On Thursday morning, the Today show opened with the latest partisan revelation in the ongoing confirmation battle of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. More criticism of the president’s “insensitivity,” more comments about scribblings in high school yearbooks …
And then, after getting that important “new” news out of the way, they moved on to an “oh, by the way …” story about a standoff that led to the shooting of seven law enforcement officers — one fatally — in an upscale subdivision in South Carolina.
It’s becoming all too common. Just last weekend, police officers Zach Moak and James White were gunned down in Brookhaven while going on a call. Then off-duty Trooper Josh Smith was shot and killed in North Mississippi that night. And on Wednesday afternoon, 30-year police veteran Terrence Carraway was shot and killed in that South Carolina standoff.
It happens almost daily, it seems, but one usually has to see the news on one of the reputable websites that report on the law enforcement profession. Even the usually tantalizing storyline of an old white man shooting a black man in the South didn’t lure out the national reporters on this one … presumably because this black man had a badge.
It’s interesting that, in this culture, one can’t even hint that people who get unwanted sexual attention should maybe dress a little less provocatively and show personal responsibility while partying instead of drinking to excess and losing control … but if a law enforcement officer is shot in the line of duty, the masses say, “Well, he knew what he was getting into when he went into this line of work.”
There is so much hypocrisy and double talk in our society, there’s no way to combat it. Even pointing it out is considered to be insensitive. It’s a sad state we’re in.
Some white people are bad. Some black people are bad. Some Hispanics are bad. But if someone takes one bad experience with one bad individual, then hates all people of that race or ethnicity based on that experience, that person will rightfully be labeled a bigot, which is the cardinal sin in our society.
But if someone has a bad experience with a cop or two, why is it OK to label all cops as bad? That kind of thinking was even celebrated from the White House a couple of years ago and a national movement against law enforcement was given credence from the most powerful person on the planet.
Yet the men and women in law enforcement keep battling on the behalf of those who respect them and those who don’t.
Yes, we have had high-profile public disputes with our local law enforcement. But we have always supported the profession. And even at the height of our fight, we still opined that we understood and supported the sheriff’s purchase of an armored vehicle.
That kind of tactical equipment is more important than any number of deputies in a dangerous situation. In most of the officer shootings we see around the country, it’s not a lack of manpower that leads to them … It’s a lack of respect and restraint. And maybe, in the darkest corners of our world, including prison, the prospect of being revered as a hero may lead them to pull the trigger. Sad. But true.