Much has been written about Gov. Ron DeSantis’ Anti-Riot Bill, which he signed on Monday; however, it has been consistently and unfairly slammed by the Far Left and its Mainstream Media co-conspirators through a false narrative.
Since violent riots have broken out in Portland (did they ever really stop?), Seattle, Minneapolis, New York and Chicago, to name just a few, the fact that they all are governed by Democratic governors and mayors illustrates what the real problem is. In Florida, not so much–because DeSantis and law enforcement have made it crystal clear that violent protests will not be tolerated here.
In contrast to Florida, blue states and cities are capitulating to Antifa, BLM, and other domestic terrorist organizations who wish to denigrate America, who condemn our forefathers for out-of-context misdeeds, by trying to secularize our country which was founded by people who came here because they were escaping religious persecution in their European homelands and for promoting a false narrative that everything is wrong about our country.
President Ronald Reagan once said “We must reject the idea that every time a law’s broken, society is guilty rather than the lawbreaker. It is time to restore the American precept that each individual is accountable for his actions.”
DeSantis and Republican legislators have continually said this bill will not infringe on anyone’s rights so long as you don’t turn to violence. The bill was designed to ensure public protests are protected while also maintaining public tranquility. A close reading verifies their contention.
But the apologists for violent rioters, looters, killers - the Democratic political machine at both the national and state levels and the Mainstream Medial – have proselytized to the extremists so long that they can’t even keep up with their own hypocrisy. This is one reason that the media is no longer viewed as a trustworthy source of information. We can all see the obvious prejudice in their “reporting.”
It’s disingenuous for Far Leftists to claim that they will be arrested for protesting. No, you will be arrested if you actively participate in violence – looting, rioting, shooting people, setting fires, throwing dangerous projectiles at law enforcement or innocent bystanders. If you are not engaging in violence, then you don’t have to worry. Let’s face it. There are many protesters and only a small group of them are violent– but when the violence starts, this new law will kick in.
Oh, what about if you are participating as a “peaceful” protester and suddenly it becomes violent? Well, just walk away. It is that simple.
There is nothing, not one thing in this bill, that will keep you from vociferously voicing, if you want, your opinion so long as you are not violent or you don’t block a road which belongs to the people, not to you as a protester. It seems that protesters think they are uniquely privileged to block people driving to work, going to the store, taking someone to a hospital or medical clinic, or going to drop off their child at a friend’s home. Protest all you want, but the roads are built for vehicles–not for protesters to block.
Young protesters have become indoctrinated by our Far Left public school teachers, starting in grade school and progressing through to college. Our public school system has taught our children “entitlement” which is much worse than so-called “white privilege” because you think you should get something simply because you demand it, shout it or march about it. Of course, that is the very definition of childish behavior.
Most protests lately are about shootings and what the consequences are for the law enforcement officer if someone is shot or killed. However, 99.9 percent of the time, the people who are shot are disobeying a law enforcement officer. Always obey an officer. Don’t commit a crime. If you have a warrant for your arrest, turn yourself in. If you are an ex-felon, don’t possess a gun unless your gun rights have been restored. If you can’t adhere to these tenets of civil society and you resist, anything can and does happen. You will be responsible for what happens, not the law enforcement officer.
HB 1 will guarantee that if local officials – mayors who are willing to look the other way while you violently protest – are reluctant to file charges against you for looting, burning, rioting, shooting, destroying businesses and homes, then you will appropriately face stiff state charges.
Florida has mostly escaped violent protests because DeSantis, our conservative legislative leadership, and, most importantly, our law enforcement agencies are not going to bow down to your violent behavior and allow you to foment revolution like your Marxist leaders are hoping for. It just isn’t going to happen in Florida without the necessary repercussions.
So, you don’t need to worry at all about peaceful protesting. But, if you want to be violent, I strongly suggest that you move to California, Illinois, New York, Oregon or Washington state. In those states, you can do as you wish and, in most circumstances, there will be no retribution. In Florida, it will be a completely different story. For the overwhelming majority of us who live here in the Sunshine State, that is exactly what we desire and expect.
The government’s most important job is to ensure public safety. Kudos to DeSantis for delivering on that commitment. File your lawsuits, but in the end, I believe that our judicial system will ultimately find this seminal piece of legislation to be constitutional, fair and legitimate.
Barney Bishop III, a life-long Democrat, is a former executive director of the Florida Democratic Party. He is also the immediate past Chief Executive Officer of Associated Industries of Florida and is currently the CEO of Barney Bishop Consulting in Tallahassee. A fierce advocate for a strong and vibrant private enterprise system, he can be reached at Barney@BarneyBishop.com.