ve had some letters to the editor over the years that didn’t make it into the Express. Most were racist, unsigned or attacks on merchants. I don’t like to censor letters, but some aren’t fit for print. We let everyone know that we edit letters when Debra feels the need.
I think that taking a knee when the National Anthem plays will spread at sporting events around the country, and hopefully it will draw attention to the issue at hand— police interaction with the public.
Rejoice for protesters and have a good week.