It’s a viral photo of a cop delivering milk during the “extraordinary” lockdown of Boston. Some versions of the photo have text added to the effect that, gosh, tyrannical police states don’t bring groceries to their citizens. Absent from almost all analysis of the photo, however, is that “lockdown” is a prison term, only recently applied to schools and other places where, under threat, children are locked into chambers for their safety. The fact that in real “active shooter” scenarios lockdowns are only good for penning helpless, unarmed people into metaphorical barrels where they may more easily be shot is consistently ignored by political figures and media pundits alike.
Where is the outrage that the Powers That Are in Boston essentially made prisoners of an entire city? On what grounds and by what authority does any municipal government presume to place every citizen of a major United States city on house arrest? In the afterglow of the successful capture of the remaining Boston Marathon bombing suspect, alleged Islamist Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the people celebrating in the streets that Tsarnaev was taken alive (ironically, only because the “lockdown” was lifted and the property owner in whose boat Tsarnaev was hiding could finally go outside and check his yard) ought to be asking themselves what they have to be happy about. They are beta testers of the New Freedom, which looks a lot like the Old Oppression. At whim, your government may order you to remain in your home, and if you dare disobey, they will point guns at you, essentially threatening to murder you.
You may think this sounds extreme, but if so, that is only because you have not seen yet another viral photo passed around the Internet after the Boston manhunt. This one depicts a man with an assault rifle pointing it up at the window of a civilian who is taking the gunman’s picture. The gunman is not a civilian. He is not a tea partier. He is not a libertarian. He is not one of the dastardly “right-wingers” the left was so quick to blame for the actions of accused jihadists.
This man sits atop a Hummer and is wearing the paramilitary dress that is all the rage among scions of authority these days. It is impossible to tell the difference between police and combat soldiers now. The heavily equipped men riding armored vehicles in the streets of Boston, the heavily armed men walking through the streets and peering into yards, the men who ignored the Bill of Rights in executing warrantless searches of citizens’ homes in the name of finding the Boston bomber(s), carry and ride the very “weapons of war” President Barack Hussein Obama says do not “belong on our streets.”
Even as Obama and the Democrats struggle so hard, whine so petulantly and act so unconstitutionally to severely limit American citizens’ right to own firearms, they and their fellow travelers flood our streets with armed goons and trample on our individual liberties in the names of whatever authoritarian exigencies they find convenient. Far too few people are asking why this happened. Even fewer are daring to say that, despite the quick capture of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, what was done in Boston was completely unjustifiable from a civil rights standpoint. Instead, multiple voices in the media and in government are rushing to rationalize the imprisonment of thousands of innocent Americans, playing it for humor or spotlighting individual acts of kindness.
Bent permanently leftward, NPR quoted Frank Cilluffo, director of the Homeland Security Policy Institute at George Washington University. “In terms of both scale and scope,” Cilluffo said of the lockdown, “the shelter-in-place that was enforced was extraordinary, perhaps even unprecedented, but so too were the circumstances.” NPR interpreted that as meaning local officials in Boston and in Massachusetts state government were elected to make just this kind of call. Missing from this bland dismissal of the legal issues involved is the idea that we elect our officials to protect and defend the Constitution, not to walk all over it in the face of “unprecedented” circumstances.
While we’re writing humorous puff pieces about the one-night stand that turned into an awkward all-day visit during the lockdown, or sentimental twaddle about a bride whose dress was heroically delivered during the lockdown (an act that required “pleading” with the police for permission), the fact that our rights are being destroyed is all but ignored. We are rationalizing tyranny. We are spinning despotism.
“We’ve been surrendering liberty in the hope of keeping ourselves safe for the past decade,” warns The Atlantic‘s Wendy Kaminer. “The marathon bombings will hasten our surrender of freedom from the watchful eye of law enforcement. … For those of us miles from Watertown and the vicinity of the hunt for Dzhokhor Tsarnaev, the ‘sheltering’ was voluntary. Out of fear or faith in law enforcement and a desire to cooperate – or lack of anything better to do with the city shut down – people stayed indoors.”
But how “voluntary” is a house arrest that is enforced behind the barrels of assault rifles? The “heartwarming” picture of the police officer delivering milk is actually a terrifying photograph. That milk was being delivered to a mother who could not leave her home to get milk for her children. She could not leave her home because she had been ordered not to do so. Had she defied the order to stay indoors she would have found no stores open from which to buy that milk. (Where did the officer get the milk, come to think of it?) And she was caught in this situation for one and only one reason: HER GOVERNMENT DECLARED HER A PRISONER IN HER HOME.
That statement deserves to be in all-caps. It ought to be shouted from the rooftops. It’s the real problem we face: a government out of control, a government that uses “weapons of war” to treat its citizens like inmates in a nationwide gulag of the Democrats’ making.