Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Day One

Here's a thought on something tangential to the convention.

We all abhor the murder of three Baton Rouge police officers two days ago. It was tragic. It was wrong, and it makes no sense, and neither does what Stephen Loomis asked of Ohio’s governor John Kasich.

Ohio has an open carry law where citizens can walk around with loaded handguns or long guns. The idiocy of approving that law is a topic for another post, but what Loomis asked for is bothersome to me.  Loomis is president of the Cleveland Police Patrolman’s Association. He asked the governor to suspend the open carry law temporarily in Cuyahoga County for the week. Kasich rejected the request saying he does not have that constitutional power.

Loomis responded: “He could very easily do some kind of executive order or something...”  “I don’t care if it’s constitutional or not at this point. They can fight about it after the RNC, or they can lift it after the RNC, but I want him to absolutely outlaw open-carry in Cuyahoga County until this RNC is over.”

The phrase that bothers me was ““I don’t care if it’s constitutional or not...”

The constitution is not something you can suspend when there is something you don’t like. Ohio voted for an open carry law. Like it or not it's a law. I understand his angst and his support for his fellow officers, but therein lies the tap root of the problem. Law enforcement or any elected power must put as much sacredness in sustaining constitutional rules and rights of all people as they do in their loyalty and safety of the officer brotherhood and sisterhood.

Having said that, the ultimate goal is the protection of all citizens; police officers included. If attacked by any criminal element or the deluded who think vengeance is justified, then police have the right and responsibility to shoot to kill. In light of recent attacks and deaths, police agencies are justifiably edgy as is the black community. We, all of us, have a lot of work to do to bring back mutual trust.

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