Tactics are a lot like elections as they are a test of the quality of your supporters as much as they are a test of the effectiveness of the tactics. Despite explaining why we do things a certain way there is always someone that simply is too blind to see or too unwilling to abandon preconceived notions that they have locked into their world view. One reader sounded off last week and serves as a perfect example of short sightedness:
“Please remove me from your email list. When you endorsed Ann Weaver for Senate you proved to me that you are not a conservative organization. She is one of the most liberal citizens of Sequoyah county. You are hurting the cause of legitimate Tea Party workers.
Mrs. Rodgers was upset that we chose to punish Senator Allen in the General election by allowing one of our writers to endorse the Democrat in the race. The race was quite close, only a 7.2 % margin, and it showed Senator Allen that he could find himself out of office if we do more than twitch a finger like we did this time. His opponent was indeed a liberal but had she been elected she would have been powerless as one of the 9 Democrat senators. That would have been a better outcome for conservatives than seeing a 60% conservative senator get re elected and letting the other 47 senators see no accountability for their voting.
Russian dictator Joseph Stalin coined a term for people like Mrs. Rogers… useful idiots. That is someone with blind faith or loyalty to a cause regardless of reality, sometimes misled but always held in contempt even by those handling them. In this case a true conservative would be quite angry at Senator Allen for his voting record and she was fully informed as she reads the newsletter each week. Yet somehow punishing a liberal Republican senator is somehow “not conservative” according to Mrs. Rodgers world view. Go figure…..
Of course Mrs. Rodgers does nothing for the cause anyway, doesn’t donate, doesn’t volunteer, she doesn’t even have enough sense to understand that a powerless liberal in offices is better than a liberal senator betraying the conservative Republicans in her own district. She can however serve as a bad example after having sent a letter to the editor. Freedom of speech cuts two ways; you get your say and you also get to look like an idiot in public if you don’t choose your words carefully.
Senator Allen himself knows that he is on notice and he will find himself explaining his voting record if it doesn’t improve this session. Imagine the damage a pallet of newspapers will do to his image and reputation in his district if he doesn’t start voting right. Yes there will be those like Mrs. Rodgers that won’t admit the truth even faced with Senate voting records printed in a newspaper laying on her driveway but there will be many more Republicans that will begin to question Senator Allen and he will find himself with an opponent in four years and saddled with a horribly liberal voting record that the majority of the voters have heard about.
Transparency in government is good for all but the incompetent and the corrupt and police work is just another branch of government where transparency of the actions of a law enforcement officer deciding to use lethal force is no different.
Costs have plummeted for body cameras that can record everything occurring during a police shift, storing it in the cloud in real time, something that has been shown to reduce the use of police force by nearly two thirds and citizen complaints by nearly 90%. The reason is that the body cameras provide more than a tamper resistant objective record; the cameras presence alters the behavior of both police and citizen. Criminals don’t fight the charges when the video proof is there to see but simply knowing that things are being recorded is a huge game changer in police/citizen encounters.
Price was once a valid objection for most departments but competition between the two main vendors of body cameras marketed to police departments has driven down costs to between $300 and $400 per unit. There is of course the cost of proprietory ongoing storage from the vendors. This is like the cheap printer/expensive ink marketing model of a lot of the personal printers out there but enterprising departments can put together their own system using off the shelf components if they have a good IT department.
There will be resistance from some law enforcement officers, no different than when dashboard cameras first came out. Even some citizens are going to worry about privacy issues and protecting witnesses while police departments will have to require cameras use for all encounters. We remember too well Tulsa serial rapist Trooper Eric Roberts turning off the dashboard cameras in his cruiser as he did his evil deeds.
England has been using body cameras for nearly a decade and investigation time required on lethal force occurrences has dropped by a factor of thirty. Imagine if the cop in Ferguson had been wearing a body camera. Hard to justify a riot when a video shows exactly what happened. The sad thing is that Ferguson had the equipment but hadn’t issued it yet.
Costs for the equipment are easily justified by the drop in investigation resources and by the drop in lawsuits over police using force. Good cops would be protected and bad cops would find themselves out of a job in short order. Criminals would take a tougher plea bargain when faced with video evidence while judges and juries would be more certain in their judgments.
Oklahoma would do well to pass legislation ordering the phase in of body cameras by all officers including prison guards. And the time to propose legislation and write bills is now with a mid December deadline before the legislation starts in February.
Once Again Boys and Girls,
Lets Say it all Together….
Rep. John Bennett was Right
KOCO reported last week on a story of another knife attack by a Muslim against a Christian.
The man was arrested after a heated religious discussion where the Muslim complained that not enough Muslims were stepping up and beheading non believers. The Muslim was asked to leave but returned with a knife and attacked one of the family members that had helped the Muslim prior to the religious discussion, slashing the man repeatedly until a baseball bat wielding mother drove the Muslim man away.
This kind of news is being heavily censored in Oklahoma as the story appears in a search only on KOCO or in a link posted on the Newsok.com website. Imagine how it would be handled if it was a Christian accused of attacking a Muslim. Thanks Oklahoman for informing Oklahoma for what you want us to hear about.