You Steal Freedom Of Speech When You Steal Yard Signs


Recently there have been many political signs associated with the Republican Party stolen off private and public properties. 

I know that these, and other escapades, have been going on since the beginning of political campaigning in America. “It’s just a $5 sign,” you might say, “This is a harmless prank.” But the issue is actually much bigger than cost.

When a perpetrator steals these signs, he is infringing on the First Amendment right of freedom of speech and expression from the victim. This type of behavior is abhorrent; shame on the person or people stifling another citizen’s right to free speech–the right to support the candidate of their choice. 

Removing a political sign is a petty misdemeanor larceny; that is to say, it is, in fact, a criminal act. I urge everyone to be vigilant and look out for the theft of political signs. If any go missing, report it to the police department. Political campaign sign theft is not the kind of behavior we want to ignore and allow. Los Alamos considers itself an intellectual community; we boast of having the highest number of PhDs per capita in the United States. Shouldn’t we (of all towns!) be capable of “agreeing to disagree” on political lines without stooping to the puerile, repugnant and illegal behavior of stealing campaign signs?

I am asking for the people of Los Alamos County to respect others and practice the golden rule, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”  With everything going on in the world, do we really need one more thing to worry about? This is really not the time for these small-minded actions, nor is this a path we want to take as a society.

Please remember, the importance of free expression and the right to endorse and promote our candidates are a large part of our electoral tradition and a valuable part of a free society. We do not want to live in a culture where we cannot openly support our candidate of choice; where different opinions are censored and where diversity is repressed. American democracy is not demonstrated by resorting to the theft of property and the barring of free speech.

Thank you for your time and don’t forget to vote.

Heather Muck