The Tyranny Of Our Peers
Once again, an innocent person is killed by law enforcement, and once again, the officer who pulled the trigger avoids the consequences any of the rest of us would face.
I really want to respect our police, and to trust them, and to believe that they will do what is right and are worthy of the hero status so many laud upon them, but I can’t. And it’s not the police’s fault, per se. Sure, they could be more pro-active, and assume more responsibility to be better, but in the end they are merely responding to the incentives that we give them; and right now, one huge incentive we offer is that their use of force will always be excused as long as they can come up with any mildly acceptable explanation for it.
Michael Slager will spend 20 years in prison for killing Walter Scott, but only because there was video that put lie to any acceptable rationale for the shooting. There was video of Daniel Shaver getting murdered as well, but the officer was able to spin an acceptable reason. It’s a really damn thin reason, I mean REALLY damn thin, but hey, in the end, some people are just more equal than others. And I know this because twelve people in Mesa, AZ just decided this was so.
I don’t know when it happened, but sometime in the recent past, I stopped arguing against gun control as some high ideal about defending against the tyranny of government. Not because lightly armed citizens have no chance against a modern military, but because it’s a moot point. If it came to a civil war, or a military invasion, there are ways to get your hands on the weapons you need to fight on an equal footing with a modern military. No, I stopped because it’s obvious to me that the very people who rail about fighting tyranny are, far too often, the very same people who eagerly acquit and excuse agents of the state for killing their fellow citizens on the thinnest of pretexts.
The people who demand the right to resist the government with force in one breath, celebrate the use of that force in the next.
We live under the tyranny our peers have voted for, twelve votes at a time.
Image by conner395