Freak Occurrences of Cowardice

west webster memorial bwYou simply can’t plan for everything.  We do try to make our scenes safer, but conditions change, or situations are presented where we can’t even imagine how they came to be.  How many people considered that individuals would try to bring down the World Trade Center, not once, but twice, succeeding in the end and taking 343+ of our brothers as well as thousands of others? On a smaller and more likely scope, however, psychotics lie in ambush, awaiting the arrival of first responders, so in their effort to help others, they are instead cut down by these criminally insane cowards.

You all know the 2012 story of the West Webster, NY firefighters who, arriving on the scene of a fire, were fired upon, injuring two and killing two others.  In 2013, firefighters in Gwinnett County, GA encountered a man who held them hostage for a period of time and were fortunately rescued before anything dire happened to them.  And now we have the event in Tallahassee, FL, where a coward set a fire to trap responders, then murdered a sheriff’s deputy who was the first arriving on scene. These shooters are just those cowards who would prey on individuals coming to help others.  There needs no further mention of those that would prey on the defenseless and the innocent, but in these cases, the hate is targeted toward authority. Many times, that hate is fanned by zealots who exercise their First Amendment rights, not caring about the outcome.  These days, being far to one side or another of debate is en vogue, especially if it is against government, because “everyone” hates the government.

Granted, loudmouths can hide behind the First Amendment (which is protected by the government they like to hate) and rant about the excesses of Washington, et al, without consideration for the fact that at the federal, state, and local levels, the same individuals and organizations provide them assistance when they are having a heart attack, put out fires in their homes or businesses, or enforce laws that maintain a civil society.  Are there excesses and waste in places?  There certainly are.  Are there people who abuse their power and influence?  Yes, there are.  But the cops and the firefighters and the medics who come to help in someone’s time of need aren’t doing anything but responding to a call for help when this kind of cowardice occurs.  Being angry at the political process should be a call to action, but instead of violent action, maybe people should actually vote, or get out and be activists for real change.

Taking anger out on the people who are there to help exposes what weaklings these individuals really are.  If they want to “stand up to the government”, perhaps they should come out and do so, and then not be surprised when the lawful authorities come to take care of business, and prepared to go toe-to-toe.  I agree that there is a certain amount of militarization in law enforcement that creates a certain amount of concern.  However, it could also be argued that given the increased number of situations where individuals have better firepower, the advantage of terrain and surprise, and a predilection for shooting at the unarmed and defenseless, that maybe having the ability to respond with reciprocal violence is necessary.

I used the words “coward” and “cowardice” pretty liberally in this document because I can think of no other description for these actions.  If I were in a military unit, I would have an expectation that I will be engaging enemy forces and subsequently, be armed and prepared to do so.  And I certainly understand the advantage of unconventional warfare.  But as a non-combatant, if my partners and I are going to be singled out for a statement against government, then at least let me have the chance to fight back, in which case, I’ll be happy to switch into “combatant” mode and raise my fists to match my opponent.  I prefer to help my neighbors through aid in their time of need to show my dedication to my country and community.  But if I need to take up arms to defend it from people that would harm the innocent, I’m personally willing to stand up to those cowards.

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