Letter: Fred Lillis, Leesburg

Editor: There were numerous disturbing scenes from the recent events in Charlottesville. Angry mobs, carrying lighted torches, shouting anti-Semitic, anti-immigrant and racist slogans list a few.

One of the most upsetting was the sight of civilian militia, with the self-proclaimed role of defenders of the First Amendment, marching with AR-15-style weapons. Are we not protected by local police? By the state police? Must I hire my personal protection team? These weapons are designed for the quick, efficient killing of large numbers of people. In the tense atmosphere of that Saturday, a mistake by one of these men could have led to that result.

Groups such as these are threatening. They do not ease tensions, promote civil discourse or bridge the divide between differing ideas. These weapons are best mounted on walls.

The Constitution and I would be safer if the militia had hitched up with the Red Cross to distribute coffee and donuts.

Fred Lillis, Leesburg

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