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A Balanced Approach to Law Enforcement
by SNC Vice-Chairman Mark Thomey
I'd like to offer some thoughts about the recent shootings of police officers that have taken place.
I consider myself a 'law-and-order' kind of guy, and I generally respect the job done by law enforcement agents, as it is dangerous - more so now days than in times past.
I certainly do NOT condone the premeditated murder of anyone regardless of their particular vocation in life; however, I do not set a higher value on the lives of government law enforcers simply because they don a uniform and wear a badge, and I certainly do not consider them 'above the law' themselves simply because they don a uniform and wear a badge. And contrary to popular opinion these days, I do not consider all of them to be 'heroes' simply because they don a uniform and wear a badge. A man should not be called a hero until he actually does something heroic. Getting up and doing your job every day is not a heroic act, per se. Saving someone from a burning building at the risk of your own life, for example, is heroic. To call people heroes simply because they don a uniform and wear a badge is an insult to people who do perform truly heroic acts.
That being said, if you are paying attention, you can not help but notice the sharp uptick in the militarization of local and State police forces coupled with an increase in their inclination to act more like John Rambo than Andy Taylor. Most cops now days look more like they are going on a military campaign, complete with kevlar helmets, body armor, automatic weapons, and armored vehicles. It's getting harder to tell the difference between your local patrolman and someone in the 101st Airborne Division. Being confronted by a heavily armed soldier during a traffic stop is certainly more unnerving than seeing a peace officer in trousers, shirt, and smokey the bear hat approaching your vehicle. As I said, I'm a law-and-order guy, but this trend should be of concern to any reasonable person.
If the old saying about clothes making the man has any merit, then the previous paragraph should help to explain the increase in a 'harass and intimidate', as opposed to a 'protect and serve', attitude on the part of an increasing number of law enforcement agents. I've seen an alarming number of videos online over the last couple of years where folks are beaten, tazed, bloodied, and sometime killed over mundane things like wanting to know why they're being detained, or asserting their rights (which the 'law' is supposed to protect). It is for this reason that I most definitely DISAGREE with a recent comment by someone from the political class that it is never Ok to resist the police. Excuse me? If I'm not being belligerent and some cop wants to throw a beating on me, I believe I am morally and legally justified in defending myself from his 'cruel and unusual punishment'. The same holds true if I'm facing government violence against my person or property over one of their 'laws' that is contrary to Divine and/or Natural law. The Church teaches us that an unjust law is no law at all, and does not need to be complied with. To be clear, if you've been peacefully apprised of your offense, or asked to follow a reasonable and legal/just order, and then you forcibly resist, I have no problem with the cops subduing you with whatever force is required to gain compliance. And if, under said circumstances, you shoot at them, then don't be surprised when they shoot back, and any claims of, 'he didn do nuffin wrong' ring hollow.
And when a citizen is abused or killed by a law enforcement agent, there should be an independent investigation by a grand jury or some other legally constituted investigative body besides the police department. The ancient Greeks asked, who guards the guards? I'm sure I'd get a much friendlier hearing before members of my own family for some transgression than I would from an impartial group of folks to whom I'm not related either by blood or by profession. Too many times, the guards find themselves justified and innocent of wrongdoing when bad things happen to folks other than the guards. I fully realize we live in an imperfect world, and things will not always go the way we would like, but independent investigations would do a lot to restore the confidence and trust in law enforcement agents and the governments they serve that much of the public has lost as of late.
When government oppresses the people with a plethora of stupid, needless and unjust 'laws', and the solons and their enforcers become jackbooted thugs who play by a different set of rules than the ones they foist upon us, they shouldn't be surprised when people become disenchanted, angry, suspicious and rebellious. Again, I am in no way justifying or excusing barbaric or unjust acts of premeditated violence against just and legitimate authority, but I am promoting and suggesting righteous and just self-defense against unjust aggression, tyranny, and barbarity by 'the authorities'. I say this because while most of us are not part of the BLM/NBPP/social justice warrior/antifa types who are causing so much mayhem and anger right now, we are most definitely part of that class (white, Christian Southrons who dare to defend our rights, blood and soil) that some of those Ramboesque agents will be sent to disarm, arrest, and imprison - or worse. The door swings both ways Mr Policeman. So give some thought to what orders you are going to obey.
I'm sure a number of those who read this will take exception and have harsh things to say to me for having written it. That's fine. I have a thick skin. Names don't bother me. But I thought just a little bit of balance to the issue was needed. There are lots of ways the government agents could take things down a notch or two (or three or four) and still do their jobs safely and effectively.