There has been a mountain of criticism, some of it positively vitriolic, hurled at the gun rights community about our supposed silence regarding the two shootings of citizens by police in the US the last few days. Now I don’t know where in particular the people in question have been looking and listening, but the gun rights community has most certainly been vigorously debating both these events on each and every single forum I am a member of (and I am a member of more than a few), and I am certain this pattern holds for all the fora I am not a member of.
In my personal opinion, from what I have read so far, it would appear that one of the two shootings is probably justifiable, and the other probably not. I am not yet willing to wade into an in-depth discussion about this, and I am sure most rational people would not want to yet either. I have not condemned the police officers nor the deceased in either of the two shootings because I want to wait for all the facts to surface before attributing blame. When that point is reached, I will judiciously level my condemnation at the deserving parties.
Have there been cases of police officers committing what amounts to murder against citizens? Absolutely. There are plenty enough well-documented cases of police officers overstepping their authority and abusing law-abiding citizens, and sometimes these events escalate into killing. If there were no bad cops, there would be no need for internal affairs and police oversight. Bad cops are a fact of life, and crooks in a blue uniform are among the lowest form of scumbag imaginable.
However, I am personally of the firm belief that by far the majority of police officers are good, caring, and upstanding members of society who put their lives on the line daily in order to create a barrier of law and order between us and violent criminals. They are our shield, and when need be they are also our sword. They suffer unspeakable trauma, experience incredible violence, and get paid really badly for their efforts.
I am not going to join the chorus of idiocy and prejudice that tar all law enforcement officers with the same brush before the facts are even remotely determined. In the event that a police officer has murdered an innocent civilian, then by all means nail the bastard’s gizzards to the yardarm and bring the full weight of the law to bear unto the traitor’s back.
But if you are somebody who jumps to conclusions like a hysterical child before familiarising yourself with all the important details of the event, then I am sorry to inform you that you are most certainly going about life the wrong way.
As to the shootings of police officers that happened in Dallas today: RIP to the fallen. You have paid the ultimate price, and I appreciate your service. May the criminal scum that did this receive the consequences they deserve.