There was a protest here. I watched as the policemen patiently cleared the streets and guided the protestors around and made sure they were safe. As I watched I kept checking the rooftops to see if there might be someone with a gun who might be waiting. The day before we offered up a prayer for victims and the cities involved in another act of violence. We still believe in the power of prayer in a world that seeks power in other ways. There is power in shutting down traffic in a busy city I guess but my over all impression was of the silliness of it all. That seems to be a shabby word to describe the magnitude of what is happening but that is all I came up with.
And I thought of a note from a young man who identified himself bravely in his writing but I will not presume to do that. For now I will leave him anonymous. Here is what he wrote.
“For the past 13+ years, I have been at 3 different permanent duty stations and at least 13 different temporary duty stations, working in 14 different states and 2 different countries with more LE agents and officers than I can count. Never once, in all that time, did I hear anyone say, “Gee, I hope I get into a shooting today.” We dread that day, not wish for it. No LE officer/agent/deputy has EVER woke up, put their service weapon on, kissed their loved ones goodbye and said to themselves, “I hope that I’m put in a position today that will require me to make a split second decision to either take a life or possibly die myself.”
To many in the media and in positions of power, ACTUAL law enforcement is an obtuse concept. It’s obtuse because they are holier-than-thou chickenhawks that sold their personal integrity long ago, choosing to pervert irrelevant concepts like race and sex for a vote, or a dollar, or an extra ratings point. In their infinite vanity and ignorance, they cannot reconcile the fact that someone (a total stranger) would die for them on any given day, at any given time, when they themselves would cower in a corner like sheep at the sight of a pack of wolves.
Heavy is the heart that wears the badge these days.”
And as we like to say in my circles – Amen.