Mary Keller leads a peaceful march around Cody's city park in June 2020 as an armed onlooker stands by. (Emily Reed)

I usually don’t share conspiracy theories, but one recently appeared in my inbox that was so wild it stopped me in my tracks.

Cheyenne, according to the sender, is extremely vulnerable to an attack by Colorado socialists who would likely stop at nothing to blow up the city’s refinery, a chemical plant and even Warren Air Force Base.

“What the nation is putting up with now are armed miscreants supported by big money and backed by leftists from Hollywood to Silicon Valley and Democrat leaders,” warned the writer.

Good grief — how will Cheyenne beat back the invading socialist hordes? 

“It’s going to be up to citizens to stop them at the border,” wrote a woman who responded to the email. “Some will get through, unless [there are] enough patriots to cover all ways in. … Depending on how this goes we may be terribly outnumbered.”

For a moment, the thought of a band of armed vigilantes standing guard at the Wyoming-Colorado state line, waiting to defend the capital city from attacks supposedly bankrolled by liberals, made me laugh.

Then I realized wannabe vigilantes have already mobilized in the Equality State over equally far-fetched rumors.

In the wake of George Floyd’s murder in Minneapolis in May, protests sprang up in Casper, Laramie, Cheyenne and many other Wyoming towns. In Cody, peaceful demonstrators at a park were surrounded by armed gunmen on horseback and on foot. The militia’s leader said the group wanted to protect citizens from “outside provocateurs,” and will do so again if rioting breaks out before the presidential election.

During two days of June vigils and marches in Casper, groups of citizens carrying handguns, shotguns and semi-automatic rifles were omnipresent. Some told reporters they were on the scene to protect the rights of protesters to peacefully assemble.

To anyone who believes that, I have a deed to Devils Tower that I’ll sell you. It comes with a free certificate of authenticity.

Some of the gun-toting crew stayed downtown long after the marches ended. Many claimed they were doing their civic duty to protect businesses because of reports outside agitators aimed to loot and riot. 

Of course it didn’t happen, and I’m sure those who patrolled the streets credited their actions with keeping the peace. It’s the classic mistake of conflating correlations and causation. There were also no volcanic eruptions in Casper that day, but that doesn’t mean the AR army prevented them.

“It was like the counter-protesters got to have their own little parade for the day,” a coffee shop owner told Oil City News. “They got to pull out all their heavy armament and be toy soldiers.”

In early June, someone vandalized the Wyoming Republican Party headquarters in Cheyenne. In addition to an anti-Donald Trump epithet, the vandal spray-painted “I can’t breathe” — the last words spoken by Floyd before he died after a police officer kneeled on his neck for nearly nine minutes.

KGWN-TV reported that a group of armed men spent the next several nights staking out the GOP office from across the street to keep it free of graffiti. The reaction to the event was so overblown, I was startled. Would someone actually shoot and perhaps kill a person for the misdemeanor offense of vandalizing a building? What’s the point of all this vigilantism?

In August, the Wyoming Division of Criminal Investigation warned other law enforcement agencies that antifa [anti-fascists] and Black Lives Matter protesters were crossing the state to wreak havoc on the annual Sturgis, South Dakota, motorcycle rally.

Again, the threat didn’t materialize. Surprise, surprise — no one was stupid enough to travel from the West Coast to take on 250,000 bikers. The Sturgis police chief told WyoFile that people who warned authorities they saw BLM and antifa flags flying at Wyoming campgrounds “just want to stir up the dish with drama.”

Some people — evidenced by the right-wing fantasy concocted by my email correspondent — seem to drool over a violent right-vs.-left confrontation. What could be driving that twisted view of the future?

Look no further than the speakers at last week’s Republican National Convention. Kimberly Guilfoyle, Donald Trump Jr.’s main squeeze, bellowed about the dystopian nightmare that awaits if her potential father-in-law loses re-election. “They want to destroy your country … steal your liberty, your freedom, they want to control what you see and think and believe, so that they can control how you live,” she said.

South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem also spun a dire situation: “Democrat-run cities across this country are being overrun by violent mobs. The violence is rampant. There’s looting, chaos, destruction and murder. People that can afford to flee have fled. But the people who can’t — good, hard-working Americans — are left to fend for themselves.”

Vice President Mike Pence called a federal officer’s killing during an Oakland riot an example that “you won’t be safe in Joe Biden’s America.” He didn’t mention that the man charged with murder belonged to the extreme right’s Boogaloo movement.

Nor did anyone say that a day before the convention, Jacob Blake Jr., who is Black, was shot in the back seven times by a Kenosha, Wisconsin, policeman in front of his three children. At this writing no charges have been filed against the officer, but Blake, who is paralyzed, was handcuffed to his hospital bed for five days.

Two days after the tragedy, 17-year-old Trump supporter and vigilante Kyle Rittenhouse traveled from Illinois to the Kenosha BLM protests and allegedly killed two unarmed demonstrators. According to witnesses, when he strolled away with his rifle slung over his shoulder and his hands up to surrender, police just drove by.

Do you honestly think Rittenhouse would have survived that walk if he was Black?

The one thing both sides in this conflict seem to have in common is that they don’t trust the police to protect them.

In Wyoming, there have been minor clashes between individuals. A Casper businessman criticized a counter-demonstrator for holding his rifle in an unsafe manner, and was confronted by men who defended their friend. But police quickly de-escalated the incident and no violence occurred. Protests throughout the state have largely been peaceful.

Nationally, the situation is quite different. President Trump rails against anarchists and antifa, but who is the real enemy? 

Nicholas Kristof, two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times columnist, notes that while antifa have committed violent acts, “they aren’t known to have ever killed anyone, while right-wing extremists have killed hundreds [in terrorist attacks].”

The bitter culture war raging throughout the country — stoked by incendiary rhetoric from right-wing political stages — naturally lends itself to dangerous scenarios. Citizens have the right to openly carry weapons, but does anyone in Wyoming really need to arm themselves and follow protesters around, pretending to protect their rights? Why spend all night guarding stores against nonexistent looters?

Reflecting on the sight of armed civilians on the streets of his city, Casper City Councilman Mike Huber said, “The only thing I felt I needed protecting from was them.” 

I admire the protesters for having the courage to not be cowed by obvious fear and intimidation tactics.

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It’s hard for me to believe anyone actually thinks Denver socialists are coming to blow up Cheyenne, yet the tone of the email I received is dead serious.

There’s enough violence on the streets of America; no one has to make it up, or wait for it to happen so they can live out their action-movie-hero fantasy. It’s time for a reality check in Wyoming, before anyone gets hurt or killed.

Kerry Drake

Veteran Wyoming journalist Kerry Drake has covered Wyoming for more than four decades, previously as a reporter and editor for the Wyoming Tribune-Eagle and Casper Star-Tribune. He lives in Cheyenne and...

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  1. For 4 years we have put up with the violence of Antifa and the violent protestes of the leaders of the BLM movement and the media continues to blame President Trump. Now it’s an election year and I have yet to see ONE TV ad promoting reelection of President Trump. All I see are the ads for Biden.
    Having armed citizens peacefully walking on the outskirts of the George Floyd marches were neither alarming or violent. Trump supportors are tired of watching one side of our society getting their say while our very liberal media continues to cover only one side of the issues facing our country.
    We March in support of black men killed by police but never get the truth about these men, most who have criminal pasts. We March to defund our police all in Democrat run cities, yet we never hear anything negative about these protests. Only when Trump supporters show up to counter protest does the media take note and of course it’s these Trump supporters who are at fault Antifa is burning these cities, damaging public property.
    Is it any wonder Americans are taking to the streets with their guns to keep marches peaceful? The media in our country is by far more sympathetic to the left and all their liberal views. Anyone with a conservative view is considered a red neck gun toting hot head.
    Maybe if the media showed respect for all views in our country, maybe then Americans will put their guns down. I dont see this happening anytime soon.

    1. I find how the press covers for them rather dishonest. Last I checked it is not Trump supporters crashing Biden rallys, nor are they burning cities, looting, shooting at democrats, yet idiots like this writer seems to think they are. Can we say, FAKE NEWS?

  2. I am sure, that a year ago, the store, restaurant owners and shop keepers in Portland, Seattle, Kenosha,
    Chicago, Denver and other cities would have agreed with Mr. Drakes’s assessment of the situation.
    “We have a nice town, full of nice people, we support the police and they will protect and defend us from
    harm and damage. The police will protect our property, we don’t have to worry.”
    They probably don’t believe that anymore and would likely tell Mr. Drake that he lives in a fantasy world.
    The leftists did a lot of damage in Denver, including vandalizing the state capitol, (democrat controlled) and Denver is only 100 miles from Cheyenne.
    Don’t worry folks, this is America, that could never happen here.
    I’m always amazed at the press’ hatred of working people.
    The press always extols the protester, rioter, vandal, and property destroyer
    but they always ridicule the the builder, the businessman, the tradesman who respect property and
    defend it.
    When a protester breaks your window, they can’t fix it. you have to call one of us.
    When a protester burns you car, they can’t fix it. You have to call one of us.
    When a protester burns your house or business, they can’t fix it. You’ll have to call one of our guys.
    The problem with Mr. Drakes letter is not so much what he wrote, but that many people believe it is the
    Gospel truth. Sorry, it falls a little short.
    Reality always shatters illusion. Don’t believe me, just drive down to the Colorado Capitol.

    Why you should never let leftists run a country
    https://www.bbc.com/news/world-australia-54007824

  3. “KGWN-TV reported that a group of armed men spent the next several nights staking out the GOP office from across the street to keep it free of graffiti. The reaction to the event was so overblown, I was startled. Would someone actually shoot and perhaps kill a person for the misdemeanor offense of vandalizing a building? What’s the point of all this vigilantism?”

    Anybody remember this?
    https://www.newsweek.com/albany-county-gop-office-laramie-wyoming-set-fire-act-vandalism-1109418

    https://www.laramieboomerang.com/news/local_news/man-to-get-3-years-in-prison-for-gop-fire/article_2d58080f-183b-5025-93f8-f670264a08fc.html

    1. Good point, Rachel. The GOP office was set on fire. Do we respond lime for like, though?

      That’s the question I struggle with. I tend to think we need to diffuse the anger that is rampant around all of us, though.

      Let the nuts be nutty, but we can do that forcefully without threatening to kill others, or at least without inferring it by showing our guns off so blatantly.

  4. There is really no need to flaunt weapons like this. I am all for freedom to own guns, and even the right to carry. However, this right can be abused, and that is what this is. Flaunting guns in these situations has only one purpose: to intimidate. And intimidation only causes others to fight back or cower in fear. The first raises the level of conflict the other is authoritarian.

    We as a society can do better.

    1. I agree 100%, Their is no place for Asult type weppens to be carried by the citizens. Of WYO. Or any other State for that matter!

  5. This action is paranoid and dangerous to innocent people, including children. These people are terrorizing peaceful citizens and causing tension where there was none. They are using the threat of violent aggression to quell peoples right to express their opinions. This is the technique used by terrorists throughout the world.

  6. It’s unfortunate the media is unable to report the news in an unbiased manner. None of the “yokels” would be coming out of the woodwork if the protests were in fact peaceful. In Wyoming we have been fortunate to have protests that have remained peaceful and I hope they continue that way – people have given their lives so the rest of us can express our opinions in a peaceful manner and I hope we can continue to be above the fray.

    However, many of the protests across this country are not peaceful, nothing but destructive riots that the media refuse to acknowledge and democratic public officials refuse to take control over the destruction. You have to love CNN and their “Fiery but peaceful protests” comment about Kenosha with that poor guys car dealership going up in smoke in the background. I am sure the business owner and former employees feel the protest was peaceful as they watched the fiery part take away their life’s work and their jobs. Or the number of small businesses destroyed because of these so called peaceful protests. Sure, there are probably some of these protestors that are legit, peaceful and my hat’s off to them for expressing their opinions as provided by the constitution. If the media would take a stand against the violence, the rioting, direct attention to where it belongs instead of promoting the violence and rioting, the “Yokel’s” would not be needed.

    I am disgusted with the media’s slant continuing to condone all of the rioting and property destruction. While people have the right to protest, I also have the right to protect my property. Showing up in your Mercedes to loot stores is not protesting, its criminal activity. Fire bombing a car dealership is not protesting, it’s an act of terrorism. Breaking down a private gate and threatening to kill the homeowner is not protesting. The ongoing chaos in Portland is not protesting…….the so called peaceful protestors are now threatening the Mayor and forcing him to move to escape the chaos he created and can no longer control. Or shooting a counter protestor is not peaceful. Maybe we also need to look at how many businesses and other property was saved because these people stepped up to the plate? But with the media slant as it is, they attack the militias as racist yokels while condoning the rioting.

    If it was your business or home that was about to be fire bombed and the police were overwhelmed with “peaceful protestors” make sure you let the armed militia know you are against them protecting your property so they can move on to your neighbor that may in fact appreciate their assistance.

    1. So, from my understanding, the pictures of protesters attacking police (taken from different countries), cities on fire (from a video game), and destruction of buildings (again from other countries), that have been shown on conservative stations and web pages are completely acceptable?

      If you’re rallying cry is to bemoan the slant of the media, at least do it to the fullest and not only towards the media that goes against your personal beliefs.

      Cheers

    2. Rob I think that many people share your views. However, I would like to present a few counter arguments for your consideration.

      If the goal of `militias’ and other armed counter-protesters of the BLM movement is to reduce property damage, then one should consider if this is working before condoning the presence and actions of these folks at BLM protests. It seems that at least in some cases the presence of armed counter-protesters has led to escalation; consider those who have been shot. Moreover, if we place ourselves within the mind of someone that is right on the cusp of throwing a brick through a shop window, seeing armed counter-protesters would cause more anger and, in my mind, it seems likely that could push someone MORE towards property destruction. At best, it is difficult for protesters and counter-protesters to have meaningful dialogue when there are weapons looming over the proceedings. I think we need to have more discussion between folks who disagree, as we are doing here and now, and I don’t think I would feel comfortable talking if there was a firearm in the picture.

      My second argument is one of appropriate response. I dug a bit and found that the current laws for property destruction in Wyoming are in the absolute worst case a 10 yr felony with up to a $10000 fine. For less serious offenses, the fine could be up to $750, but could be less. If one is concerned with the rule of law, then one is necessarily concerned with just application of penalties. A counter-protester should not shoot someone for property damage, as this is morally unacceptable and, if we limit ourselves to legal technicalities, is not the appropriate penalty for vandalism. In my view, one should not be toting around a firearm if one is not prepared to use it, and to shoot a protester in the act of vandalism is morally indefensible.

      So to sum up, carrying weapons to keep folks `safe’ as you say is counter-productive to the stated goals of those with the weapons.

      As a final note, if my own personal property was being damaged the last thing I would want is a bunch of people I don’t know showing up with weapons. Just imagine the possible dangers of that situation….they greatly exceed the challenges of rebuilding.

      Thank you for your consideration of my arguments.

  7. Whatever you want to call them, these ammosexuals have been a disappointment to me. They have always maintained that they need the big-time firearms and large capacity magazines to protect us should a tyrant rise up to take our freedoms.

    Well, guess what? A wannabe tyrant has arisen, but instead of protecting us, the ammosexuals are supporting the tyrant. Go figure.

  8. All of this reminds me of children playacting at being tough. Unfortunately, however, we seem to have normalized this type of childish behavior. And I see it all too often–town police with assault rifles responding to an old man waving a gun in his backyard, my nephew, his wife and their best friends packing Glocks on their hips at a baby shower (gun as latest fashion accessory?), the fool carrying a rifle in the grocery store, the four armed men I caught trespassing on my riverfront property because they intended to go shoot ducks and decided they didn’t need my permission (they scooted real fast when I took a picture of their license plate and emailed to myself). As sad lack of maturity and critical thinking.

  9. I can only assume that anyone who takes up a gun and appears on a public street is prepared to use it for its intended purpose, i.e. killing or maiming someone. I’ve always thought that prisons are probably filled with people who only intended to threaten or scare someone with a gun but in the end shot that person. The problem with using a gun as a threat is that a second of bad judgement can lead to catastrophic life long consequences. I wonder how many of these vigilantes have thought this through. I would certainly have my affairs in order before I left home. The other thing that bothers me about these people who showed up at the protests with guns is they aren’t exactly a disciplined cohesive group, just a bunch of random people with deadly weapons. What happens when there is a shot fired down the street by someone they don’t know? It could be a nightmare on Main Street.

  10. Why would anyone think that folks who have purchased a gun have also taken shooting lessons? Some half-cocked macho will shoot at someone he considers a “bad guy”, but kill a mom or small child instead. Hell, even the police who undergo hours of training can’t shoot a suspect in a non-vital spot, so that person is only injured and able to stand trial.

    If you’ve ever hunted and had a case of ‘elk fever’ when you spotted a big one, you know what I mean. The adrenaline rush, the shallow breathing, hands that tremble in excitement, and the missed shot. The missed shot.

    These people who shoot someone with high accuracy in their basement playing a video then think they can take their shooting “skills” into the public arena are fooling themselves – – and other people. Like that 17 year old criminal, they shoot indiscriminately and kill unarmed citizens, expecting them to jump back up during the next game round, ready for another go. There’s a difference between fantasy and reality.

    Wyoming residents are NOT safe when armed vigilantes decide to self-select their role of super protector. Emotions and weapons , even more so in the hands of newbie and untrained gun owners, are a bad mix. I predict there will be a lot of these self-styled “heroes”, aka murderers, sitting in prison lamenting their poor luck when they accidentally kill someone’s Grandmom because they couldn’t shoot straight. Meanwhile, their families will be fending off legal action trying to save their homes, possessions, bank accounts, retirement funds, etc. from wrongful death lawsuits filed over their action.

    1. Well said. Just because someone owns a gun doesn’t mean they should have a gun or even know how to handle it. I had an employee who brought a loaded handgun to work. He put it on the counter in the bathroom and then left it behind when he went to the job site. Luckily, I found it before my preschool-aged granddaughters did.

      My 80 year old mother and I attended the BLM rally in Gillette. We were surrounded by armed counter-protesters and harangued by men and armed teenagers in big pickup trucks with Trump flags flying from the back. They took great pleasure in revving their Diesel engines and then “rolling coal” past us. In hindsight, it is chilling to think that we could have been the victims of a 17 year old vigilante like the one in Kenosha who killed two people. And that’s the whole point of vigilanteism: to intimidate and frighten people to stifle dissent.

      I am not comforted by, nor do I feel protected by, armed bands of self-appointed guardians.

      1. The intimidation tactics are actually being used by BLM and Antifa. You would never be a “victim “ of the armed 17 year old in Kenosha unless you were attacking him as they were

        1. This is the cycle we need to btreak Antifa, nuts, and yes, they exist and riot to intimidate. When those on the righr, where I consider myself, continue to react in kind, the cycle grows worse. We nees to stop it.

  11. It seems as though Tribalism has grown a lot in the last few years, on both sides. Now we are seeing violence. I plan to support politicians that bring us together once more. I admit it is very hard to see concerns and views of the other tribe. Let’s try.

  12. Seems like there are a few of us that think Afghanistan looks like fun, camping and hunting all the time. Wyoming has been there before. The 1890s were particularly entertaining, with lynchings, back shootings, invasion, insurrection, war, genocide and “The Crowning Infamy of the Ages”.
    Neither Antifa nor vigilantes brought this state to the financial brink. Can’t shoot or protest our way out of this. Better get real, get to work and try to move forward.

  13. In 1892 Wyoming suffered, Johnson County in particular, from combat between armed militias. One organized by some of those who helped draft the Wyoming Constitution a few years before that forbade private militias. The other a loosely organized local group that laid siege to the “invading” militia. Federal troops were used to stop the active fire fight between these groups.

    Do we really want to recreate this sad chapter in our history?

    Where are our leaders, both state and national, that will call out and put a stop to these dangerous and illegal unregulated militias?

  14. “…and now for the rest of the story”.

    Thanks, Paul Harvey.

    As both an ex Wyoming as well as Colorado resident, now stuck in a place neither would want (Nevada ), I can’t help but offer the following: Wyoming and Colorado, like Nevada and California have always suffered from, what to me, is a superiority-inferiorty complex. One resents the other for what it has, and the other looks down upon the former from the same position of empowerment and misplaced entitlement that created the resentment in the first place. As such, each has contributed to the self same problem. Two sides of the same coin. Both in truth are o blame.

    As such I am reminded of my weekly trips from FoCo to Laramie to hike Vedauwoo. WHP would sit on one side of Tie Siding and look for green and white plates. CHP would sit on the other near Virginia Dale and look for bucking horse plates. The same is true between CA and NV between Reno and Truckee. Sport ticketing. The same old bastard stepchild-entitled golden boy game that’s being played out now. I’m right, you’re wrong. I’m good, you’re bad. I’m entitled,, you’re not and no matter what, we’ll both get even. In short, both sides are to blame and neither can honestly look themselves in the mirror and claim they can’t see it. Purposeful blindness is not a disease, but a self made affliction. The cause and cure are both within ourselves to address and correct.

    In the end, I miss Wyoming because as I remember it, a person was valued for the nature of their character and the strength of the same. In Colorado, it was the expansive exuberance of so many of the people I met and their desire to celebrate life.

    In the end, folks from both Laramie and Cheyenne would head for FoCo and Denver for entertainment and to shop, while people like me would head for Wyoming for the quality of the land and cleanness of the air. Neither could live without the other, love ’em, hate ’em or otherwise.

    And yes, I attended CSU, but always wore a UW hat while hiking Vedauwoo.
    It kept me from being sport ticketed once on 287.

    I hope you can fugure it out. I hope we all can.

    “Walking in balance is the hardest dance you will ever do. Dance well”.

  15. I came across something yesterday that got me to thinking twice about all of this. It appears that all 50 states – including Wyoming – have some sort of state constitutional hard check on private militias and paramilitary activites hardcoded into the state constitutional framework.
    The 97 page report was issued in July by the Institute for Constitutional Advocacy and Protection at the Georgetown Law School. They began compiling this exhaustive study after that unfortunate ” Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville VA in August 2017. ICAP made a bulletproof case that Second Amendment gun rights apply to individuals , but armed groups (read: cvilian militias) have no blanket right to carry and use arms independent of the State. They need expressed permission.

    Who knew that in Wyoming’s case it is illegal to ” parade arms” ” ? I didn’t. But there it is in the state Constitution ( quote) ” No group or assembly of persons … shall associate themselves together as a military company or organization, or parade in public with arms without license of the Governor “. Does anyone know where we can read that mandated license over Governor Gordon’s signature forthwith ? For instance — Does the Cody group have a license signed off by the Governor and his Attorney General . Show us, please…

    In the case of Wyoming it is in Article 1 Section 25 , to wit:

    Wyo. Const. art. I, § 25. Military subordinate to civil power
    The military shall ever be in strict subordination to the civil power. No soldier in time of peace shall be quartered in any house without consent of the owner, nor in time of war except in the manner prescribed by law.
    Wyo. Stat. Ann. § 19-8-104. Other organizations parading with arms prohibited; penalty
    (a) No group or assembly of persons other than the regularly organized national guard or the troops of the United States shall associate themselves together as a military company or organization, or parade in public with arms without license of the governor. No city or town shall raise or appropriate monies for arming, equipping, uniforming or in any way supporting, sustaining or providing drill rooms or armories for such group or assembly of persons.
    (b) Any person violating subsection (a) of this section or who belongs to or parades with any unauthorized group or assembly of persons with arms shall be punished by a fine not exceeding one thousand dollars ($1,000.00), by imprisonment for a term not exceeding one (1) year, or both, for each offense. ( endquote)


    Seems explicit to me. Make your own case.

  16. Thank you for expressing my thoughts and fears exactly! I first heard about this type of “made up war” back in 2017 – in Episode #110 “The Antifa Supersoldier Spectacular” of the Reply All podcast (a very good summary of a similar “crisis” that didn’t happen).
    These groups are the ones threatening lives and trying to intimidate people who don’t think like them from exercising their right to free speech.

  17. I’m not a Trump supporter and I’m not Black, and the thought of people parading around Wyoming streets with guns in hand, at a public gathering, gives me the creeps. I “lean” against radicals of any party or calling. Please, Wyomingites, use your heads…divisiveness and confrontations aren’t the way to resolve anything. That’s just big-time showboat stuff.

  18. “KGWN-TV reported that a group of armed men spent the next several nights staking out the GOP office from across the street to keep it free of graffiti. The reaction to the event was so overblown, I was startled. Would someone actually shoot and perhaps kill a person for the misdemeanor offense of vandalizing a building? What’s the point of all this vigilantism?”

    Don’t you know the rules though Mr. Drake? The President explained it yesterday and it is really quite simple.

    Paint is “peaceful protest” as long as it involves Trump supporters in truck beds driving down city streets and indiscriminately shooting paintballs, pepper balls, and pepper spray at people gathered on the sidewalks.

    If it is a non-Trump supporter spraying that paint onto a building or sidewalk, then it is an organize, anarcho-terrorist, treasonous assault on our government itself, and warrants an overwhelming violent response by federal paramilitary forces and roving bands of unregulated neckbeard military-surplus cosplayers with guns.

    1. Well said.

      There was a march in Lander during the afternoon a few weeks back. There was nothing out of hand or even a threat of violence from those that participated in the march. Regardless, there were yokels along the street dressed up in their wannabe weekend warrior outfits trying to seem important. It was a sad display.

      Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.

  19. Right On, as usual Kerry. These right wing militia nut cases are just clamoring for an opportunity to show off all their para military garb and guns – they must have missed out in the cops and robbers play as kids. Thanks for you excellent columns and thanks to WyoFile.
    Bob McDowell, Buffalo

  20. When I hear people representing any point of view accusing their opponents of wanting to do something evil, I am reminded of the psychological principle of projection. Hitler started his crusade against the Jews by saying that the Jews wanted to kill all the Germans.

  21. Mr. Drake , I have always enjoyed your writing until now. It is obvious that you more than lean to the left.
    Antifa and BLM are both terrorist organizations. look at Seattle and Portland , I believe two people were shot dead in Seattle’s autonomous zone, so called summer of love guarded by armed leftist peaceful protestors. The media as down played Antifa and BLM looting and rioting across this country for to long. But God forgive us if a law abiding patriot shows up, then the world is ending. Because of this bias reporting this year I defiantly do not believe any main stream news organizations, they are leftist propaganda machines. Personally I like facts, real facts true unbias facts, that neither supports or condemns either side. I love how recently I see Trump supporters riding in pickup trucks with captions that read dangerous ,armed, shot dead. But earlier you we had burning, looting and rioting , with captions of peaceful After the fake impeachment, and now the summer of riots and looting not love, I will never vote or support any Democratic candidate and I am not the only one.

  22. I can’t say that I’m looking forward to seeing the upcoming comments on this article. It will only prove the growing divide of the population in these current times.