12.22.2014

Two Disparate Sides of the Same Tragic Coin

In June 2014, a man and a woman walked into a pizza restaurant in Las Vegas and shot two Las Vegas Metro Police officers who were eating lunch there. One of the shooters reportedly shouted, “This is the start of a revolution,” before killing one of the officers execution style.

The killers stripped the officers of their weapons and ammunition, and then covered the officers with a cloth that featured the Gadsden flag; this yellow banner, with a coiled snake above the words, “Don’t Tread On Me,” was adopted as the symbol of the Tea Party Movement in 2009. (In fact, in the Commonwealth of Virginia, you can choose this “Don’t Tread On Me” image for your vehicle’s license plate, which evidently quite a few people do.)

At the time of this horrendous crime, there was no outcry from the law enforcement community or the public in general against media figures such as Glenn Beck for their organization of Tea Party protests. And no citizen who took part in those protests was considered to be anti-law enforcement, "sympathizing with criminals," or "part of the problem" in America. It's also notable that the still-popular Gadsden flags are not viewed as symbols of hatred toward police.

Nothing was said in June about "[T]ons of PAID protestors being bussed around now, raising a ruckus and acting foolish. They are supported by elected people who are attempting to affect social change by causing people to fight with each other. Meanwhile, action groups and other coalitions of rabble-rousers are making money through donations, getting rich on anger and discontent." 

Why now? 

Why not then? 

What is different about this tragic ambush murder of two New YorkCity police officers?

Why are even the remotest apparent ties to a national protest movement worthy of castigation in one sad circumstance but not in the other?

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