I've just returned from a funeral home to pay my respects to thewidow of a young Texas State Trooper. A nut killed him because thetrooper stopped him for driving without a seatbelt. His murderer, whohas admitted shooting the trooper in the head with an AK-47, is ananti-government fanatic who believes that he can do whatever he wants todo. Because he didn't want to wear a seatbelt, a 28-year-old lawenforcement officer is dead, his wife is a widow and their 8-month-oldbaby will never know hisfather.
My friends, we live in the most free country in the world. Onereason we are a free people is that brave men and women risk their livesevery minute of every day so that we can do what we want in safety. Yetsome Americans now regularly call our law enforcement officers"jack-booted-thugs." To call them names is an insult to all of thedecent people who truly do protect and serve. To compare them to Nazisis to defame the memories of the thousands of law enforcement men andwomen who have died so that we can be safe.
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Unfortunately, a small, but vocal minority is trying to depersonalizeour law enforcement officers and turn them into things. They know thatonce you turn someone into a thing, you strip them of their humanity.Then, you can do whatever you want to them. What I can't figure out ishow it will benefit America if we turn our law enforcement officers intoobjects of contempt.
Think about what our law enforcement people do on a daily basis.They go places where most of us won't go. They deal with problems thatmost of us want to ignore. They have "face time" with some of themeanest humans on the face of the earth. We ask them to stop husbandsfrom killing their wives and children from killing their parents. Theysee more blood and gore than most doctors, and have more opportunitiesto sell out to drug dealers than you can imagine. To top things off,the manager of a local Dominos Pizza joint makes more than many policechiefs.
In spite of all of that, we still get bright young men and women whowant to serve and protect. In spite of all that they see and all of theanti-government abuse thrown out, when they stop us for a trafficviolation, we reach for our wallets to get our driver's license, notmoney for a bribe. That's not the way it is in most of the world. Andif we continue to dehumanize our law enforcement officers, we willeventually get the corrupt, "legal" system of a fifth rate third worldcountry.
It is one thing to want to rein in a government out of control.Let's not stop that crusade. However, if we allow people to demonizeall those who protect us from evil, we will create the conditions forour nightmares to become true. Because if good people no longer want tobecome cops, guess what types of cops we will get?
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It is time for us to acknowledge that everyone who works for agovernment paycheck is a human being. It is time to remember that theoverwhelming majority of them are decent, salt-of-the-earth people whoare our neighbors and friends. Yes, some government workers are badapples. Just as there are bad priests, doctors, lawyers, politicians,teachers and business people also.
That's the price we pay for being humans. That's part of God'sbargain with us. He has shown us the way to salvation, but we have tochoose. That some choose to do evil doesn't mean that all are evil.
When government officials do bad things, let's hold them accountablefor their actions. However, let's not throw the whole system out.Otherwise, we will create an environment where the only people who willwork for the government will be bad ... and that won't be good foranyone.
Let us celebrate the sacrifice of that young trooper and the millionsof other Americans who put their lives on the line to protect ourfreedom and safety. When they put on their uniform, bullet resistantvest and strap on their side arm, they truly do mean to serve andprotect.
If we ever forget that, the young trooper's death, and the deaths ofall who died in the name of our freedom, would have been in vain.