From: Gary Hunt at the Outpost of Freedom

Shoot to Kill
By Gary Hunt

Outpost of Freedom
July 23, 1998


Friday, July 3, 1998, early in the morning, at an apartment complex in Phoenix, Arizona. A young man, recently out of prison, and, according to his probation, not allowed to drink alcohol. Harold Shover, Jr., however, had decided to have one last fling, celebrating his release. Making a bit too much noise in the parking lot, a neighbor calls the police on him. As the police arrive, Shover attempts to get into a pickup truck. Charles Thompson orders Shover out of the truck, and Shover complies. Later, Thompson explains that Shover was so drunk that he tried to swing the bottle in his hand at Thompson, and missed.

The police, you know, the people who are supposed to protect and defend, confront Shover. Officer Jim Neberman, an 11-year veteran on the force, responds with deadly force, shooting the 20 year old and killing him. Of course, Shover swung at the armed officers, as he had Thompson. Later, the lady who had called the police remarked that she could have handled Shover without killing him.

Considering the way law enforcement deals with its own, we can probably assume that Neberman will get some time off, with pay (a paid vacation), while Internal Affairs determines that he acted within his authority. Shover, however, will be buried by his parents, and never complete his probation.

An officer is killed in a bombing in Georgia. Federal agents, disguised as militia (camo, semi-automatic rifles and other paramilitary gear), traipse through the woods, instilling fear in the locals, in one of the largest manhunts in American History.

Three men shoot and kill police officer in Colorado. Largest manhunt in American history commenced.

I can't say if I agree with Rudolph's actions in Alabama, or with the actions of the three men who had stolen a water truck in Colorado. I can say that I cannot disagree with their taking the lives of police officers.

Originally, there were constables and Sheriffs who relied upon the citizenry to assist them in lawful arrests of people charged with crimes. There was no standing army, and armed forces were military and could only act with direct and specific authority of an executive civilian, such as the governor.

This concept is from whence we came. New York however, decided that it needed a police force, in 1844, and modeled it after the one recently created in London (unarmed) in 1829. It was expected that other people would assist the police in apprehension and other matters -- and so it was.

Over the years, the police departments took on changing roles. The most significant changes, however, would be the return of Military Police, after World War II, to replace those policemen who had held off retirement as their contribution to the war effort. Thousands of policeman who had lived under the old standard were replaced by ex-military, combat veteran, harden and trained to kill, soldiers who had to enforce military discipline against men who had survived with their lives, and watched as their friends lost theirs, through years of constant combat -- drunk and reveling after the war. These conditions created a very hardened Corp of military law enforcement personnel. Suddenly, and new sense of authority permeated law enforcement. It was, however, tempered with respect for the civilian population.

Then, around 1967, and as a result of military training during the Vietnam War (police action? -- verbicide?), two new concepts were introduced into American Law Enforcement. These concepts were the SWAT (Special Weapons and Tactics) teams and the "Them or Us" mentality. In new academies springing up all over the country, a new level of indoctrination was utilized to create a hardened force which was more capable of asserting its authority over the American people. Students were taught that anybody, even their neighbor, could be a terrorist. Unfortunately, this included you and me -- and excluded them, all law enforcement officers.

In 1899, the United States Supreme Court ruled, in John Bad Elk v. United States [177 U.S. 529], that a person could shoot, and kill, a law enforcement officer who was making an unlawful arrest. A lawful arrest included an arrest with a lawful warrant or an arrest that would stop the completion of a felony. If the arrest was unlawful, then the killing would be a misdemeanor, or no crime at all. It appears that the " held to answer" provision of the Fifth Amendment really was the law of the land.

Since that time, law enforcement has taken on a whole new meaning. There can be little doubt that their nature, today, is exactly what the Founders had in mind when the prohibited standing armies [Article I, Section 8, clause 12, Constitution], knowing that it was improper to have armies to enforce law, and to have armed people able to fire on civilians without civilian authority.

There is no argument that I have heard which can justify the actions of law enforcement. The incentives provided to protect them from responsibility for their actions, such as time off with pay while the investigation is conducted, have had an even more detrimental effect on their relationship with the people they are supposed to serve and protect. Just think, if I were out of vacation, and I wanted some time off, all I had to do was to shoot and kill someone, sit back, relax and pick up my pay check. Chances are I would be vindicated in the end -- after all, a cop never lies! Right?

Of course, if you are an innocent person and get in the way, are mistaken for someone else, or simply get a little out of hand, as Shover did, there is no sense in the cop taking any risk at all. Just blow the guy away, and deal with it as it comes.

Judges are rarely motivated to act against the police in actions such as these. After all, the judges need the officers (of the court) to enforce their edicts, and those edicts are nearly as bad as being shot -- at least to some who have committed no crime, but violated the rules and crossed swords with the injustice of the system

So, when it comes to a confrontation with law enforcement, you have very few choices.

** You may submit -- hoping that you won't be shot -- just because (suicide by law enforcement).
** You might be fortunate and only lose a part of you life, sitting in jail waiting, and hoping, for justice to prevail.
** You might find that you will become another statistic in the war against crime. Shot, justifiably, by mistake.

Given these choices, perhaps it is time to consider the consequences of your actions -- should you find yourself in this situation. Given the possibilities, I would suggest that the right to keep and bear arms for personal protection and self-defense (Second Amendment) was written by the Founders with good cause. And, should enough resistance by made to these unlawful acts by the standing army, perhaps the fear instilled in them might cause them to think twice before violating their oath and Our Constitution.

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