Killing You So You Won’t Die
Hypothetical question: say I’ve got a loaded gun, safety off, finger on the trigger, and aimed at your head or chest. (Reminder to those of you who’ve forgotten high school biology: the head and chest regions are where humans store their “can’t survive without them” internal organs, which is why gunshot wounds to the head or torso are more likely to cause fatalities than similar wounds to arm or leg.)
Then, while I’ve got you in this ominous context, I say “Don’t move or I’ll kill you, because it’s my job to protect you from bodily harm.”
Here’s my question: which of the following two responses most closely mirrors your own?
a) “Thanks, Jennifer! I’m both respectful of and grateful for your selfless willingness to do whatever it takes to keep me safe, up to and including shooting me in the head. It’s like you’re John Wilkes Booth to my
b) “Jennifer, that self-contradiction is enough to qualify as ‘psychopathic lunacy,’ a trait which I don’t like to see in anyone even carrying a gun, let alone aiming it at my vital organs.”
If you answered “B” then you lack sufficient respect for modern American law enforcement.
Check out this SFW disaster-pr0n photo essay from the flood-devastated
The caption reads: “An angry resident that tried to drive around a security checkpoint is stopped by one police officer, right, while another tries to break his window to extract him in
Police twice caught a man in his flood-damaged home before the property had been cleared by city inspectors. But Rick Blazek vowed to return — even if he had to sneak behind bushes.
"Once I'm in there, I'm not coming out unless they have handcuffs and leg shackles," he pledged Sunday at a checkpoint where authorities were limiting access.
That's what happened Monday when officers pulled Blazek out of his pickup after he tried to run a checkpoint. When he allegedly bumped an
state trooper with the truck, police drew their guns, broke a window on his vehicle and wrestled Blazek out. He was charged with assaulting an officer. Iowa
Blazek was among thousands of flood victims frustrated by authorities' decision Monday to cut off access to flood-damaged homes because of safety concerns.
A loaded gun pointed in the right direction is all it takes to transform a sincere concern for public safety into a menace to same. And it makes me suspect, as I sit here in my apartment on the second floor of a high-ceilinged building, that if imminent floods ever inspired a local evacuation, I’d probably be one of those stubborn holdouts who hunker down and refuse to leave.
It’s not that I’d mind leaving my home and all worldly goods for a couple of days (I do that whenever I take vacations). But I don’t want government agents later telling me “For your own safety, you can’t go back until we grant permission,” because then I’d say “If you wanted to keep me safe you wouldn’t point that gun at me,” and whatever happens next is bound to be depressing. But done to keep me safe, the cops will assure all who ask.
I support gun rights, except for this: if you point a loaded gun at somebody, you forfeit the right to say “I’m acting in that somebody's best interest.”