I have been reflecting on the recent incident in California in which two police officers were shot in the head while sitting in their car. The incident happened, according to all accounts, without provocation. The provocation was just being police officers, as far as we know at this point.
As if this cowardly attack were not outrage enough, the
“people” bipeds who shot the officers reportedly tried to block the medics or whoever from getting the wounded officers into the hospital for treatment. The miscreants were chanting “We hope you die”, and similar callous taunts.
Is this what we’ve come to as a society?
But in the wake of this, I’ve been reading comments here and there, and it’s depressing to see that so many people are just fine with the kind of sentiments expressed by the shooters — because there is such a widespread hatred of police as a group. Now, I know that there are and have always been people who dislike, resent, and possibly fear police. But it seems that now there are far more people with a pretty intense hatred of police, so that they think these wounded officers deserve what they got.
When these insurrectionists and the far-left radical governors and mayors started the demand for ”de-funding the police” or even abolishing police, I was taken aback, to put it mildly, when so many people thought that was a great idea, and now there are quite a few people clamoring for abolishing the police, even people on the right.
So it almost seems from where I sit that some on the “right” (many libertarians, and a lot of people who just hate cops) are almost in harmony with the left on this issue. I’ve just been reading many online articles addressing the question ‘Why do we hate the police so much’?
In this time of so much disorder and chaos, is it really wise to want to remove police departments from the equation? How will the rampaging left react to a sudden absence of law enforcement?
Then I’ve wondered just how and why this anti-police movement seems to be gaining momentum, and just why there is such widespread feeling of loathing towards LEOs now when previously it was not this intense.
It’s a given that there are bad people in every group; this world is imperfect, and will always be so. There are ‘bad’ cops, cops who are corrupt, or brutal. Because — guess what? — we’re all sinners. We are all imperfect or flawed to some degree: some only to a small degree, others thoroughly so.
Only the idiotic left expects that a Utopia can be created out of flawed people and institutions. There is room for improvement; police departments need to be ‘cleaned up’, and I don’t mean more social engineering (more female cops and leadership, more draconian politically correct rules, no, not that.) But things could be improved without throwing the baby out with the bathwater. So why is cop-hatred apparently at an all-time high?
For disclosure’s sake I do have a relative in law enforcement, and that person does not fit the stereotype of the corrupt or bullying or otherwise ‘bad’ cop.
I know that many people whose work involves contact with criminals or suspects become understandably hardened, just by the stress and danger involved, and because they have to deal with aggressive, sometimes violent, often abusive and troublesome suspects or perpetrators. This will harden all but the most patient and saintly.
The majority of the stories I’ve heard from people who had some kind of interaction with police (pulled over or arrested, etc.) swear that they did nothing wrong, and that the police treated them roughly or rudely. I’ve heard all varieties of the stories from people who saw themselves as victims of the police, who are supposed to be on ‘our side.’
I think more people see police as The Enemy, in part because more people are probably violating laws these days because of generally libertine ideas about ‘rights’, and so on. A lot more people are using recreational drugs, thus seeing police as their enemy who wants to deprive them of their ‘rights’, which they interpret a lot more broadly than used to be the case. People probably violate traffic laws more frequently as well. People just aren’t as scrupulous at obeying laws as they were a couple of generations ago, and there is also a general lack of respect for anybody in authority.
In past eras children were taught that police officers were their ‘friends’ and that if you were in any kind of trouble or need, you could seek out a police officer to help you. And children were taught to show respect not just to policemen but to adults in general. That’s mostly a thing of the past. Defiant and rebellious attitudes are not uncommon now. Of course the world is a different place today, in which adults
represent potential danger to children. There is less trust, and for a reason.
Still, I can’t help but conclude that the hatred of police is not a healthy thing, when you look at the larger picture. The cop-hatred seems as though it’s rooted ultimately in the adolescent resentment of all adult authority; as adolescents we don’t want anyone to interfere with our fun and the ‘right’ to express ourselves in any way we choose.
There have been a number of books by thoughtful social observers, discussing the fact that Americans or Westerners in general are slower to grow up, continuing in adolescent patterns well into adulthood. This is not an original idea with me, but it is noticeable.
But here’s one more wrinkle to the issue, and it pertains to Christians. In the book of Romans, Chapter 13, we’re told how we are to regard those in authority:
“For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation. For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same: For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil. Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake. For for this cause pay ye tribute also: for they are God’s ministers, attending continually upon this very thing.”
We all understand that if someone in authority orders us to do wrong, especially something against God’s law, we ‘obey God, not men.’ So exceptions obviously exist but in general those who act to administer justice or keep order are carrying out a duty that is ‘ordained of God.’
And what is the alternative to the present (imperfect) system? The corrupt mayors installing their own police forces? Private security forces? Or the UN?
I don’t know about anyone else but I would not choose those alternatives. And it seems clear that human beings are rarely able to have a peaceful and safe society without someone to carry out law enforcement functions.