One of the few television shows I watch with any regularity is ABC's Castle. I started watching it because the title character is played by Nathan Fillion, Firefly's Malcolm Reynolds. I like the guy. Turns out, it's an entertaining show - and I still like the guy.
Anyway, for whatever reason - solar storm, falling stock market, Newt winning South Carolina, my DVR screwed up and didn't record part of the latest episode, so I went to the ABC website to watch it there.
Where I discovered that one of the characters - Det. Ryan - has his own blog.
Oh how cute.
Except the latest post on that blog caught my attention: Ryan on his Glock. Let me excerpt:
It's 22.04 ounces unloaded, add another 9.87 when it's got all the rounds in there. It's got a synthetic polymer frame to cut down on wear and tear - still sets off a metal detector though, don't worry. 17 round capacity, 7.32 inches long, 5.43 inches high and with 5.5 pounds of pressure to the trigger it can change from a symbol of authority, to the last thing someone sees in this life.Straighforward, technical. Interesting. Next paragraph:
Now imagine that strapped to your hip. It’s not comfortable. I see people on the subway shifting around, trying to keep their keys from digging into their leg and I think they have no idea how bad it can be. Of course, I wouldn't have it any other way. Every time my Glock digs into my side, every time my hand bumps into it, heck, every time it makes my pants sag, I'm reminded of what it means. Its weight on my hip is a reminder of the weight I have on my shoulders. The city of New York has entrusted me with the right to take the life of another.My emphasis.
No. No it hasn't. But honestly, that attitude I think explains a lot of things. It explains why places like New York refuse to allow their citizens to exercise their right to arms. It explains why individual members of police departments all across the country, and some full departments do the things that Radley Balko writes about on a daily basis.
They think that by carrying a firearm they've been given a right to kill.
No, they've been entrusted with the power to kill only in the defense of self or others. But if they believe they have the right to kill, well...
Chained dog lunges at you? Kill it. You have the right.
Want to beat up an old man? Hey, you have the right to kill him! Why not?
There has been story after story of individual officers, SWAT teams, and groups of cops dealing out violence, often lethal, without sufficient cause. Part of it, I think, is the belief that the gun, the badge and the uniform confer upon them the right to kill. If you've got that, anything less than lethal must be OK too, right?
Read the rest of the piece. When the author starts talking about bullying, I just stopped reading. Today the bullies wear uniforms, badges and guns.
Update: Like these Connecticut cops.
Here's another, via Uncle.