On Saturday afternoon, a middle-aged man leveled a ridiculous-looking orange toy gun at a female Post-Star reporter while screaming insults at the reporter and threats against the newspaper.
“Hang on Post-Star, we’ve got one coming for you over there, too,” the man said.
I hope that shocks you.
I hope that these events outrage you, because they are happening right here in Glens Falls.
We’ve got 50 or so men and women who work here at the newspaper. Most have nothing to do with writing or editing the news. They sell advertising, they keep the books, sell subscriptions and answer the phone.
I believe they are a little nervous today.
They want to know who this man is making threats against the business where they work.
They want to know if they should be worried.
They have husbands, wives and children.
I wonder how many of our readers go to work wondering if someone is going to show up with a weapon like they did at the Capital Gazette last year.
That’s the world we live in these days, as reporters and editors continue to do an honest day’s work serving this community.
If you believe I am being overly dramatic, I predicted back in June that these rallies could get violent.
I took my wife downtown for the annual LARAC festival, but I wanted to stop by the rally to see what it was all about. I was surprised at how ugly it was.
I took some photographs and came across a man and woman screaming at each other. It was so intense, I stopped and recorded a 30-second video.
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The man in the video was the same man who leveled the toy gun at our reporter on Saturday.
He called our reporter out by name and threatened the newspaper.
I will not name the bully again in print. He has already gotten too much publicity for his threatening behavior.
A week earlier, he was part of a group screaming epithets at a group of silent marchers who have different beliefs. On the steps of St. Mary’s, a wedding party stood there waiting for the bride to arrive as profanities rained down.
Businesses are telling our reporters that people don’t want to sit outside at local restaurants during these events.
Several said that business was slow Saturday, and a hockey game was scheduled.
Where is the outrage?
Where is the community concern?
If there was a silver lining, the online request to bring unloaded rifles to the rally was mostly ignored, except for the one bully with a toy gun.
The city of Glens Falls got out in front of this event and warned citizens of what they might find downtown Saturday as they walked to the hockey game with their kids.
Let me repeat that — with their kids.
I suspect some have just started avoiding downtown.
The Common Council is now proposing a permitting process for future events that would ban air horns, prohibit banners and ban impeding the public in any way on city sidewalks.
There is nothing wrong with peaceful demonstrations.
There is nothing wrong with making a public point, but I don’t know what that point was for the man with the toy gun.