In the 1970s I had the pleasure of working for the Police Foundation in Texas. One of my two superiors was Dr. George Kelling. He and Dr. James Wilson were social scientists who came to fame in the 1980s with their creation of the Broken Windows concept for fighting crime. It is a simple idea that claims the best way to address crime is to enforce all laws, beginning with minor infractions such as failing to replace broken windows, throwing trash and bottles onto the streets, junk cars, abandoned buildings, vagrancy, etc.
The Broken Windows concept was first implemented in the 1990s in New York City with the enthusiastic support of Mayor Rudy Giuliani, and it worked. Neighborhoods improved and crime went down. In the 2000s, Boston, Baltimore, Chicago, Los Angeles and Denver also implemented the program and enjoyed a decrease in both minor and major criminal activities.
Criminals, by definition, do not obey laws, small or large. For instance, because both criminals and housewives sometimes fail to give a turn signal, it would not be a waste of a police officer’s time to stop and interview everyone for such a minor infraction. That interview enables the officer to identify, by way of outstanding warrants, those who are wanted for more serious crimes. Case in point was shockingly illustrated in the 2005 movie Fargo when a highway patrol officer stopped a car occupied by two hardened criminals. Their offense was driving the car without a tag, a fairly minor issue. When the officer discovered the two men had outstanding warrants and attempted to arrest them, they killed him.
Having worked in both corrections and criminal justice systems as a civilian and in the military, I have the greatest respect for our law enforcement officers. I fully understand the tremendous pressures they experience. Although underpaid and overworked, they are tasked with maintaining order in our society while facing constant criticism and frequent danger.
Even though they do not admit their concern, police officers are very aware that the next person they question about a minor infraction may result in their being fired, going to prison or even killed! Not a very pleasant thought for those who put on that uniform every day.
Have you noticed that half of the drivers we encounter at intersections are failing to give a turn signal: Am I the only one seeing an increase in the number of speeders on our highways? Has anyone else been shocked by a very LOUD muffler or radio while waiting at a traffic light? Add to those minor infractions an increase in broken windshields, out of date car tags, and drivers making illegal turns and running red lights and I start to wonder, “Where are our law enforcement officers?” Unfortunately, I know the answer. I think they will make their presence known only after there are obvious, major violations of the law. It is difficult not to sympathize with that approach.
If law enforcement fails to address those simple violations, soon to occur will be major law violations such as shoplifting, car thefts, home burglaries, armed robberies, and shootings. Unfortunately, that is already occurring in major cities that have defunded the police or required them to undergo sensitivity training. Some cities are even preventing their criminal justice system from enforcing sentences or are reducing them.
The origins of this current, anti-establishment activity began in the 1960s when a nascent, socialistic element was able to turn America against the most altruistic war ever fought. Wars are fought for four reasons:
to obtain land.
to enslave people.
to obtain natural resources such as coal, oil and gas.
to obtain food.
America was not in Vietnam for their rice paddies, water buffalo or rubber plantations. In 1955 we joined seven other nations as members of the Southeast Asia Treaty Organization to stop the spread of communism in Southeast Asia and protect the Vietnamese. For that reason our military was physically attacked and called baby killers by American war protestors! I still have the National Liberation Front’s propaganda leaflets I picked up on the battlefields of Vietnam.
Fast forward more than half a century and today it is not our military that is being attacked or called names. The socialist element that cost South Vietnam its freedom has metastasized and now influences our national education system, our political system, and our news media. Today it is our law enforcement men and women who are being attacked and You, the American public, are being called racist if you do not agree with WOKE and Critical Race Theories.
The recent, unparalleled actions taken against President Trump by our highest law enforcement agencies were unnecessary and without precedence in our nation’s history. That action, coupled with the civil strife in our nation, are strong indicators that Americans in our highest elected positions are intent on drastically modifying our current, three-branch system of government!
Not always recognized by some Americans is the underpinning of our Constitution, the power reinforcing its words in the Second Amendment. It is the right of all law-abiding Americans to be armed. The most popular rifle in America today is the AR-15, and the most popular pistol caliber is 9mm, both of which our President now claims are “Weapons of War” that must be made illegal. That action alone would make it more difficult for American citizens to physically protect themselves from their government.
As a reminder, there are eight steps tyrants use to subjugate their citizens:
Register all citizens.
Register all firearms.
Make some firearms illegal.
Confiscate illegal firearms.
Arrest citizens who do not turn in illegal firearms.
Make all firearms illegal.
Confiscate all firearms.
Arrest, imprison and kill whomever they want.
It is not just a few windows that are being broken today but our American system of justice and government. I predict some very difficult sledding in our immediate future and for some time to come!
Clyde H. Morgan lives in Crossgates in Brandon. He owns Precision Shooting Center at Forest.