News of one of many tragedies involving the police has recently hit the conservative blogosphere. Unlike most of them, however, while the bloodshed was wrong and avoidable, it didn’t involve arrogant cops but ones who at least initially, were horrified by their own mistake. (Or so I am assuming due to an eyewitness statement that an officer was sobbing uncontrollably; it may turn out that the Police Department circles the wagons and spreads misinformation.) This gives us an opportunity to think about who the police should be and how they should be trained, as opposed to how most of them are being trained today.
A 72-year-old man in a Fort Worth residential area heard his neighbor’s alarm go off. So he went to check out the problem. As an American who had a history of owning a firearm, in a national culture with a heritage of owning and carrying firearms, and a Founding law restraining the government from ever interfering with the private ownership and carrying of firearms, he took his handgun with him.
The police killed him on his own property, in his own garage. He was shot in the chest six times.
This is a plain instance and demonstration of the state usurping a natural function of society and then attacking what is left of that natural function in society so that society is ever dependent on the state. Neighbors have come to help their neighbors since before there was a United States, and have used firearms as tools to do so. The original police were simply people hired by a community to aid the people in doing what the people could and did already do: protect one another from harm.
But, since the police have been more or less absorbed into the state and federal governmental system, especially since the war on terror, there is suddenly a problem. Rather than being helps to a self-governing and self-policing society where everyone has the right to bear arms, citizens outside the police force are more and more viewed as if they were “civilians” (making the police into soldiers despite the actual law of the land). Police more and more trained to see themselves as constantly threatened by any person with a gun.
It doesn’t have to be this way. On August 1, 1966, Charles Whitman attacked people as a sniper from the tower in the University of Austen, TX campus. A public safety officer loaned a rifle to a “civilian,” Allen Crum. He joined three police officers and they cooperated in taking out Whitman. His name is on a plaque “Tower Heroes” plaque to this day.
So it is possible for police to be recruited and trained to serve in a society that really has a Second Amendment. The only alternative, however, will be to use the police to de facto marginalize the Second Amendment. If I can’t carry a firearm without the fear that the police can gun me down and get away with it, then the Second Amendment is being violated.
Our police need to protect us as men and women who look after ourselves, not as their sheep.