On the terrorist RCMP shootings

(In NB, a youth has become radicalized to the point of shooting several officers. This is my response to that situation, with a view to achieving a peaceful balance between forces in an increasingly democratic society.)

 

There comes a time when, having exhausted all peaceful strategies, alternatives must be pursued. In particular, when government is for long years unresponsive to the concerns of a great number of citizens of the ever-expanding scope of control and invasion of privacy on the part of government over the citizens which should ultimately rule over government.

I do not think we are necessarily there yet. But clearly someone else calculated differently. He is a hero. Justice will be done. There were alternatives. Now they will be more apparent. If the government uses the acts of a lone wolf to bully us into accepting further surveillance and more steps further into the realm of police-statehood, then I fear that those officers who we count on to keep us safe will be increasingly in danger. That is how it should be, as we take step #523850 towards the Stalinist police state increasingly extreme responses may be required. I continue to hope that words will be enough.

We are still going in the wrong direction. A response which effectively amounts to using the acts of one single person to bully the public into accepting ever more intrusive powers of the state should be opposed. Balance is barely in sight. Citizens must have the power to hold government in check. Or what? Ask the guy who shot all those cops. Let’s not go there. It will happen if it has to.

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Defining features of a good cop
– desire to serve community
– willingness to risk self to do so

Defining features of a good soldier
– desire to serve nation
– ability to strictly follow orders except for when they break laws
– willingness to risk self to do so

( I want to add “good judge” and “good legislator” to the above list, but they are different in a way.)

If we need to expand the role of the army in day to day life, then the onus is on the government to convince the public that it is necessary (e.g., national guard sometimes helps when a major storm hits). Otherwise, they should not be surprised to find that members of the public will respond using aggressive words and even actions. Any efforts to promote militarization of the police and a move towards increasingly militarized and abrasive policing strategies should be opposed by the most peaceful means possible with the exception that the public will always be willing to understand that there are genuinely situations where the case can be made in plain words for a TEMPORARY change in powers/strategies adopted by the police. Leave the big guns to the special teams who, for that matter, should still be focused on negotiating peaceful solutions until violence presents itself as the only available strategy. Violence begets violence, abrasion begets abrasion. The role of police should be to contribute to stopping these cycles, not to their perpetuation.

Normalization of first strike tactics is designed to create fear, not order. Let us achieve order without fear. This will begin by moderation of increasingly extreme measures adopted by police and increasingly intrusive measures pushed by the party currently in government.

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