Director, Commonwealth Policy Center

A bill that would increase penalties for violent targeting of first responders and law enforcement officers passed the state House last week by a wide margin, but not before a disruptive protest in the House gallery. The bill was dubbed "Blue Lives Matter." It's a response to the brutal targeting of police officers across the country. State Rep. Robert Benvenuti said "The message you will send with a yes vote today is that you will not tolerate the hunting of first responders, of the men and women who will come and lay down their lives for you.” Yet, while legislators were voting, about 20 people in the gallery began shouting down legislators before they were escorted out by state police. Such laws need not be viewed through a racial lens, but rather the lens of right and wrong.