A Journal for Western Man





Michael Miller

Issue XIII- April 19, 2003


Police are split on the issue of gun controls. "Front-line" cops oppose them, but the police establishment favors them.

The view of most officers is simple and honest. Police and ordinary citizens are the good guys; criminals are the bad guys. Cops weed out bad guys so citizens can live in peace and safety. Defending the rights of citizens is an honorable job, so police earn the respect of citizens. Ordinary citizens, no matter how heavily armed, are no threat to police.

This is the right view for a free country. Call it the Bobby view, after the legendary London cops. It is still the view of most police and citizens.

If a country slides from free to unfree, the Bobby view is gradually replaced by a different view, both among police and citizens. The image of the friendly, helpful cop is replaced by an image of a nosy, immoral hired gun, both among citizens and police.

Be warned! Public support for police is a lingering holdover from a free society. It cannot last forever amid a torrent of laws which wash out the rights of citizens. Every such law gives another group of citizens just cause to shun and fear cops. Every such law drives another wedge between citizens and police. Every such law drives down the moral character of those who seek to become cops. Every such law is a blow to the moral status of police.

Eventually, the Bobby view of cops is replaced by a statist view. Statists view the government and its agents as the good guys. The bad guys are everyone else. It is part of a cop's routine to invade the rights of citizens, earning their hostility. Ordinary citizens are a deadly danger, like a powerful beast to be kept chained lest it run amok. Armed citizens are the most terrifying threat a statist cop can imagine.

This is the right view for an unfree country: the "Gestapo" view.

Gun control is a watershed issue by which to judge the moral character of a cop. Does he regard ordinary citizens as a threat? Does he think he has nothing to lose by having his duties set against their rights? Does he think of himself as Bobby or Gestapo?

The officer who still regards himself as a moral agent defending the rights of citizens will oppose gun controls. The one who regards himself as the state's hired gun will support gun controls.

The police establishment has made its support for gun controls perfectly clear.

But Joe Cop is silent, perhaps from fear of subtle, vicious, career-ruining, establishment reprisals. This silence is a mistake. It leads the public to conclude that the Gestapo view is universal among police. It breeds fear and hatred for all cops, even in the most harmless of their duties, even among the proverbial "little old ladies."

What is Joe Cop to do? Simply to resign would be to surrender policing to the Gestapo mentality.

Joe could make a good start by waging a quackgrass campaign within his department. Copies of this and similar articles could mysteriously appear all over the department. They could become topics for donut shop (1.) discussions. News of the underground struggle could mysteriously reach the regular media, gun owner groups, and of course Quackgrass Press! It would tell the public that some cops are good guys.

The first step in upholding the good name of cops is to draw the moral lines within each department. After you have distinguished friend from foe, Bobby from Gestapo, you can decide what to do next.
1. Sorry about that! I couldn't resist it!

You needn’t cringe at police uniforms—you can become a Quackgrass activist! Copy this article! Keep the original for future copies. Paper meetings with it! Paper your office! Leave a stack on your business counter! If you expect hostility, use stealth and cunning—it’ll drive your opponents wild! Be ingenious! Have fun!

Michael Miller is an engineer and Objectivist filosofer with thirty years of experience. He had been a member of Boycott Alberta Medicare in 1969 and of the Association to Defend Property Rights from 1973 on. He writes in-depth filosofical theory for Quackgrass Press, which can be accessed at http://www.quackgrass.com.

This TRA feature has been edited in accordance with TRA’s Statement of Policy.

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Learn about Mr. Stolyarov's novel, Eden against the Colossus, here.

Read Mr. Stolyarov's new comprehensive treatise, A Rational Cosmology, explicating such terms as the universe, matter, space, time, sound, light, life, consciousness, and volition, at http://www.geocities.com/rational_argumentator/rc.html.