There are many reasons to encourage a counter demonstration to any white supremist, pro-gun, pro ultra conservative gathering. However, for those who planned for a pro-Trump State House gathering on Sunday (that, thanks to Mother Nature, did not happen) it was different. Encouraged by on-line media that has distributed lies and misinformation and promotes strange conspiracy theories, demonstrators would have come with strong emotions, including feeling hurt, angry, and filled with righteousness.

More importantly they planned to come armed to the hilt. And equally important, as we learned from the Capitol break-in, they may have been less interested in changing the actions of government than in violently overthrowing that government.

Further, many of these folks would not have had much experience with how such a demonstration normally works. This would have been a formula for disaster in which a small incident could have rapidly escalated into violence. Although the demonstration did not happen, thanks still go out to everyone from Gov. Phil Scott to Montpelier councilman Jack McCullough for discouraging people from coming to the State House.

In effect, they were trying to reduce the number of innocent targets that might be available, had Sunday happened and turned violent. Hopefully, they will issue those same requests to stay home as we prepare for the possibility of those demonstrations taking place on inauguration day this week.

Kirk Gardner

Montpelier

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