Friday, August 15, 2014

Turning Dust Bunnies Into Monsters

     The city of Furguson, Missouri is burning and its storefronts and other buildings are suffering damage at the hands of criminal opportunists who wish to use the occasion of a black man being shot by police to steal and damage other people's property. The race industry sees every black man shot by police, deservedly or not, as a boon to their business. And that is why the larcenist, Al Sharpton has made his presence known, right along side of the community organizers known as the New Black Panther Party.
     As the riots rage and the police do their best to stem the violence and looting, Libertarians like John Stossel are concerned that police departments may be too well armed. I have seen this kind of conspiracy theory rhetoric on social media and elsewhere on the Internet, but their general paranoia seems to have spread to others in the "real" media. The paranoia that, while they support local police departments in keeping the peace, they nonetheless do not want those law enforcers to be too well armed against the bad guys.
     The theory by the paranoid goes that local police departments, like the one in Furguson, have been equipped with armored vehicles, grenade launchers, and other military-grade equipment because at some point these instruments of keeping the peace will be turned into instruments of oppression. That President Obama is sitting in the White House next to a big switch, which when he engages it, will signal all these military-style local police departments to begin oppressing the masses. And Andy and Barney will ride around in their armored vehicle and collect every gun in Maybury. Additionally these peace officers, beloved in their communities, will suddenly turn against their neighbors and friends as they become mindless tools of a tyrannical dictator.
     The fact that criminals have become better armed and more fearless of police does not occur to the tin-foil-hat crowd as a reason for better equipped police departments. The paranoid seem to think that equipment used to protect the citizens from bad guys abroad, somehow takes on a nefarious quality when it is used to protect those very same citizens from domestic bad guys. As if the threat to security posed by domestic gangs is somehow more acceptable than the threat posed by Al Qaeda in the Middle East. And to the illogical mind of the paranoid, the military, which is under the command of the executive branch of government, is somehow less likely to turn on the citizens than police that are under the control of locally elected officials.
     The idea that we as freedom-loving Americans should fear well equipped local police departments probably has been circulating for decades. I am sure the first city to equip its police with motorized vehicles early in the 20th century was accused by the paranoid of the day of being a threat to liberty. Only back then there was no Internet to spread the contagion of paranoia so rapidly, and there were no high profile Libertarians like John Stossel shining a flashlight in every dark corner and turning dust bunnies into monsters.

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