The government allowed a cage fight and are surprised (not!) at the outcome.
Here is what I believe:
Marchers with a permit have a right to their day in the sun. It does not matter if others despise their political base or platform. It is Constitutional right. The shoulders of our nation are big enough to shake it off.
Because it is “their party” all others should be under a right to observe, to speak out, but not to physically engage the marchers. I believe in a model of let them march, let them pass. Some of those marching engaged their right to bear arms. They did it responsibly and not a shot was fired.
But we allowed a cage fight. Adversarial individuals were placed in close proximity and rules of engagement should have been established for those not involved in the march:
You can watch, you can even shout out an insult. But you will treat this march like a visit to an art exhibit. Stand twelve feet clear of the walking art work so as to do them no harm. These are portraits to be added to our history of freedom of expression and the right to peaceful assembly.
But we allowed a cage fight. I can see it no other way. It is abundantly clear. Adversaries were placed in close proximity, media was present, and perhaps the allowed cage fight atmosphere suited a national security agenda. White Supremacists need to be culled and what better way to accomplish this then to thrust violence onto a national stage?
But at the expense of the lives of two families who have now received the news of the demise of their family members in a fiery helicopter crash? That cost is too high.
Perhaps we need to re-examine the dynamic of such protests. I do not support a model of allowable conflict to give reason to investigate any one particular group. Find other means. But do not use antagonistic crowds to accomplish goals. The innocent and those out of their depth can be injured.
My thoughts offered lack forensic evidence. But the forensic nature of the human condition cannot be denied. Our future focus should be on enforcement of a buffer zone which protects those who march and pass, a buffer zone which allows them to end their protest in peaceful manner and return home to their families.