The Louisville Courier-Journal reports:
What started out as a freedom-loving celebration of the Second Amendment ahead of Memorial Day turned into Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear being hanged in effigy and protesters chanting outside the governor’s mansion.
The Second Amendment rally, meant to inspire people “about what it really means to be FREE,” according to Take Back Kentucky, attracted at least 100 people to the Kentucky State Capitol in Frankfort on Sunday.
It began as a celebration of constitutional rights but turned into a protest of coronavirus restrictions and Beshear’s administration. Folks toted guns and waved American and “Don’t tread on me” flags. Taps honored the fallen, and free flags were given to veterans from all military branches.
Kentucky Democrats respond:
Hanging Governor Beshear in effigy is beyond reprehensible, and yet it is also the logical conclusion of the hateful rhetoric we saw touted on the Capitol grounds earlier this month that was implicitly condoned by elected representatives from the legislature’s majority party
Doing this in front of our Capitol, just a short walk from where the Governor, First Lady, and their two young children live, is an act that reeks of hate and intimidation and does nothing but undermine our leading work to battle this deadly disease and restore our economy safely.
USA Today reports:
A sign on the effigy said, “sic semper tyrannis,” which translates to “thus always to tyrants,” a phrase famously used by John Wilkes Booth after shooting President Abraham Lincoln.
Several speakers referred to Beshear as tyrannical in his approach to lockdown measures over the coronavirus pandemic. After news of the effigy spread, both Republican and Democrat leaders condemned it.
Secretary of State Michael Adams, a Republican, tweeted that it was “disgusting.” “I condemn it wholeheartedly,” he wrote. “The words of John Wilkes Booth have no place in the Party of Lincoln.”
.@SenateMajLdr: “As a strong defender of the First Amendment, I believe Americans have the right to peacefully protest. However, today’s action toward Governor Beshear is unacceptable. There is no place for hate in Kentucky.”
— Senator McConnell Press (@McConnellPress) May 25, 2020
On Memorial Day weekend, as we honor those who gave their lives for our country, & think of the small sacrifices we make to protect our community from a pandemic, we must condemn this vile act. When we share science, keep each other healthy & safe, freedom will follow. https://t.co/WSWIiTQy8c
— Mayor Greg Fischer (@louisvillemayor) May 25, 2020
What occurred at today’s rally was unacceptable and has no place in Kentucky’s political discourse. The Republican Party of Kentucky strongly condemns the violent imagery against the Governor in today’s protest.
— Republican Party of Kentucky (@KYGOP) May 24, 2020
I am shocked and saddened by the actions of the protesters in Frankfort today. Never did I think I would see this type of behavior on our Capitol lawn. Today’s events should be condemned by every Kentuckian and American. Kentucky is better than this. I stand with our Governor. https://t.co/3hWcBKGi9b
— Amy McGrath (@AmyMcGrathKY) May 25, 2020
— Sarah Ladd (@ladd_sarah) May 24, 2020