Should such misfortune be clearly and indisputably an Act of God (well aimed meteorites, spontaneous combustion, lightning bolts, the Earth opening up and swallowing the compound and all of its occupants whole, etc.).
Obviously, I am not encouraging anyone to engage in criminal acts. Rudeness, snubbing, refusing to do business with or speak to, and general hostility, however - are pretty clearly not criminal.
Summarizing, Phelps and his band of bigots hit the national headlines initially back in the 1990's, picketing the funerals of gay men passing from AIDS, loudly proclaiming that the deceased had not only been punished by God's Wrath (AIDS, according to Phelps), but that they would burn in hell forever - and according to Phelps, this was a good thing.
Not surprisingly, many of us in the LGBT community were (and are) just a tad offended by Phelps and his band...but regrettably, nothing truly appropriate has happened to him or his, having carefully selected a community to bully that is over-blessed with pacifists and liberals.
Later, apparently emboldened by the lack of retribution(divine or earthly, darn it), Phelps and his cult of vicious bigots broadened their focus to include picketing the funerals of fallen members of U.S. Armed Forces, claiming that they too would burn in hell - due to the failure of the United States to sufficiently persecute LGBT folks.
Fortunately, the number of pacifists and liberals per capita is a bit lower in middle America...and in the towns where an awful lot of service members come from. Recently Weston, MO successfully prevented the infliction of Phelps and his inherent vileness upon their city.
Similarly, in McAlester, OK the Phelps band van tires were slashed...and oddly enough nobody in town would agree to repair them. Refusing to do business with the Phelps seems like an eminently responsible act.
Now, we have the tale of a double-amputee vet who happened to drive around behind the Phelps while he had lawfully owned guns in his car. I'm not seeing a problem here - he didn't make any threats, he didn't wave any signs, he just followed them. And without injury to the Phelps or threat thereof, finds himself charged with conspiracy to commit felony battery, and sundry trivia.
I have a suggestion for the Kansas Governor - start pardoning. Start pardoning anyone who does anything that the Phelps find offensive or hurtful. No questions asked. If the Phelps are the "victim", instant pardon. But start with Ryan Newell, who never violated any sensible interpretation of the law.
If you agree, the Governor of Kansas can be reached at:
Governor Mark Parkinson
State of Kansas
Capitol, 300 SW 10th Ave., Ste. 241S
Topeka, KS 66612-1590
Voice - 877-KSWORKS (877-579-6757)
Local - 785-296-3232
For the Hearing Impaired - 800-766-3777