So it appears that ex-LAPD cop Christopher Dorner bought the farm yesterday, either burned alive or shot dead (either at his own hand or at the hands of the cops), according to most media sources. What has fascinated me about this story are the parallels between Dorner’s actions and those of the United States as a nation.
From what I can tell, Dorner was the embodiment of US foreign policy. He killed innocent people? The USA does that almost every single day. Dorner did it as part of his campaign against corruption and violence in the LAPD. The USA does it as part of their campaign against people who don’t like America’s control of the Middle East.
Do we have one set of rules for the State and another for individuals within the State?
Of course we do – the State is allowed to own an army. Citizens are not. Unless, of course, you are Blackwater / Xe / Academi, then you can own a private army and lease it back to the State. But that’s another story.
However even in these scenarios, where we (the people) grant the State the ability to have means of violence that are withdrawn from citizens, we expect the State to obey certain precepts – process, morals, ethics and integrity with how they use the violent forces under their command.
The United States government, however, tends to be pretty loose with how it exercises it’s forces. Up until recently, for example, the Obama administration didn’t even admit to using drones to kill civilians, let alone provide any transparency with the legal framework supporting it.
Of course, the fact that the US kills innocent civilians with drones or troops or private contractors doesn’t make it right. It does, however, provide US citizens with a moral framework to operate from. If it is okay for Uncle Sam to treat civilians as collateral damage and ignore legal process, isn’t it justified for citizens to do the same?
If the USA can assassinate Osama bin Laden without trial or proof of his alleged crimes, is it wrong for a citizen to assassinate corrupt cops?
In a country where a large percentage of the population argues for the right for individuals to own weapons so they can protect themselves against tyranny, Dorner tested the model. Here’s a guy with weapons, with military and police training, who still lasted only a week against the forces of tyranny. I didn’t see his brothers-in-arms rising up to defend him, either. What’s the point of having the “right to bear arms” against the forces of tyranny when you don’t use them to defend someone who is fighting tyranny?
Which is why I think they folks who love their 2nd Amendment are mostly full of shit and cowards to boot.
The media’s treatment of Dorner is interesting, especially when compared to their treatment of US foreign policy. For example:
CNN: Public fascination with and endorsement of an anti-hero is common in history and the arts, especially when the figure advances a political message that resonates with people, experts said. “He’s been a real-life superhero to many people,” said Marc Lamont Hill, an associate professor of English education at Columbia University. “Don’t get me wrong. What he did was awful. Killing innocent people is bad.
Killing innocent people is bad… unless you are the President of the United States. Then it is justified.