On April 27 in this blog, commenting on training at the International Law Enforcement Educators and Trainers Association, I pointed out that some of the instructors saw “Mumbai coming to the USA” and mentioned the roles of both first-responder cops and armed citizens at mass-murder sites. Since then, Osama bin Laden has been whacked, and the wire services have reported, “Al-Qaida’s plots are usually large-scale and involve planning over months or even years. But Western intelligence officials say they are seeing increased chatter about cheap, small-scale attacks – perhaps by individuals or small extremist groups inspired to take revenge for the killing (of bin Laden).” It turns out that those ILEETA instructors were prescient.
Unfortunately, for the last couple of weeks this corner of the Backwoods Home blogs somehow got turned into a cop-bashing fest. I’ve deleted no commentary, and have tried to avoid repeating good points made by many posters, and I haven’t individually answered every comment. In my last blog entry here, I answered some of the questions raised by critics. Some more have come up since on commentary, so I’ll address those now.
“Isn’t militarization of police reflected in their changed uniforms? BDUs?” For cops, Battle Dress Uniform means mainly…cargo pants. Cops need pockets. The change was frankly overdue: dress uniforms aren’t practical for manhunts in the woods or searching the swamps for lost kids. The still-incomplete changeover from spiffy Sam Browne belts to fabric utility belts reduces weight constantly carried around the waist, which is one reason so many cops retire on disability with lower back problems. Blood-borne pathogens also wash out of nylon much more easily than they clean off of leather.
“We don’t mind you having AR15s, we just don’t want you pointing them at little old ladies on traffic stops.” Uh…we DON’T. If you find a cop doing that, let me know. Let his boss know, too.
“We resent cops being able to get fully automatic weapons more easily than us.” Um, that’s been the case since the National Firearms Act of 1934, and it’s just now constituting a “militarization of the police”? Please. Good Lord, wait ‘til folks like that find out that soldiers and Marines have machine guns, too…will they fear and distrust all of them, as well?
One commentator mentioned that some of the other Backwoods Home writers have published anti-authoritarian essays and asked if I considered them cop-haters, too. No, of course not: none of them to my knowledge has ever said that all cops are to be feared and are unworthy of trust, as so many commentators have said here.
My take on the several YouTube video clips sent along? Analyzing video is a separate topic in and of itself. By definition, each camera gets only one angle of view at any given moment…the two dimensional eye of the camera lacks the often-critical third dimension of depth…what went before and after is lost to the camera…and if people don’t know what to look for, it’s human nature that they won’t see it. If anyone would care to debate that, I’d be happy to offer a tutorial with examples.
Thanks to Big Tex and the others who have injected an articulate, much needed dose of reality here. One blog reader implied that he lost faith in all cops when one of his friends, a policeman, told him he thought the world broke down into cops and everybody else. The reader thought, rightly, that was horrible. It has appalled me for these two weeks to see how many people said that because one cop might be bad, they had to assume that all cops were bad. And dammit, that’s just as horrible.
Some folks need to wake up and smell the hypocrisy.