The Job of Police

The Job of Police
by JBS President Emeritus John F. McManus

The horrific shooting spree in a Florida school has led to widespread discussion about what local police officers did and did not do to impede the killer. Much of the commentary about this incident has revolved around the notion that police officers have a duty to protect the citizens in their community from harm. In numerous cities and towns throughout the U.S., decals appear on the sides of police vehicles announcing that the police exist “To Protect and Serve” the local people. This is an erroneous concept.

Erroneous? Yes. Consider that no police force or any of its members are ever held responsible if someone is killed or harmed within their jurisdiction. You or I can’t sue the local police if some criminal attacks us and causes us harm. If I follow an attack that harmed me with a suit aimed at the police (and the jurisdiction that hires them), it would get me nowhere. Why? Because the job of police is not to protect me or anyone else. The police can’t be held accountable if harm comes to me or to you. Police are never sued for negligence if a criminal harms someone. That fact ought to be drummed into every American’s consciousness.

If the police aren’t responsible for protecting the people, who does bear that responsibility? The answer, very simply, is each person. And how do ordinary persons protect themselves from criminal activity? The quick answer is he or she has to be armed and must know how to use whatever weapon is chosen to fill that need. Another answer, though impractical for most, would have citizens hire bodyguards who would be armed.

John W. Whitehead of the Virginia-based Rutherford Institute has regularly pointed out that the U.S. Supreme Court has more than once ruled (such as in 2005 with the Town of Castle Rock vs. Gonzalez decision) that police have no responsibility to protect members of the public from harm. The men and women who serve as police officers frequently do seek to stop an individual committing criminal activity but they are not required to do so. The responsibility to stop a criminal from attacking you lies with yourself.

Which brings us to the absolute right of a citizen to be armed. If it’s not the job of police officers to see to it that no criminal attacks you, that responsibility is yours. And any impediment to you having the means to protect yourself is absolutely wrong. The Founders of our nation knew this and their awareness that led them to add the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The amendment, wrongly considered by many to apply only to citizens who serve in a militia, applies to virtually everyone.

Should the right to be armed be denied to someone who has already used a weapon for a criminal purpose? Yes. How about the mentally disturbed and those taking medication for suspected mental problems? Yes again. How about children who don’t know how to use a weapon or aren’t aware of the dangers posed by weapons? Parents should be held responsible for their children. And a suitable age must be established for youthful weapon possession.

In the wake of the Florida shooting, clamor for doing away with private ownership of weapons is again being raised. Such demands are incredibly wrong and will, if enacted, lead to more crime, even the governmental crime known as tyranny.

In no way is this author promoting any move toward abolishing local police forces. They have an important role to play in keeping society orderly. But, as must be made abundantly clear, it is not their job to “protect” citizenry from harm. If they do so without cancelling the rights of law-abiding citizens, fine. The most certain way to insure that police do not present a problem is keep jurisdiction over them and their activity in the hands of local authorities.

Should teachers be free to have a weapon while in a school? Of course. Should schools and other places be deemed “gun-free zones”? Absolutely not! Such a labeling of schools as gun-free will invite criminally minded and mentally deranged to go to schools where there are no guns to stop them from creating mayhem.

There should be no restrictions on the ordinary citizen who wishes to protect himself and his family from a criminal. And there should be a reversal of the attitude that has people relying on police for such protection.

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McManus_2Mr. McManus served in the U.S. Marine Corps in the late 1950s and joined the staff of The John Birch Society in August 1966. He has served various roles for the organization including Field Coordinator, Director of Public Affairs, and President. Mr. McManus has appeared on hundreds of radio and television programs and is also author of a number of educational DVDs and books. Now President Emeritus, he continues his involvement with the Society through public speaking and writing for this blog, the JBS Bulletin, and The New American.


Kaepernick Needs to Learn How to Support Local Police

Kaepernick Needs to Learn How to Support Local Police
by JBS President Emeritus John F. McManus

NFL player Colin Kaepernick of the San Francisco 49ers decided to draw attention to himself at a recent football game. He refused to stand during the playing of the National Anthem, explaining that he wanted to draw attention to “the oppression of blacks and other minorities.” Hardly oppressed himself, he somehow thinks his big bucks contract to play football authorizes him to be a spokesman for others.

Photo by Mike Morbeck (Flickr: Colin Kaepernick) [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons.

It’s easy to see that Kaepernick was really calling attention to himself. He could have stayed in the locker room but he wanted personal attention. Many commentators haven’t mentioned the fact that his team seems to have given up on him.

As distasteful as the Kaepernick performance was, he managed to worsen it during another appearance on the field. He wore socks containing pictures of pigs wearing police hats. Was he disciplined for this huge insult? Not at all. In fact, many media commentators saluted him for courage. At least some police have protested. The police union in the Bay Area has threatened to boycott future games.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said he recognizes the quarterback’s right to protest but “doesn’t necessarily agree” with him. Earlier, when the Dallas Cowboys players wanted to put decals on their helmets to commemorate five recently slain Dallas police officers, Goodell’s office refused permission. Shame on Goodell and the NFL!

Refusing to stand for the national anthem is small potatoes next to disparaging the work of all police officers. Kaepernick’s ugly performance brought to mind something I wrote more than 40 years ago for The John Birch Society’s Support Your Local Police Committee program. Paying well-earned honor to the men and women in blue, the widely distributed small pamphlet stated:

A policeman is many things. He’s a son, a brother, a father, an uncle, a sister, and sometimes even a grandparent. He’s a protector in time of need and a comforter in time of sorrow. His job calls for him to be a diplomat, a psychologist, a lawyer, a friend, and an inspiration. He suffers from an overdose of publicity about brutality and dishonesty. He suffers far more from unfounded charges. Too often, his acts of heroism go unnoticed and truth is buried under all the criticism. The fact is that less than one-half of one percent of policemen ever discredit their uniform. That’s a better average than you’ll find among clergymen.

A policeman stands between the law abider and the law breaker. He’s the prime reason your home hasn’t been burned, your family abused, your business looted. Try to imagine what might happen if there were no policemen around. And then try to think of ways to make their job more rewarding.

We think policemen are great. We thank God for all the little boys and girls who said they wanted to be police officers, and who kept their promise.

Colin Kaepernick’s insult to police is a disgrace. Any others who follow his lead aren’t heroes; they’re misguided self-promoters. And the NFL officials that don’t discipline them are politically correct cowards.

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McManus_2Mr. McManus served in the U.S. Marine Corps in the late 1950s and joined the staff of The John Birch Society in August 1966. He has served various roles for the organization including Field Coordinator, Director of Public Affairs, and President. Mr. McManus has appeared on hundreds of radio and television programs and is also author of a number of educational DVDs and books. Now President Emeritus, he continues his involvement with the Society through public speaking and writing for this blog, the JBS Bulletin, and The New American.


A Policeman’s Reality: Would You Walk in Their Shoes?

A Policeman’s Reality: Would You Walk in their Shoes?
by JBS President Emeritus John F. McManus

Dallas has seen five of its police officers murdered and seven more wounded, along with two civilians. An angry former Army private named Micah Johnson carried out the rampage that was a deliberate attack on police. The motivation for the deadly sniper attack, as stated by the killer himself, amounted to revenge over the recent shootings of black Americans by police in Maryland, Minnesota, and Louisiana. Johnson died when the police employed a robot to attack him three hours after his deadly standoff began.

Dallas Police Chief David Brown (photo by Iamhasanansari (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons.

As expected, there have been numerous responses about the incident issued by officials, even by President Obama who attended a memorial service in Dallas for the slain officers. But in the aftermath of the tragedy, Dallas Police Chief David Brown, a black American, issued some truths worthy of consideration by everyone. At a press conference, Chief Brown focused on the real job of policemen, not the many tasks they have been given in recent years.

“We’re asking cops to do too much in this country,” Brown stated as he explained that policemen are being forced to pay the price for society’s failures. He specified:

Not enough mental health funding? Let the cops handle it. Not enough drug addiction funding? Let’s give it to the cops. Here in Dallas, we’ve got a loose dog problem. Let’s have the cops chase loose dogs. Schools fail? Give it to the police. Single women are raising seventy percent of the African-American community. Let’s give it to the cops to solve that as well.

The Chief suggested that those who are demonstrating and protesting against police in general ought to consider joining the police force. “We’re hiring,” he said, and he promised to send new recruits, once trained, into the neighborhoods to do police work and not be transformed into social workers.

Inherent within Chief Brown’s comments is a simple truth: Societal disintegration exists and it needs attention. Not from the policemen who have enough to do in their frequently dangerous work, but from teachers, clergymen, parents, business leaders, and ordinary folks. Micah Johnson’s attack on the Dallas police didn’t solve any of the problems mentioned by Chief Brown. Johnson’s death-dealing rampage may have even added additional problems to the many already present.

Especially pertinent is Chief Brown’s pointing to the breakdown of families. Not only in Dallas, but all across our nation, huge numbers of youngsters are being raised in broken families and deficient schools where the values marking a healthy civilization aren’t being taught. When families are broken, those who grow up in what’s left don’t have the benefit of a stable environment. If families were more solid, many of the problems cited by the chief would be diminished if not completely erased.

Chief Brown, like police chiefs in other cities who have had to respond similarly to demonstrators in their regions, deserves the thanks of all Americans for pointing to a basic cause of the obvious and widespread deterioration. If America is going to reverse course and see a lessening of civil turmoil and a return to civility, it must start within the family structure.

Clergymen, teachers, business leaders, and others along with parents must be encouraged to meet their responsibilities. If they don’t, the already serious deterioration will grow worse – and other Micah Johnsons will arise.

Another way to help return to civility is to Support Your Local Police and Keep Them Independent! Find out what you can do to help.

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McManus_2Mr. McManus served in the U.S. Marine Corps in the late 1950s and joined the staff of The John Birch Society in August 1966. He has served various roles for the organization including Field Coordinator, Director of Public Affairs, and President. Mr. McManus has appeared on hundreds of radio and television programs and is also author of a number of educational DVDs and books. Now President Emeritus, he continues his involvement with the Society through public speaking and writing for this blog, the JBS Bulletin, and The New American.


Gun-grabbing: Faulty Logic Allows Hypocrisy to Reign

Gun-grabbing: Faulty Logic Allows Hypocrisy to Reign
by JBS President Emeritus John F. McManus

Each new report about killings committed by a person wielding a gun brings new cries for restricting, even canceling, the right of the people to keep and bear arms. After the mass killing in Orlando, Florida, dozens of U.S. congressmen swarmed into the House chamber and staged a unique sit-in demonstration as they demanded passage of new laws. But their demands focused on making more difficult the plight of a law-abiding citizen to possess a weapon.

Representative Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) trying to convince demonstrators to use logic after the mass killing in Orlando, Florida (Flickr photo by Gage Skidmore, some rights reserved).

In the midst of their boisterous and truly childish demonstration, several produced photos of the 49 victims of the rampage. Representative Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) confronted the demonstrators with a dose of pure logic. Above the self-serving din emanating from the anti-gun legislators, he insisted, “Radical Islam killed these poor people.” Had he an opportunity to add to his statement, he surely would have told the sit-in crowd that the guns used in Orlando massacre didn’t take themselves to the scene of the crime. Nor did those guns pull their own triggers and fire bullets into the 49 victims. Gohmert was urging the use of logic. But he failed completely and the sit-in continued. The anti-gun demonstrators weren’t interested in logic.

On September 11, 2001, hijacked commercial airliners slammed into New York’s Twin Towers. Close to three thousand died in the worst terrorist attack ever committed on American soil. Most of the victims of that sensational crime died because the buildings collapsed crushing the occupants. No guns were used to kill those innocent people. The weapons were two airplanes. Without doubt, this was a unique criminal act.

If crusaders within the anti-gun campaign movement followed their illogical campaigning, they would have called for banning the use of airplanes. But no such demand was ever voiced. The horrible deed was caused by people who guided those planes into the two buildings. Just as the guns used in Orlando, San Bernardino, Fort Hood and other crime scenes didn’t take themselves to the locales where they were used, select the targets, and pull the triggers, those guns were activated by people. And the airplanes that brought down the Twin Towers were also guided by people. The king of logic employed by Congressman Gohmert after the Orlando shooting didn’t escape the minds of gun grabbers in the wake of the tragedy in New York. They were willing to blame persons then, but not when a terrorist uses a gun to kill his victims.

Most would-be gun grabbers blame guns for crimes. Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg is one who would like to cancel the people’s right to be armed. But he makes an exception for himself. The NRA notes that Facebook has banned acceptance of ads for firearms, ammunition, and even weapons used for self-defense. Yet Zuckerberg spent $16 million to equip his residence with security measures including numerous armed guards. While travelling in Germany, he hired armed bodyguards to watch over him as he went jogging. The NRA noted that the message Zuckerberg has sent amounts to “Don’t do as I do, just do as I say.”

At the bottom of outpourings of many would-be gun grabbers, hypocrisy reigns and logic is absent. But the right to keep and bear arms remains. Let’s keep it that way.

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McManus_2Mr. McManus served in the U.S. Marine Corps in the late 1950s and joined the staff of The John Birch Society in August 1966. He has served various roles for the organization including Field Coordinator, Director of Public Affairs, and President. Mr. McManus has appeared on hundreds of radio and television programs and is also author of a number of educational DVDs and books. Now President Emeritus, he continues his involvement with the Society through public speaking and writing for this blog, the JBS Bulletin, and The New American.


Dangerous Marijuana

Dangerous Marijuana
by JBS President Emeritus John F. McManus

In March 2016, Massachusetts State Trooper Thomas Clardy became the latest victim of marijuana use. He was killed when a speeding auto swerved across several highway lanes and crashed into his parked police cruiser. Clardy, the married father of seven, had pulled over a speeder and was writing a ticket for its driver when he died in his wrecked vehicle. He never had a chance when the careening vehicle smashed into his well-marked police cruiser.

The distraught driver of the auto killing Clardy was found to have visited a medical marijuana dispensary a mere hour before he caused the fatal crash. Investigators discovered that he had purchased several marijuana cigarettes and they found a partially burnt remnant of one in his auto. A sample of his blood taken almost immediately showed the presence of THC, the active marijuana ingredient. This man certainly appears to have been stoned while behind the wheel. The “high” he experienced should have kept him off the road because he was not competent to drive an automobile.

The tragic death of Clardy, a Marine Corps veteran and a well-respected trooper, confirmed that marijuana use, even when obtained legally, presents a danger to the user and to the public at large. The connection between marijuana and the loss of Trooper Clardy should reverse the thinking of anyone claiming that using marijuana is harmless. Whether its use is for medical reasons or for what is termed “recreation,” marijuana dulls mental capability and converts a user into a potentially hazardous human being, especially when behind the wheel of an auto.

Forty years ago, a sizable majority of medical authorities studying the effects of marijuana confirmed that its use is dangerous enough to label it a poison. As reported in published 1974 U.S. Senate hearings, a group of eminently qualified doctors concluded that steady use of marijuana:
1) damaged the body’s cellular structure
2) caused structural changes in brain cells
3) impaired the human reproductive system
4) led to a variety of respiratory diseases
5) left its dangerous ingredients in the body unlike alcohol that a body disposes of within 24 hours
6) impaired mental functions.

Over the years, numerous doctors have made similar claims.

The doctors reaching these conclusions also stated that marijuana users regularly develop a tolerance for the substance and turn to harder drugs such as cocaine and heroin or whatever will give them their sought-after high. Many who became addicted to “hard” drugs started with marijuana and graduated into their dependency on the harder drugs that steer a once-productive life into a regimen of hellish misery.

In short, there is plenty of evidence showing that marijuana is destructive of healthy bodies and sound minds. It also converts users into danger-filled creatures who may mean no harm to others, but whose effect on non-users can even be fatal, something discovered with great sadness by the Clardy family.

Some states have already legalized marijuana production and sale, even describing their move as supplying “recreation.” If government’s purpose includes protection of life and property, such recreation should not be tolerated and should be outlawed. Any medicinal users should be barred from using an automobile – or driving a school bus, piloting an airplane, performing operations on patients, etc.

Smoking marijuana is akin to playing Russian Roulette. But the victim might be someone other than the individual playing that senseless game.

Editor’s note of clarification: While we don’t agree with recreational use of marijuana, The John Birch Society does not endorse the federal war on drugs.  It is the responsibility of the states to decide.

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McManus_2Mr. McManus served in the U.S. Marine Corps in the late 1950s and joined the staff of The John Birch Society in August 1966. He has served various roles for the organization including Field Coordinator, Director of Public Affairs, and President. Mr. McManus has appeared on hundreds of radio and television programs and is also author of a number of educational DVDs and books. Now President Emeritus, he continues his involvement with the Society through public speaking and writing for this blog, the JBS Bulletin, and The New American.


Beware of the Strong Cities Network

Beware of the Strong Cities Network
by JBS President Emeritus John F. McManus

It all sounds so reassuring and reasonable! Acting for the Obama administration, the nation’s Attorney General has placed the United States into an international grouping of cities whose advertised purpose involves combating violent extremism. Some of the cities in the new group will even be in other countries where terrorism has occurred or is surely a threat. All of the members of this new group will share their experiences and planning. Everyone should be most grateful that the Strong Cities Network (SCN) has been created.

But a closer look at this network reveals some problems. The first is that U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch decided to announce U.S. participation in the SCN at the United Nations. Then, in her speech before the world body last September, Lynch noted that SCN would have an International Steering Committee and an International Advisory Board “run by the Institute for Strategic Dialogue, a leading international think-and-do tank” based in London whose members include veterans of the Council on Foreign Relations and the Trilateral Commission.

Representatives of Norway’s Oslo and Canada’s Montreal joyfully announced membership in the new SCN during the world body’s confab. And the UN’s High Commissioner for Human Rights, Jordan’s Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, added his enthusiasm for the new organization.

Boiled down to its essence, the SCN is actually a new law enforcement body whose laws will govern participating cities, including New York, Atlanta, Denver, and Minneapolis that have already signed on as members. Law enforcement measures for these cities will dovetail with or emanate from the ISD and the United Nations, not from the U.S. Constitution and locally elected officials and the laws governing them. In her remarks at the unveiling of this new organization, Attorney General Lynch claimed that the new arrangement would work toward being “an alliance of nations” and would aspire to be “a global community.”

The Strong Cities Network, therefore, should be known as a nascent global police force controlled by the United Nations. Where central or global authority doesn’t govern police power, it is controlled locally. When it is controlled by a national or international governing body, as it was in the hands of Germany’s Gestapo, the Soviet Union’s KGB, or the ruling body in a communist-led country, tyranny reigns.

In the U.S., attacks against the very concept of local control over police power have been varied with campaigns regularly complaining about treatment of rioters and protesters. This style of lawlessness customarily includes calls for replacing local control with state or even national oversight. Until the unveiling of the SCN and its Institute for Strategic Dialogue, however, there were no calls for global oversight over police.

In her speech at the UN praising the creation of the SCN, Attorney General Lynch used the word “global” five times. She also employed the terms
“international” and “world” while at the podium. Then she closed her remarks by introducing Sasha Havlicek, the Chief Executive Officer of the Institute for Strategic Dialogue.

Widespread understanding of the slogan “Support Your Local Police and Keep Them Independent” has never been more needed. It reminds all who encounter it that trading the American system of local control over police to any national or international governing body is suicidal. Unfortunately, the Obama administration and its Attorney General seem determined to destroy America’s long-standing police policy and, by doing so, deliver our independent United States of America into the steadily growing power of the United Nations. This is something all decent Americans must oppose. Contact Congress today with our pre-written alert to let them know of your opposition!

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McManus_2Mr. McManus served in the U.S. Marine Corps in the late 1950s and joined the staff of The John Birch Society in August 1966. He has served various roles for the organization including Field Coordinator, Director of Public Affairs, and President. Mr. McManus has appeared on hundreds of radio and television programs and is also author of a number of educational DVDs and books. Now President Emeritus, he continues his involvement with the Society through public speaking and writing for this blog, the JBS Bulletin, and The New American.