Several emotions raced through my mind when I read that the Concord Police Department had applied for a BearCat: shock, insult, anger. The application states, “The threat is real and here. Groups such as . . . Free Staters and Occupy New Hampshire are active and present daily challenges.”
I happen to be a Free Stater. You would never know that if you saw me at the grocery store or the Starbucks on Loudon Road. I’m an ordinary New Hampshire resident. I pay my property taxes. I’m nonviolent. I post silly cat pictures on Facebook.
Only one thing differentiates me as a Free Stater: my belief that I don’t need government to tell me how to live, as long as I’m not hurting anyone or taking their stuff.
Tanks are for killing and intimidating people. No Free State Project participant has ever committed an act of violence against any government official, anywhere, or encouraged anyone else to do so. In fact, inciting violence is a reason to get banned from the Free State Project. So why the tank?
One emotion that didn’t race through my brain: fear. I’m not afraid, or intimidated. And demonizing a small group of people for their ideological beliefs is ugly. And, last I looked, illegal.