New Kent Charles City Chronicle

News for New Kent County and Charles City County, Virginia | August 22, 2018

Editorial: Your opinion doesn’t give you a reason to commit a crime

By Andre Jones | July 10, 2018 11:50 pm

As humans, we all have different opinions. We can agree to disagree on topics, our likes, and our dislikes. However, our opinions don’t constitute committing a crime.

With the ongoing discussions about bringing a tactical training facility to Barhamsville in New Kent, people have spoke up for the range while others have voiced opposition. However, the issue has escalated to a point where crimes have been committed.

There are certain ways to handle issues. A person or group can choose to handle it a civilized way or they can choose alternative methods. The proposal for the training facility has seen both ways.

One of the civilized ways the issue has been handled was when a proposal for a protest at the signing of the legislature bill at Colonial Downs was taking place. At first, opponents of the proposed training facility wanted to demonstrate a voice at the event. However, at the urging of New Kent Sheriff’s Office, they elected not to follow through. That is a sign not only to the respect of the situation by the opponents, but also New Kent Sheriff’s Office for defusing the situation before it happened.

The other way, unfortunately, has taken place over the past week and continues today. There have been allegations that signs opposing the range are being confiscated, vandalized, or taken down. In some instances, signs have been elevated higher off the ground to prevent such a thing to occur. This type of response is not the way to handle an issue. In fact, it technically warrants an arrest and can consist of the following misdemeanor crimes; trespassing, vandalism, and petty larceny.

This editorial is not one of support for the tactical range nor is it one of opposition for the facility. This editorial is a message that we should conduct our behavior that is respectful to all. Freedom of speech is one issue, but it comes with respect and boundaries. There is no need to see an issue of disagreement escalate to any higher or to a point where someone can seriously get hurt. Unfortunately, we saw that last year in Charlottesville that resulted in the loss of life.

It’s time to be accountable for our own actions. If you disagree with something, that’s fine. But don’t infringe on somebody else’s rights because it is not your viewpoint or belief.