There are many responses one might consider for the vile and hateful Westboro Baptist Church, which plans to picket the funeral of Christina Green, the 9-year-old girl murdered along with five others in Saturday’s shootings in Tucson. My initial thoughts, admittedly not in keeping with my philosophy of non-aggression, involved swinging a baseball bat. Hard.
Fortunately I am nowhere near Tucson, and cooler heads have prevailed; one good approach, as organized by resident Christin Gilmer, is a so-called “angel action” — people wearing tall “angel wings” who surround and block out the Westboro slimeballs so that mourners will be able to grieve and say farewell to Christina in peace.
There are also not-so-good ways to handle this, as the Arizona legislature has demonstrated by attempting to restrict the Westboro picketers, who nonetheless are free to carry on their disgusting crusade in public areas. (The worst thing you can ever hear a politician say is “I’m gonna fix this,” as state senator Kyrsten Sinema did.)
If roads and parks were privatized this would not be necessary; I doubt many property owners would want to be associated with such demonstrations, and no cemetery owner with any respect for the dead would allow them near the entrance. But so long as the state monopolizes roads and other rights-of-way, we have to put up with these fools. Better to have them shunned and blocked from public view by private citizens than to have them silenced by the state.