Tuesday, April 6, 2010

What’s wrong with Kansas?

All soldiers who serve their country and put their lives at risk need to know that if something happens to them, their families will be well taken care of. That's the bond we have with our military men and women and their families. – Jeff Sessions

We Texans send many of our sons and daughters into the military services. Consequently, Texas is home to many proud veterans and many of us have family that have served or are serving. Since we send so many, we also receive far too many of them coming home for their final rest prematurely.

This morning, I read an article in the Houston Chronicle that left me utterly disgusted and outraged. I love freedom as much (if not more) than the next guy, but this wouldn’t play in Texas. It’s one thing to protest about something you feel passionately about in a public place and our laws protect most demonstrations/protests, even unpopular ones. However, a private funeral is not an appropriate place for anyone’s protest.

When the current wars began, there was some sort of distraction created at the funerals of the first few to return after giving their all. Soon afterwards, an entirely volunteer group of veterans, fathers, and other community members formed the “Patriot Guard”. A group whose sole purpose for existence is to help honor our fallen servicemen and women and uphold the dignity their service deserves. Frequently, anywhere from 50-150 of them ride their motorcycles to the grieving family’s town bearing American Flags (and other symbols of patriotism) to give an escort to the funeral procession and to help make sure nothing untoward occurs at the funeral to disrespect our fallen servicemen.
I can imagine some of these idiots from Westboro Baptist church attempting their shenanigans in Texas and failing miserably. Although the official position of the Patriot Guard is to eschew any violence, in Texas, it would probably go something like this:

Initially, these grizzled veterans (in the Patriot Guard) would do what they could to “drown out” the protestors, shield the mourning family, and politely ask the demonstrators to desist (or at least move far enough away) to show respect for the family. If that request were not heeded, another diplomatic attempt would certainly be made. However, if that attempt were rebuffed, it is likely these gentlemen would take up some defensive positions around the interlopers to mitigate any undesired chaos. Then, a few would approach the head idiots in charge and ask once more for a show of appropriate respect. If that failed, I imagine the idiots would begin to be quietly subdued using the least force required, of course. Following the services, those that subdued the idiots would (if necessary) surrender to local law enforcement and cheerfully pay any fines associated with the subdual. I also suspect the idiots from Westboro would be in no hurry to tangle with Texans again. I abhor violence but I acknowledge that sometimes it is permissible or even required. Furthermore, I seriously doubt any (Texas) court would do more than assess the minimum penalties against the members of the guard for something like this. Semper Fi!

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