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Posted: July 5, 2020

Madness in St. Louis is a troubling sign for the future

“Perceptions,” by Gerry Warner

Op-Ed Commentary

I’m sad.

The country I used to love has gone to hell in a hand basket – excuse the tired cliché – and that makes me extremely sad. Even scared a little. But what can you do, sitting on this side of the border? Can’t even go down and visit anymore because the border is closed for the first time in my lifetime. But maybe it’s just as well after what happened in St. Louis, Mo. this week.

I’m sure you saw it too. There they were, a suburban couple standing in front of their magnificent house in a very tony neighbourhood, a gated community in fact. Big deal. We have gated communities in Cranbrook too, but you never see couples like those two gun-toting Americans standing in front of them. Thank God!

Armed to the teeth they were. She was holding some kind of handgun with her finger obviously on the trigger. He was holding what appeared to be an AR-15 semi-automatic military rifle and both of them were waving these weapons at the menacing protesters. And yes, at least some of the protesters looked menacing as they were brandishing firearms too and they appeared to have broken into the gated enclave by smashing a metal gate though some denied this and claimed the gate was already open.

Whatever the case, it was a surreal scene. The woman stomping from one side of her property to the other pointing her pistol at the seething crowd and the man doing the same while with both hands cradling his high-powered rifle under his shoulder and exchanging angry epithets with the demonstrators. Ironically, the weapon-waving couple are both lawyers. But the law appeared to be the last thing on their minds in this bizarre scene.

But that wasn’t the case, according to the couple’s lawyer who said the pair “acted lawfully” out of “fear and apprehension” for their safety and protection of their home and property. In most legal jurisdictions, the law does allow extreme measures for people protecting their property. How “extreme” depends on the circumstances. But with this mob it’s hard to say because both sides were armed.

However, what came to me as I watched the terrifying video was the sheer madness of the scene. Surely, it’s a miracle that no trigger got pulled. If one had, lives would have been lost and St. Louis would still be burning today as would many other cities in the most weaponized country on earth. What would come next? Race warfare from coast to coast? I don’t even want to contemplate an atrocity like that and that’s why I’m sad.

Sad that 155 years after the Civil War, racial hatred is still tearing the world’s greatest democracy apart. Surely that issue should be settled by now. If not, what will it lead to?

A world dominated by the malevolent dictatorship of China. Don’t kid yourself because that’s what we’ll get. Look at how the authoritarian regime of China’s President Xi Jinping is abusing Hong Kong, which represents all that is good about the Chinese people and culture. Well it won’t be that way much longer because under the sweeping powers of the new Security Act Xi imposed on Hong Kong this week the former business capital of Asia will be reduced to a puppet regime under the iron heel of China.

Look at China’s brutal crackdown on its Uyghur Muslim minority and other minorities within its borders. Look at the repressive way China is treating the two Canadians it has held for more than 500 days on trumped up spying charges while Trudeau dithers.

China plays for keeps and the “keep” China is playing for now is world domination. And like it or not, the only country in the world powerful enough to keep China at bay is the United States led by Donald J. Trump, a narcissistic moron who doesn’t even have enough sense to wear a mask in the country most ravaged by the COVID-19 pandemic.

If that’s not enough reason to be sad, I don’t know what is.

Gerry Warner is a retired journalist still harbouring faint hope that the future of the US will change for the better in November.

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