1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Self examination: Let's ask ourselves a question.

Discussion in 'Legal' started by Powderman, Oct 24, 2005.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Powderman

    Powderman Participating Member

    Dec 25, 2002
    Washington State
    I will open this with two quotes from other threads. I believe that this will illustrate the situation I am addressing.

    First a quote from a thread concerning the theft of evidence:

    Next, a passage from a thread about felons and firearms:

    We keep covering the same territory, over and over again.

    It's like fighting a battle, taking a piece of territory and then retreating to say, "Let's do it again". Almost every thread that is written concerning an abrogation of rights, or an infringement on rights always falls back to cop bashing.

    You who call yourselves the exemplars of society, the pinnacles of personal behavior; the standards for society to uphold. You, who espouse the freedoms that this country was founded on--the same ones who wail and cry each and every time some lawmaker proposes another restriction on gun ownership.

    What do some of you have against police officers? Is it fear--the unreasoning fear of a child, railing against something they know nothing about?

    Is it envy--longing for something you can not attain?

    Is it sloth--the criticism of something else, a job you do not want, and will not do?

    Or is it just plain indifference?

    On one hand, you demand that law enforcement officers ensure that they hold themselves to a higher standard.

    Yet, on the other hand, you want us to look the other way when someone breaks the law--such as a felon handling a firearm.

    Heck, some of you are even saying that STEALING--outright THEFT of a firearm--is NOT a crime! That the misappropriation of property, the illegal conversion of property for your own use is EXCUSABLE--"hey, it's headed for the smelter, anyway!!!"


    Because it looks like fear to me. Pure, simple fear.

    Fear to step to the forefront to be an agent of change.
    Fear to use peaceful means to effect change.
    Fear of being in the limelight, fear of bucking the status quo.

    In some cases, there have been people who have posted that they would be willing to even attack law enforcement officers who were in the performance of their duties. Why?

    Why do some people seem to ache for violent confrontation? Or is it a case of being a paper tiger? Hiding behind a keyboard and a computer monitor?

    We have the most effective means of making changes in our system--the vote! We have the tools to make change--tools that other countries ache for; the opportunities that simply do not exist elsewhere.

    Yet, we refuse to make the change. We will not organize effectively, but we'll talk readily about jumping on cops who enforce the laws that WE allowed to become law.

    Some of you will say that you are law abiding--yet you call for actively breaking the law. Instead of changing the law--which is within your power to do--you talk about openly breaking the law, and then attacking the ones who enforce the laws that YOU allowed to become law.

    Anyone care to comment?
  2. M-Rex

    M-Rex member

    Aug 12, 2005
    Kalifornya Soviet Socialist Republic
    I maintain that society, in general, views law enforcement officers like 'societal parents'. Law enforcement officers are the people who tell other people 'no'. Most of the general public's contact with law enforcement is usually the result of some sort of infraction (read that as all inclusive). The citizen has done something, and the law enforcement officer is telling him/her, "No, you can't do that."

    Most folks bristle when someone else tells them 'no', or in a larger sense, tells him/her what to do.

    Then again, some folks are simply bigots and hate anyone they perceive as 'different'.
  3. Art Eatman

    Art Eatman Administrator Staff Member

    Dec 22, 2002
    Terlingua, TX; Thomasville,GA
    Did I miss something? Did somebody claim that people are consistent? When did this change occur?

    :D, Art
  4. Old Dog

    Old Dog Senior Member

    Aug 11, 2004
    somewhere on Puget Sound
    Powderman, you’re asking the same questions that I’ve asked myself so many times while reading so many posts on this forum.

    For many posters, their remarks demonstrate some of the most blatant hypocrisy possible. Many members routinely display totally outrageous self-righteousness when attempting to represent their own values and ethics, yet are incredibly quick in their vicious attacks on all law enforcement (although they usually try to include some weak caveat such as “I personally know a cop who is a good guy” or “I’m sure not all police officers are like this”) whenever any thread arises that however tangentially touches on any aspect of law enforcement operations in this country. This usually occurs, amazingly enough, in response to posts in which media articles are reproduced verbatim … So, going on the “facts” reported in some initial reporting of an event, large numbers of forum members immediately dissect the media version of the occurrence and typically end up blaming bad law enforcement …

    What is worse, to me, is the concept of “picking and choosing” which laws should be obeyed. Granted, there are hundreds, probably thousands, of bad laws on every level of government in this country, but to espouse disobedience of those laws which one doesn’t support leads only to something worse than bad laws – further breakdown of societal norms and possibly, anarchy. However, many forum members don’t see this as a problem. After all, they, in their infinite wisdom, know what’s best for this country, so why should they obey any law with which they do not agree?

    For me, often what strikes me as most amusing, is the frequency of encounters with law enforcement that many members claim to experience. What goes unsaid, of course, is the fact that most Americans go through their entire lives with perhaps only two or three encounters with any level of law enforcement – and that experience is usually garnered as a result of having been caught exceeding the posted speed limit or when one’s automobile collides with another at an intersection … Yet, many THR members claim routine harassment by their local gendarmerie, which leads me to wonder what sort of lifestyle these individuals must be leading … Most middle and upper class Americans have never ever talked to a local police officer, let along been harassed by one … though many High Roaders would have us believe that police harassment is at an all-time high in this country, a veritable epidemic. … Frankly, if I’m out in a “bad” section of town at two-thirty a.m., and I happen to get pulled over by the police for failure to signal a left turn, I’m not gonna be too surprised. If the officer demonstrates a wariness upon approaching my vehicle, I’m not gonna be too offended. But, so many THR members turn routine experiences such as this into additional chapters of their episodic struggle against the evil blue empire in this country …

    At any rate, Powderman, I appreciate you asking the question. I have no answer, save to observe that your well-meaning post will turn into yet another “us against them” thread that probably won’t last 50 posts …
  5. walking arsenal

    walking arsenal Senior Member

    Aug 6, 2003
    Bemidji, MN
    It's all a matter of what the situation is in my opinion.

    For example.

    Stealing a car is wrong.

    Stealing a car so you and your children and wife can escape an angry mob, thats a different situation.


    Shooting a person is wrong.

    Shooting a person in self defense of you and your loved ones, again, different.

    It's all a matter of perspective.

    It all depends on what it comes down to.

    If it's a normal day then it's a different set of rules then when armageddon comes and it's every man for hmiself.

    Those are the rules we discuss.
  6. TallPine

    TallPine Mentor

    Dec 26, 2002
    somewhere in the middle of Montana
    I didn't start out distrusting police - in fact I was raised to respect and admire them. But that is changing for me as I watch events unfold over the last few years, especially the War on People Using Some Drugs. (and no, I'm not an illegal drug user - I hate the stuff and the people using it for the most part, but much more harm to many more people has come from drug enforcement than ever did from the drugs themselves).

    I don't, generally - at least in regards to the locals. But then, this is MT, not CA or NY or IL, etc... But when I hear about doors being busted down to "preserve evidence" I am both disgusted and concerned. (then there was the Norleans confiscations - a long way from here, both physically and culturally, but still..... :uhoh: )

    Maybe something is wrong when you lose the respect and trust of those who have by nature and upbringing respected and trusted police for decades :confused:

    Really...? If it is so effective, then why are things the way they are? I vote Republican and/or Libertarian depending on who is running, for all the good it does. Mostly I voted with my feet a few years ago.
  7. Werewolf

    Werewolf Senior Member

    Sep 12, 2003
    Powderman asked:
    1. The Police represent the power and authority of government. A sizable proportion of human beings have a natural pre-disposition against authority. In other words they resent the power of others to take control of their lives.

    If the police represented a power that was wholly benevolent it is unlikely that they would be feared or resented. BUT they do not represent such a power. Granted the US government at all levels, local, state and federal, may very well be the most benign and benevolent on the planet today but that's relative. The government has done some pretty bad things in the past 30 years or so and the police have participated. Unfortunately local police whether they participated or not must live with the fallout.

    2. I will not argue whether or not the militarization of our police forces is necessary (I just don't know) but IMO the militarization goes a long way towards fostering fear of the police in the eyes of the general public.

    Militaries exist for one reason - to kill the enemies of a government or enforce that government's will upon its enemies. That's scary. A police force exists to enforce the will of the government on its subjects. Militarize the police and you've got double scary.

    Today's police forces often include a highly militarized SWAT force. SWAT teams seem to be called upon more and more to handle situations that may not call for the overwhelming level of force they are capable of applying. For good or bad these militarized portions of the police are highly visible and they are scary.

    It is understandable that the militarization of the police would frighten people.

    3. When I was young the police wore uniforms that fit like regular clothes, they had regular haircuts and looked like regular folk. They were not intimidating and I was taught that they were my friend and were there to help me and you know what - they were.

    Today when I see a police officer he is more often than not wearing a uniform much too tight that makes him look musclebound - and many are. He's got a crew cut and is wearing sun glasses. This look is designed to intimidate and that is exactly what it does - intimidate. If the police don't want to be feared then they shouldn't dress and act in a manner designed to intimidate and engender fear. NOTE: I am not saying that the police shouldn't be in top physical condition - they should - just don't flaunt it.

    It is entirely understandable that the attitudes towards the police are different today from that of 40 or 50 years ago. Is it their fault that attitudes have changed? Beats me - all I know is that attitudes have changed and mine has too.

    I avoid interaction with the police at all costs. Their power to utterly and completely destroy one's life is too real. The fact that only 1 cop in a million might actually exercise that power is irrelevant. The very fact that the power exists is scary...
  8. Camp David

    Camp David member

    Sep 21, 2005

    The recent acts of police abuse of powers in New Orleans should be a wake up call; I don't trust government at any level now. State, Local, and Federal government, and their staff, have illustrated too much incompetence for me to trust them...
  9. TexasRifleman

    TexasRifleman Moderator Emeritus

    Feb 16, 2003
    Ft. Worth

    And that sums it up better than I ever could have, that is exactly it.
  10. Headless Thompson Gunner

    Headless Thompson Gunner Participating Member

    Jul 28, 2003
    North Carolina
    Any number of thoughts come to mind here.

    They mostly boil down to one fundamental concept: All cops have the legal authority to make your life miserable. This is power. Like any sort of power, it's "goodness" or "badness" depends entirely upon the character of the man who holds it.

    Now, most cops are of "good" character, and won't hassle anybody who doesn't really deserve it. Problem is, there are "bad" cops too. Not many, in my experience. But enough. One "bad" cop is too many, when he's got his sights on you. All it takes is one experience to make you a firm believer that no man (cop or otherwise) should have that kind of power over another man.

    It simply isn't prudent to assume that any particular police officer is one of the "good" ones. The stakes are (sometimes) too high.

    This doesn't make me a hypocrit, or anti-cop, or anything of the sort. I realize that police officers are generally good men, and a tremedous value to the community. But I don't hold an idealized view of them.

    It's a lot like the proper handling of firearms. Don't hold an irrational fear of them, they have the potential to improve your life. But at the same time realize that they can ruin your life too. Treat them always with caution and respect, 'cause you do NOT want to get burned by one.

    EDIT: Looks like Werewolf beat me to it. He's right in all respects.
  11. Powderman

    Powderman Participating Member

    Dec 25, 2002
    Washington State
    Because unfortunately, for everyone who DOES vote, there are at least one or two who do NOT. Consider our current population, which IIRC is now approaching 300 million, and the number of votes in the last Presidential election--which barely broke 80 million. I don't think that there are 220 million children in this country!

    I have found that gun owners as a bloc tend to think in the same manner--usually responsible, mature and law-abiding as a whole.

    Moreover, we suffer from a lack of collective focus. We are united in out BELIEFS--but when it comes time to vote, oh watch out! Some of us actually voted for Kerry in the last election...why? :confused:

    Can you imagine what would happen if ALL of us got together, and voted the same way--according to our beliefs in just the 2nd Amendment?

    GCA '68? Right out with the trash.
    NFA '39? Gone with the bath water.
    Importation bans, and restrictions on full auto? Poof! Vanish!
    National carry, without permit? Stick a fork in it--it's done!

    But for heaven's sake, we can't even agree collectively on that!!!

    As far as the war on drugs is concerned, let me ask you this--first of all, you seem to be a good guy to me...

    Let's talk about drugs for a bit.

    Let's start with the "harmless" drug, marijuana. It has the same hazards--and addiction rate--of cigarettes. There is more of an intoxication factor, of course. But, it is still addictive, and still harmful to your body.

    The organic drugs--coke, heroin, coke base, and the derivatives thereof--all have a place in medicine.

    Let's shift focus for a bit. You know that if all of these were legal, the war on drugs would vanish. Surely, it would.

    It would be come legal to possess and use these drugs.

    Now, you and I know that kids smoke. That's a fact; sometimes they will sneak a smoke--just like they will sneak a sip of alcohol now and again--at least some kids will.

    Now, I want you to be a parent. I want you to think of your kids in school. I want your kids to be teenagers--or even younger.

    Think of your kid's best friend sneaking them a smoke behind the school. OK. Choke, cough, wheeze--ewwwww! This stuff is terrible!

    Small snicker from the parent.

    OK. Now, your kids over at the friend's house. Same scenario--a sip of blended whisky.

    Choke, cough, wheeze--ewwwwwww!

    Another small snicker from the parent.

    Following me so far? Good.

    Now, third scenario. Kids over at the friend's house.
    Same scenario--only instead of whisky, or tobacco, they pull out a bottle. It says, "Cocaine Hydrochloride, USP". Hey! The stuff's legal!

    Your son takes a snort, or a hit, or whatever.

    Since your son is still young, and their bodies are in excellent shape, there is no buffer to the response. As soon as the cocaine is absorbed through the mucous membranes, into the bloodstream, the heart goes into fibrillation--and shuts down.

    Small snicker? No? What do you feel?

    Your son--or daughter--is now lying DEAD on the floor. Just like Len Bias--remember him?

    And DON'T ask me about meth, or ice, or GHB, or roofies.

    Still think that drugs should be legal?
  12. oldfart

    oldfart Active Member

    Dec 27, 2002
    Portland, Oregon
    "We have the most effective means of making changes in our system--the vote!"

    Sounds good, but unfortunately, as we've seen time and time again, 'taint neccesarily so.
    I can go down to the local library and see a whole wall of books of laws, regulations, ordinances and rules, most of which were never voted on by the people who are now required to know and abide by them. Many of them weren't even voted on by our elected representatives, instead being passed by administrative fiat. Some. voted on and passed by our representatives, weren't read by them prior to passage. Is it any wonder that ordinary citizens bristle at a law that was passed without any input from those who are now required to obey it?
    The USA PATRIOT ACT was passed with NO congressman or senator having read it! Closer to home for a gun board, many "felons," now unable to legally own firearms, were convicted of misdemeanors which were then elevated to the staus of felonies by administrative means.
    As has been amply pointed out many times before, too much of any good thing is usually not good. Each of these laws or rules was formulated and passed to do some perceived good, but perceived by whom? When an agent of the ATF breaks down the door to Farmer Brown's house to relieve him of the .22 he used for pest control because Farmer Brown once failed to show up in court over a traffic ticket, we have a police agency running wild, at least in the opinion of Farmer Brown's neighbors. Just as everyone else in this world, those neighbors will ultimately paint nearly all other police with the same brush.
    Is it fair to call the local deputy a JBT because of the actions of some federal goon? No, but life is seldom fair. When Deputy Fife put on that uniform and badge he should have known he had an uphill battle to maintain the goodwill of his fellow citizens. If he didn't realize it, he's dumber than a post and probably needs to be relieved of his duties before he hurts himself.
    Compounding the problem is people like the recently publicized Sheriff Speziale (sp?) of New Jersey, who thinks that LEOs should have special consideration when it comes to traffic laws. Some of his men may appreciate his actions, but I doubt most Sheriffs across the country do.
    We here on these boards remember all too well the fiascos at Ruby Ridge and Waco. While it's highly unlikely those things will happen again in the near future, they don't do much to foster a feeling of confidence among the citizenry. Like it or not, the officer who stops you in the middle of a rainstorm to tell you that your tail-light is out has to carry the burden of all his stupid, authoritarian, impolite predecessors on his shoulders.
    I have, over the years, gotten to know several police officer fairly well. Some are good guys and some are not. Most fall in between. I know that and I can try to think of them all as being part of that 'average.' But when I see a cruiser pull into traffic behind me, I still don't experience a rush of relief that safety and protection is at hand, I glance at my speedometer instead. I imagine most of us are like that too.
  13. cropcirclewalker

    cropcirclewalker member

    Apr 30, 2004
    In the Woods close to Arkansas
    Mr. Powderman says
    You got it. I am absolutely in fear that some cop will shoot me for a nervous tick or scratching without permission or something. I don't have a cell phone so it won't be for that.

    My wife invited a friend and a couple of the friend's friends over a few months back for a dinner. The husband heard that I was into guns, reloading, etc and wanted to meet me.

    He turned out to be a retired cop, moved down here after retirement. I guess he is the only cop I have talked to (other than locals) in a non-business, as it were, environment.

    In the course of talking about guns, loads, velocities powders and like that, he just happened to mention (and he acted real proud) that his son was a sniper on some swat team or other. I can't remember exactly what, but I said, "Oh, you mean like Lon Horiuchi?"

    He said, "Who is that?"

    I told him and we sort of started talking about something else.

    Based on our conversations, it was obvious to me that he was an authoritarian and he had raised an authoritarian for a son. An authoritarian can turn into a fascist without even knowing it. They are dangerous.

    The local cops know me; we wave at each other when we drive past; they don't pull me over to see if my BAC is too high; I never see them in speed traps. They lead funeral processions, direct traffic around accidents and fire scenes and like that.

    Those cops I don't fear.

    As far as I know, most cops don't live lives like Bruce Willis. They normally get up and go to work just like everyone else who has a job.....BUT....

    Their job is to protect and serve and maybe they do, but my experiences in the last several years with cops I don't know (Like on a multi-state road trip) consist of soberiety checks or being pulled over for driving while poor.

    Yes, I got a speeding ticket back in '89 but from then on, every instance of my interaction with cops consists of me proving to them that I am not doing something wrong.

    The cops that pull me over are trying to RUIN MY DAY. So far, at least since '89 they have failed. In my little episode in the LOO back in 2002 even though they had me chained to a bench for a few hours, they still failed since they hadda grudgingly return my piece and send me on my way.

    I yam not a criminal who just hasn't been caught yet.

    Just because they fail with me doesn't mean that they don't succeed with others. So, if one has a job the successful performance of which consists of ruining a citizen's day he has to be an authoritarian.

    It takes a special kind of person to do a job like that.

    Then he said,
    You see? I know this question gets booted all over this forum, but, Nobody can show me in 2A where the constitution allows that infringement, yet the authoritarians will argue till the chickens roost that they are justified in doing so.

    That single instance tells me that cops violate their oath every time they do it. If they will violate their oath there, where else?

    Fear, yes, absolute fear.
  14. Werewolf

    Werewolf Senior Member

    Sep 12, 2003
    The notion that the people have the power to change things thru the voting process I find to be naive at best and dangerous at worst.

    All the power to change things is tied up in the 2 political parties extant in the US. We know who they are. The power to run for elected office is controlled by the 2 political parties and starts at the primaries. If the party doesn't endorse you - you don't run under that party's banner. You can run as an independent of course - good luck with that.

    It all boils down to a choice between dumb and dumber or bad and worse. In either case it is no choice at all.

    The power of the people to influence our masters is illusionary. A real power of the people to influence the laws under which we live hasn't existed for at least a 140 years - maybe longer.

    At best all we have the power to do is choose the lesser of two evils. I doubt if we ever had the power to choose the better of two goods.

    Regarding gun owners Powderman stated:
    Gun owners on THR might think in the same manner (though I have serious doubts about that) but gun owners as a whole - puhleeez!

    80 Million gun owners in the USA - only 4 million are members of the NRA. Let's add another 2 million that contribute to or belong to other pro-gun organizations. That's 6 million of 80 million that care enough about RKBA to actually join a pro-gun org. That doesn't mean though that all 6 million are pro-gun single issue voters.

    Let's be generous and say that half of them are and then dilute that number across the 50 states. Yep - that sure goes a long ways to explaining our power. Sure explains why all the anti-gun laws on the books have been repealed. Sure explains why new ones are padded with anti-gun amendments. Yep sure does.

    ASIDE:By the way Powderman what was your main question and point again? I'm having trouble keeping up... :D
  15. dracphelan

    dracphelan Active Member

    Oct 15, 2005
    Garland, TX
    I don't fear, and I do respect police officers (as a whole). Though, like all human beings, there are good and bad ones.
    1. The reason that I hold them to a higher standard: They have more power than your ordinary citizen.
    2. The reason I fear them: They are required (and most willingly do) enforce laws that I find immoral and/or unconstitutional.
  16. Mad Man

    Mad Man Active Member

    Jan 21, 2003
    "Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely."

    Are we supposed to believe that police officers are somehow immune from Lord Acton's axiom?
  17. R.H. Lee

    R.H. Lee Mentor

    Jan 26, 2004
    Well, let me ask you a question. Why is it necessary for local police departments to become increasingly 'militarized', looking more like small armies rather than traditional local law enforcement?
  18. Mad Man

    Mad Man Active Member

    Jan 21, 2003
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2005
  19. Sindawe

    Sindawe Senior Member

    Dec 26, 2002
    Outside The People's Republic of Boulder, CO
    I don't. My personal view on cops is that they are the same as big cats and short faced bears were to our ancestors. They are hazards in the environment to be avoid when ever possible. Interacted with in a cautious manner least they be needlessly provoked when encounters can not be avoided. If they prove to be overly grumpy and insistent on causing a problem, then the same rules apply for cops as it did for big cats and bears.
  20. Jim March

    Jim March Mentor

    Dec 24, 2002
    SF Bay Area
    In California, sheriffs and police chiefs have control over who gets a CCW permit.

    They (the chiefs and sheriffs) are often visibly abusing it - being way too restrictive AT BEST (except for about a dozen jurisdictions) and being outright corrupt and racist about permit handling at worst.

    In many cases it's no secret among the rank and file of the department. One deputy in Sacramento released this gem to activists:


    Now, that's a big agency. County population is 1.2mil...it was at least over a mil at the time that incident went down.

    Why would the rank and file deputies be willing to keep working for people like that? And why would I possibly trust them?

    Answer: I don't.
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page