DAVE ROSS

Ross: Be careful what you tell an angry crowd of rioters

May 24, 2021, 7:09 AM | Updated: 10:02 am
Crowd of rioters, January, Epik6, Capitol, officers...
Rioters at the U.S. Capitol on January 6. (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

About 400 people now face charges for the assault on the U.S. Capitol on January 6, and the Associated Press has been collecting their stories – including the story of Christopher Ray Grider, who said that when he came to Washington that day it was definitely not to join a riot.

Yet when the mob surged past the police and broke the windows, he found himself inside the building with a yellow “Don’t Tread on Me” flag around his neck as lawmakers ran for cover. And video showed him right up front as a crowd rushed the doors of the House of Representatives.

But he’s not some troublemaker, he claims. He’s a former schoolteacher from Texas who owns a winery. According to his attorney, he was just caught up the hysteria.

Other defendants say the same. The crowd just funneled them into the building; they couldn’t pull back; they were overwhelmed by the moment, to the point they couldn’t help but take selfies.

I think we all know that this can happen.

When I was at the Paul McCartney concert at KeyArena a few years back, I got caught up in the moment and waved my cell phone flashlight back and forth like an idiot.

In fact, I’ll bet some of the people arrested during the riots in and around our own Capitol Hill here in Seattle will also argue they got caught up in the moment, and therefore had no choice but to throw things and smash windows.

Whether it’s true or not, it ought to remind leaders who organize demonstrations that when they create that crowd, they are creating an organism that very often develops a mind of its own. That’s why it’s important to be careful what you tell them.

As for the people who claim they “got caught up in the moment,” I think a good rule of thumb for life in general is that if you find yourself in a crowd full of shouting people and you’re not holding a ticket stub for an organized sports event, get the heck out of there before something gets into you, and you lose your free will.

I hear it can even happen to very fine people.

Listen to Seattle’s Morning News weekday mornings from 5 – 9 a.m. on KIRO Radio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.

Dave Ross on KIRO Radio 97.3 FM
  • listen to dave rossTune in to KIRO Radio weekdays at 5am for Dave Ross on Seattle's Morning News.

Dave's Commentary

Dave Ross

unemployment...
Dave Ross

Ross: The real reason people don’t want to return to work

The extra unemployment benefits were cut off in September and most states elected not to continue them. Yet, millions of workers are still holding out.
2 days ago
Shatner, space...
Dave Ross

Ross: Shatner’s emotional response over trip to space exactly what we needed to hear

Space travel is a trip that every billionaire who thinks he’s a master of the universe needs to take as soon as possible.
3 days ago
Airlines...
Dave Ross

Ross: Choosing the fully-vaccinated airline that makes you feel safest

Two airlines – Southwest and American –both based in Texas, have decided to stick with their plans to require employees to get vaccinated.
4 days ago
Jan. 6, US Capitol...
MyNorthwest Staff

Committee investigating Jan. 6 pushes for details from White House aides

Washington Post's David Fahrenthold discusses the investigation into Jan. 6, with subpoenas now sent to some of former President Trump's closest aides.
5 days ago
TikTok...
Dave Ross

Ross: Down the rabbit hole as TikTok challenges take on life of their own

Just remember kids, you’re responsible for your conduct no matter what website put you up to it, whether it's TikTok or somewhere else.
5 days ago
Merck's...
MyNorthwest Staff

Mercer Island MD: New accessible COVID treatment is ‘necessary step’

A new COVID-19 treatment is on the horizon. Merck’s new COVID treatment — available in pill form — has been submitted to the FDA.
6 days ago

Sponsored Articles

...

How to Have a Stress-Free Real Estate Experience

The real estate industry has adapted and sellers are taking full advantage of new real estate models. One of which is Every Door Real Estate.
...
IQ Air

How Poor Air Quality Is Affecting Our Future Athletes

You cannot control your child’s breathing environment 100% of the time, but you can make a huge impact.
...
Swedish Health Services

Special Coverage: National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month

There are a wide variety of treatment options available for men with prostate cancer. The most technologically advanced treatment option in the Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform.
...
Marysville Police Department

Police Opportunities in a Growing, Supportive Washington Community

Marysville PD is looking for both lateral and entry level officers. Begin or continue your career in law enforcement for a growing, supportive community.
...
Comcast

Small, Minority-Owned Businesses in King County and Pierce County Can Now Apply For $10,000 Relief Grants Through Comcast RISE

Businesses in King County and Pierce County can apply beginning on October 1, 2021, at www.ComcastRISE.com for a chance to receive a $10,000 relief grant.
Courtesy of JWatch Photography....
Experience Anacortes

Summer Fun Activities in Anacortes

With minimal travel time required and every activity under the sun, Anacortes is the perfect vacation spot for all ages.
Ross: Be careful what you tell an angry crowd of rioters