Friday, July 22, 2016

Only Guns Matter

On the CBS news tonight there were two videos that showed police officers exhibiting violent attacks on people with absolutely no provocation.  (http://www.cbsnews.com/videos/austin-officers-investigated-for-disturbing-arrest-video/) (http://www.cnn.com/2016/07/21/us/miami-officer-involved-shooting/index.html)  (https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2016/07/21/fla-police-shoot-black-man-with-his-hands-up-as-he-tries-to-help-)  It's hard to judge which is the most outrageous - the man lying on the ground with his hands in the air, who still got shot by the officer; or the one where the officer threw a slight, 120 lb. woman to the ground not once, but twice, after a traffic stop.  There is no report that she threatened this police officer with a gun or other weapon.  Her only weapon was the color of her skin.  The health-care worker stretched full-length on the pavement tried explaining that he presented no danger to the officer. We can hear his words on the video.  He asked the officer later, "Why did you shoot me?"  The officer's answer?  "I don't know."

What in the world has happened to law enforcement?

I think the answer is that the Republican party in conjunction with the NRA has encouraged every American to carry a gun.  (https://www.theguardian.com/world/2012/apr/13/nra-weakened-gun-control-laws)  States have open-carry laws where a police officer has no idea whether the person with a weapon is a "good guy" or a "bad guy." (http://blogs.wsj.com/numbers/map-where-is-open-carry-legal-1715/)  Even Chiefs of Police have spoken up against open-carry, saying that it makes their job much more difficult.  (http://www.latimes.com/nation/la-na-dallas-chief-20160711-snap-story.html)  Years ago, when an officer stopped someone for speeding or running a stop sign, they didn't really have to worry much that the driver might pull out a Glock and start shooting.  Now they do.  When law enforcement is operating in fear of their lives, they preempt violence with more violence.  The rule now is "shoot first, ask questions later."

Unfortunately, sometimes the weapon carried by a 12-year-old turns out to be a toy.  And chances are the murderer - and, make no mistake, this child was murdered - will never face any consequences.  (http://www.nytimes.com/2015/01/23/us/in-tamir-rice-shooting-in-cleveland-many-errors-by-police-then-a-fatal-one.html?_r=0)  Because he is a protected class - the ones who wear a uniform and a badge.  There are a myriad of reasons why law enforcement officers are not charged and convicted, even when a video exists that shows unarmed men being shot in the back while running away from the officer. (http://www.washingtonpost.com/sf/investigative/2015/04/11/thousands-dead-few-prosecuted/)

If you are still naive enough to listen to politicians for information, you will hear that all the violence we see on the evening news is due to ISIS.  That in some way it's all related to terrorism.  This is the coward's reasoning.  If you can blame the death of so many Americans on some foreign entity in a turban, then you do not have to face the consequences of your own inaction.  So many times Congress has been asked to take even one small step for our country, one small step to keep assault weapons out of the hands of those who want to kill.  But no, the problem is ISIS.

Therefore, those susceptible to persuasion begin to believe that every time they leave their house some crazed Muslim is going to start spraying their local Starbucks with armor-piercing bullets shot from an AR-15.  So they need to buy an AR-15 so they can shoot back and not hit any innocent person, but only the dark-skinned madman.

Finally, it seems that "Black Lives Don't Matter," "Blue Lives Don't Matter,"  "Gay Lives Don't Matter," "First Grade Lives Don't Matter," "Bible Study Member Lives Don't Matter," "College Student Lives Don't Matter," "Movie Goer Lives Don't Matter".  Only "Guns Matter."
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