By Nathan Barton
Say that you or I (ordinary folks, or “muggles,” “mundanes” or “peons”), were to hold a drawn pistol pointed at someone for nine minutes, locked and loaded. During that time, the person did nothing, said nothing, and was in fact in a position to be able to do nothing to resist or threaten us without giving plenty of warning. We’d be in trouble: facing a judge and trying to come up with 10% or 20% of a $100,000 or $200,000 bail and facing charges of felony menacing or some other serious crime. Even if I, in line with official duties, as a veteran Army officer, were to do that. I’d be relieved of duty and facing a court martial board.
Not so for the brave boys (and/or girls) in blue, at least not in the People’s Republic of California.
UPI reports “Video of a California police officer pointing a gun at a passenger for nine minutes during a traffic stop has gone viral, leading some to criticize the officer’s tactics. The video, taken in Campbell, Calif., in July, and posted to Facebook by a person who goes by the name of ‘Feo Mas,’ shows the officer with his gun pointed at the passenger, who repeatedly asks the officer to lower the weapon. ‘Why are you still pointing the gun at me, bro?’ the man says. ‘My hands are right here.’ The man’s hands are visible, on his lap or in the air, throughout the video.” (Fortunately, this cop did not just gun down everyone in the car. As has happened before.)
How is this possible in the “land of the free, home of the brave” (which used to include California) in 2017?
The short, general answer to “how is this possible” is that we are not free, and those who supposedly are hired and work to “protect” us are anything but brave.
The more specific answer for this particular confrontation, on US-101 (a stretch of highway I once drove frequently) in Campbell (a town I passed a lot) is also pretty simple:
a. Lack of communication between this police officer and his trainers, who apparently did not teach him how to NOT “become unnerved” or deal with people during traffic stops or give him/her? enough confidence in their gunhandling skills.
b. Lack of communications between this cop and the people in the car which he stopped, apparently for no real reason (a citation was not issued – and no report made of even a warning).
c. A climate of fear which means that for ANYone stopped by a cop on a major freeway, there is nervousness and worry.
Even more specifically, the incident is the result of several stupid, even insane, actions done here in the Fifty States over the past century or more. These are also pretty simple and include:
1. Cops – those “sworn” and badge-carrying thugs in blue or black are a new age version of ancient knights (but without the spiritual element found in many knighthoods – that is “unconstitutional” these days) or of the Gestapo or Stasi or NKVD: they are more and more above the law, elevated far above the peons and mundanes.
2. Part of the worship of the state is to worship the “defenders” of the state – especially those in uniform. We must “protect the cops” so that they can “protect and serve” the public.
3. We have turned policemen from the night watchman keeping an eye out for fire and bad lamps and sneak burglars to heavily-armed and -armored thugs who mostly prey upon the very people that they claim to protect – and almost always fail to protect. This isn’t just the denizens of inner-city barrios and ghettos, but suburban and rural inhabitants as well.
4. Judges, juries, prosecutors, and watchdog groups routinely help bad cops get off with no punishment at all, or a nice slap on the wrist and the need to move to a new jurisdiction to get a job.
5. Cops are trained and encouraged to become paranoid cowards, so fearful and/or nervous or “easily startled” that they over-react, and then take their anxieties out on family or on the random people they stop for supposed traffic violations or code violations.
So, what is the solution? At this point, it is a pretty drastic set of actions which are needed:
1. Stop having monopolistic (and overlapping) law enforcement organizations. Replace with free-market public safety organizations responsible as directly as possible to land- and street- and business-owners in their immediate community.
2. Ensure that even peace officers are subject to exactly the same laws as those that they are serving and supposed to be dealing with to prevent and respond to crime.
3. Give these peace officers moral and ethical training AND ensure that they are behaving in a moral and ethical way, not just on-duty but in their private lives.
4. Teach and expect people to be responsible for their own actions, and that peace officers are there to help and NOT to do it for them: individual land- and other owners and residents have an obligation to themselves and to their families and each other to NOT commit crimes, to PREVENT crimes, and to take action to provide their own security and that of their families and property.
5. Teach and expect the people of the community to be first responders to crime and emergencies, and to call on peace officers and specialists (emergency medical, firefighting and hazmat, to name a few) only if the situation is beyond their ability to react as needed to end the situation and prevent future problems. This is NOT vigilanteeism any more than using a fire extinguisher to put out an oven fire (instead of just rushing out and calling the fire department) would be.
By the way:
One of the solutions apparently is NOT disarming the cops, ala London bobbies. Consider this recent story from UPI about two Omaha police officers charged with homicide in killing a mentally ill man. One cop tazed Bearheels (the victim) 12 times; the other one repeatedly struck the unconscious man – and he died. And no, this is something that “Black Lives Matter” and all the do-gooders seem to have ignored. Don’t know if that was because Bearheels was apparently an AmerInd or because both officers were black, or both.
Mama’s Note: “Arms” mean much more than just guns. A large “unarmed” man can probably kill half the people he meets, if he wanted to – and his victims were not able to defend themselves. So no, taking guns from the “cops” would not solve the problem, as you indicate. Removing their almost unquestioned “authority” to harm other people in the absence of self defense needs is the key.
Right on MamaLiberty when you say “Removing their almost unquestioned “authority” to harm other people in the absence of self defense needs is the key.”
Another possible step in the right direction would be to require LEO’s to furnish their own liability and malpractice insurance, rather than a community including it in their compensation. This would allow insurance companies to individually check out every cop, their training and their history, which is often hidden now by Union contract agreements. Also eliminating Union membership for LEO’s would be another big step forward.
The problem is that the non-voluntary government “system” built around the police and other enforcers can’t be modified that way in isolation. The entire system will have to be eliminated first. Then, whatever guards communities or individuals wish to hire would probably automatically have to carry liability insurance and serious bonding requirements. Same as medical professionals, engineers, … Oh wait! They already do. Unless they work directly for governments, of course.