Opinion: A riot, not an insurrection: it’s time to stop the hyperbole

Opinion: A riot, not an insurrection: it’s time to stop the hyperbole

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An article from the Baltimore Banner in Maryland Reporter’s State Roundup Monday was headlined: Prison and probation: A look at the Marylanders involved in the Jan. 6 insurrection. There is that word again – insurrection. I know this is the favorite tool of the Democrats to try and convince the rest of us that an insurrection took place on Jan. 6, 2021.

Now before anyone’s head explodes, let me be clear. On Jan. 6, 2021, following a speech by President Trump to thousands of supporters, a riot broke out on Capitol Hill. I am not going to recount all the circumstances leading up to this riot. I simply want to acknowledge that a riot did take place. It should not have happened, but it did and it’s a shame for the country … but was it a “Pearl Harbor” or a “9/11”? It has been a full three years since this unfortunate event so you might think that based on what we are constantly being bombarded with, that this “insurrection” was the worst in in the republic’s history.

Surely that is what Wikipedia would tell us – but low and behold that is just not the case. A Google search will reveal that the Battle of Blair Mountain was the largest armed uprising since the American Civil War. Here a few excerpts from the post:

A real armed uprising

“For five days from late August to early September 1921, some 10,000 armed coal miners confronted 3,000 lawmen and strikebreakers (called the Logan Defenders) … The first skirmishes occurred on the morning of August 25. The bulk of the miners were still 15 mi (24 km) away. The following day, President Warren G. Harding threatened to send in federal troops and Army Martin MB-1 bombers … By August 29 the battle was fully underway. … Private planes were hired to drop homemade bombs on the miners. A combination of poison gas and explosive bombs left over from World War I were dropped in several locations near the towns of Jeffery … Federal troops arrived by September 2. The miners, many of whom were veterans themselves, were unwilling to fire on U.S. troops … After the battle, 985 miners were indicted for murder, conspiracy to commit murder, accessory to murder, and treason against the State of West Virginia. Though the majority were acquitted by sympathetic juries, others were imprisoned for up to four years, with the last being paroled in 1925.”

Given the historical significance of this rebellion one would think that this would be an event recalled annually in American history. I’m willing to bet that if you are reading this – you have never heard of the “Battle of Blair Mountain”. All sorts of weapons to include gatling guns and machineguns, airplanes dropping bombs, a declaration of martial law and over 900 men charged with the crime of murder.

Now compare that to what we know about January 6th. The crowd certainly destroyed property, but on the other hand we can see video of the Capitol Police escorting the “rioters” through the halls of the Capitol. Lots of glass was broken, and there were cuts a bruises on both sides and lots of “selfies” were taken. Contrary to what is constantly repeated only one person died that day, shot by a Capitol Police lieutenant. She was unarmed and hardly a real threat to the lieutenant or any member of Congress but she was shot just the same.

The Baltimore Banner goes on to say: “In a speech in Pennsylvania on Jan. 5, President Joe Biden called the siege on the Capitol a moment when “we nearly lost America — lost it all.” I don’t think so. I think it’s time to put the events of January 6th into historical perspective and recognize that we did not almost lose it all … only one person died that day and the Congress of the United States completed its business after a delay in the proceedings. An orderly transfer of power took place on January 20th. Those are the facts.

No charges of insurrection

Just look at the charges of the Marylanders that the Banner has chosen to highlight in an effort to keep the hyperbole going. There was not a single charge of insurrection. In fact, there has not been a single person charged with insurrection. Not even Donald Trump has been charged with insurrection. I think it is safe to say, federal prosecutors would if they could.

No weapons, no deaths, save one, no fires, no shooting if we don’t count the rubber bullets fired into the crowd by the Capitol Police. Some broken glass and broken furniture. All the hallmarks of a riot for sure but it’s not worthy of an annual remembrance, and it certainly not worthy of the hyperbolic language of a sitting president who continues to alienate fully half the country he swore to defend and protect.

It is time to stop the hyperbole.

About The Author

Marc King

mking@kgventrp.com

Marc A. King was a 2018 Republican nominee for a seat in the Maryland Legislature from Legislative District 15. Marc has continued his political activism by providing blogs related to a variety of political activities at the federal, state and local level. A retired Army lieutenant colonel, he transitioned from the position of President, Ceradyne Armor Systems, Inc., and provides advice and assistance to defense contractors as the President and CEO of KGV Enterprises, LLC, a defense strategies consultancy.

5 Comments

  1. Eric Blitz

    Missing from the analysis in this commentary is the motives and effect of the criminal actors on January 6th. The difference between a mere riot and an insurrection is that the violence was directed to stop, discontinue, or prevent a legal process (a constitutional one at that) of the United States, thereby challenging the authority of the U.S. to undertake the constitutional transfer of power. 18 U.S. Code § 2383 reinforces this point, as it reads: “Whoever incites, sets on foot, assists, or engages in any rebellion or insurrection against the authority of the United States or the laws thereof, or gives aid or comfort thereto, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both; and shall be incapable of holding any office under the United States.” The rebellion was against a government process. That doesn’t necessarily mean Donald Trump participated in that insurrection in a legal sense (though there is substantial evidence supporting that proposition). He may have a limited immunity (not the absolute immunity he has claimed), especially in his role of not using his office to stop the insurrection. (It was still a dereliction of duty, even if that doesn’t result in legal culpability).

  2. Victor Brok

    AGAIN…as per previous comments, TOTAL BS opinion piece. King, with his education and resources, should be ASHAMED OF HIMSELF, spouting this NONSENSE.
    FACTUALLY INCORRECT, INTERPRETATION OF JAN 6 EVENTS, and mis-understanding (OR ALSO PURPOSEFULLY INCORRECT/ POLITICALLY “WHITEWASHED” HISTORICAL RENDERING OF ACTUAL STRIKE AND PROTEST BY MINERS, and government response).
    Interpretation of Jan 6 INSURRECTION as merely a “RIOT” TOTALLY IGNORES PROVEN, DOCUMENTED PLANNING SESSIONS HELD IN DC PRIOR, SINGLE- FILE HAND–ON-SHOULDER MARCHING UP THE STEPS THROUGH THE CROWD BY TRAINED WHITE NATIONALIST GROUPS (shown clearly on video “for God’s sake”) (to name only a few actual events rendering HIS interpretation as BS), and OBVIOUS, VERIFIED POLITICAL PPURPOSE…TO PREVENT THE LEGITIMATE CONCLUSION OF THE ELECTORAL PROCESS!

  3. JAmes

    I’ll admit it: you got me. I absolutely clicked on this article wondering what the hell the argument could be against January 6th being a “riot” and “not an insurrection.” At the author’s age, not to be “age-ist,” but this is his sad, yet apparently effective bid for influencer status; An entire article in place of “if you liked this, be sure to click like, subscribe, and follow. As a previous comment said, Blair Mountain is a poor comparison, at best, and a gross misunderstanding of both those events and January 6th, at worst. Blair Mountain is more akin to Kent State. You can’t have members of the Senate on lockdown while Buffalo hat wearing morons run roughshod through THE ACTUAL SENATE ROOM talking about who they’re going to kill. Not an insurrection or just a just click bait? I believe this falls heavily into the latter category.

  4. Robert h, stern

    Total bullshit. The battle of Blair Mountain had nothing to do with government overthrow, it was a successful attempt by the government to put down a strike. Overwhelming government force against striking workers. January 6 was an indurrection designned to stop the peaceful transfer of power. The author disgraces his former uniform with his sophistry.

    • Marc

      Bob … Bob … Bob you clearly missed the point about the Blair Mt uprising. If you read it you will see it’s about the largest armed uprising since the Civil War … key words ARMED UPRISING … considering that there were NO WEAPONS found this event it is downgraded to a RIOT. And do us both a favor … unless you have served in a uniform, in combat for this nation you have not earned the privilege to comment on my service or the uniform I wear! This was an opinion piece … you are entitled to yours because opinions are like assholes everybody has one.

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