Having worked until late last night, I took the afternoon off today. On my drive home, traffic was crazy. Traffic is usually bad as it is, but not nearly this slow. As I turned the corner on to Fulton Avenue, which is a super busy street, I could see the reason.
There were two dozen or so protesters with signs, megaphones, and posters chanting, "stop the guns, stop the violence." If you read anything from me before, you know that I believe we have a gun problem. That problem needs to be fixed for sure. In the middle of this very busy street at a very dangerous intersection where there are frequently accidents, sat a large man with his legs crossed in front of the 52 bus. This man was seated in such a way that traffic could not move in either direction on Fulton. This was my path home and the reason that traffic at 1:00 p.m. on a Friday was backed up for 10 blocks. Just as I was trying to figure out where to go, the utility vehicle behind me got back-ended by a taxi cab. The police were so busy trying to politely move the protesters out of the street that they didn't even see or hear this accident.
Fortunately for me, I was able to turn and slowly make my may through the protesters down a side street. As I did, though, one very exuberant protester felt the need to plaster his poster on my windshield so that I could experience the fear and anxiety of possibly having a taxi smash into my back bumper too, maybe squashing some protesters in the process.
Don't get me wrong, I am a firm believer in making your voice heard. I know that their is a problem. Most of the people living on and around that intersection know that there is a problem. What good does it do to hold up the general public and risk injury to many of them to shout a message that isn't needed by those people in those place.
Please, if you are going to be someone who protests, do it somewhere where people who can change those things are listening and are affected. To risk lives of the public in such a stupid way only makes you and your cause look bad. It made me frustrated, angry, and sad about gun violence, but more so with those protesters.
Talk to your politicians, work with your local police, educate your children, and protest if you must, but protesting stupidly is almost as bad as our gun laws today - neither is effective.