MSN NEWS: "AW, JUST SHOOT'EM."
I am in a mom-and-pop motel today, off the road and relaxing in a small town in the
heart of the Pacific Northwest. And as I was scanning the headlines, this photograph
jumped right out at me.
Look at the cop's hand on his gun...then look at the move that he is making with his
nightstick...and now look at the expression on the kid's face. This photograph really
upsets me for more than one reason.
The officer appears to be just itching to use that gun. In his mind, it seems that
he is using his nightstick to begin a performance that will leave the kid shot and
crumpled in the street.
Meanwhile, it is obvious that the kid is terrified.
This scene played-out last night in Salt Lake City, Utah: A community that is all
mixed-up in its attitude toward the human race. (Small wonder that a kid
thought nothing of POPPING A FEW SHOTS OFF in a Ohio school today. After
all, where is he getting some of his cues from?)
The other night, I ended up in a dark and lonely place off of Interstate 84. Big trucks
rolled in and out of a nearby open weigh station. Otherwise, I was a mere shadow
under a dim mercury vapor light. I knew that I had to get out of there.
So I called the OSP (Oregon State Police) and they sent a cop to me from over fifty-
miles away. Yes, they did. And he was a very nice guy. He took the time to pull into a
rest area so that I could do what I really needed to do there. When he dropped me off,
he gave me a bag of chips and a granola bar. Then he smiled at me and shook my hand.
He cared about me.
He wasn't hateful, pushy or rude. He was sincerely concerned about my well-being. And
what a difference that made.
That cop didn't have to be as considerate as he was. But he was...anyway.
I realize that my situation and the one in Salt Lake City are two different scenarios. But I
have never met a reasonable member of law enforcement in SLC in my life. In fact, the
officers that I have had to deal with in that city have all been hostile. I am sure that they
are either raised or trained to hate poor and homeless people. It's just a given fact in that
So when I saw the above photograph, my mind flashed back to another time and I thought,
Now I wonder if you understand the point that I am making here.
Or is it a lesson too late for the learning?