Today is Memorial Day. A day to remember those who paid the “ultimate price” as members of the U.S. Armed Forces. As a U. S. Navy veteran, I salute those who died in combat.
As a leader of this movement, however, I cry for those who died not in combat, but at the hands of vigilantes. For the fights they fought were both unfair and unnecessary.
The fights were unfair because, unlike soldiers, the registrants who were killed were not armed. That is because as registrants, they could not possess a weapon.
The fights were also unfair because the registrants did not initiate them. Instead, the registrants were attacked even though they did not speak in anger or even make a rude gesture toward their attacker.
The fights were unnecessary because registrants are already being punished. Every hour of the day. Every day of the week. And despite the erroneous U.S. Supreme Court decision issued in 2003.
On Memorial Day 2019, I choose to remember registrants who have died at the hand of vigilantes. I share with you the names and a brief description of the individuals of whom I am aware so that you can join me in remembering them. I hope that you will add the names of others who have died at the hand of vigilantes in the comment section following this article so that we can remember them as well.
Michael Dodele – Released from prison and a mental institution after more than 30 years. Stabbed to death by a father who thought that Michael looked at his young son “the wrong way”. Michael had been convicted of sexually assaulting an adult woman.
Donald Crisp – Shot while standing in the driveway of his home. Police have yet to identify the person who killed Donald.
Bobby Ray Rainwater – Stabbed to death while walking quietly in the mobile home park where he lived. Killed by an angry man who didn’t want registrants living in the same mobile home park with him and his family.
Joseph Gray – Shot to death in his home while watching TV with his wife. Killed by an intruder who identified Joseph on the state’s Megan’s Law website.
William Elliott – Shot to death when he answered the door of his mobile home. Killed by an unknown intruder for an unknown reason.
Charles Parker – Shot and stabbed by a couple who asked for help after pretending they needed help for their car. The couple also shot and stabbed Charles’ wife Gretchen.
Garry Lee Blanton – Shot to death by a man hunting for registrants. Garry, a high school senior, had been convicted of having sex with his underage girlfriend, a high school freshman.
Jerry Wayne Ray – Shot to death by the same man who shot and killed Garry Lee Blanton.
— by Janice Belluci
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