Our Heroes




   Anyone acquainted with the horrors of September 11, 2001, knows what that number means.  While I was driving to the fifth class in my new career as a college instructor, I noticed that there were no planes in the sky as I entered the campus.  Every other day I could see about six at a time in a continuous stream.
      First responders enter situations of peril on a very frequent and unpredictable basis.  People working the sales window of fast-food enterprises can tell you tales of the unpredictability of the public; Police officers, Firefighters, EMTs and others may have to hold their tongues, even to their families.
   It appears that the key problem in urban policing which has some upset is that the local courts are utilized as revenue generators through fines for petty offenses.  If that is true of local municipalities, it does not necessarily follow that the police who enforce the municipal code are the bad actors, any more than the IRS is ultimately to blame for the state of the tax code.  However, if there are Lois Lerners in police forces, they should be weeded out.  The police officers with whom I have contact deserve and receive my respect and my gratitude for their sacrifice and calm attention to duty.
   Our legal system is reactive.  Citizens are free to engage in all sorts of heinous and dangerous behavior, but the consequences of their choice to break the law and to violate the rules of reason subjects them to criminal and civil trials. While not perfect themselves, and who of us are, our criminal enforcers are very well trained in securing our Constitutional rights while protecting the public from those who have chosen to go astray.  I am grateful we have such excellent eyes and ears on the street, and I try to thank all the first responders with whom I make contact; the same goes for any military veteran.  I urge the residents of the district to do likewise.


Public Outcry


   I am puzzled by the cry to lessen police presence and activity in troubled areas.  Are we happier with lawlessness, scofflaws, bullies, thugs, dealers, thieves, burglars, vandals, and others with limited moral compass as the leaders of our communities?  Police act with incredible patience and discretion; people who get all up in their faces, call them names, and behave without respect and dignity receive in return more calmness and love than their untoward behavior deserves.
   We live in the Congressional District whence springs the "Ferguson Effect" so much discussed in recent crime statistics.  As we see cries to end "broken window" and identification check policing because of its alleged racist roots, we seem to be embracing a period of lawlessness and violence that these simple policing tools was steadily diminishing.  Making the job of policemen harder than it already is has limited benefits in a free society.
   There can be no doubt that our system relies upon self-governance as the key to public order.  There are people who are not interested in self-control and obedience to general order.  Without our excellent, well-trained, thoughtful, calm and patience police force, the hooligans seize control.  Our police do not wake up wondering whom they can harass today; they wonder whom they will help and they pray God to keep them safe and secure that they may serve us another day.