Written by Nicholas Vetrisek
Sara Jacobs and Georgette Gómez, two Democrats running for the 53rd congressional district seat, have both stated that they don’t believe the National Guard should be called in to deal with the recent riots.
Calling in the National Guard is “an unnecessary escalation of tensions,” according to Jacobs. “San Diego is a proud military community, and we know just how important it is to only send our troops where they are absolutely needed. Calling in the National Guard to San Diego County is an unnecessary escalation of tensions.”
In addition, Gómez added that “calling out the National Guard is not the answer. Military uniforms patrolling our streets sends the wrong message. As most jurisdictions work day and night to reduce tensions and maintain calm, the Sheriff’s Department risks increasing tensions by bringing the National Guard into our city.”
Gómez also stated that “we are not facing a disaster today in San Diego County. We are facing a situation where thousands of our residents are understandably angry and speaking out and a small minority are choosing violence.”
To Gómez, stating that the violent group is only a small minority is missing the point entirely. Regardless of whether the group is ten or ten thousand, law and order has broken down. Anyone who believes otherwise should ask the former employees of the La Mesa branches of Chase and Union Banks—two buildings that were burnt to the ground during the recent riots.
“To restore the peace, we need dialogue, understanding and real action to address the concerns of protestors,” Gómez added. “We’ve started the journey toward justice by banning the carotid chokehold countywide. I’m glad the Sheriff joined us in taking that action. Today, I call on the Sheriff to join us in reducing tensions by revoking the request for the National Guard.”
One need not be a law and order Nixonite to understand that this is a situation that must be responded to by the National Guard. Looting and burning buildings is not what peaceful protesters do. It is what rioters do, however. And dialogue is no more likely to end a riot than a spray bottle is to stop a wildfire.
Furthermore, both Gómez and Jacobs are wrongly conflating violent rioters and peaceful protesters and turning it into a political issue. “The protests throughout San Diego County, just like protests all across the country, have been overwhelmingly peaceful,” said Jacobs. “President Trump’s draconian policies have no place in our community and are a threat to our fundamental rights and to our democracy.”
There has to be a clear line between protesters and looters. Peaceful protest should be protected, but violent looters must be dealt with legally to ensure justice. A skate shop in South Carolina put it best. The owner displayed a sign in front of his store offering free water to rioters and looters. When asked about what he would offer them, he simply stated “5.56 and 9mm.”