Thursday, December 23, 2004

ManorFish vs. Reality

Lately it seems the blogosphere is more like a bunch of lemmings than independent critics. Gunblogs are the worst culprits. Admittedly, we tend to be absolutists. I am. Most people I link to are.

The ManorFish blog post that caused the uproar, which seems to have been pulled since then, has caused a herd phenomena the likes of which hasn't been seen since the The anti-Vietnam war movement. Commentor's opinions seem to be that we should descend on Spokane, WA like a plague of locusts. Everyone had an opinion. It was an asshole cop; his rights were violated; let's mobilize to defend him.

A) I don't know the man or his blog and cannot vouch for either.

B) Cops have a tough job. Be that as it may, a lot of cops are assholes. If you have another way to make more money, you damn sure aren't going to be a cop. Cops sometimes don't understand the law. Their is an entire body of common law out there that the 9th Circuit can't understand, so how is a cop supposed to grasp the realities of that in the middle of the night? They are typical people who happen to be given some authority. My father calls this the "old guy with a whistle" syndrome. He uses this in reference to crossing guards. You take a 21 year old kid and put him through the system, he is going to police with authority. I've heard some alleged first-hand accounts of rookie officers who can't wait for they're first shot. Most of them are good people who are trying to perpetrate those compunctions.

C) The hysterical aspect of the whole thing was unbelievable for an unverifed story. Everbody got caught up in it:

Publicola of course reacted.

Smallest Minority was outraged that a citizen's rights were violated.

Kim DuToit had to EXPLAIN HIMSELF to the likes of us.

No one approached this thing with any caution or self-interest.

D) My father is an occasional blog-watcher and refers to this as the "pebble-in-the-pond" effect. Somebody chucks a grenade, and the repurcussions result in all of us saying the same thing. To the point it make us all look like asses.

The facts are:

ManorFish acted like an asshole.

So did the cop.

And so did the blogosphere.

People were reporting that comments were recommending armed surrection (BASED ON A POST THAT WAS UNVERIFED).

Brief history lesson. Thoureau was an advocate of breaking law. If a law is unjust, you pay no mind. I think me and Publicola agree, I think my state laws are a violation of the Constitution in this regard. My state requires training, fees, other bullshit to acquire a CCW permit. It also requires that I submit the serial number and caliber of the pistol I carry. I basically need a license for every gun I might or might not carry.

I'm not game. So, once in a while I carry illegally. If I get popped by a cop, it will cost me $200.00. People have been advocating outright crime that they are unwilling to pay the cosequences for.

ManorFish had no such dilemmnas. He was not in violation of the law, according to him. He was a dick though. I think that can make all the difference.

Don't be a Dick.

Addendum: You libertarians will hate me for saying this, but a police force ensures civilty, to some extent. If you hate cops, imagine what life would be like without them. It is a cop's job to make the society as civil as possible.

Benjamin, I concur with the majority of what you say. How Jason handled himself is, IMHO, primarily the cause of his problems - though as I said in my comments:

"(I)t's not supposed to be illegal to be an asshole, even an armed one.

"But wearing a badge isn't supposed to make it acceptable, either."
Part of the problem is the shifting attitude of the police. There are a lot of cop-bashers and a a lot of cops on, for instance, and I see what I consider to be a large amount of Cartman's "RESPECT MY AUTHORITAH!" attitude. Given what I've read of Jason, that attitude is like throwing gasoline on a fire. Not a good combo.

Dipnut from Insn'tapundit handled it pretty well, I think, and put up a link of how someone defending his rights should deal with the police. It's a damned good one, but it requires a cooler head (or a less sharp tongue) than Jason apparently has. I think Rob Smith's comments were right on the money. McGeehee's advice was, too.

I think your characterization of my reaction as "outraged that a citizen's rights were violated" was a bit much. I've been posting stories of citizen's rights being violated since about the time I started writing my blog. Outrage? No. Resigned disgust, perhaps. I've seen it time after time after time. You can't sustain rage all that long.

What Jason did by carrying his handgun in the manner he did is, by all appearances, not illegal - but what he was arrested for (and apparently what he has a warrant out on him for) is not being deferential to the Powers That Be. Now perhaps we should treat all government employees with the power of life and death (or at least freedom and property confiscation) with deference, but it's inevitable that some will not.

I think your conclusion that "it seems the blogosphere is more like a bunch of lemmings than independent critics" indicates that you didn't read enough posts, or you read them with an initial bias.

Indeed that was probably overstating the case. I apologize for that.

In support of your argument, you did not freak out nearly as much as the wider web/gun/libertarian faction.

Merry Christmas,
I just want to stand up here for a moment as a libertarian cop. (I am a sworn reserve police officer who is routinely out on crime patrol). In that position, I see myself as performing the three critical duties of government: protect from external attack (terrorism), maintain civil order, and protect the rights that people possess unalienably. And let me say that when you walk into a "situation" (which an inner city cop does about 10 times a day), that between those three directives are 1024 shades of gray, and you have seconds, if that much, to decide on a course of action. So, even when I am stopped as a civilian in my private car, I cross my hands on the steering wheel, and I am as polite as h--l. Yes, cops can get jacked up by other cops. Add to that, that in any profession, we have to consider the factor that some people are better at what they do than others. No excuses here. I just wanted to add my personal perspective as a cop who is also a "second amendement absolutist".

I think you reinforce my point that courtesy is necessary for a civil society. While we can argue about everything else, it is absolutely necessary to be polite to one another. I think most cops try to do this (at least the ones I run into) and most citizens as well. Once we get past that issue, we can argue about guns and foot fungus.

I did't blog on this subject for the very reasons you talk about. I didn't think I had the full story, and from what I could tell, both parties were in the wrong. Of course, that does nothing to deter the hundred other times I've spouted off and not had a clue as to what I was talking about....:)

Good subject matter, though.

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