Monday, May 23, 2022

The Assumptions that Kill You

Every year I ban folks- sometimes hundreds of folks- from the OKC Bombing anniversary post on the FB page. I set a record for page bans on a post about the sentencing of Eric Frein, the wannabe revolutionary who assassinated one Pennsylvania state trooper and inflicted disabling wounds on another, and it took all of five minutes for libertarian and anarchist trolls to attack a post about the murder of an El Dorado County deputy on an illegal weed grow, where the career of a visiting San Joaquin deputy was ended as well.

That time, I learned how to block not just individuals but also the pages and groups where my posts were being shared. If I write about armor (especially armored vehicles), all bets are off and the trolls rise up from their bridges in ranks to pile on the comments. (Since the biggest complaint is "If we can't have it, cops can't!!", I delight in finding mil surplus for sale on eBay and sharing the links. I don't care what people have, I care what they do with it.)

I mostly have to ban people from posts involving domestic terrorism and attacks on cops by anti-gov extremists, so it's time for me to clarify some things:my only loyalty is for truth- not politics, not parties, not the approval of a bunch of people I've never met, so I'm not going to tailor my posts to keep from offending someone.

When I see a threat to law enforcement, I write about it without apology.

If a reader happens to identify with the politics of the person I judge to be a threat, that is not my problem, nor am I obliged to host that reader's inflammatory blather and defense of rioters, murderers or terrorists.

When I write about threats and actual criminal acts by anti-government extremists, it is an uninformed, shallow and illogical stretch to assume that my writing somehow implies that I approve of or agree with everything ever that any government agency/representative has done.

Understand this: when the next Timothy McVeigh, Gordon Kahl, Carl Drega, Eric Frein, Gavin Eugene Long, Micah Xavier Johnson, Steven Carrillo, Lloyd Barrus or Jerry Kane Jr. marinates long enough in their grievance to move from planning to implementing violence, it won't matter to them if you're unhappy with current events too.

That rural badge you wear means nothing to extremists except that you are the nearest, most accessible symbol of what they hate, and they'll kill you for it.

They won't ask you your feelings first. They won't care if you have a Gadsden flag in your garage, or a Molon Labe tattoo. They won't ask who you voted for before shooting you or blowing you up. That's what extreme means.

If you refuse to perceive that threat because you also think government's too big, or you don't like who's sitting in the Oval Office right now, or you don't like the way some laws are written, then wilfull blindness puts you at risk. You cannot protect yourself- or anyone else- if you refuse to recognize an impending threat.

Someone will read this and get defensive, and say, "Well, sure Charlie, but why don't you write about *this other threat*?? They are (just as bad) (worse) (not like me) (fill in the blank)!!"

And I will answer: I will write about what I will write. I cannot write about everything so I will write about what I think is the most immediate issue for my readers: rural cops. I spent more than thirty years in remote mountain places and small towns. I saw very little blac bloc, and most of them were high school students experimenting with skinny jeans and nail polish.

I saw a LOT of people who hated everything to do with laws, rules and government in any form, and who took it out on cops. So if you come here with blather and ugly memes about Waco, or Ruby Ridge, or redcoats and bluecoats and ACAB and conflate that with 2nd Amendment issues and Hawaiian shirts, I'm going to ban you. Ain't got time for that.

--Charlie Pitt


  1. Charlie, I am a peace officer who has worked in both rural and metropolitan law enforcement. I am also a dog handler and trainer/decoy. Your essay about how we need to decide "what we want" from the police rings true to my heart, again today.
    Everyone close to me knows I am a Malinois, but I do my best to fake being a Golden Retriever as much as I can. Call me a well trained malinios with an e-collar. Unfortunately, it only works under the right circumstances. If you push my buttons, I will bite you with aggression and that e-collar is just going to make me more angry. I will do stupid shit that could kill me (all my hobbies are dangerous), and my aggression is real if you present a threat to others. If you try to stop me, I might come up the leash.
    The issue has come full circle with the recent incident in Texas. From what I am hearing so far, we are feeling the curse of what we have been forced to hire/train for the last 10+ years. Golden Retrievers are good for telephonic contact on non-violent incidents, and traffic accidents. We have hired tons of Goldens, expecting them to magically morph into Malinios even though it's not in their DNA.
    Add to the equation how we have made every officer afraid to pull the trigger, even when no other option remains. The thought of being a defendant in a criminal prosecution has many refusing to engage in proactive enforcement.
    Just like any other kennel environment, all the other dogs are barking about what just happened. I am sick to my stomach hearing all the barking about officers who didn't take action. Maybe they were waiting for a social worker?
    This breaks my heart, because I am aware that many who are working in this profession just don't have the heart to "push and address the threat". The fear of disobeying an order from the chief is real. If your chief says "no" then you are on your own, without qualified immunity and subject to prosecution if things go south. Other officers might not follow you. BORTAC is solid as F%^&, and I wish I had what it took back in the day to join BP. They are actually the highest stress academy in the US in my honest opinion.
    A huge shout out for your prophetic post about what America needs to decide. We need to start hiring from our veteran community more, and keep the stress/testing in our training process.

    1. Thank you for reaching out. I will use your comment in another post, because it's important. You matter, sir.


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