signs of the apocalypse
one story that's got me today is from yesterday evening on the boston common. on a particularly beautiful and breezy spring afternoon, while the common was characteristically packed full of strolling and lolling civilians, (perhaps not as full as when subway fires impacting the two busiest stations in the system sent trainloads of passengers above ground to escape the smoke as earlier in the week, but pretty full nonetheless), police officers chased down and shot a guy with a fake gun.
firearms sober me up in a right awful hurry. i've mentioned my sense of civil duty to license myself and acquire arms for the defense of american liberty (though important to note that i feel the most-likely aggressor and tyrant to be my own federal government and its "department of homeland security" than any other group, including so-called terrorists who statistically pose less a threat to me and my children than getting shot down by over-zealous "law enforcement", but i digress) but don't for a moment mistake where i stand on the subject of weapons of personal destruction. like tnt, they can be argued to be intended and overall-on-the-balance effective for the greater good, but even al nobel would have to admit that it hasn't been an unblemished track record on either side. pulling a pistol with which to deal bodily harm is about an aggressive an act as can be considered in our society, and when its done in the presence of hundreds of innocent bystanders something HAS TO be done about it.
i, of course, know nothing of the true circumstances of the shooting other than that it happened. i'm also, it needs to be said, one of those local police (note that i said local, not federal) supporters who realizes that we push far too much of our personal responsibility for good public order onto the undermanned and underarmed shoulders of our local contabularies, and, like supporting our men and women in arms overseas, believe that we do not nearly enough to support and honor that service to our greater good. the truth is, in the last 12 months, that gun violence on that very same public common has erupted far too many times, with one random bullet even being found lodged in a window of our statehouse. the police need our support to be doing something active about it, and their presence on the common yesterday is to be unequivocally commended.
but, firing guns off in a public park begins to tread on the edge of my unequivocality. i sure hope the situation warranted the extreme response.
by way of context and contrast: my local cops arrested a guy selling heroin for the FIFTH time while out on bail for the previous infractions, and i'm compelled to say i'm completely on the blue side that something has gotta be done to help 'em do their jobs. and when a local nut job flailed a meat cleaver in their direction the other day, i get completely why it was necessary to pull the pistol and do what needed to be done. (true story, courtesy, of course, of my local paper). but i'm seriously apprehensive to know what possessed that guy on boston common yesterday to produce and fire his weapon. heaven forbid any of us are walking with our children nearby to the next flashpoint.
(mental note to add kevlar to the automatic assault weapon when stockpiling the potential defense to my civil liberty).
so, wanna know what prompted me to pick this morning's blog title? nope, it's not the cops shooting people down in the park, nor the gas prices nor the train crashes nor the towering infernos all over town. (cry for the lobsters at jg hook). it's the fact that mbta cops have virtually ceased citing people for fare jumping and other platform mischief.
i think it's pretty clear, from the result in nyc to all over the country, that strict enforcement of *all* laws leads to better public order and a significant reduction in serious/violent crime. so the boston police are battling above ground against a surge in drug traffic and handgun violence above the very same stations where these transit cops are petitioning to be adjoined to the state police (three guesses which bureaucracy offers higher pay scales, and the first two don't count) while they don't even lift a finger when the handgun-armed above-ground drug dealer of tomorrow begins his disrespect for the law by trashing and stealing from our underfunded public transit system beneath.
yeah, it's a stretch to even imagine causality, but i can't help but wonder anyway.