The horrific shooting of two cops in NYC last night will be addressed rapidly and powerfully, with the help of the wind-up-toy outrage machine of political punditry. Police chiefs will demand bigger guns, better vests and increased protection for their rank-and-file as a result of this dastardly act.
It is likely that many citizens will now buy more guns, (since that tends to be their reaction to virtually everything) not for the purpose of actually protecting themselves from some erstwhile threat, but rather because, in their heart of hearts, they like having lots of guns in case they see an excuse to kill one of these, err, ahh, thugs. (Wink, wink).
Although the killing of cops is certainly horrible, it is not worse than the killing of innocent, unarmed kids in the streets. In some ways, it’s not even equal.
Cops become cops voluntarily. They are highly trained and given expensive weaponry. They also get a decent paycheck. To suggest, as is often heard, that their sole purpose is to protect us, is a bit of an exaggeration. Cops become cops because they want to have the state-sanctioned power that comes with it. Where else, other than in a war zone, can you be issued tactical training, a badge and uniform, and lots and lots of weaponry with which to do your job? In what other profession can you simply order a citizen to do something at your discretion, and have the legal right to detain them, and in some cases, injure them if they refuse, as was done to Eric Garner with the choke-hold in NYC? Anyone who believes that this is not an important fringe benefit of being a cop is naïve at best and delusional at worst. If your only desire is to help people, you can just as easily become an EMT. Cops become cops for lots of other, rarely named reasons. One of them is power. That power comes with a price.
Cops know, from the day they leave the academy, that they will be targeted by certain people. This is why they are issued substantial weaponry and self-defense training. Unarmed black kids walking home from a high-school dance are not afforded the same protection. There is no institutionalized system of training innocent black kids to protect themselves from racist cops.
When someone walks up to a cop in a car and kills him, that person is demonstrating the lowest level of humanity there can be-the killing of innocents. But that is not worse than when a cop kills a kid-as some would have us believe. The life of a policeman or woman is not more valuable than a black teenager walking home with a bag of Skittles. They are equally valuable.
It is the situation in Ferguson and other places that will cause the militant crazies to come out and start killing cops. But how different is this than when the trailer-park commandos came out to defend Cliven Bundy’s refusal to pay taxes on the government land he uses for free. Sure, no one got killed during that stand-off, but that is only because the US Marshals backed down in order to avoid bloodshed. These low-rent mouth-breathing gun lovers were openly threatening to kill government law enforcement officers over something that they believed in, AND NOT A SINGLE ONE WAS ARRESTED! How different are they from the maniacs who will now come out of the woodwork to kill cops in NYC over what they believe in? What’s the difference, other than the skin color of those with their fingers on the trigger?
The difference is that those protesting nationally are protesting the killing of innocent kids. The idiots on Cliven Bundy’s ranch were protesting the use of land to graze cattle. Does anyone sense a bit of a valuation problem here? To many in this country it is justified to use violence or the threat of violence to defend some ill-understood constitutional freedom. But when it comes to protesting the killing innocent black kids, well, for some reason that just doesn’t rise to the same level, does it?
Those who do kill cops will justify their actions by citing all the innocents who are killed by cops, all those who are sent to the electric chair for crimes they didn’t commit and the humiliation via stop and frisk laws suffered by an oppressed group of people. That is not a justifiable excuse, but it is the excuse that they will use. And it is the killing of so many young black kids that is triggering it.
When an innocent person is killed by a cop, or a cop wannabe, the justification machine will come out in full force and display irrelevant facts, such as the fact that Travon Martin had smoked pot or that Michael Brown may have stolen a pack of cigars from a convenience store. They will also cite witnesses who testify in front of grand juries about Michael Brown’s stance when approaching the cop, only to have the prosecutor in the case admit that this particular witness was not even in the area when the shooting happened.
Those in charge will use this information to justify the actions of and exonerate the cops or other white citizens who killed these primarily black kids. But there is no quid pro quo. The families of these kids, as well as others, who live in their neighborhoods and are scared to walk around at night for fear of violence from cops, have no recourse other than to protest in the streets and, for this as well, they are vilified. Hate them because they’re black, and hate them more for protesting the fact that you hate them because they’re black.
The people who are killed by errant cops have no police union presidents to defend them. They can’t demand bigger guns or better bullet-proof vests to help protect them from the cops. Cops, on the other hand, have all these things available to them, and will use them. That’s for sure.