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By the Frankfort State Journal

What started with the singing of the complete lyrics of “The Star Spangled Banner” at May 24’s Patriots Day/Second Amendment Rally on the back Capitol lawn escalated when several attendees suspended Gov. Andy Beshear in effigy holding a sign reading “Sic Semper Tyrannis” — translated as “Thus always to tyrants” — from a nearby tree.

Rightly so, the group’s actions drew sharp criticism on social media from both Democratic and Republican elected leaders.

“This is sickening, and I condemn it. We have to learn to disagree without threats of violence,” said Republican Attorney General Daniel Cameron.

In a statement the House Democratic leadership, including Rep. Derrick Graham, D-Frankfort, said hanging the effigy just a short walk from where the governor and his family live is “an act that reeks of hate and intimidation.”

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Whitney Westerfield, R-Hopkinsville, echoed those sentiments, adding, “This awfulness has no place in civil society.”

We couldn’t agree more. While we wholeheartedly believe in the right to protest, it must be done in a peaceful and respectful manner. Neither of which was on display when protesters marched right up to the front door of the Governor’s Mansion.

Video shows rally-goers, some of whom were armed with guns, sidestepping a chain roping off access to the mansion as they made their way to the front porch of the home Beshear shares with his wife and two young children and chanted “Come out, Andy” and “Resign, Andy.”

Protesting at the Capitol — a public place — is one thing. But this group kicked it up a notch and made it personal by taking the rally to the governor’s residence, which is almost as troubling as the effigy.

Obviously the shin-high chain and sign of no admittance aren’t doing an effective job of keeping away unwanted Governor’s Mansion visitors.

Regardless of whether Beshear and his family were at home on Sunday, protesters should never have been allowed to get that close — armed or not. Everyone, including elected leaders, has a right to feel safe in their homes.

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