The off and then on again meeting this week of the Bulverde Area Republican Women’s group is a microcosm of a struggle that’s taking place all across the country — and one that shouldn’t be.

The  GOP group brought in a member of an organization that works along the Texas/Mexico border in what it sees as an effort to combat illegal immigration and help the authorities.

In the wake of the shooting that killed 22 in El Paso — a shooting that authorities say was deliberately targeted at Hispanics and in response to the immigration issue — some local opposition activists took issue with the topic and the timing.

Some of those people reached out to The Herald-Zeitung — and we’re sure other media outlets — indicating that they were planning to protest and make an issue of the visit.

There is nothing wrong with that. The idea of speaking up in opposition or protesting with signs in front of an event is about as American an ideal as you can get.

What shouldn’t happen, and what all sides must reject, is anything that crosses the line into threats against people or property. Having your say is one thing. Making people fearful to attend a meeting, or hold a meeting is something different. It’s damaging and dangerous.

If people leveled threats at the Republican group, they should be held accountable for those actions, and they should be turned over to law enforcement.

If there were no threats, the meeting — which was moved to a secret location — should have gone on as planned, perhaps with additional security. Worries about negative publicity or media scrutiny shouldn’t guide these decisions.

We should all be able to agree to disagree ­— even if that disagreement is loud, angry and public.

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