When Cowardice Becomes Necessary

This Christina Deleon episode appears to be another incident of citizen abuse being excused by the fact that "police [soldiers, etc.] have a dangerous job." While this is indeed the case, this type of mistreatment always comes from enforcers who have decided to place that burden of danger upon those who have not agreed to it rather than face it themselves. And they do it in the name of bravery.

There have been numerous reports of "defenders of peace" emptying their weapon into some scary-looking but harmless kid only to have their actions rationalized by saying, "Sometimes you have to make unpleasant decisions like that when you're putting your life on the line." That doesn't make any sense: If someone is putting his own life on the line to protect the innocent, then that defender should be proud to suffer in the case of any doubt ' not make the innocent suffer as a precaution for self-preservation!

We have been told repeatedly that an "attack" is a justifiable means of "defense." It has been said so many times that it is reflexively accepted as an obvious truth. But it's NOT true! Defense can only occur after an attack has commenced, not when it "appears imminent." Anything less is more accurately defined as offense, not defense.

Those whom we hire to protect us are obligated to give their dependents the benefit of the doubt, even if it scares them. That's their job. And that's why it's dangerous. Danger means that they risk becoming victims themselves; that sobering fact should have been made clear when they signed up for the job. Whenever peace officers neglect to accept the danger they swore to face, the only other option is to put the fear into the citizens. If that's what the citizens accept, then that is what they will get.

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H.O. Charles's picture
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