Boston Bombers, Boneheads, and the Rule of Law

Today I have watched some people come together in the hope that a madman is caught before he does more harm. I have watched others come apart at the seams over fear that Boston has become a prison camp for the New World Order. The contrast is telling.

First, let’s be clear about one thing. I despise the fact that many of our police forces are armed like a Panzer division. Our misguided war on drugs has created the perception that the “bad guys” must be met with overpowering military-like strength. It is unnecessary and dangerous, and we need desperately to rethink drug laws and law enforcement in this country.

Having said that, I have the deepest respect for the officers who risk their lives daily to keep the peace. They deserve every ounce of gratitude we can give them when they act justly within the guidelines of the Constitution. Individual police officers are not uniformly part of some master plan to install a futuristic dictatorship. And that is where the boneheads come in.

Yes, we each have a right to refuse entry to our houses. Yes, we each have a right to move about like normal citizens. Yes, we each should not have to see armored vehicles parked on the street. For heaven’s sake, though, must we suffer the rants of idiots who cannot discern that this just might be the best way authorities can figure to protect us in this rare and unusual scenario?

Were police in Boston rounding up citizens who oppose Obama or tear-gassing libertarian bloggers*, we would have every right and reason to resist. I have seen no evidence that they are and no evidence thus far that they are doing anything but securing an area that may contain a nut case with small arms and a bomb. If later it emerges that proper protocol was not followed, we can deal with that and make every effort to see that it does not happen again. They are not rounding up political prisoners and torching private homes.

Neither are they “overreacting.” Police do that sometimes–think Waco. In this case, a person we have every reason to believe wants to blow up some more people is loose in the general populace, not surrounded in a compound. A twenty-block area had to be secured–quickly. I for one am glad it could be secured at all. If it is still locked down after the immediate crisis is over, I may reconsider. Until then, I am solidly behind the brave people who are trying to catch the suspect.

Those who are using today’s horrid events as a platform to rail like rebellious teens against authority in general are looking…let us not mince words…like idiots. Do thoughtful libertarians a favor and consider before you speak how your rant might look to someone who supports liberty, but thinks it wise to apprehend a homicidal maniac. You’ll be the wiser for your pause.

_____________________

*Would one of you mind watching out the window while I finish this?

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About Terry Noel

I am an Associate Professor of Management and Quantitative Methods at Illinois State University. My specialty is entrepreneurship.
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One Response to Boston Bombers, Boneheads, and the Rule of Law

  1. bobby barker jagoe says:

    Excellent blog Mr. Noel..

    Like

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