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COLUMN — Police, citizens should be re-educated

Looking back, law officers carried revolvers long before they began carrying fully automatic weapons or high capacity semi-automatic pistols. The object was to apprehend offenders, not kill them.

Enter, the cartels, gang bangers and other culprits, all of these especially violent. It didn’t matter that the police tried to stop them, many were killed trying. What comes next is obvious — something resembling military training.

Young law enforcement candidates graduate, trained to do whatever is necessary, not just to protect citizens, but to protect themselves and their fellow officers – all of which makes for a far more aggressive game. That and an ever- increasing lack of respect on all sides has resulted in senseless death and mayhem.  

So, if the answer is to re-educate, shouldn’t that education include all sides? Should police who are held to high standards be taught that the answer to a threat is not just to shoot? And shouldn’t the young and others be taught to stop when asked to do so by law enforcement?  

Police are human, and humans react to threats. Without question, police in any situation must carefully evaluate the threat before taking actions that could result in serious and long-term terrible consequences to victims, their families, and the surrounding community.  

But what about citizens? Should there begin re-education in our schools, social places of gathering, in our homes with our children, and especially among those responsible for reporting the news, that respect and law-abiding responses to law enforcement is not inappropriate?   

People faced with being asked to stop, should do just that. And police in pursuit of a culprit should, and must, take time to evaluate the consequence of their actions. While there is a delicate balance, under no circumstance does any of it get resolved by taking a ridiculous stand defunding police, burning and looting innocent store-owner property, destroying public property, and assaulting innocent individuals while they commute between home and wherever.

What is happening in the U.S. today is social insanity and the mainstream media hasn’t helped.

And for all of us who want peace and an end to this madness, the message is to those who fan the flames of hate – you are as guilty as those who pull the trigger on either side of the injustice.

Peter Kapuscinski lives in Buckingham County. His email address is petekap@centurylink.net.