It's a very unpopular position to take when you say, "I support the peaceful protesters, but not the rioters and looters." You wouldn't think so, but give it a try and you'll find really quickly that both sides will absolutely want to crucify you for saying so. The left for not supporting the rioters "rights," and the right for not condemning the protesters.
Yet, that is exactly the position of myself and this team. Peacefully protesting to draw attention to bad situations? Okay. Looting, robbing, smashing, burning, or stealing? Not.
That said, it should be easy to understand why we would look at Operation Legend as a positive development and a step towards restoring law and order without heavy-handedly crushing the rights of the peaceful protesters.
Operation Legend is a joint mission that is being conducted by the FBI, the DEA the ATF and the U.S. Marshals Service. This mission is targeting violent criminals in large metropolitan areas, and includes crimes such as illegal possession of a firearm, distribution of narcotics, drug trafficking, carjacking, bank robbery, and the re-entry of illegal aliens with criminal convictions into the country.
This operation is named after LeGend Taliferro, who was shot in Missouri back in June, and is intended to remove violent criminals from these metropolitan areas who continue to get pushed back into the streets due to a combination of bail reform laws, decriminalization, and prison over crowding. It has been instituted in response to the rising and increasing violent crime levels that both involve and don't involve the rioters, and levels Federal charges against some of these violent offenders, essentially taking their punishment out of the hands of local officials who are not doing what is necessary to protect their communities.
The DEA alone has made 59 arrests, pulled 17 illegal firearms off of the streets, and has discovered stolen vehicles, illegal drugs, as well as illegally generated cash, and that's just ONE of the participating organizations. Fox News reports that as many as 400 illegal firearms have been recovered in total and 148 people now face Federal charges for their violent actions.
Yet, ABC News reports that the State and City officials in these operation areas are not only writing to the Justice Department asking them to stop, they're actively campaigning against the Federal Government "interference" in their cities and states.
Now I doubt I need to tell you how hypocritical that is, but it is worth pointing out that were these cities doing what was required to keep their cities safe, to keep violence from erupting in the streets, and to protect the private property of their citizens, this intervention would not be necessary at all. But they don't want to say that, they just want to call out Trump for his interference. Well maybe it's time to call them out for their inability to keep the peace in their own cities and states, but I digress.
Here's the bottom line. In this case, Federal action may, in fact, be preventing something much worse, and that's a vigilante force going out and standing toe to toe with these criminals in order to protect their communities. Reducing the violence in the streets will reduce the need that citizens feel to protect themselves, their homes, their families, and their communities. Ultimately, this helps to prevent a shooting war in the streets. It's just beyond comprehension that it has to be done by the Federal Government.
Those in city and state leadership should be deeply ashamed of themselves, but more importantly (to them), they should be worried about the citizens of their cities and states voting against them for existential reasons. I know of far more people worried about being shot, beaten, blocked, or otherwise injured than those who are cheering on these riots, and that cuts across all lines political, ethnic, gender, and religious. That alone should give these officials pause.
But it doesn't, and it won't, until it starts to hit them in the polls. Because they still believe that they're safe, politically, and until they see that changing, they'll continue to "follow their heart," no matter how many of their citizens get hurt, lose their livelihood, lose their homes, lose their vehicles, or are otherwise injured.
It'll be interesting to see when the election comes around and people are voting based on these developments. I'm betting that far more will be in support of Operation Legend and it's authors, and not those who made it necessary.