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What More Do You Need?

The assassinations of several police officers at various locations throughout the country, along with the public rhetoric of several fringe groups makes it abundantly clear to the average unbiased citizen that there is an organized movement to target and kill police officers across the country.

When words turn to organized violent action, the line between free speech and conspiracy is crossed. If these organized assaults were against churches or mosques or immigrants or "activists," or members of Congress or Legislators, or members of the Entertainment Industry, there is no doubt that the Federal government would act and act swiftly to empanel committees, and grand juries, and Congressional hearings to identify the organizations, and conspirators, indict them and bring them to trial. A flurry of meaningful laws increasing penalties for criminals illegally possessing firearms, including mandatory incarceration, would be quickly passed and enacted along with several others.

Offending entities would be dismantled through intense coordinated prosecution, civil conspiracy actions, possibly domestic terrorism prosecutions and specific and pointed condemnation by every level of Government, clergy, private and public sector as well as every entity of the Media would be the clarion cry.

But now here we are at the opening of the Republican Convention and really nothing has been done. The highest office has to really look in the mirror and accept a real measure of responsibility for this-- for making comments that may tend to ignite the truly floridly disturbed individuals in these organizations, and those who support them, who feel empowered to strike out in vigilante fashion at the identified enemy--the identified oppressor--every police officer in this country.

Now hundreds of officers charged with the awesome responsibility of keeping peace inside what will surely be a contentious convention as well as outside the convention, every single officer there, as well as every single officer in this country will live in fear that every tour of duty may be their last--their last hug from their spouses and children, their last cup of coffee to start their tour with, their last laugh with their partner, their last act of reluctantly injecting themselves into the lives of those who so often have abandoned their own responsibilities, those who are the helpless victims of violent and lawless individuals, those who are the players and schemers who use the system for all it's worth and who have never in their lives contributed one positive thing to the society that has sheltered and protected them. The police are the ones who ensure that these folks get a measure of justice without expending their own resources whether honestly meager or dishonestly hidden.

The officers will answer their calls wondering if the next call is a set up to an ambush, yet they will still move forward. At the convention they will move to manage the hostile crowds wondering if they are in the crosshairs of a sniper who will explode the lives from them.

It's time for people to look beyond the headlines, to the fact that every year in millions of contacts with law enforcement there are a miniscule number of tragic incidents. No, they should not be disregarded, and it is important to examine them with an unbiased eye and in the total context of their occurrences. But now it's too late for some officers in Dallas and Baton Rouge and for a certain number of those who will surely suffer injuries and perhaps death in the next few weeks.

To stop this we need to act as we did in the aftermath of 9/11, as Americans who work together for a united cause, the cause of peace and justice. We do this by abandoning the self-serving agendas, those that seek to make profit from this malignant divisiveness fueled by hate and greed and self aggrandizement.

All these officers want to do is go home at the end of their tours. If, as a country, there are factions who wish to demonize them then they will suck it up for the sake of those who rely on the cloak of their protection. But they would be heartened to hear a supportive word in their favor or at least the benefit of doubt that they are not the heartless killers bent on murder that they have been framed to be. You, who condemn them would do that for the vilest of criminal; can you do it for someone who goes out every day in your service?

I'm done here. Stay safe.

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