Note to readers:  I enjoy feedback, but I really hope you will send me your comments on this one, positive or negative, at  If I get enough, I may do a follow up (I will not use your names).  Thank you.

I have never considered myself an activist or a crusader for human rights, but I am a concerned citizen who tries to consider all sides of an issue and to advocate for the majority.  Wow, that sounded like something I would like to hear a politician say and mean.

Last week, with that objective in mind, I sent an email to multiple political and law enforcement leaders in our county, asking for their opinions, and perhaps a solution, for an issue that I believe has a negative impact on our community.

That email is here:



 I think I probably know the answer, but I wanted to pose the question to someone who might have a more complete response.

 I have seen multiple cases in the past few weeks, of campaign flags with obscene messages displayed – one on a pickup truck and others attached to individual homes.  While there is no accounting for taste and class, I try to be tolerant of classless behavior since there seems to be so much of it.   But when my grandkids are exposed to those types of displays, and then follow up with questions about them, it seems like I should have some rights, too.

 So, my question is obvious:  is there any action that can restrict this type of display/behavior?  While I understand the first amendment, it seems that many of these “rights” we are always defending seem to sanction boorish behavior, while impacting the rights of others. 

 Thank you, in advance, for your opinion.”


I received responses from multiple individuals and am thankful for such thoughtful involvement from our community leaders.  However, constrained by legal precedents, each response offered a supporting opinion without solution.

While not limiting the scope to any singular “right,” one response noted that we should all “have a right not to feel offended or threatened, but apparently that isn’t as important as an amendment that was written in and for a different time.”   Finally, someone recognizes that 1791 was a long time ago.

America, as a country, advocates for human rights in nations around the world.  Americans, as a people, demand their individual rights, sometimes with enthusiasm, sometimes with passion, and sometimes at the expense of others who may not hold the same belief systems.

Admittedly, people make a lot of decisions and/or statements where my response is “I just don’t get it.”   If you choose to dye your hair purple or wear your pants below your butt, I may think “I just don’t get it” but it has no consequence to me.

But do we really need the public obscenities and the confrontational stance?  Is it that important to make such a statement with an obvious lack of respect and an even more obvious intent to intimidate?

I care little what your political leaning is.  And we have all learned that absolutely nothing will alter those opinions anyway, so what is your point?

One thing I can assure you is that those displays certainly influence the respect I have for your opinion.  And your willingness to proudly display your views in this manner undoubtedly creates a first impression for me… and for my grandkids.

Rights are not absolute.

What follows is a well-known quote, attributed to many, but probably uttered by an anonymous judge during sentencing.  In the judge’s ruling on an assault case, where a man claimed his right to freely swing his arms in a free country, the judge decreed “Your right to swing your arms ends where the other man’s nose begins.”

Ouch!  My nose hurts today.


“Above all, it’s about going home at the end of the shift … “

We couldn’t agree more.



Curt is the father of a sworn police officer in Michigan. He enjoys hearing from his readers – EMAIL

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