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Why are we sending unarmed troops?

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last month2 min read


Uniforms do not deter violence

I don't get it. Today the mayor and the police chief of Seattle requested "200 unarmed National Guard personnel for seven days to primarily assist with infrastructure protection related to these ongoing protests, traffic management and to assist Seattle Police Department with crowd management, if needed,in relation to the protests." So, these unarmed national guardsmen are supposed to protect buildings and manage crowds and traffic with no weapons to protect themselves or civilians from rocks, bottles, molotov cocktails, or anything else that could harm them. Will their uniforms alone deter violence?

Even though Seattle's mayor, Jenny Durkan, requested UNARMED guardsmen, Governor Jay Inslee could have counter-offered to send in ARMED guardsmen. What if they are assaulted? They won’t be able to defend themselves. What if one of them gets seriously injured or killed? Will Durkan and Inslee then resign because they will have failed to adequately protect the people they sent into harm’s way?

The city no longer protects it's people.

This smacks of the same well-intentioned but ill-advised actions taken by that kid who is mayor of Minneapolis – the one who hasn’t learned how to shave yet: Jacob Frey. He authorized abandoning a police precinct building which was then burned down, and he justified it by saying that a building isn’t worth a human life. But there’s a bigger and deadlier message that he thereby inadvertently sent to would-be rioters: We won’t defend buildings where people work or live. And sure enough, dozens – or, by now, perhaps hundreds – of buildings housing businesses and providing livelihoods for many law-abiding local residents of all colors were looted and gutted by fire. Why? Because the mayor signaled to the community that the city would not protect its inhabitants.

The point of sending in armed National Guardsmen is not to shoot people but rather to deter them from unlawful acts of violence against persons or property, and, hopefully, to accomplish that goal without firing a shot. I don’t want to see anyone else get hurt or killed in these protests, demonstrations, or riots around the country. Nor do I want to see America’s cities burnt to the ground. Lives and livelihoods need to be protected. I would hope we can agree on that.

Here is the announcement by Governor Inslee :


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