Sunday, July 17, 2016
Now it's Baton Rouge
Initial reports are that six police officers have been shot in a deliberate ambush. Three are reported to be dead. One of the ambushers is reportedly dead too, with two more being sought by the authorities.
I can't defend all police shootings of suspects. Some of them are clearly wrong - indeed, some have led to criminal convictions of cops in court, and others are likely to do so - but the majority have been proven to be within the boundaries of the law. Unfortunately, radical elements are now portraying all of them as wrong, before the courts have had an opportunity to pronounce on each case. They've made themselves judge, jury and executioner, so to speak. That can't have anything but a bad ending.
What this will inevitably lead to is more shootings on both sides. Police will be understandably suspicious and on edge when they approach suspects. Any movement at all, no matter how innocent its intent, may be interpreted as a prelude to violence, and will therefore be met with pre-emptive violence to stop it in its tracks. In the same way, some citizens will interpret any police interaction as a prelude to a violation of their rights, which may lead them to react more violently than would otherwise be the case. Instant, instinctive, reflexive reaction will replace common sense. There will be more shootings on both sides, and the cycle of violence will get worse and worse.
Ordinary citizens like you and I are now much more likely to respond violently to future incidents. When we know that groups like Black Lives Matter are actively targeting police, and posting approving comments on social media whenever the latter are attacked and murdered, we're going to be a whole lot less trusting of them. For example, in the past, BLM activists have disrupted restaurant patrons. Guess what's likely to happen if they do that again? Where I live, they're likely to be met with gunfire, because patrons won't trust them to get within arms' length. I can't blame them. I'll certainly have that attitude myself, particularly since I'm permanently partially disabled and can't fight off an attack physically as I once would have done. Now, given disparity of force issues and the current social climate, my response to threatened (or even implied) violence is likely to be a whole lot more immediate, and a whole lot less tolerant.
Black Lives Matter might care to think about that. If this blows up into racial conflict, the numbers are all against them. They can't possibly win - they can only take as many as possible with them when they go down. From that sort of conflict, there will be no winners at all. I know this. I learned it the hard way in another country. Unfortunately, few (if any) BLM activists have any experience of just how bad things can (and probably will) get. I fear they're about to find out.