For Police States to Triumph, Good People Must Hi-five the Cops


For today's update to the Utah rave-crackdown story, I'll just excerpt from this Provo Daily Herald editorial, and tremble for Utah by reflecting that even a Mormon God might be just:

If you want to rave, you've got to behave. […]

Was this raid a bit heavy-handed? Should the entire weight of police weaponry (including military-style guns capable of full-automatic fire), special tactics, dogs and helicopters be used to break up a music concert with a few hundred kids, some of whom are drunk or high? There are only a couple of ways out of the Childs property, and a crowd is easily contained. Is this truly a situation that requires full riot gear, including black face coverings that lend a Ninja-like quality to the operation?

Such questions can be answered another time […]

Let's state some basic facts, just for the record. Officers of the law carry guns. It is part of what they do. They often carry nonlethal weapons, too, such as bean-bag launchers or tear gas. They make plans for dealing with potentially difficult situations. Why? Because it's their job to enforce the laws that have been duly enacted by elected authorities.

It's called enforcement for a reason. Police don't need to ask politely.

The best way to stay out of range of the police is to obey the law. It's a lesson too many people have not learned.

UPDATE: What's particularly poignant is that these comments come in the context of an editorial presented as keeping a mature balance between the "massive police assault," and "the atmosphere of unrestraint [that] fosters sexual assaults, drug overdoses, car burglaries, driving under the influence and other problems." The final line of the piece is a perfect illustration of how important goalposts are moved not necessarily by loyal foot soldiers, but by detached observers ever searching for a pragmatic balance: "It's a sticky wicket that illustrates some of the ambiguities inherent in a free society and the balance between freedom and responsibility."