The other day, US Marshals attempted to apprehend a man who had a warrant out for being a felon in possession of a firearm. According to reports, the man refused to surrender, and either brandished or actually fired a firearm at the marshals, who shot him dead.

While the facts are still emerging, this, on its face, wasn’t a random cop-on-citizen encounter gone wrong, nor does it appear to be an obvious excess.

Nevertheless, protestors leapt to their standard conclusion of cop-on-minority racism, blocking streets and starting a dumpster fire.

Crime is up in major cities, including my home town New York City, and average citizens (the victims) are crying out for something to be done. Standing in the way are those who’ve made an industry of vilifying all cops (not just the bad ones) and excusing all criminals (not just the wrongly accused, the mentally ill, or those guilty of victimless infractions). This isn’t just limited to professional OPM seekers, but extends to politicians, both elected and aspiring.

While the current front-runner for New York City’s next mayor, Eric Adams, is a former cop who has prioritized restoring law-and-order, some other candidates are persisting in blanket anti-police rhetoric, with one, Maya Wiley, asserting that cops don’t see blacks as “people who deserve to breathe.” Her stance has earned her the endorsement of self-styled agenda-maker Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, which guarantees the woke-horde will line up against Adams and others.

To hear them talk and watch them walk, one would think that criminals who happen to be minorities are simply people living their lives as best they can, beset upon with great injustice by thuggish goons in uniform, and resorting to violations of others’ property and violence against others’ persons solely out of need, frustration, and/or outrage at mistreatment. That bad people don’t exist, and that those who behave badly can be managed without law enforcement. In fact, AOC’s solution is to build fewer prisons and spend more on mental health services. This idea, presented in a vacuum and done the right way, is actually a good one, but her dismissal of the realities of actual, sound-of-mind, hardened/career criminality ruins the whole thing. There is indeed a mental health crisis on the streets – most homeless are mentally ill – but the AOC crowd is actually at the root of this proliferation as well. N.B. this is standard AOC – wrap a tiny nugget of truth or good idea in a giant swaddle of corruptive progressive pap – and it’s part of the reason she’s gotten as much play as she has.

The common rebuttal to those who lament the “defund the police” mantra is that no one actually wants to get rid of policing entirely. While demonstrably false (absolutist examples about), this rejection of qualms over the ham-fisted reductiveness of the idea that simply spending less on cops (take note – they never want to return that money to taxpayers. They, instead, want to be in charge of how it’s spent and who gets it. It’s always about OPM) will improve matters.

Never mind that they’re not exactly champing at the bit to enact the reforms that would make a difference, reforms that have been repeatedly pitched on this blog. When BLM (the movement) got co-opted by BLM (the organization), I knew nothing productive would happen.

Instead, we have this colossally head-scratching narrative, where any officer-involved-shooting of a minority is de facto racist – and not only racist (as in the cop is a racist) but the product of a racist system and an excuse to resume rioting. No matter if the “victim” is a legit criminal, has legit warrants outstanding, or legit threatened deadly physical harm. Recall the 16 year old who was shot while attempting to stab someone? The shooting sparked riots, the facts notwithstanding.

Libertarians were at the fore of protesting against abuses by law enforcement. Libertarians were also at the fore of pointing out that many of these abuses were the by-product of politicians’ (very often of the Left) actions and policies. Eric Garner died because New York pols were greedy for tobacco tax money (always OPM). Poor and minority communities are ravaged by quality-of-life and nuisance summonses, which eventually turn into arrest warrants and confrontational encounters between citizens and police, because politicians want OPM.

Libertarians (most of them, at least, I’ve no use for the anarchists and their delusions) also recognize that a core function of government is to protect the individual and property rights of citizens. This protection is predicated on something obvious: there are people out there who will hurt you, rob you, steal your stuff, and worse. What their reasons are doesn’t matter – they aren’t entitled to do that, and mechanisms for prevention, deterrence, and punishment are necessary for a society to function.

This reflexive assumption that any cop-against-perp action is illegitimate is as corrosive as it is delusional. Professional agitators (who don’t actually believe it by the way – they’re the first to demand protection when it’s against them) perpetuate it, because it serves their ends. Meanwhile, some of the biggest increases in crime are taking place in the communities of color that they purport to champion. Their answer seems to be ‘more social workers.’

I’m sure the bad guys are laughing their asses off. And take it as a fact that most of the members of those communities – those actually suffering from the spikes in crime – are not on board with this latest bit of progressive fantasy.

Peter Venetoklis

About Peter Venetoklis

I am twice-retired, a former rocket engineer and a former small business owner. At the very least, it makes for interesting party conversation. I'm also a life-long libertarian, I engage in an expanse of entertainments, and I squabble for sport.

Nowadays, I spend a good bit of my time arguing politics and editing this website.

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