I was going to post about the usual survival stuff today but then I decided to hop up on my soapbox and rant a little. Here goes...
Yesterday, I was shocked and dismayed to hear about a shooting involving law enforcement in a small town southwest of Seattle. Two deputies were shot and injured while the suspect and his teen aged girlfriend were killed. A little while later, I saw on the news that an officer was shot and killed in Oregon and, yet a little while later, the story of two officers being killed in Florida while serving a warrant flashed across the bottom of my TV screen. (here's the run down on all of the officer-involved shootings of the past day or so)
Which makes me ask, WTF is going on? It appears to be open season on law enforcement officers and that does not bode well for our society. Yes, there have been slight rumblings of officers "getting away with murder" (note the protests that occur in Seattle after nearly every officer involved shooting, often supporting the person who was shot), there also seems to be an uptick in the certifiably insane going off on shooting sprees. Much more often, however, criminals (we're talking those with multiple-page rap sheets) don't even seem to think twice before pulling out a weapon and shooting law enforcement officers. In fact, when a man ambushed and killed four police officers in cold blood in a town south of Seattle a little over a year ago, a group--five to six--of his family members actually tried to help him elude police. That is crazy.
When people lose respect for law and order, as represented by the use of force against law enforcement officers that are paid to uphold the law, pretty much you are on the way to society going to Hell in a hand basket (witness the situation in Mexico).
I'm sure this will give sociologists something to study and wrap their data around but the bottom line to this problem, I believe, is multi-fold. First, many young people aren't taught by their parents to respect the law, follow rules, and how, if they do have a problem with law enforcement, that there is a right way and a wrong way to follow up on a grievance (not ALL young people but there are plenty of kids in the juvenile justice system who wouldn't be there except for their crappy parents). Then there is the 'Grand Theft Auto' and other video games where players are "rewarded" for shooting law enforcement officers. It's also a fact that actions that receive a lot of publicity spur copy cats (after the OJ car chase that was broadcast nationwide, there was an explosion of people who wanted similar "fame" via car chases caught on camera on the LA freeways). Maybe there are just a whole bunch of desperate, frustrated people out there.
I came across this link where people actually debate this very question.
This is not a road I want to see our society go down. There are plenty of countries where being in law enforcement is like wearing a rather large target on your back. Unfortunately, these are the very same countries where there is quite a lot of lawlessness and very little justice for any one...not the kind of place I would want to live.
I know quite a few law enforcement officers. There are a few that I would have to agree shouldn't be able to own a weapon let alone have a job in law enforcement but the vast majority are good guys (and gals) who are really in the job because they want to make a positive difference in their communities. It is a difficult job in many aspects; they deal with probably the worst people that society has to offer, and they need to make split-second, potentially life-altering decisions on a regular basis. They want to be cordial and polite to everyone they come in contact with, yet they know that there is an element in society that would just as soon punch them, or worse, shoot them, if they give them any leeway at all. Unless you are in law enforcement, you can't possibly understand all of the intricacies of the job.
On the other hand, the public perception of law enforcement seems to be teetering on a wire. It's pretty much a given that law enforcement will back up law enforcement no matter what they do. There have been a handful of shootings in Seattle that have been labeled as "justified" which in the public's mind clearly weren't.
Something needs to be done about this. I have no idea what that "something" might be, but I don't see a positive turn around to this problem. In fact, I see this as yet another step towards TEOTWAWKI, or some such thing...