My life as a tyrant
I’m going to say something that will undoubtedly cause me to lose some police officer friends. But I feel it needs to be said anyway. I’m willing to take the heat for it.
Keep in mind, I became a police officer because I wanted to be a good guy. Even though we’ve all seen reports of police brutality and corruption, I still believe we cops are the good guys. I’ve seen cops perform brave, selfless acts for strangers on countless occasions. Even the worst cops I’ve ever known would risk their lives to defend the innocent. But I have to say this anyway. Before you start throwing shoes, hear me out. I have a good reason for saying it.
If you think our police are no threat to your freedom, you’re living in a fantasy world.
Now I’ll explain what I mean. I worked for the United Nations Police Mission in Kosovo for eighteen months. I wasn’t there as a soldier. I was a civilian cop, living in town, basically a Kosovo PD officer. For part of my tour I worked patrol with a group of international officers and local police. We had officers from America, the UK, Germany and Greece, plus local Kosovar Albanians. The Americans were regular street cops from police departments all over the United States.
One of the American officers in my station came from a very wealthy suburban police department. My cop stories were about murders, fights and chases; his were about citizens having garage sales without permits. For some reason, citizens selling things without permits aggravated him to no end.
In postwar Kosovo, many tens of thousands of war refugees lived in the capital. Not enough jobs existed to support them all. Many of them became vendors in a sprawling, dirty bazaar. They supported their families by selling cheap Turkish and Pakistani housewares and trinkets. Under old Yugoslav law, which was still the legal standard, those vendors had to have permits. Few bothered to stand in line at a dilapidated government building to pay for a permit.
This officer – I’ll call him Joe – became infuriated every time he patrolled the bazaar. He’d find vendors without permits, then ticket and berate them. He’d make note of other illegal vendors so he could ticket them later. He’d even drive through the bazaar off-duty to spot illegal vendors for future targeting. He’d vent his anger about illegal vendors at us, which always made me laugh. I didn’t care the least bit about vendors without permits, and thought Joe would eventually get over it. I was wrong.
Joe got so mad at illegal vendors that he researched Yugoslav law. We had been advised not to do anything that violated the Bill of Rights, but officially Yugoslav law was still in effect. And Joe discovered he could use Yugoslav law to do something about those damn illegal vendors.
Joe put a plan together. Officers from a couple of stations, along with some NATO troops, would go through the bazaar, identify which vendors had no permits, and confiscate all their merchandise. Local Albanian Kosovo Police Service (KPS) officers would assist. A large NATO truck would follow the officers so they could load all the confiscated items. All the seized property would immediately be donated to charity organizations.
When I heard the plan, I was amazed. Then I got angry. Why would anyone, in a country which had suffered through a horrible war less than two years earlier, think vendors without permits were such a big deal? We didn’t have a crime problem in the bazaar, the only reason we were going in there was because Officer Joe had a personal issue with the vendors. And wouldn’t an operation like that violate people’s rights?
I argued against the operation, and was overruled. Since Yugoslav law allowed it, we were doing it. I was ordered to take my team of KPS officers and participate.
The day of the operation, I forced myself to show up for work. My KPS officers were angry, frustrated and hesitant. They didn’t want to do to their people what we were about to make them do. But their jobs and livelihood, like mine, depended on following those orders. So we walked out of the station toward the bazaar.
An officer from a European country met me outside the bazaar, held out a stack of papers and sternly ordered, “Take these. You’ll need them to document what you confiscate.”
I kept my hands down. “I’m not taking them. I think this is wrong. We can’t just take people’s property.”
The officer held the papers out further. “It doesn’t matter. They’ve been warned. Take the forms.”
I didn’t move, or respond. The officer maintained his stern demeanor for a few seconds. Then, seeing that I wasn’t going along with it, he backed down.
“Okay, fine. Just take some forms, in case you change your mind.”
I took a few forms and stuck them in my pocket. The next time they came out, later that afternoon, I dumped them in the trash.
The operation began. Dozens of officers entered the bazaar, followed by NATO soldiers and their cargo truck. The vendors initially didn’t know what was happening. Then cops walked up to stalls and asked for permits. Nobody had them. The cops grabbed everything they had and threw it into the back of the truck.
Hundreds of vendors picked up their wares and ran. The slow ones were accosted and stripped of their possessions. KPS officers swarmed me, saying, “We can’t do this! This is what the Serbs used to do!” I stood back, watching the chaos in angry silence, and said something in Albanian. It was a phrase I never in my life expected to say.
“Ne jeme komunista sot.” We are communists today.
Our KPS officers were ordered, forced, to join in. They grudgingly helped take the property, although a few from another station were enthusiastic about it. Customers in the bazaar stood close by and yelled insults at the KPS officers, or screamed things like “Why are you doing this?” One KPS officer almost got into a fight he didn’t want to be in, over something he didn’t want to do, with one of the customers. Guilt was obvious on the KPS officer’s face. That was hard to watch.
I stayed back. Officer Joe, the illegal vendor hater, picked out an old man selling bananas. The old man, who looked about eighty but was probably younger, struggled to pick up boxes of bananas before the truck arrived. Officer Joe reached the old man’s stall, tore a box from the old man’s hands and threw it in the truck. The old man grabbed the next box. Joe fought it away.
I remember standing there in impotent frustration, thinking, So now we’re literally wrestling food away from old men. This is disgusting.
I finally managed to grab a handful of KPS officers and leave. I stayed at the station until the operation ended, angry at what we had done and at myself for being part of it. I had stood by and done nothing as a fellow cop turned us into petty tyrants. That still bothers me.
Joe beamed with pride when he came back to the station. As he promised, all the confiscated property was donated that day. No vendors had been ticketed. None received receipts for their property. None had recourse to recover what had been taken. If police did that here, they would be charged with a crime.
Later that day I argued my way up the chain of command that the operation had been wrong, we shouldn’t have done it and should never do it again. An Irish officer agreed with me. But a senior American officer listened to me with a disinterested expression and said, “Look man, it’s legal here. So I don’t have a problem with it.”
I learned a lot from that operation. Prior to it, I had been something of an idealist about cops. I thought American cops would go by what’s right and wrong instead of looking for what they can legally get away with. I know now that cops like Joe have no problem violating people’s rights, as long as they have some “official” way to do it.
Maybe you’re thinking, “But this was in another country, so it’s okay.” I don’t think so. I took an oath to defend the Constitution, not to enforce any law no matter what it is. If I go to Afghanistan as a cop, I’m not going to beat women for walking the street without a male relative, even if it’s legal there.
So why do I tell this story now? This might seem like an abrupt topic change, but it isn’t. It’s directly related.
I keep hearing we don’t need the 2nd Amendment. I keep hearing the 2nd Amendment is an anachronism. I keep hearing that it was written for a time long past, when we had to worry about foreign invasion and government tyranny. I keep hearing the 2nd Amendment should be repealed because there’s no threat of tyranny today.
I’ll agree that we don’t currently worry about foreign invasion. But we ALWAYS have a worry about government tyranny. Don’t tell me, “it can’t happen here.” I know better. I was there when Officer Joe stole people’s property, because he had a personal vendetta and knew he could get away with it. Don’t tell me police officers won’t engage in tyranny. I’ve seen it.
Joe was, in many ways, a good guy. He wasn’t a horrible, hateful man who just oozed evil from every pore. He and I had a lot of decent conversations about life (and a HELL of a lot of arguments about what limits our authority should have). No doubt he did good things for people in the past, and probably did good things after Kosovo. He likely never did anything like the bazaar operation in America. But he did it in Kosovo, because he COULD.
Our founding fathers were incredibly intelligent, insightful men. They knew an external threat of invasion could exist. And more importantly, they knew an internal threat of tyranny would always exist. They knew that even basically good guys like Joe can let their personal hatreds control their official actions. They knew that even Officer Chris Hernandez might maybe, once or twice, have a little nagging thought like, There should be an automatic death penalty for anyone who drives through a quiet neighborhood at 3 a.m. blaring gangster rap. They knew I better have threats over my head, to keep me from carrying out that death sentence.
The founding fathers knew guys like me and Joe need to be controlled. They wrote the 4th Amendment so we would have to follow rules when we took people’s property. And they wrote the 2nd Amendment so that if we ever decided not to care about citizens’ rights, the citizens could forcibly change our minds.
This nation was formed by armed rebellion. Our freedoms were maintained by armed resistance to foreign threats. Our police and military exist to protect the rights that many hundreds of thousands of brave, armed Americans died for. We serve the descendants, family and friends of those men and women. We call them “sir” or “ma’am”, even if they’re a laborer and we’re a police chief or 4-star General. We don’t bend them to our will, we don’t strip their rights “for their own good”. We don’t repeal the Bill of Rights in order to protect them from the sometimes horrible consequences of freedom.
As I’ve said before, I don’t speak for anyone but me. Many, many cops will vehemently disagree with me about this (which might sort of prove my point). But I WANT law-abiding citizens to have guns. I WANT them to have a means to defend themselves from ME. I DON’T want the people I’ve sworn to defend worrying about Officer Joe and his friends taking their property on a whim. I feel ZERO threat, absolutely none, from lawfully armed good citizens.
I’ve been a cop in Texas for almost 19 years. I’ve interacted countless times with armed homeowners, business owners, and concealed carry permit holders. I’m absolutely comfortable knowing that they’re not helpless lambs, totally dependent on me for their safety and freedom. I’m there to protect good citizens from criminals; citizens have weapons to protect themselves not just from criminals, but also from me and Officer Joe.
That’s how it should be. That’s why we have a 2nd Amendment. And officers like me and Joe are why it shouldn’t be repealed.
NOTE ADDED 3/3/13: I’ve received a lot of interesting replies to this post today. Many of them point out my failure to act that day in the bazaar. Fair enough; this post obviously isn’t a defense of what I did. I don’t think there’s any way to interpret this story as a boast about my inability to stop something I knew was wrong. I admit guilt and don’t flinch from the criticism.
However, some of the comments have gone way beyond simple analysis of my actions, or justifiable criticism of law enforcement. There have been calls for violence against police, accusations that the President is a Nazi, claims that the federal government is preparing for all-out war against the citizens, etc. I’ve deleted those comments.
On the “how I roll” page I describe the rules I follow writing this blog. The comments I receive don’t have to follow the same guidelines, but those like I just described won’t be posted. This blog isn’t anti-police, anti-government, or a place for people to vent all their anger and suspicions about any political party, federal government agency or elected representative.
I welcome rational, intelligently presented dissenting opinions. This is a site where I hope reasonable people can calmly discuss important issues. It’s not a place for internet tough-guyism, veiled threats made from the anonymous safety of a computer, or expressions of support for any revolution.
Because I love this country, the last thing I’ll ever advocate is warfare between citizens and any arm of the government. The vast majority of police officers, members of the military and American citizens are fantastic people. We as a nation are strong enough to correct problems, even those we’re facing today, with discussion instead of violence.
Silly. Cop Becomes a Real Hero by advocating the 2nd amendment? It’s a bit inconsistent with other posts you’ve made on the subject here Eric.
What would have happened to those Albanians if they’d pulled out AK-47’s and gunned down Joe in the market? They’d all be dead. That’s the problem they faced.
Joe should be treated as a simple criminal but he isn’t. Osama bin Laden should have been treated the same as Al Capone, no different, and no high expense SEAL Team with an undocumented burial at sea either. We have courts for people like this but lately it seems we can’t use them. Either the FedGov steps in and says its a matter of national security or the judicial system just ignores the Constitution with impunity. Warrant? Hah! Permit to Sell? Sure.
Problem is, the courts don’t work. You know this and I know it. It looks very much like Chris knows it too. Let’s figure this out before people start pulling guns on each other for doing stupid shit.
His comment about upscale suburbs hiring police to enforce absurd laws is well taken. I know for a fact that most police officers start out with the idea they’re going to help people and the ones stuck with low income jobs in the rat holes of the world actually have a chance to do that. But what happens to the guys like Joe who get put in Chevy Chase? They have ego involvement in “helping” but they don’t have much to do, so they end up enforcing dog shit on the sidewalk laws while pumping iron 4 days a week and getting the low down on the “best” anabolic steroids. They’re like penned lions and eventually they go nuts and do stupid shit like this.
No question, there are numerous flaws with the guy’s reasoning – but he appears to be waking up and it’s important to encourage that. Very few people start as “no government” people – or even minimal government people. I myself was once a “conservative” – and worked my way up to where I am now.
So, cut the guy some slack. He seems to be coming around.
Make not mistake Eric, my hat’s off to Chris for figuring a large part of the problem. But I don’t agree with his assessment of the 2nd’s role in the matter. I understand it because I, lake many others, have been indoctrinated into the use of force, but unlike them I’m also familiar with the old adage that “when all you have is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail”.
It isn’t the way. Peace.
My own feeling is that such developments should be viewed as encouraging signs of larger currents in society, but not necessarily evidence that any specific individual has actually undergone a Road to Damascus transformation.
In other words, we should be heartened by the fact that more and more cops feel obligated to make declarations similar to these.
This is exactly what we want. A sea change in the political atmosphere. We want the NAP to become the New PC. Any shift in the political winds in that direction is a positive sign.
At the same time, we need not conclude that any specific cop has actually truly seen the light.
The two are not mutually exclusive.
It’s why I was so encouraged at that pro-2A Tea Party rally I went to a couple of weeks ago.
Not because they’re all Rothbardian AnCap libertarians. But they’re on the way–after all, I only embraced anarchism a few years ago. And I’d still settle for merely a strict interpretation of the Constitution…as a stepping-stone to greater freedom.
Every person counts. Meet them where they are, and take it from there. The smallest awakening indicates a willingness to break free of the Matrix; we don’t all have to be flushed from our pods into a stinking sewer before the Nebuchadnezzar picks us up. Some of us have to see a glitch in the Matrix; something that shows it’s an illusion…and THEN be introduced to the larger games.
I recommend everyone go read some more of Chris Hernandez’ writings at his site. He’s not our perfect AnCap; but he’s on a journey of many years and he’s off to a good start.
We NEED people like him on our side; because he is a bridge between us “extremists” and the unconverted cops and military.
If he says we’re OK, and he’s cop, then cop might think we’re OK, too.
That simple. And in the coming battles, that will be our lifeline.
My take is that there are two levels that we need to consider simultaneously.
One is the larger socio-political currents. Are they flowing in our direction? That has always been my main focus.
The day that the NAP becomes Politically Correct Conventional Wisdom will be the day we have won.
The other is whether specific individuals are changing their way of thinking in our direction.
That to me has always been less important that whether the larger socio-political currents are becoming more liberty oriented.
That said, both championing the Big Ideas and converting specific individuals are important.
“Silly. Cop Becomes a Real Hero by advocating the 2nd amendment?”
Yep, I read some other articles on his site when I was there. He’s just feeling guilty for what he did to some desperate poor people while “serving” the UN in Kosovo. One of the few people permitted to comment on the LRC blog posted a link to his site and seemed impressed with his article so I read it.
Ol’ Chris would shoot your ass at a traffic stop as quickly as his pal “Joe” would. Hero cop’s ass.
The Long Blue Continuum from Cops to Popes comprise our natural enemies, except when they wakeup and act from their humanity and not from their office. Oath-keepers who become Employment Contract Violating “rogue-cop-humans” are true heroes at least in that moment temporarily.
[Papal Excerpts 1937]
Mit Brennender Sorge (On the Church and the German Reich)
The Encyclical of Pope Pius XI, March 14, 1937
1 It is with deep anxiety and growing surprise that We have long been following the painful trials of the Church and the increasing vexations which afflict those who have remained loyal in heart and action in the midst of a people that once received from St. Boniface the bright message and the Gospel of Christ and God’s Kingdom.
Note: What is the surprise? That they who rule by the sword often perish by the sword? Consider that your Reich condemnations apply to thyselves as well!
8. Whoever exalts race, or the people, or the State, or a particular form of State, or the depositories of power, or any other fundamental value of the human community — however necessary and honorable be their function in worldly things — whoever raises these notions above their standard value and divinizes them to an idolatrous level, distorts and perverts an order of the world planned and created by God; he is far from the true faith in God and from the concept of life which that faith upholds.
Note: This is exactly what the Holy Roman Catholic Empire does, it exalts a world Vatican State and colludes with UN and NATO for world Social Justice administration.
11. None but superficial minds could stumble into concepts of a national God, of a national religion; or attempt to lock within the frontiers of a single people, within the narrow limits of a single race, God, the Creator of the universe, King and Legislator of all nations before whose immensity they are “as a drop of a bucket” (Isaiah xI, 15).
Note:Why not? As long as there’s no force, it sounds fine and is not prohibited by anything in Isaiah.
17. The peak of the revelation as reached in the Gospel of Christ is final and permanent. It knows no retouches by human hand; it admits no substitutes or arbitrary alternatives such as certain leaders pretend to draw from the so-called myth of race and blood. Since Christ, the Lord’s Anointed, finished the task of Redemption, and by breaking up the reign of sin deserved for us the grace of being the children God, since that day no other name under heaven has been given to men, whereby we must be saved (Acts iv. 12). No man, were every science, power and worldly strength incarnated in him, can lay any other foundation but that which is laid: which is Christ Jesus (1 Cor. iii 11). Should any man dare, in sacrilegious disregard of the essential differences between God and His creature, between the God-man and the children of man, to place a mortal, were he the greatest of all times, by the side of, or over, or against, Christ, he would deserve to be called prophet of nothingness, to whom the terrifying words of Scripture would be applicable: “He that dwelleth in heaven shall laugh at them” (Psalms ii. 3).
Note: Holy crap. Disgusting! No more science or human effort is required. We all get to mooch off Jesus forever hooray!!
19. The Church, whose work lies among men and operates through men, may see her divine mission obscured by human, too human, combination, persistently growing and developing like the cockle among the wheat of the Kingdom of God…
31. The believer has an absolute right to profess his Faith and live according to its dictates. Laws which impede this profession and practice of Faith are against natural law.
43. He who searches the hearts and reins (Psalm vii. 10) is Our witness that We have no greater desire than to see in Germany the restoration of a true peace between Church and State. But if, without any fault of Ours, this peace is not to come, then the Church of God will defend her rights and her freedom in the name of the Almighty whose arm has not shortened. Trusting in Him, “We cease not to pray and to beg” (Col. i. 9) for you, children of the Church… for the persecutors and oppressors, that the Father of light and mercy may enlighten them as He enlightened Saul on the road of Damascus. With this prayer in Our heart and on Our lips We grant to you, as a pledge of Divine help, as a support in your difficult resolutions, as a comfort in the struggle, to all your diocesans, and specially to the sick and the prisoners, in paternal love, Our Apostolic Benediction.
Note: Unlike Jesus, the Pope seeks mere restoration of harmony between Church & State. A reaffirmation of the German subjects’ co-dependency.
Damn, Tor. The Pope really scares you, doesn’t he? Seems like a waste of energy to me, but whatever floats your boat, and all that. Remember the old Monte Python skit:
(screechy charwoman’s voice): There’s another dead Bishop on the landing!
(bored male voice): What diocese?
(screechy charwoman): Now, ‘ow would I know?
(bored male): It’s tattooed on the back of ‘is neck…. Call the Vatican police………
Lighten up and learn to laugh, pal. You’ll live longer and have ever so much more fun. The Pope can’t hurt you.
OK. Here’s Some Libertarian Laughs:
http://politicsoffthegrid.files.wordpress.com/2008/05/cartoon20071212.gif Note:(I wish!)
Just playing devil’s advocate here. I find it hard to believe that every vendor in the entire city failed to get a permit. If I were one of the vendors who did take the time (and spend the money) to get a permit, and others around me did not, I would raise hell about it. Of course, in this case we don’t know if any citizens complained or not.
If it were the case that NO ONE in the city had a permit, then basically the law is nullified. It was inappropriate for a law enforcement officer to make the call, it should have been up to an elected official or judge (better yet, jury) to decide, perhaps in a test case. I understand the motivation of the bad cop (since I work in a technological field, there is no gray area, it either works or doesn’t), but just because he wants things to always be black and white doesn’t mean it’s always going to be that way.
1 How do one “raise hell about it”?
Reporting them Judas style to crime stoppers for 30 pieces of silver makes you an accessory to a natural law crime when the jackboots rob, bludgeon, and cage peaceful people.
Complying with Administrative Clover Law puts you in a Catch-22 situation. Any identification of fellow disobedient slaves becomes an act of aggression. The dice are loaded and every roll makes every mundane a loser. Scofflaws & Stool Pidgeons a Stalinistic Paradise.
2 Nullification does not occur when the “law-breakers” are robbed blind, beaten up, and chased and detained by armed goons for further donations to the “public good”.
3 Most of the technological field is all gray area. Products kinda-sorta work for the advertised purpose, but usually they work their hardest for the hidden purposes of the overlords and tax farmers.
I hope there’s no confrontational tone in the above, Eric_G, I mean none. Consider the above a pro-forma answer from the devil’s opposing council.
– – – – – –
Ron Paul in re the Apr-2013 OH Homeschooling Convention
“I find it hard to believe that every vendor in the entire city failed to get a permit. ”
Actually, it was just a large number of desperate, small time street vendors, not every vendor in the city. You can see the same thing here at any flea market. Flea markets were once mainly a place for sellers of used items, or produce vendors selling their own home grown produce. Now, many of the vendors are selling cheap Chinese made dollar store items and knockoff designer clothes and shoes.
Today, there are so many roadblocks to small timers who want to enter retail businesses. You can get a permit, sure, but then you’re tied into keeping books, collecting and paying sales tax, etc. The costs of doing business that way ensures that you won’t manage to accumulate enough capital to rent a storefront and establish anything that will last.
Local Chambers of Commerce ask for police protection against these upstarts, and the day of the big weekend flea market is pretty much done for. Flea markets are really looked upon by authorities as black markets. That’s how they are treated, anyway.
Not hard to envision the coming Waltonia company towns. All goods from the Walmart megabox. Niche specialty boutiques come from Walmall. All services occur at Sam’s Club. All restaurants are Taco Bell, which only exist as satellite stores within Sam’s Club.
Need a drink after a hard day working at Walton, Walton, Walton & Associates? Get a drink at Sam’s club.
Want some quick jollies before heading home? Get a lapdance at Sam’s club.
Connect with your friends socially on Walface and Waltweet. Search your local Walnet at Walsearch. Send everyone a Waltweet from your Walphone or Walpad.
Keep it legit by having identical competing establisments called CostCo, CostCoMart, CostCoMall, CostCoClub, Costco face,tweet, net, search phone and pad of course.
We’re all free. We all have choices. The handful of Plutarch Cartels compete furously in every industry in every nation. Such a brave new world.
Two British Corporal Soldiers(military occupation police) Killed By Irish Republicans
These (occupying) soldiers were pulled from their vehicle, had their eyes stabbed out and their dying carcasses thrown over a wall. They were driven to council estates(welfare project housing) and given their coup de grâce bullets to end their 2 minutes hate and torture.
The soldiers, cameramen, and helicopter were there to infiltrate the funeral and target “Irish Terrorists” only these two accidentally drove down the wrong street and into an angry Irish crowd.
Yeah, I read this article by Chris Hernandez awhile back and posted several responses on his blog. Most of my responses were taken down or never posted. The guy strictly controls debate on his site, which he can, of course, it’s his site. Still, I think he wants a lot of praise for being a ‘good cop’ when there really is no such thing.
In the article he acts as though the raid organized by ‘Joe’ is something that ‘Joe’ was able to do there and would never have happened here. What should have been obvious to Chris was that ‘Joe” had been doing the same thing where ever he worked in the US before going to Kosovo.
Chris deleted several of my posts where I gave examples of the same kind of raids taking place at flea markets every weekend in Chesterfied county Va. He left one of my posts like that up, at least it was up the last time I looked, it may be gone now.
Chris also says that he still thinks ‘Joe’ is a good guy. That shows right there that he hasn’t come anywhere close to facing the truth about his job. Maybe Chris will wake up after he has herded his own kids into a cattle car bound for a camp somewhere. He can write another hand-wringing blog post about that.
Maybe he’s tossing and turning, trying to wake up, but until he does, fuck him. He’s still a tyrant.
Though it’s a good read, and I think I agree with his overall thrust, he makes one small statement that completely undoes the whole blog post:
“I feel ZERO threat, absolutely none, from lawfully armed good citizens.”
The key word here is “lawfully.” Secondarily, the word “good.”
Who determines what is “lawful?” Who determines who is “good?”
The whole point of Officer Joe’s argument, and his actions bazaar against the rights of the vendors was that it was “lawful” and therefore good. Officer Hernandez has tacitly agreed with Officer Joe that he only opposes “unlawful” possession of guns, even for self-defense.
The point is that the politicians determine what is lawful, and that because something is lawful therefore it is good, just, right, honorable. In fact, there is absolutely no connection between what is lawful and what is right.
Rights, natural rights, exist in the absence of laws or government to pass such laws. They predate government and law, and they will still be there after a government falls. They are “unalienable” according to Jefferson. They cannot be transgressed by any law.
Officer Hernandez is unwittingly endorsing the very problem he claims to be championing against. If we take that statement at face value, about “lawfully armed good citizens,” then we must presume that if the law were changed by politicians, through the passage of more draconian gun control legislation or through the elimination of the Second Amendment entirely, he would no longer consider a peaceful, armed citizen a “lawfully armed good citizen,” and they would therefore be fair game to be punished according to the law.
He is a law enforcement officer. Not a peace officer.
It makes me wonder if he were placed in a position, by changes in the law, to enforce confiscation of the firearms of peaceful citizens, who had never aggressed against another, would he refuse or would he comply as he did in Kosovo?
I’m sure that Officer Hernandez has good intentions. It appears that he is moderately more aware of personal rights and liberties than the average police thug. I don’t think he really understands, yet, what it is he is doing for a living or he wouldn’t be doing it in the first place.
Moreover, I think this is an excellent example of how language tricks us. I’m fairly certain that Officer Hernandez didn’t actually intend what I pointed out above, but we have all been so brainwashed to respect authority, that neither he nor many others would have picked up on that slip.
Another example is his opening lines he states:
“Even though we’ve all seen reports of police brutality and corruption, I still believe we cops are the good guys.”
That should be a red flag immediately.
IF the job of the police is to enforce laws, and IF those laws are nearly all in violation of natural rights, a police officer is left with two options. First, an officer who chooses to be “good” and not violate another’s rights would be unable to perform their duty as a cop and would either have to leave the force voluntarily or would have to be fired. Second, an officer who chooses to enforce laws that violate natural rights is no longer a “good guy” and therefore is enforcing evil. Even an officer who feels guilty about a law, who enforces it only intermittently, or who picks and chooses which laws he wishes to enforce based on his own arbitrary standards is still in the second camp.
Officer Hernandez picks out a single instance of a law that violates people’s property rights. What about other laws that violate natural rights, such as drug laws, speeding laws, jay-walking laws, tax laws, etc.? How likely is it that he would arrest someone for owning a selective fire weapon without the proper licenses even though those licenses are in full violation of his beloved Second Amendment?
That said, I applaud Officer Hernandez’s step towards the light. We have to start somewhere, and perhaps as he gains further understanding of basic human rights, he will come to recognize that being a police officer in the US today is wholly incompatible with respecting basic human rights, no matter how heroic they may act in other scenarios (or how heroic non-officers may act just the same without being paid for it). I’m still unpacking years of garbage force-fed me in government-approved schooling, and I catch myself uttering false, two-faced statements on a regular basis.
Being a police officer is as incompatible with being a “good guy” as having an affair is with being a “faithful husband.”
Pretty much covered the points I would have made.
Saved me the time and energy.