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A protester tosses a smoke bomb towards police during a third night of unrest Sunday May 31, 2020, in Richmond, Va. Gov. Ralph Northam issued a curfew for this evening. The smoke bomb was ignited by a protester. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

Growing up in my neck of the woods, as I am sure it happened elsewhere, the night before Halloween was known as “Mischief night.”  Others may have called it “Hell Night.”  On that night, roving bands of kids with nothing better to do would arm themselves with bars of soap, rolls of toilet paper, or cartons of eggs and wander neighborhoods targeting homes with the weapons in hand.  Usually about a week before, local police would warn store owners of selling such things to anyone under 18.  For my part, I “defended” my home as a kid armed with a running hose with adjustable nozzle and when anyone got near the house, they would be wetted down and chased away.  Over the years, I took out many a teenager who likely returned home wet as a rat.  I never thought they would return; that possibility never entered by immature mind.  However, they never did return and our house was usually off-limits.  There was no eggs thrown at it, no toilet paper in the trees, and no profanity on windows painted in soap.

I mention this because the recent immature nonsense happening in the streets at the hands of the black-clad antifa thugs and BLM people reminds me of those immature teenagers who would roam the streets on Mischief Night.  Like then, there is no rhyme or reason in the targets they select other than to avoid the house where they were likely to get doused with water.  This is evident in the targets chosen by today’s “protester.”  In Rochester, they took down a statue of Frederick Douglas, a black, outspoken at the time, abolitionist.  Perhaps the statue depicted Douglas as looking “too white,” but that does not excuse their ignorance of history.  In a town outside New York City, vandals took down a flagpole and wrote graffiti on a monument to five firefighters who died on 9/11.  One can find no connection between firefighters who died on 9/11 and white supremacy.

In fact, one doubts that even they know at this point what they are allegedly protesting.  What started off as one thing has transformed into something altogether different.  Some seem to suggest that the violence on the streets is due to pent-up frustration and rage.  Methinks that at this point they just think it is “cool” to roll a statue of Columbus into the Baltimore Harbor or spray graffiti on another statue or monument.

However, there are three important differences.  First, although the police had their hands full some years on Mischief Night and increased patrols, they and the cities never condoned it.  Whether it was warning store owners in advance or responding to calls, they acted.  Today, they are told by the city leaders- all in liberal strongholds- to “stand down” and do nothing.  We are told they are exercising their Constitutional rights in some instances, but I have yet to find that clause that gives anyone the right to destroy personal property and businesses, block interstate roads, or fire a gun into a car turning around in a Wendy’s parking lot.  Now we learn that the mayor of Minneapolis is seeking federal help to restore the damage caused by a situation they created.  An ounce of prevention in today’s atmosphere is worth tons of dollars of cure.  Sorry mayors Wheeler, de Blasio, Frey, Durkan, and Bottoms: you reap what you have sown and condoned.

The second difference is that although there was and is no rhyme or reason to the targets selected by mischief mongers and today’s thug, the former were not organized.  If caught by police with a carton of eggs, the “weapon was confiscated,” the officer had a nice omelette the next morning, and if bad enough, the kid and his parents had an appointment with a judge.  Today, there are unnamed people out there (and some named) ready and willing to swoop in with a cabal of lawyers to bail people out of jail (if they are not just outright released and issued a summons) and represent them for their inevitable slap on the wrist by a liberal judge.  There is no significant consequence and they know it and they also know that someone has their back if caught.  You remove that financial and organizational backbone behind these thugs, you are on your way to restoring order and hopefully William Barr and his 500 investigations are doing just that.

Finally, this is not “mischief;” this is violence.  A house egged or splattered with soap graffiti can be washed off with some water pressure.  It takes a rainstorm and a few gusts of wind to remove toilet paper strung from trees.  It is certainly more expensive (despite having insurance) to replace plate glass windows, replace product in a looted store, and clean up after the “protest.”  It takes money to retrieve a statue tossed in a harbor or repair a statue or monument, if they even go that route.  In Seattle, the city provided the CHOP/CHAZ idiots with portable toilets.  It was only after a march on the mayor’s home that the city acted.  Righteous indignation for thee, but not for me…apparently.  Being armed with bars of soap, toilet paper and eggs is one thing.  Being armed with ropes, chains, helmets, clubs and, in some cases, guns is quite another.

Although this writer will give the “non-existent” antifa thugs one thing:  Who knew that they knew wearing a mask to a “protest” followed CDC guidelines before there were CDC guidelines?  It is long past due to pull off those masks, have them turn for a profile and frontal picture, and stick their asses in jail.  These are all legal adults who will likely show their immaturity by running to “mom and dad” to bail them out.  Along the way, make that time-honored legal tradition of making the process the punishment fall heavily on these people.  A few missed days of class or work (doubtful) for a court appearance could reap rewards.