Protecting the police from the law

A few years ago in Indiana, a cop illegally entered a man’s home after he refused entry. As a result, the man shoved the cop. This, naturally, brought about charges. In an appeal to the Indiana Supreme Court, an utterly stupid decision was made which said the people of Indiana don’t have a right to defend themselves against police who illegally enter their homes. Just about everyone thought this was stupid. In turn, Indiana passed a law specifically overturning the Court’s decision. This was a great example of the government actually managing to protect its people and their rights. Law enforcement threw a fit, but they often do that when confronted with constitutional principles.

Fast forward and move a bit east and we have an entirely different mindset. Here in Maine we have someone who wants to pass a law designed to protect police from prosecution:

State law enforcement officials said Monday that a bill that would ban BB guns and non-firing replica firearms in schools is necessary to protect students from potential tragedies, but opponents contend it is too broad and would do little to improve school safety.

Supporters of the measure say police officers could easily mistake the realistic-looking firearms for the real thing, especially with security concerns running high in light of school shootings across the country. They say a scenario of a student entering a school building with such a firearm could end badly if an officer is forced to make a quick decision, pointing to incidents like one in California last year when a 13-year-old boy was fatally shot by a sheriff’s deputy who said he thought a BB gun was an assault rifle.

The only purpose this serves is to shield trigger-happy police from prosecution. If there is a law which says things like BB guns are illegal, then a cop has a built-in defense for shooting any child who happens to have one on school grounds.

School resource officer Rachel Horning, with the Kittery Police Department, told the Education and Cultural Affairs Committee on Monday that’s the type of tragedy she’s trying to avert.

Oh, really? So Rachel Horning doesn’t want a situation where a student is fatally shot because a cop believes a BB gun is an assault rifle? Interesting. If that’s the case, then I’m not sure how she reconciles that stance with what she said next:

“I will do 100 percent what I need to protect myself and others,” she said. “So, if the juvenile presents that lookalike weapon and refuses to drop it, I will act.”

Are you fucking kidding me? Rachel Horning is not interested in protecting the lives of anyone – especially students. She’s interested in creating a law which gives her and those on her side of the blue shield an automatic defense; she wants to create a law where she’s allowed to “act” – that is, murder a person – because she isn’t good enough at her job to distinguish a BB gun from an assault rifle.

Other issues with this bill include putting more kids into the prison system. It’s bad enough that we have legislators who want to ruin people’s futures, but many of these elected officials actually think our ‘justice’ system works:

Democratic Sen. Dawn Hill of Cape Neddick introduced the measure in response to Horning finding a BB gun that looked like a real weapon in a student’s car outside a Kittery high school last year. Horning said the student had a mental health diagnosis and intended to use the fake firearm as a showpiece in case someone tried to fight him. Without a law regarding replica firearms, Horning wasn’t able to get the student the help and services he needed in the juvenile justice system, she said.

Given that Horning has already contradicted herself pretty overtly, I don’t believe her. The student could have forgotten the gun in his car for all we know. Even on his alleged “mental health diagnosis”, he could easily just have ADHD or some other minor/non-affliction. Indeed, a classmate of mine back in high school left his shotgun in the back of his car one day, then parked on school property. Realizing what he had done, he went and moved his car within the first couple of classes of the day. He later mentioned what happened to a teacher. Fortunately, that teacher just told him to be careful and that was that. And guess what? The classmate likely had ADHD or could have easily been diagnosed with it. The juvenile ‘justice’ system had no place in the matter; our ‘justice’ system only could have derailed his life – which, incidentally, seems to be going fairly well since he’s an engineer at Lockheed Martin these days.

I’m not going to be surprised if this bill passes. Legislators are hard-pressed to say no to law enforcement, no matter how obviously harmful to justice a law may be.