What is a protest in a country governed by a free and democratic government?

Protesting is a "Right" guaranteed in the Constitution of the United States of America. In fact it is guaranteed by the government as part of the sweeping and possibly the most daring statement ever produced by a government in history and is the number the 1 and most important Amendment in the constitution.

First Amendment

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

The American constitution is framed not only as a document outlining the behavior of the government towards the people, but also is a guide for how people should behave towards the government and most importantly towards each other. It is a model for a society based in the equality of laws and the equal power of people who are governed by a government elected and controlled by the people.

The topic of this article focuses on the right to protest. But, it limits that right by using the word "peaceably". This phrase is followed by the words "to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

Why did the framers use such language? Because they wanted to create a society guided by a rational process to move the country forward taking the issues deemed important by the people seriously.

What they didn't want is a society with different interests groups marching with clubs, knives, or guns into public places physically threatening the domestic tranquility outlined in the preamble as one of the principle functions of government. This also means that folks are charged with the responsibility to peaceably assemble in private settings as well. My thoughts turn to gangs, union fights during the early 20th Century, and today all of these militia who claim to have a legal right to show up in public places carrying weapons.

All of those acts are against what is written in the constitution because it is difficult to discuss a problem when someone threatens you with weapons.

The wisdom of the constitution is that yes, it guarantees the right to bear arms, and the right to protest, but it doesn't give you the right to bring arms to any public gathering, much less walking through the capitals of the country toting machine guns.

I'm very sorry to say that our government is not protecting the constitution by allowing protesters to bring weapons to any public meeting anywhere or to walk the halls of government with weapons.

In Kentucky, the allowance to freely open carry weapons which was recently passed as law, does also NOT mean that this law supersedes the 1st Amendment requirement to peaceably assemble. When you show up as a mob carrying weapons it is not peaceably assembling and it is against the very principles that made this country unique in the world. This is creates an atmosphere of unrest, creates a potential for violence, injury, and loss of life.

People have the right to show up and make their point, bring their case to the government in a peaceful way, but those rights are not given when weapons are present. That is, in fact, against the law and the government that you elected has the right to remove you from the scene.

Inciting a riot is called "Volksverhetzung" in German. I'm not even sure about the law here in the US. The point is to prevent bullying in public. This can be done not only through the show of force, but also when leaders agitate their supporters to the point of them acting out against perceived opponents to their views.

What is the difference between a county like the US and say, Mexico? The difference is that the law guarantees the people protection from others who would force their agenda through threatening or violent means.

The United States of America was founded on the principle that everyone has the right to express their opinion, defend themselves, and influence the government AS LONG AS IT IS DONE IN AN ORDERLY MANNER and through a due process of law that everyone has to follow.

Those who claim the government is taking away their freedoms have a right to bring that grievance into public discourse and into the halls of the government filled with lawmakers who were elected by them.

The other consideration is that the electoral process is based on majority rule, not only on a national scale, but also on a state scale. The Founding Fathers bet that the majority of the population would make the right decisions for the direction of the country, and that the will of the majority is the only way to fully guarantee fairness in all things. Unless your opinion is a majority opinion then your opinion may not become law, but you have the right to express and influence opinion the arena of reasonable discourse.

The society of law and order frowns upon the idea that violent and aggressive tactics should ever be a part of a free and peaceful society.

When this country allows a bunch of renegade yahoos with a gripe carry weapons into a public place and gather to aggressively to threaten the tranquility of that society then this country is in danger of losing its freedom, its democracy and law and order. Then we have anarchy and the United States will cease to exist altogether.

Either we defend the truth, laws, and an orderly discourse of ideas, or we don't. There is no middle ground.