Monday, December 28, 2015

Police Under the Gun

I wade into the subject of police shootings very reluctantly. But since I haven't waded into anything on the blog in more than a month, it might be a good idea to say something.

This is one of those "no win" subjects, from what I've been able to discern from the various media I've watched, read, etc. People have their viewpoints on this one, and they're not likely to be swayed by much I'd say. Especially those who have a personal, vested interest in the issue.

Police are human beings who have families and loved ones. The ones who get shot by police (or the ones who shoot at and sometimes hit/kill an officer have families and loved ones. There's plenty of grief to go around.

It should go without saying that we all know that, like any human institution, there are "bad apples" and bad characters. But with that given, most police officers I have known (and I've known some quite well and are personal friends) are dedicated to their professions. They hit the road every day and night never knowing for certain if they'll come home again. Their wives, husbands, and children know it too.

When someone gets shot and killed, it's a tragedy all the way around. If a police officer is forced to draw a weapon and fire, it's a tragedy. When someone does an "I shot the sheriff," it's a tragedy. But as tragic as these tragedies are, there is one factor that incenses me, and it always has. It's the individuals and activist groups - professional agitators - who have a vested interest in keeping gasoline on the fire. Instead of trying to calm things down, to bring peace and work things out in a rational balanced manner, they instead use the grief and anger of other people to make money, to get their faces on television, and use the issue as a bludgeon to get their way on a host of other matters. And they're usually left-wing matters.

I know how police are trained. When you are told to do something by a police officer, you do it. If there is an issue or rights violation of some kind, there are right, legal channels to address it later. But you comply. If you do not comply, it is THEIR JOB AND THEIR TRAINING to force compliance. That means if they have to take you down hard, they will take you down hard. And most of all, if you dare draw a weapon on them - gun, knife, baseball bat, anything else, your chances of being fatally shot just went up exponentially. This applies to any person, and ethnic makeup is irrelevant. I can guarantee you - if I were to pull a gun or a knife on a police officer, they would respond to the threat accordingly and do what they have to do to bring me under control or end the threat. Again, THAT IS THEIR TRAINING.

Outside of the "bad apples," whom I believe are a minority, most officers will do their best to try and de-escalate a situation and get it under control. They do not want to have to use their gun, their taser, their batons, tear gas, etc. They simply want you to comply with what you are told to do. Comply, and in the vast majority of cases there will be no problem.

I watch some of these very sad shooting incidents. Some of them have been genuine police abuse and that needs to be addressed. I'd say it often is addressed and the officers in question are fired and charged when warranted. In other cases, the eventual investigation vindicates the police, except to those who already have a ginned up ax to grind, and no exculpatory evidence will matter. They're in full lung protest mode and they won't stop screeching until they get their way. Nothing will satisfy them. Nothing.

How about teaching your children and teenagers NOT to pull firearms on a police officer? How about not rioting and setting businesses on fire? How about not going after police with a baseball bat or other weapons when they get called to your neighborhood because of some commotion? Good parenting and insisting your children obey the law would really help. Keeping families together and having a father and mother in the home and IN CONTROL would help.

The police need to examine and re-examine some things also. What are their policies about deadly use of force? What about when they are confronting a situation when a subject may have a mental issue? What methods short of lethal force can be used to bring the subject into custody for treatment or other adjudication? Police yourselves, and if you know you have a bad apple or two on your force, get them out of there. Now.

Now the elephant in the room. So much of this of late has been tied to racism. I've heard more of racism in the last seven years of the Obama Administration than I've heard in my life. And it angers me. At HIM. Instead of being a healer and a unifying figure, which we all wanted him to be and that he could have done so easily, he instead cannonballed right into his agitating, Alinskyite, "community organizing" methods and ripped the country up. He pitted people against each other instead of bringing them together.

I know I'll probably have the racist epithet thrown at me. Don't bother. I ignore it with the contempt it deserves. Even though I am a conservative and did not vote for Obama because of that - it was his far left liberalism that turned me off, not his race - I did have high hopes at first for his presidency. I was proud that America had made so much progress and elected an African-American to the highest office in the land. I didn't expect to agree with everything he did, but I had hoped that he would prove to be a moderating, unifying figure. On that, along with much else, he disappointed. His presidency is more of a tragedy for the African-American community than they realize. He's been such a disaster that there may be great reluctance to vote for another. Unless of course, minority demographics overrule and growing minorities vote for one SIMPLY BECAUSE they are a minority rather than whether they'll be a good president and good for the country.

I could vote for Dr. Thomas Sowell. I could vote for Dr. Ben Carson. I could vote for Clarence Thomas should he leave the Supreme Court and run for president. I could vote for Herman Cain. There are a number of great African-American leaders out there who would want more than anything else to heal the land and be a unifier. But instead, we got a radical activist with a pen and a phone who has done very little but agitate and be as divisive as he possibly could.

Barack Obama might be able to spend some of that energy he spends on attacking his opponents and wanting to rob people of their firearm rights and do some work dealing with the issues in the African-American community that are the root of many of the problems that exist. The breakdown of the family. High crime. Unemployment. And you can find quite a few African-American pastors and other leaders who will say that. These thoughts didn't originate with an ex-media occasional political and social commentator.

My heart just breaks tonight. For the black families who lost loved ones. For the police officers out there who have been falsely charged, and have to pay the price because one or two of their number proved to be unworthy of their badges. It breaks for the country because we continue to be torn apart.

Ultimately the Gospel is the answer. Repentance is the answer. Forgiveness is the answer. But that is a message more and more people don't want to hear. It will take a miracle of God to save this country. And this country may well have run out of the sand in its hourglass.