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Letters to the Editor: Armed protesters are dangerous extremists, not upholders of the American way

Armed protestor in Michigan
Members of the Michigan Liberty Militia join protesters at a rally against coronavirus-related restrictions at the state Capitol in Lansing, Mich., on April 30.
(Associated Press)

To the editor: With all due respect to columnist Doyle McManus, someone who attacks a store clerk and breaks his arm because the clerk asked him to wear a mask is not a “knucklehead.” A maskless customer who shoots and kills a store security guard because he was asked to leave is not a “hothead.” (“We won’t end COVID-19 with ‘test and trace,’” column, May 17)

This is violent criminal behavior and should be acknowledged accordingly, not dismissed as some unfortunate behavior by a group of spirited Americans merely exercising their free speech and defending their rights.

When reporters and security officials are threatened, when legislators feel compelled to wear bulletproof vests, when people carry signs saying “hang Fauci,” and when protesters brandish their assault weapons, we’re far past talking about free speech or the Bill of Rights.

Stephen Bulka, Los Angeles

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To the editor: When McManus says America is not like “South Korea or Taiwan,” I hope he is not trying to perpetuate the stereotype of Asians as blindly “obedient.”

Perhaps a better description of the small but noisy minority of Americans who consider anti-pandemic measures excessive is that they are indeed obedient — to a president who rejects the advice of scientific experts, promotes debunked conspiracy theories, intimidates those with different views, stokes xenophobic divisiveness and places himself above the law.

Joyce Tamanaha-Ho, Davis, Calif.

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To the editor: Just when I thought we were never going to dig ourselves out of this hole because of all these people who are asserting their personal rights in the face of the group participation that is required to subdue the coronavirus, McManus brightens our day with hope.

Even though only a small minority of Americans thinks the anti-pandemic measures too severe, its members are a noisy lot. When I drive by the beach and see all the cars and all the people on the beaches not adhering to the new rules or I see the local city and county leadership refuse to mandate masks, I think to myself that we are doomed.

So, when McManus points out that we can contain the virus with a 70% compliance rate, a ray of hope appears. My friends and family who are strictly complying with social distancing rules and wearing their masks will not have done so in vain — we’ll just have to keep at it a lot longer.

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Lynn Lorenz, Newport Beach

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To the editor: When people force the shutdown of civil government with armed occupation, they cease to be protesters and they become terrorists.

If this were to happen in any foreign country, it would be mocked as an indication of a failed state. What response would be given if the group were African American, Muslim or Latino?

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Mark Stephen Mrotek, Carson


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