Now that videos of the atrocity in Uvalde, Texas this past Wednesday are emerging and contradicting the statements of Texas’ police commanders, Texas’ governor, and the mainstream media, this question must be asked.
The Right has been nearly unanimous in its support of the police and its condemnation of the various “defund the police” movements these past few years. How do most conservatives feel about the police this morning? If you’re not yet up to speed, Tucker Carlson will brief you:
It boggles the mind that the police authorities should have been so free with outright falsehoods when it was virtually certain that contrary testimony and videos of the event would emerge. It doesn’t speak well of their trustworthiness. (It certainly doesn’t speak well of their intelligence.) Yet after the carnage had ended, voluminous “pro-Blue” statements were swift to be issued and repeated by the major media. Governor Greg Abbott got right on board with them too. Now all of that has been refuted by incontrovertible witness testimony and video evidence.
Meanwhile, Washington is using the atrocity as a reason to impose even more restrictions on private gun ownership. I didn’t need further proof that “politician” is synonymous de facto with “scumbag.” Did you, Gentle Reader? Yet there they are, right out in front of God and everybody. As William S. Burroughs famously observed, in the aftermath of a shooting, the authorities always hustle to take the guns away from everyone who didn’t do it.
High-ranking police officials are egging them on.
In historical terms, public police are a relatively recent phenomenon. It’s illuminating to read up on the history of public policing, both in Britain and here. We of the Anglosphere owe the concept to Sir Robert Peel. You might be surprised by what you find. In particular, back then they were not popular with the common folk.
Whether public police are a desirable thing is an open question that deserves to be openly discussed. Certainly, public police who do nothing as children are mowed down by a rampaging gunman are not a desirable thing. Yet that’s the sort that converged on Robb Elementary School. Not only did they hang back as Salvador Ramos slaughtered defenseless children and teachers, they did their level best to prevent anyone else from entering the building to deal with Ramos. Ultimately, Ramos was stopped – shot and killed – not by the police but by a Border Patrol officer.
We hear constantly about how the police are underpaid. That’s a plaint you’ll hear from anyone who draws his salary from a government – regardless of its veracity. Yet police departments bristle with equipment, including items originally deployed to military units. Police are allowed to retire after twenty years. Police benefits and pensions are on a par with the arrangements for any public employee. And police routinely lord it over civilians in any encounters between us, often to the extent of issuing orders backed by the threat of force that are demonstrably outside their proper authority.
We also hear that We the People have no need for firearms, that the police will respond to any threats better than a badgeless citizen. Until recently, that was a left-wing political mantra…but we’re beginning to hear it from supposed conservatives as well.
Incidents such as Uvalde, Texas and Parkland, Florida are souring a great many people on the police. The saying has become commonplace that a policeman’s highest priority is preserving his own life. Whether or not it’s correctable, the trend appears to be real – and that is not good for the police or the communities they’re hired and dispatched to serve.