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streetYou know all of those “Not My President” folks. How can you not. If you don’t concentrate, you’re liable to run one of them down lying in the street you’re driving on.

Some like what these protesters are doing. But some don’t, this writer included.

Lawmakers are starting to push back. Legislation in at least 18 states has been introduced and is pending to curb such protests. In several jurisdictions, pending bills would increase punishments for blocking highways, and some would exempt motorists from liability if they hit demonstrators with their vehicles!

Civil rights advocates say that such legislation violates the first amendment rights of the protesters. Seriously? The first amendment gives people the right to obstruct highway traffic, people trying to get to work and earn a living, to get to their medical appointments, as opposed to having nothing better to do than napping in the middle of the street? Yeah, right.

I have no patience for those who would block traffic (except maybe in the bicycle lanes, which are already interfering excessively with those trying to get to work), but running them down is a closer call. On the one hand, when I went to law school, “assumption of the risk” and “contributory negligence” were pretty good defenses to claims of negligence. On the other hand, maybe not if the driver was aiming for the protesters. Not sure what to do with those who were texting and driving, and just didn’t notice.

And some jurisdictions are also proposing to outlaw protesters who wear masks. Now, I think that’s definitely getting carried away. The kidnapper in my latest novel (also pending) wears a mask. Nothing wrong with that. Doesn’t a fellow have a right to protect his own . . . privacy? What’s this world coming to?

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