When Republics Fall

…they start to look a lot like this:

The Ferguson, MO, riot police. Oh, wait…










Wrong photo. Here are the actual Ferguson, MO, police in action:

One could be forgiven for confusing the two.

I don’t cite this because I’m against law and order. I cite this because the militarization of our police forces has frightened the hell out of me for a long time. This is just the latest and most egregious example.

Let’s have a quick mental exercise. When people who already have tremendous power over our lives start tooling up like SEALs, what kind of mentality do you think they’re going to adopt:

1) Serve and Protect?


2) Kick Ass and Take Names?

My money’s on option 2, and current events are proving that choice correct. Let’s recall that this whole sickening episode began with what appears to be a completely unjustified shooting of a black college kid by a police officer. It’s tragic, it’s outrageous, and it’s becoming all too common. Trigger fingers are getting too itchy out there and cops are forgetting that OUR safety is supposed to be their priority, not their own. In some cases, they put their own convenience above the safety of the citizens they’re supposed to protect.

Like journalists. While they as a group largely deserve most of the scorn heaped upon them, they do not deserve to be arrested for doing their jobs. Nor do homeowners deserve to be tear-gassed in the face for standing in their own front yards because the police don’t like being yelled at by an angry populace.

A cop shoots an unarmed kid in the back, so people protest. It would be understandable if it had ended right there. But naturally, protests turned to riots because too many people behave like they just came out of a Jerry Springer audience rather than the progeny of a nation built on liberty enabled by rational thought and sober debate.

So the people riot and the cops overreact because, hey, we’ve got all that cool Spec Ops kit out back so we might as well put it to good use. Right?

So the cops overreact, and the people riot some more.

And now the federal government sticks their nose in it, declaring the area a no-fly zone because the police claim one of their helicopters was shot at. Which is absurd on its face: what good will a no-fly zone do for that problem unless the people are sending up their own air-to-air interceptors?

It’s a farce, of course, as the real targets are undoubtedly the news helicopters which would otherwise be happily recording everything.

Our nation is a tinderbox surrounded by fools playing with lit matches.

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