By Congressman Jason Smith
Everyday it feels like the news happening all around us is occurring in some alternate universe or far off country. Mob rule, violence, rioting, looting, assaults and even murder. At night different parts of our country burn not because of social justice, that’s just the veil these violent criminals hide behind, but because of their hatred towards America and their belief that there will be no consequences for their actions. The most northern part of the 8th Congressional District is less than 60 miles from St. Louis. This week, Officer Tamarris Bohannon, a St. Louis police officer with 4 years in the department, was shot and killed. Officer Bohannon was 29 years old…he was a husband…he was a father of three children. The shooting of Tamarris Bohannon represented the 8th police officer shot in St. Louis since June 1. Unprovoked attacks, violence, murder – this isn’t happening in a different universe, a different country or even a different state…it is right here at home. It is time we finally call what we see happening across America what it really is, domestic terrorism.
I was honored last week to join the President of the United States, Donald Trump, as he accepted the Republican nomination for President on the south lawn of the White House. It was a great speech and a great evening. Just as I disagreed with the vast majority of policy proposals advanced by President Trump’s predecessor, President Obama, I am not naive to the fact that many in this country do not support some of the polices advanced by President Trump. I for one do. Smaller government, enhanced individual rights, protecting life and our Constitution, less regulations and less taxes, serving with President Trump in the White House has been one of my most rewarding times in public service. But I know there are those who don’t share his view for the country, and that’s OK. After all, that’s what our founders envisioned – a healthy exchange of ideas, debate and view points where not everyone would agree, it’s why our system of government and elections are setup as they are.
After the President’s speech that night, the evening took an unfortunate turn. As we exited the White House, everyone from elderly couples, to young kids, to individuals including myself were greeted with a barrage of words beyond inappropriate for print. We were harassed, screamed at, shouted at and called things no one who loves God or country should ever say to one another. We walked past building after building boarded up for fear from the violent mob who no longer has interest in “justice” but instead breaking things and violent behavior because they don’t like the America you and I love. These individuals are not peaceful protestors, they don’t seek justice for George Floyd or Jacob Blake or Breonna Taylor, they simply want to burn, loot, riot, harass, assault and kill. The FBI defines Domestic Terrorism as: Violent, criminal acts committed by individuals and/or groups to further ideological goals stemming from domestic influences, such as those of a political, religious, social, racial, or environmental nature. That is exactly what this is.
Mayors in these cities refuse help from the federal government because of a political agenda on the left which has told them don’t work with Donald Trump or else. Unfortunately that “or else” has resulted in mass violence, large spikes in crime, and a suffering of the Americans who call their cities home. They like the politics of blaming President Trump, and refusing his assistance because they think it will help them win an election, rather than actually make improvements to their cities. This is clearly NOT the vision of our founders.
Charges and arrests need to be brought against those inciting this violence across our country. These are thugs, these are felons, these are criminals. This week, I joined my colleague from Indiana, Congressman Jim Banks in co-authoring legislation to say those arrested during these protests should have to forfeit any enhanced unemployment insurance and cover the costs for additional policing expenses as a result of their behavior. American taxpayers just trying to do their job, raise their family, and love their country shouldn’t be asked to fork over more of their hard earned dollars to cover the costs of allowing this type of violence to continue day after day.
Courageous leaders with the fortitude to stand up to these domestic terrorists is what the American people deserve, it’s what our country deserves. There is no doubt they are an organized radical violent mob. One day we will learn to the true extent at which they were funded, propped up and organized, but until then we must take a stand against what these individuals want our country to become – a socialist and lawless place where their criminal acts result in taking what they want. They want an America where what’s yours is theirs, where families don’t matter and neither do checks, balances, law, order or decision and consequences. Too many loved ones have been lost, families destroyed and business and livelihoods ruined – cities burn because of these terroristic efforts. It comes to an end now.