Thursday, September 1, 2016

Damned if they do, damned if they don't

Yesterday I wrote about the impossible conundrum facing police.  They're literally in a no-win situation.  If they enforce and uphold the laws, they're accused of racism, abuse of authority, and everything else one can imagine.  If they don't, the law-abiding citizens they're sworn to protect and serve will pay the price in the anything-goes free-for-all that will result.

A graphic example of how this plays out every day on the streets of some of our rougher neighborhoods was given in Chicago a few days ago.  The video below is profane, graphic and very disturbing.  I can only commend the police involved for not giving in to what must, at times, have been the overwhelming temptation to deal with the interlopers as their conduct deserved.

LANGUAGE ALERT:  Profanity is frequent and very graphic.  If you'd like to read what happened, and watch the video with the sound turned off, you'll find the details here.

Now ask yourself, dear readers:  if you find yourself on the streets of a city or suburb like that (say, after a traffic accident, while you're waiting for emergency services to arrive), and you get heckled like that . . . what are you going to do about it?  You probably won't have sufficient legal justification to open fire on the mob.  If you produce a gun and try to threaten them, their reactions will be just as they are above.  They'll dare you to use it, knowing that if you do, the law will basically side with them, no matter how provocative and threatening their conduct might have been.  What's more, some of them will probably have guns too.  If you use yours, they'll likely shoot back - and your family and anyone else with you will be in the line of fire.  You might be well advised to leave the area as quickly as possible, by any means necessary (including hitching a ride with passing motorists), and abandon your vehicle.  If it gets stripped or stolen, that's still a lot less trouble than what might happen if you stay with it.

John Farnam's advice (which we've repeated on several occasions in these pages) still holds good.  Bold, underlined text is my emphasis.

The best way to handle any potentially injurious encounter is: Don’t be there. Arrange to be somewhere else. Don’t go to stupid places. Don’t associate with stupid people. Don’t do stupid things. This is the advice I give to all students of defensive firearms. Winning a gunfight, or any other potentially injurious encounter, is financially and emotionally burdensome. The aftermath will become your full-time job for weeks or months afterward, and you will quickly grow weary of writing checks to lawyer(s). It is, of course, better than being dead or suffering a permanently disfiguring or disabling injury, but the “penalty” for successfully fighting for your life is still formidable.

Crowds of any kind, particularly those with an agenda, such as political rallies, demonstrations, picket lines, etc are good examples of “stupid places.” Any crowd with a high collective energy level harbors potential catastrophe. To a lesser degree, bank buildings, hospital emergency rooms, airports, government buildings, and bars (particularly crowded ones) fall into the same category. All should be avoided. When they can’t be avoided, we should make it a practice to spend only the minimum time necessary there and then quickly get out.

“A superior gunman is best defined as one who uses his superior judgment in order to keep himself out of situations that would require the use of his superior skills.”

Words to live by more than ever, in these troubled times.  Kudos to those cops for keeping their cool under very trying circumstances.  I doubt I'd have done as well.


EDITED TO ADD:  It happened in Kansas City last Saturday, too.  This time, shots were fired.


C. S. P. Schofield said...

The police are, indeed, between a rock and a hard place, but some of that is of their own making, and more is on the shoulders of the Liberal Progressive Statists who write laws to cover everything, and then expect the police to enforce those laws - or to know by telepathy when the Progressives want those laws enforced and when they don't.

It's a three cornered mess. The BLM (does anyone else keep reading that as Bureau of Land Management?) protests some police actions that clearly need to be investigated, and then champions out and out thugs because they were black. The Police (and Police Unions) make punishing officers who did something outrageous very difficult, and the Authorities continue to write laws spectacular for their overreach and opacity.

Of the three, the politicians are the ones almost always in the wrong.

I suggest we skin 'em.

Pawpaw said...

In over 30 years of police work, I've seen that pendulum swing both ways, and right now, the police are indeed between a rock and a hard place. The street thugs in Chicago (and other places) sense weakness and they're capitalizing on it.

Nothing last forever, though, and in ten years, the cops on the street will be telling the rookies how bad it used to be. These things go in cycles. Eventually, Chicago (and other places) will get a law-and-order administration, and the crack-down will calm things down.

These guys talk smack because they can. When you make it painful (legally and physically) to talk smack, it gets quiet on the street. Again, as an old cop, I've seen it go both ways. The cops are playing defense right now, mainly on the orders of Democratic politicians. I give it another year before the pendulum starts to swing back. Hillary doesn't care about black thugs, and Donald wants to be a law-and-order president. BLM is running on borrowed time.

Glen said...

One suggestion for those who travel by road in the USA: Carefully study planned stopping places on Google Street view or other similar service. Many places you will pass through look fine on a map, but ominous when you can see the neighborhoods. A good example is West Memphis. It looks like decent town on the map, but much, much worse in street view.

Make the effort to keep current, and stay out of troubled areas.

Glen in Texas

Anonymous said...

Sorry, but I have had quite enough of that sewage. Napoleon was right, a whiff of grape for these feral savage terrorist would be quite effective.

I had a run in with one of these pitiful blm types today, didn't start it, but I cut that piece of sewage no slack. Couldn't talk clearly, couldn't respond to anything with other than the party line it bein all does whyt privilge folks fault and we be owen dem. Only able to use the insults that are pure BS. He? finally went away extending me the middle finger and had no response to "IQ or number of parents on your birth certificate". Other customers were smiling and laughing. Seems I am not the only one fed up with this crap.

No, did't get beat up by a black blm mob in the parking lot, but that was a surprise. Individually they are cowards and bullies.

Yes, I was rather disgusted with the entire episode.

Anonymous said...

They're not damned. They routinely get away with murdering unarmed people and the only accountability they ever face is if they get caught stealing money out of the coffee fund in their offices. They are, without question the most ill-disciplined police in modern times. They and their predecessors created a cleft stick they haven't yet figured out how to get out of. They will.

Pain compliance has been a police technique since Hammurabi laid out the laws. The modern police who already have their own armored vehicles and machine guns are going to leap on area denial systems once the R&D types have refined them to be portable. They'll be like tasers. You'll have cops using LRAD and the actual microwave ADS on people like that gang shown in the video. The kids aren't going to like it and they will do what they do.

The shameless liars at NPR tell me that in the black male urban community unemployment runs at 50%. They quite literally don't have anything else to do. There will be a handful of people, not progressives, just hard working ordinary people, who will suggest that what they need in their lives is a little structure, a little order, a little discipline and we'll hear from those idiots that think we need to bring back the draft. But those people we see too much off, you can't draft them without scrapping all of the rules we put in place immediately after Vietnam. The military knows those types very well and want's nothing to do with them. (BTW, that was not intended or written to be racisct.) I'm saying the military has some pretty strict standards for who they will ALLOW to enlist. Your petty criminals, drug dealers and scumbags aren't just discouraged. They are plain not allowed. They aren't wanted. They make up 100% of the 10% of the people that cause 90% of your problem. The wise don't want them because they are actually worse than useless.

So what do you do with them? Soylent Green?

I agree with CSPS above. We should skin the politicians.

I disagree with Pawpaw. The police have become an overbearing out of control juggernaut of vicscious and pointless stupidity. They no longer have 'friends' in the community. They either learn right now to discipline their viscious mob of guys with badges and guns or the rest of us are going to start killing them. They are dangerous to us, to the State and to Democracy.

I think Glen nailed it. I went to Memphis. I went all over it with my wife and 3 year old daughter. I didn't see any of the urban wastelands except the famous bit and I really enjoyed the Metal Museum and Mud Island. I was a counter terrorism security man for the USN for over 30 years at that point (2004). I had my eyes wide open as I always do. Situational Awareness is my mantra. There were parts of Memphis that we drove through in daytime that I would not have after dark. I can't believe north Memphis is dangerous but then, after I was there, the idiots in charge destroyed public housing and pushed the gang violence into every neighborhood that would take a Section 8 voucher. I remember in San Diego in the last century there remained a small number of neighborhoods or realtors who refused those things because they are the death of community.

One cannot have a community without law but sadly our communities all lost the art of controlling the law. They left it to the police. They fucked up.

I would like to not be banned here. If you think I'm stupid, obtuse, boring, petulant or an idiot because I write long replies, please just drop me a line and I will stop. I know very well who owns and operates this blog.

Anonymous said...

It has been said that police serve not only to keep criminals away from the citizens, but also to keep citizens away from the criminals.

Claire Wolfe has said "America is at that awkward stage. It's too late to work within the system, but too early to shoot the bastards."

Put those two together, and envision a sufficiently severe economic/social breakdown and whomever insists on remaining the problem will encounter a citizen-implemented solution,quite probably one that they will not enjoy. At all.

At the moment, there is enough structure and authority to maintain sufficient accountability to discourage direct action in response to "problems." If - actually, "when" - that situation changes enough the problems will be resolved with a certain degree of immediacy largely unseen in existing "civilized" societies.

Enjoy it while it lasts, kids, PawPaw is at least partially right, and you'd better hope it's the police who are directed to take action; police have command structures, review boards, public accountability and media awareness. If it's the rest of us who are forced into "problem resolution" we'll not have any of that.

emil said...

yammering coyotes....emboldened because the big dogs have been muzzled.

eventually, the muzzle comes off, the leash is slipped and those coyotes quickly experience the difference between a lack of political will and inability.

so grateful to not be a policeman.

Anonymous said...

Peter. In the past you've said that "stupid places" includes shopping malls, outdoor concerts, dancehalls... Well I must be stupid because I refuse to strike them off my list of places to go to. Taken to a logical extreme, your recommendation would turn me into a recluse who only orders stuff online and never goes out. Eff that. If I get blown up by a Musulman bomber, so be it. Would prefer that no more Musulmans be allowed into our countries, but not even a hypothetical President Trump will be able to make that happen.

P.S. Why is this blog called Bayou Renaissance Man? Weren't you in Tennessee before moving to Texas?

Peter said...

@Anonymous at 5.55 AM: When I first came to the USA, I started in Louisiana. That's also where I started blogging. Hence, the name.

JWM said...

In the early 90's I made several cross country trips on the Harley. West Memphis seemed like a convenient stop at the end of a long day's ride. There was a Motel 6 off I40, with a Waffle House right next door. I stayed there a few times, had a decent meal, and a good rest. Never any trouble. I learned much later how lucky I had been. "You stayed THERE?" a few of the Tennesseens would ask? You nuts? God indeed looks after fools and drunks.


Paul, Dammit! said...

A shipmate of mine, very very nice, very white kid, was headed home at night with his girlfriend, when a toddler ran out in the street- she was driving at or under the limit of 45mph, and sadly killed the kid. The parents were very low class black people, and at a house party. The girlfriend immediately called 911 on her cell and reported what had happened while the kid yelled towards the house and tried to perform CPR. When the partygoers found out what had happened, she was held at gunpoint while he was beaten unconscious with various implements and kicked in the head repeatedly. Since they had called an ambulance already for the child, my shipmate ended up in there and was mediflighted out. It was an awful, random thing, but that boy, who is about as liberal as anyone I've met, became a very dedicated concealed carrier, and is lucky to be alive.

The police showed up too late to do anything but fill out reports. I think of that sometime when I cut through bad neighborhoods to avoid traffic.

Paul Campbell said...

Unbelievable. Disrespectful. Where's the water cannon when you need it?