Story Time: A post-graduate student from Africa visited our store. He looked at all those rifles on the wall and wanted to talk. He did not ask to handle one. I offered to let him handle one. He declined to touch, although his desire was obvious. He said, “In my country, only the police and the bandits are allowed to have guns.” I asked how you told the difference between the police and the bandits. He hesitated before saying, “Sometimes you can’t.”
I read an article written by a retired policeman with thirty-years experience. He judged from personal experience, that one-third of the cops were honest, one-third crooked, and one-third could be influenced by their partner.
To me, this sounds very like the rest of American society, except that I’d point out that a whole lot of whether one is a hero or a scoundrel depends on things outside your control… such as who wrote the history.
On Quora, last night, I read about a man who captured a peeping tom standing on a window air conditioner to watch the author’s wife taking a shower in a second-story bathroom. He held the peeping tom at gun point until police arrived. The lawyer for the peeping tom claimed that the citizen’s arrest was in fact kidnapping. Made a convincing enough argument to get the charges reduced. That is good …history re-writing.
But I digress. The answer to your question is in another question; Who will watch the watchers?
In America, the media has the job of watching the watchers, and John Q. Public has the job of reading the media, protesting if necessary (taking to the barricades, as the French say), and throwing the rascals out come election time.
The question is, who will replace the rascals? The problematic answer is, more rascals. This is an unending cycle, because two-thirds of the people - including officials - are sometimes crooked and sometimes weak.
Guns aren’t banned in American because those who are feeling honest and strong standup and say “No.”
Twenty, thirty, forty years ago, the District of Columbia was sued by the parents of a woman killed by her estranged husband. She had been calling police for weeks saying that her husband was violating his order court order and that he was going to kill her. The suit proceeded to court, the Supreme Court(?), whose ruling was that police had no obligation to *prevent* crime.
Combine those two elements: Government has no obligation to protect me and some officials are criminal.
Now explain to me why I should give up my gun.
Digression: There have been a lot of recent stories about police being caught staging evidence or people to pleading guilty to possession of drugs that later turn out to be powdered sugar fallen off a doughnut. You know, even if all of officialdom and the public think the convict is guilty, the convict knows the truth. That knowledge that some police are criminal and that the system is broken, that personal knowledge undermines the legitimacy of government. Some day a demagogue might come along fire those victims with a righteous indignation. I wonder what percentage of the population they are. In 1776 one-third of the colonists supported the King, one-third didn’t care, and one-third were in rebellion. Have one-third of our present population been victimized by government - been forced to taxes they didn’t owe? How would we know? Sociologists may know, but there is no place on a government form to record that a prisoner or ex-con is serving or has served time for a crime he did not commit, or for being born black, or speaking with an accent, or being poorly educated, or being the object of a policeman’s fear and a prosecutor’s bias. In Riley County, KS, a soldier was convicted of murder because he drove past the scene of the crime at 0500 hours on his way to work. The officers who framed him had moved on or retired by the time the truth came out. The soldier had spent a decade-plus in prison. As citizens, what is our obligation to the soldier? What is our obligation toward the officers?
Who watches the watchers?