The untold story of the Ferguson tragedy is that it makes libertarians look not crazy.
Really, one of the structural problems with the tragedy is that two worlds of fanatical leftism have collided, and neither side is right because both sides started out wrong.First, you have the liberal police state taking root in even a hometown community like Ferguson, Missouri. Remember, the Czar likes cops. They’re almost invariably really good guys, and the percentage of bad cops versus the good ones is a shade smaller than the percentage of bad people versus good people. You can check into it.
But the Czar is not a fan of paramilitary law enforcement. It’s bad enough the DEA is so well armed, but so is the IRS, the Social Securityy Administration, and dare we add the Department of Education.* It should be no surprise to us, then, that Main Street, Ferguson, sees snipers, body armor, and MRAPs.
Liberals like the government armed, and as government gets bigger, we can expect to see more of it armed. Indeed, there will always be accidental shootings: a lone cop, a gloomy night, a flash of light in a kid’s handand a nervous police officer draws and fires. Truth be told, there will always be negligent discharges: a cop drawing a weapon at the range shot herself in the leg because her finger slipped inside the trigger guard as she was drawing a pistol from the holster.
But the biggest, most offensive tragedies seem to happen when cops are not doing their job but doing someone else’s job: the SWAT team that shoots the dog in front of the kids, the pedestrian shot by an undercover officer in part of a neighborhood-wide sting operation, the multigun shootout after a car chase. It isn’t that we don’t need SWAT teams, undercover operations, or vehicular pursuitwe too often do. It’s just that the worst events seem to happen when large group of cops are acting as a militarized platoon. And let’s face itcops are not soldiers. They aren’t trained the same way, they don’t operate the same way, and if we are being honest, there’s a ton of anecdotal evidence that people with lots of active military experience make for bad cops. The two worlds are not the same, and just as we see soldiers making poor cops, so too do we see cops making really lousy soldiers.
But let’s look at Ferguson. The Czar will not comment on whether the officer in question was justified in his shootingbasically, we have no reliable evidence either way. And we are not claiming that Michael Brown was shot as a result of some undercover operation. But the community became upset, and the immediate response was to send in paramilitary units. Little Ferguson, Missouri, suddenly found itself looking too much like Sarajevo, 1993, for the Czar’s taste.
The leftist reflex for control almost always results in guns, and lots of them, pointed at the wrong people.
But stopthis is where things get weird.
Because the flip side of this is the leftist entitlement mentality. A community is shocked that a teenager is shot and killed by the policeand there are copious stories of the black community feeling themselves unfairly targeted by local police. There is a demand for justice, as would reasonably be expected, and a police chief admits there needs to be some serious, careful investigation to determine what really happened.And the leftist entitlement mentality’s immediate response is to start smashing windows, torching stores, and looting belongings. Natural disaster? Response to a totalitarian regime? Civil war? None of these thingsin fact, the odds are high that most of the most violent looting was committed by people who neither knew victim Michael Brown nor even cared that he was shot. This was an opportunity to steal shit and get away with it.
Social justice, they will tell themselvesa racist dog whistle if there ever was one for getting other people’s stuff for nothing. No, you know what? We owe it to ourselves to steal and loot and rob.
And burn down some businesses. If history is any guide, the businesses torched first were not symbolic of racial oppression or intended to Hurt the Man. They were the ones owned by Asians. Or they were not doing so well financially and were heavily insured. Funny that.
Why not? The Left mentality has always been about Mommy and Daddy. Don’t get your way? Throw a temper tantrum! Stomp your feet, scream and scream! Post angry Facebook rants! Burn down some stores! Steal a flat panel display!
And Mommy and Daddy overreact. Ground them! Smack them! Send them to their room for the next fifty years without supper! How can you have any pudding if you don’t eat your meat? Send in the MRAPs and black knights in armor with .50 caliber Barretts! Flood the streets with troops! Is this parental overreaction not a temper tantrum of its own?
You know who gets really aroused by all this? The hippies. Desperate to relive every day of the 1960s and 1970s, they are seeing this as the King riots, 1968 Democratic convention, and Kent State overreaction all over again. They even have the soundtrack queued up. Moonbeam, honey, go down to the storage shed and get the clothes out of mothballs. We’re painting signs and going down to march on Ferguson.
What’s curious about that is really, the Left’s contradictory demand for total control and the Left reflex for riotingboth sides are no different, really, than Europe of the 1920s and 1930sseems to defy co-existence. You can’t have both, can you? Well, you can in the nostalgia of the Boomer.
But like most Leftists, the Boomer seeks to recreate his fight against the Man, not realizing that when you parse out the players, they’re all the same person.
*Also note the National Weather Service needs .40 S&W JHP rounds. Yes, they need hollow points.