At 04:38 PM 1/20/01 +0100, denis wrote:
>At the bottom line, you're a bunch of scared people. You seem to think that
>conflicts matter; I think they don't. You seem to think that who wins
>matters; I don't. And most of all, you probably don't see how this attitude
>of yours reinforces a cold, adversary society.
Conflicts matter greatly to those embroiled in them. If someone comes up to
you and demands your wife, life, child, or money, what do you do? Even in
the most "advanced" societies there are sociopaths who will provide the
conflicts you don't want to consider.
>I think your attitude is the original reason why you have a police you need
>to be afraid of; not the reverse.
We were not always "afraid" of our police.
Police powers here have grown steadily in the same proportion that laws
limiting freedom have been passed. 100 years ago, there were one or two
peace officers in a normal small town, and they provided services such as
rattling the door knobs on businesses at night, and breaking up fights.
With the advent of motor vehicles, we also added a new class of police -
traffic cops. These police do not interact with the people except when they
stop someone for violation of any of thousands of petty laws. True, they do
sometimes remove actively dangerous drivers from the roads, but by and
large they are a highly visible threat to the everyday driver.
Our legislatures have required these police to enforce ever more strict and
picayune regulations. Some of the officers hired have attitude problems and
see all of the public as potential criminals. Because of these factors, the
public by and large now fears the police, rather than respects them.
My father was a Chicago cop from the late 1930's until 1964. He walked a
beat and was well known in his assigned neighborhood. If he found a
youngster getting into trouble, most likely he would take the miscreant
home to his parents rather than jail the kid.
By the time he retired, "beat cops" had been replaced with squad cars.
There was little interaction between the police and the public.
The race and "peace" riots of the 1960's turned the public's admiration to
the police largely to distrust, if not outright disgust. Recent federal
police actions such as Ruby Ridge and Waco have done the same for the BATF
Guns are not the reason we fear our cops today. We fear what they have, and
are, becoming, and those same guns now become ever more important to our
remaining a free society.
This archive was generated by hypermail 2b30 : Mon May 28 2001 - 09:56:21 MDT