-By Warner Todd Huston
Apparently the State of Indiana has passed a law allowing citizens to use deadly force against out of control officers of the state, including police officers, who unlawfully enter their home. This is a very touchy subject, especially for conservatives. Can we as law and order types agree that such a deadly force law is a good idea? Or should we defer to the police at every instance?
Well, I can't speak for all conservatives, of course, but for me, I can't agree with this law more.
Now, before you get all crazy about how I just don't understand law "enforcement," let me warn you that my father, a man I dearly love and respect, was in police work for most of his adult life. I am proud of his service. For the most part I respect and sympathize with our officers of the law. So,l et's get beyond that.
So, while I most certainly sympathize with our law officials, I sympathize with our founders' vision and the natural rights they invoked more than I do the expectation that officers of the law can act with impunity. That is why I put "enforcement" in quotes. Properly constituted our law officials don’t "enforce" anything. They really only investigate crime, they don’t and shouldn’t proactively try to “enforce” anything as that implies the power to stop something that has yet to occur.
Anyway, I rather feel that such a law as Indiana's will temper the actions of our Ruby Ridge-prone law enforcement agencies forcing them to be far more sure than cocky when they arrive at the often necessary decision to forcibly enter a citizen's home.
You see, much as I trust our policing agencies in many specific cases, there is increasingly no reason to trust them in general. With the increasing threat they pose to our rights to privacy, our freedom of movement, and our sacred property rights, well, let's just say that we need a check on the apparently unchecked powers of the growing police state.
I know how that last bit sounds. It sounds tinfoil hat-worthy. But the fact is we are seeing policing agencies, most especially those of the federal government daily increasing their powers of coercion. Granted, I don't blame the policing agencies. I blame our politicians. But it isn't the politicians battering down our doors on their whim.
We are fast coming to a time when we can't paint our homes the way we like, can't put up a tool shed, or can't erect a fence without the iron boot of the state coming down on your head. Not to mention be safe in our own homes from police battering rams.
I'm not going to bother with a dozen examples of the growth of the police state as they can be easily found on a million different websites from the most extreme and tinfoily, Alex Jonesist site to the Network News. The growth of the police state is undeniable, really, and I see no reason to try and chronicle it here in such little space to do it justice.
But what are we going to do about it? That is the real question.
The genius of the American system is its checks and balances, to be sure. Beyond that is the fact that we have a habit of swinging like a pendulum between times of peril and relative calm where our security polices are concerned. You can just look at history and see that when peril arrived at our collective doorstep we've swung toward a more secure state. It happened in the Civil War, WWI, WWII, Vietnam, and during the more recent War on Terror.
But in the valleys of that need for security, when wars were more distant and threats less virulent, we always swung back to that standard of liberty we all so cherish. But lately we've seen less back swing and more forward momentum toward the police state and that pendulum needs to be reversed back toward liberty once more.
A law like Indiana's helps do this. It puts police on notice that they cannot just kick down any door they feel like kicking down and had better be awfully damn sure of themselves before employing their own deadly force.
… and before you ask, yes, I am sure my dad would be appalled at this article.
Finally, don't go overboard and imagine that I am saying it should be open season on Cops, nor am I saying that cops should never be allowed to do their job and enter a home when it is truly necessary. Put your emotion in check, please, and listen to my argument. I am saying that as things stand, our law "enforcement" agencies have grown too used to acting with impunity and that attitude is what needs to be checked.
So count me as a fan of this new law and let us all hope that it is replicated across this overly policed society. It's a much-needed check on "the man" and I welcome it.