Posted: December 29th, 2010 by Militant Libertarian
Denver resident Shawn Miller is accused of several acts of criminal violence. On one occasion, he and an associate beat a pedestrian, leaving the man with a broken knee and a permanent physical disability. In a second assault, Miller and another buddy beat a disabled Iraq war veteran so severely –using both fists and clubs — that he briefly “flat-lined” as EMTs treated him.
The facts in those cases are not disputed, yet Miller has not been charged with a crime. However, he is being sued by Jason Anthony Graber, one of his victims. In light of Miller’s documented history of criminal violence, the plaintiff’s attorney has demanded that the assailant not be permitted to bring a firearm while being deposed.
Miller protests that this is an unconscionable act of “oppression.” With the aid of the Denver City Attorney, Miller — an Officer with the Denver Police Department — has filed a petition with the U.S. District Court seeking a “protective order” allowing him to be armed during the depositions.
The Department’s Operation Manual requires that officers be “armed at all times” — a provision that poses some interesting challenges for officers who choose to bathe, assuming that there are any who do. “Requiring a uniformed or non-uniformed police officer to disarm when he is compelled to give a deposition at an attorney’s office, or at any other unsecured location, presents a significant officer safety issue,” whines an affidavit provided by Lt. Dikran Kushdilian of the Denver PD.
Attorney David Lane, who is representing Graber, quite sensibly insists that some precautions must be taken in deposing people who are “defendants because they have acted illegally and violently toward others in the past.”The Denver Police Department has a well-earned reputation for brutality and corruption, and Lane has deposed more than a few abusive cops, and those proceedings “can get very contentious. When I’m cross-examining cops about their misconduct, past and present, they get angry, and I don’t wish to depose angry people who have a long history of violent behavior while they’re wearing a gun strapped to their waist.”
Lane demands that the deposition take place in a setting in which neither side is armed. Denver’s municipal government demands that the examination should take place at the federal Courthouse, where Miller and other officers in similar cases “would surrender their weapons to the custody of the U.S. Marshall [sic], and would be unarmed during the deposition.”
In other words, it’s not quite the case that Denver officers have to be “armed at all times”; the critical issue is the preservation of the government’s monopoly on the “legitimate” use of force in all circumstances. Lane should counter Denver’s demand by offering to permit Miller to carry his firearm to the deposition, while specifying that he and his associates would also be armed. The official response to that counter-proposal would be instructive.
|Leading lambs to the slaughter: “Toy Gun Bash.”|
While Lane most likely wouldn’t choose that approach, he is sensible enough to recognize that the State’s agents of armed coercion are the most dangerous element in society, and prudent enough to act on that understanding.
Owing to the tireless efforts of the organs of official indoctrination, a large portion of the public assumes that the opposite is true, and as a result can be easily convinced that only those commissioned to commit violence on behalf of government can be entrusted with the means to do so.
A splendid example of this deadly agitprop is offered by the “Toy Gun Bash,” which was first inflicted on Providence, Rhode Island seven years ago by the criminal clique running the municipal government.
Each year around Christmastime, children living in Providence are compelled to line up and feed their toy guns into the maw of the “Bash-O-Matic,” a device described by theBoston Globe as “a large, black, foam creature with churning metal teeth and the shape of a cockroach spliced with a frog.” In exchange for feeding their toy guns into this recombinant monstrosity, each child is given a substitute toy that is deemed to be suitably “non-violent.” They are also forced to endure a harangue regarding “the dangers of playing with guns, real or fake.”
|Maintaining the monopoly: Burning confiscated guns.|
The Providence event, continues the Globe, is “a version of the gun buyback program in which adults trade firearms for gift certificates.”
In fact, gun “buyback” programs are a form of what Dr. Edward J. Laurance of the UN’s Register of Conventional Arms calls “micro-disarmament” — or, more to the point, civiliandisarmament.
The expression “buyback” assumes that government has a monopoly on the use of force, and that only duly authorized agents of officially sanctioned violence should be permitted to own guns and other weapons — and thus the State is taking back from Mundanes a privilege to which they’re not entitled.
Gun “buyback” and turn-in programs are a common feature of military occupations, both here and abroad. U.S. military personnel in Haiti, Somalia, the Balkans, Iraq, and Afghanistan have employed that tactic (as David Kramer notes, this helps the occupiers to acquire a useful hoard of “drop guns” that can be used to frame innocent people as “terrorists” or “insurgents”). The same approach was used to disarm American Indians as they were cattle-penned on reservations.
Over the past decade, UN-aligned activists in several countries have staged events in which guns confiscated from civilians have been destroyed, a ritual sometimes called the “Bonfire of the Liberties.” This is in keeping with UN-promoted dogma (expressed most forcefully in its 2000 agitprop film Armed to the Teeth) that the only “legal” weapons are those “used by armies and police forces to protect us,” and that civilian ownership of firearms is “illegitimate.”
The UN’s campaign for civilian disarmament — which, just like matters of national disarmament, is assigned to the world body’s Office for Disarmament Affairs — was inaugurated in 2000 as part of the “human security” agenda promoted by then-UN Secretary General Kofi Annan. In late 1993 and early 1994, Annan — who at the time was head of the world body’s “peacekeeping” operations — presided over the disarmament, and subsequent annihilation, of roughly 1.1 million Rwandans.
Annan was actually an accessory before the fact to that genocide: Informed in early 1994 of the impending slaughter by Romeo Dallaire, the Canadian officer commanding UN peacekeeping troops, Annan ordered Dallaire to pass along his intelligence to the same government that was planning the massacre.
Dallaire, who had been ordered to disarm the future victims, was ordered not to raid the government arms caches that were later used to carry out the murder rampage.
Most of the killing was carried out by machete-wielding mobs acting as government subcontractors. But it would have been impossible to butcher hundreds of thousands ofarmed people, nor would the mobs have been able to round up and annihilate the targeted population without the active support provided by the regime’s armies and police forces — you know, the armed agents of state violence who were there to “protect” those who were hacked to pieces.
Children should learn what happened in places like Germany, Cambodia, and Rwanda(as well as places like Sand Creek and Wounded Knee) when people willingly surrendered their guns to their rulers — but a government school classroom is no place for lessons of that kind.
One of the cases used to promote the Toy Gun Bash in Providence actually underscores the reliably fatal consequences of a government monopoly on force. The Globe points out that as children were herded toward the Bash-O-Matic, they were told the cautionary tale “of a 14-year-old boy who police nearly shot after they confused his air pistol with a real gun.” For rational people, this incident illustrates the compelling need to disarm the police, rather than swipe toys from innocent children.
The same schools that use DARE programs to recruit children into the Pavlik MorozovBrigade consistently force psychotropic drugs on children who display unfortunate symptoms of non-conformity. This principle applies to the issue of firearms: In the name of “Zero Tolerance,” children are routinely punished for such supposed offenses as bringing toy “weapons” to school (including — I am not making this up — candy canes), improvising them from school supplies, or even drawing pictures of guns, yet they are routinely encouraged to write letters to members of the imperial military who are “serving our country” by killing people who have done us no harm.
Those who insist that religion has no place in the government-run school system aren’t paying attention: The entire purpose of “public” education is to catechize youngsters in the worship of the Divine State. Rituals like Providence’s Toy Gun Bash serve a sacramental function; they are the equivalent of a child’s first communion in the government-sponsored church of collectivist self-destruction.
The Las Vegas Review-Journal recently described how recruits at the Metropolitan Police Department Academy are indoctrinated into perceiving the world as a 360 degree battlefield, where they are perpetually under siege and should be prepared to employ lethal force without hesitation.
“When you put that badge on, there are people who want to kill you,” intoned Officer Wil Germonsen, who — like a large and growing number of local police officers, has a military background.
The Review-Journal plays an extended riff on the familiar, fatuous, and entirely false assumption that law enforcement is a spectacularly dangerous occupation:
“After some time on the street, the recruits will never see the world the same way. They’ll always be on guard — carrying a gun on duty and off, checking out fellow shoppers at the grocery store, thinking about those worst-case scenarios while having dinner with the family. It’s like a switch that flips on and never turns off….”
“I believe every single recruit here, when they put that badge on, they are warriors,” insists Germonsen. “We’re fighting a war.”
What this means, of course, is that the state-created armed tribe to which Germonsen belongs is an army of occupation — primed to kill, given broad discretion in the use of lethal force, and trained to consider all of us who don’t belong to their tribe as potentially lethal enemies. Some way had better be found — and pretty damned soon — to de-fang those wolves in sheepdog disguise. Meanwhile, it would be wise to do what we can to avoid placing ourselves at a potentially fatal disadvantage when dealing with those who belong to the Brotherhood of Sanctified Violence.
UPDATE: Bringing the War Home
The Imperial Military makes increasing use of Guardsmen and Reservists whose “civilian” job is domestic law enforcement, and domestic police agencies increasingly recruit from the ranks of combat veterans. As noted above, police recruits are being trained to consider themselves “warriors” on a battlefield, rather than peace officers. We really should dispense with the illusion that contemporary law enforcement is anything other than the domestic branch of a seamlessly integrated military apparatus.(h/t The Agitator.)
Second Update: Seattle as a Battlefront
Courtesy of commenter QB we see the following video of 27-year-old Seattle Police Officer Ian Birk gunning down John T. Williams, an artisan who was carrying a carving knife and a block of wood. No more than four seconds pass between Birk’s demand (it wasn’t a lawful order, because Williams was threatening no one) that he drop the knife, and the first of several gunshots fired by the officer. The entire encounter lasted roughly eight seconds.
Williams had a troubled past, but was not known to be violent. He had some emotional problems and, most importantly, was functionally deaf — which meant that he couldn’t hear the demand that he drop his knife — which was closed when photographed by crime scene investigators, despite Birk’s claim that it was open at the time of the shooting.
A peace officer in this situation would have taken at least a little more time to resolve the situation without drawing his gun, let alone discharging it. But, as we’ve seen on numerous occasions, contemporary law enforcement officers are on a war footing, which means that their default setting is “overkill.”
It’s worth noting that one of the officers who responded to Birk’s “shots fired” report tells him that he did the “right thing” — even though the official review subsequently ruled that the shooting wasn’t justified.
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