- The Washington Times - Friday, June 17, 2011

The rioting of hockey fans in Vancouver, British Columbia, following the deciding game of the Stanley Cup championship proves again that violence begets violence (“Nearly 150 hurt in Vancouver riot following loss,” Web, Sports, Thursday).

Hockey is a sport in which voyeurs delight in their idols pummeling the heads of members of the opposing team, something the league tolerates because of the practice’s wide appeal. Riots are never reported after a virtuoso pianist performs or when an art-gallery show premieres.

Naturally, a segment of the people who lap up the thuggery of hockey will take to the streets to express themselves in a deviant manner when their team wins or loses. The fact that rioting related to violent sports is predictable after a championship game means that the crime has come to be accepted and trivialized.

Those who loot and burn and attack law enforcement officers are domestic terrorists, and they should be treated as such. If the Vancouver rioters could be certain to spend 10 years in jail or risked being shot while acting out in the streets, I would wager that the beastly criminal behavior would end. When we tolerate anarchy, we can expect more of it.

OREN M. SPIEGLER

Upper Saint Clair, Pa.