I'm sure many of us have been shocked by public expressions of support for multiple murderer Christopher Dorner. As one report noted:
One Facebook page says Dorner should run for president of the United States. “We propose electing a man who could no longer sit idly by and watch as malicious tyrants abuse the innocent.”
. . .
CBS13 posted a simple question: Why? Why support a man wanted for at least three killings and the author of a murderous manifesto promising to target cops?
One sympathizer replied, “Because something needs to be done about the long known corruption of not only the LAPD, but several agencies.”
. . .
[Professor] Martinez is not surprised by the outpouring of support. He points to a long history of distrust and tension between parts of Southern California and the police as the motivation behind the movement. Some see Dorner’s actions as a sick kind of justice.
“So, to see someone kill police officers, they may see this as a kind of way of standing against oppressive force,” said Martinez.
There's more at the link. My buddy Lawdog has already given a vociferous and not-at-all-politically-correct response to such nonsense, which I wholeheartedly endorse.
However, if one takes Professor Martinez' comment further, there's a lot of ammunition on his side (you should pardon the expression). It's on a national scale, not just in Southern California. For example, just a few days ago, Quin Hillyer wrote in the Washington Times about:
... a growing number of horror stories of bureaucrats, enforcing regulations of nonviolent conduct the perpetrator may not have even suspected was illegal, brandishing weapons they arguably don’t need. These two problems - overcriminalization of essentially harmless conduct and overarming of agents in nondangerous circumstances - combine to create a federal government that can be terribly frightening.
Most Americans understand why agents of the FBI, the Secret Service and some other federal agencies need weapons. Yet most would be puzzled by the proliferation of arms in departments where employees usually are seen as paper pushers. At least all of the following departments, quite bizarrely, feature armed agents: the National Park Service; the IRS; the Postal Inspection Service; the Departments of Health and Human Services, Agriculture, Labor, and Veterans Affairs; the Bureaus of Land Management and Indian Affairs, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Fish and Wildlife Service; and even the Small Business Administration and the Railroad Retirement Board.
Agents in some of these entities seem prone to ostentatious shows of force or to sending in armed FBI personnel on unnecessary occasions.
. . .
Edited by current and former Heritage [Foundation] experts Paul Rosenzweig and Brian W. Walsh, “One Nation Under Arrest” contains the tales of lobstermen jailed for eight years for using plastic instead of cardboard to import their catch, a grandmother charged as a criminal for letting her hedges grow too high, a gentle retiree imprisoned for 17 months for having the wrong paperwork for his imported orchids and similar horror stories.
. . .
On its face, this federal government habit of overcriminalization, without regard to the intent of the perpetrator, is a serious threat to civil liberties. When combined with gun-toting bureaucrats on search-and-seizure power trips, it’s also a threat to limb and life. These are the threats to life, liberty and reason that are engendering the nationwide backlash against a government out of control. Quite rightly, that backlash is sending incumbent congressmen to bitter defeat across the country. The ballot box makes our government not yet quite “too big to fight.” But it’s awfully close to being too big even for the innocent to defeat - and it’s awfully scary.
Again, more at the link - and it's well worth reading.
We've also all heard reports about local cops whose behavior is way over the line - not just out of control, but criminally so. To cite only a few recent headlines:
- Texas State Troopers conducted body cavity searches in public without sufficient cause or legal justification, resulting in a lawsuit;
- An Ohio police officer threatened to kill a licensed, lawfully armed citizen after ignoring the latter's attempts to inform him of the situation;
- There have been so many reports of police killing dogs that posed no threat to them that there's an entire blog, 'Dogs That Cops Killed', devoted to such stories. (Some of its reports include video evidence which can be graphic in the extreme, so be warned.)
The Christopher Dorner incident has provided further evidence that some police behave in a manner that's completely out of control. I'm sure many law enforcement officers nationwide (not least my friend Matt G.) regard the response by some (not all) LAPD and other SoCal law enforcement officers to the Christopher Dorner incident with, at best, disapproval and concern, if not outright disgust, outrage and contempt. To open fire on unidentified vehicles, with occupants who were demonstrably very different in appearance to the suspect and were not behaving suspiciously in any way, is beyond the pale. If I were in their unit, I'd refuse to go on patrol with the officers concerned, for fear that the next time they panicked I'd end up with one of their stray bullets in my back! I'm sure their cowardly, utterly inept response hasn't been lost on the citizens they're supposed to 'protect and serve'.
Finally, note public response to recent attempts to crack down on firearms ownership and the Second Amendment rights of Americans. (See, for example, this very interesting video report from New York State. It's worth watching, noting the passionate response from citizens versus the dictatorial, uncaring attitude of the authorities.) Suffice it to say that many Americans will regard any attempt to disarm them, whether technically 'legal' or not, as unconstitutional and an assault on their civil rights and liberties, and will resist any such efforts. Those law enforcement agencies and agents who agree to carry out such attempts are certain to be regarded as enemies, and meet with an appropriate reaction. As David Codrea pointed out today:
... a panicked reaction in multiple incidents reveals police in the process of protecting their own posing a real danger to the public.
The shooting of two newspaper delivery women illustrates just how jittery the searchers are, and how desperate, when it’s obvious the “shoot first”-mentality officers did not see a suspect they could identify and yet opened fire anyway. The hail of bullets left the truck riddled with holes and opens the question of who else was endangered by bullets that missed it or went through it. And this wasn’t just a one-time mistake: Trigger-happy Torrance cops reportedly did the same thing to another citizen in different part of town.
Another incident, this time in San Diego, involved another innocent citizen having his life endangered in what was initially described as a barricade situation, but turned out to be a case of mistaken identity.
One man has done this, and people are noticing. Aside from an attitude among panicky enforcers that appears to regard public safety as an expendable inconvenience when they perceive a real or imagined threat to themselves, people are noticing how much illusion and presumptions have to do with state power.
. . .
It’s also noted by those of us who understand what is fundamentally necessary for the security of a free State, and who view coerced confiscations such as have been proposed in the past and in recent weeks as an ultimatum to surrender our very freedoms or suffer the consequences at the hands of enforcers who are appearing less and less omnipotent. That is unacceptable to people who do not want trouble but have no intention of disarming, and who would view any attempt to force that as an intolerable act to be defied, and ultimately, to be resisted.
The deterrent effect of an armed citizenry as a last resort appeal against tyranny is often derided by those who don’t have a clue about what such individuals could accomplish in defense of their liberties. It’s derided even more strongly, and tellingly, more desperately, by those who do, and who see and are shaken to their cores by the vulnerabilities just one armed former police officer/citizen disarmament zealot has exposed.
More at the link. Bold print is my emphasis.
I think Professor Martinez is right. I think those supporting the utterly loathsome (and, I'm informed, hopefully late) Christopher Dorner are merely expressing sentiments engendered by an increasingly intrusive, overly authoritarian and (in some cases) ruthlessly out-of-control law enforcement establishment. I believe strongly that this establishment must be reined in, returned to tighter control by higher authorities and required to exercise greater self-control as well . . . or there will be more support for more Dorners. If that establishment takes it upon itself to seek to disarm society, or impose other forms of draconian, statist control (for example, if the IRS tries to crack down on people for not having the insurance required by Obamacare), I daresay there will be many more who react by taking the law into their own hands. That's what happens when you treat Americans like subjects rather than citizens. The British found that out back in 1776.
I've worn a badge. I've sworn the oath of office, as have my friends in law enforcement departments and uniforms. The difference is, we meant our oaths, and we uphold them to this day, whether active or retired. (See Lawdog's reflections on policing for a good overview of what those oaths mean to us.) There are far too many in law enforcement to whom their oaths are mere words, not worthy of reflection, and of no consequence. They're the kind of people who behave in the ways outlined above . . . and they need to be removed from law enforcement, at once if not sooner. Every day they remain in office is a day when the citizens of this country learn, through their bad example, that law enforcement is not their friend. That bodes ill indeed for the future.