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Thread: Some general thoughts about this board and LEOs

  1. #1
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    I'm reminded time and time again why it is important to keep up a civil conversation on this board, especially regarding LEO's and also to avoid fringe topics that border on tinfoil hattery, etc...

    I personally know of a handful LEO's who read this board, and few of them post here. No I'm not giving names or any other details. Don't bother asking.

    I was in Lynnwood yesterday and spoke briefly with the SCSD Sergeant who was part of the stop I was in last December. Briefly a driver tried to get me kicked off the bus for carrying a cased long arm, and I ended up back on the bus. I complimented the Sergeant for the professionalism and low key attitude of the stop. He replied that he had already read about it on the internet and appreciated my positive words. Now I posted that story in two places, one on a local Olympia community forum I own (www.olyforums.org) and here. As it is extremely unlikely that this officer reads Olyforums it was plain he read it here.

    Actually he clarified and said a Metro Transit Officer (King County Sheriff) mentioned the story to his department.

    What is my point in all of this? It is no surprise that cops read this board, and if I were in their shoes, I would do so as well. We discuss encounters, both good and bad with LEO's, as well as engage in an act that is a bit unusual in some people's eyes.

    So just please keep in mind when you are talking about LEO's or a specific agency, or touch on a contreversial topic, assume there are some interested government paid eyes reading this, and ask yourself if this is how you would choose to represent not only yourself in the eyese of the law, but also the entire OC community.

    I for one would rather be noted by the Community Transit security staff was "That gun guy" with a bit of a smile and laugh, rather than "that gun guy" with a scowl and distrust. The same goes for any other agency.

    Public relations is a tricky subject sometimes and must be carefully handled. If you are happy being viewed as an angry blowhard who distrusts all cops, is suspicious of government, and an arsehole in general, be my guest. It's a free country after all. But keep in mind your attitude may color how a cop treats the next guy he gets a call over OC. And I don't want to be on the receiving end of a bad attitude influenced by someone who can't hold their tongue.

    I'll wager a person peaceably OCing a gun in places where concerned, polite and professional acting members have worked will go a lot easier than a place where OC'rs are viewed as nutters and loons.

    Just something to keep in mind. Yah, cops read this forum, and I think that's a good thing. I think more would post if the noise to signal ratio was better when they did too.

    So when you want to post something angry, or unusual, keep in mind you are probably going to end up having an entire community painted with a broad brush.

    Criticism goes a lot further when it is written in a calm, professional sounding fashion, and isn't damaging to the author either.

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    Regular Member compmanio365's Avatar
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    I agree that we can all discourse in a decent and respectful manner, and sometimes the talk around here gets into the realm of "bashing". But I totally disagree with the fact that I should have to "watch what I say cause some authority figure might be watching". If a LEO doesn't like what I've wrote, online or otherwise,and I happen to meet that person later on down the road, I still expect them to act with respect and show conduct befitting a public servant. They don't have to like what I'm saying even at the time, but it better not affect how they conduct their business. To be a cop, you need a thicker skin than most; if you don't have it, you probably got into the wrong career.

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    It's not about "watching what you say." It's about being a mature, problem-solving adult citizen instead of an emotionally-driven temperamental juvenile.

    Reacting to a bad situation by verbally flailing about demonstrates a lack of self-control and plays into the very image that the media uses to portray us. Even a child can act mature when life is good; the measure of a responsible adult is how you handle yourself when things go bad.

    If you want to act like the rest of the spoiled-brat population, don't be surprised if you get treated like them. The idea that "other people will just have to put up with my self-indulgent emotional outbursts because it's a free country and I can say what I want" is a bunch of self-centered high school crap.

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    compmanio365 wrote:
    I agree that we can all discourse in a decent and respectful manner, and sometimes the talk around here gets into the realm of "bashing". But I totally disagree with the fact that I should have to "watch what I say cause some authority figure might be watching". If a LEO doesn't like what I've wrote, online or otherwise,and I happen to meet that person later on down the road, I still expect them to act with respect and show conduct befitting a public servant. They don't have to like what I'm saying even at the time, but it better not affect how they conduct their business. To be a cop, you need a thicker skin than most; if you don't have it, you probably got into the wrong career.
    I could have phrased it better. It's not so much watching what you say because big brother is watching, as much as it is watching how you say something because of how it will viewed, and impact a community as a whole.



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    If you are happy being viewed as an angry blowhard who distrusts all cops, is suspicious of government, and an arsehole in general, be my guest. It's a free country after all.
    But not on this board it's not. Some swift, firm, and fair moderation could solve some of the attacks on cops.

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    Ibelieve we are talking about respect andrespect is a two way street. You have to give it to get it.

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    irfner wrote:
    Ibelieve we are talking about respect andrespect is a two way street. You have to give it to get it.
    Many years ago I had a teacher that told us respect has to be earned. It cannot be demanded or boughtbut must be earned by respecting others. Unfortunately that teacher was killed in a car wreck about a year later and a whole community cried.

    You are absolutely correct with your post.

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    irfner wrote:
    Ibelieve we are talking about respect andrespect is a two way street. You have to give it to get it.
    And just as a few bad apple gun owners can tar the perception that many people have of gun owners in general, a few bad apple LEOs can also cause other citizens to think that all cops are corrupt, dishonest, what have you.

    Most cops will treat most citizens with respect, most of the time. The respect should be reciprocal, but that does not mean anyone should not stand up for their constitutional rights. I respect the police and the job they do, but, no you cannot search my car.

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    irfner wrote:
    Ibelieve we are talking about respect andrespect is a two way street. You have to give it to get it.
    And there you have it in a nutshell. I have had numerous encounters with LEO's. Most were polite, and once, when asked, I was "instantly" deputized in an attempted bank robbery stop.

    That said, I have been mistreated enough times to be quite wary of those in blue with badges, purportedly coming to "help me"

    Nothin' personal- no finger-pointing. Just my experiences.

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    Regular Member Johnny Law's Avatar
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    PT111 wrote:
    irfner wrote:
    Ibelieve we are talking about respect andrespect is a two way street. You have to give it to get it.
    Many years ago I had a teacher that told us respect has to be earned. It cannot be demanded or boughtbut must be earned by respecting others. Unfortunately that teacher was killed in a car wreck about a year later and a whole community cried.

    You are absolutely correct with your post.
    My personal take on this topic is this; I treat EVERYONE with respect initially, and I continue to do so until a person shows me that they do not deserve it, by showing me none.

    People always gripe about the bad attitude that Cop had, or what a *&$#! he was, but I can tell you from experience that usuallythe attitude a Cop projects is a direct response to the attitude he is shown by the person being contacted.

    As you can imagine Copscontact some real a$$hats on a regular basis. I have no problem with anyone who wants to discuss a situation in a civil manner, but if you want to act like a jerk, rest assured that you will likely be treated like one.

    Also to those who think that all Cops do is harass OC'ers, I personally have not seen or contacted anyone OC'ing in at least 6 years, but I can tell you that the next time I do,they will be shown the respect they deserve.

    One has to keep in mind that Police have a duty to check out complaints no matter who makes them or how untrue they are. You may not like the fact that you get contacted, but try to remember that a Cop does not know what kind of personyou are (good or bad), what you're doing (or about to do), or what your mindset is at that moment. The type of response you get will depend on that particular Officers comfort level with the given situation. One's body language, dress, and of course choice of words will influence that response in a negative or positive direction.

    Tempering your response with maturity and respect will generally get you a like kind response from most Cops. If some would take a minute to have a civil conversation, you might find that most Cops don't have some big agenda, and aren't out to get you. I oftendeal with the the absolute scum of society, and extremely dangerous criminals,but I also have many chances to contact good people, and have made many friends through my work.

    The only thing most Officers want is a little cooperation. Once convinced that all is well, they will soon see that they are not needed there, or the complaint was frivolous,and go on about their duties. The attitude of the person being contacted hasMUCH more influnce on an Officer's attitude and actions than you might imagine.
    If you have to fight, do not fear death. We will all die one day, so fight skillfully and bravely! And if it is to be that you die, then at least go to God proudly. Meet him as the proud warrior that you are, and not as a sniveling coward. Nobody lives forever.

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    Hey JL, you should come over here to Spokane and go to work. There are quite a few of us who would love to have your attitude being spread throughout our community.

    But seriously, thank you for contributing here. I personally appreciate it very much, as I am sure other members do as well.

    Not everyone who loves this country and wants to serve the greater cause of liberty has a badge. Our founders certainly never required one. Liberty.........true liberty........is for all of us. We all have to take up the responsibility to defend it, badge or not.


    Hmmmm. It is late and I am kindof buzzin....

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    Johnny Law wrote:
    PT111 wrote:
    irfner wrote:
    Ibelieve we are talking about respect andrespect is a two way street. You have to give it to get it.
    Many years ago I had a teacher that told us respect has to be earned. It cannot be demanded or boughtbut must be earned by respecting others. Unfortunately that teacher was killed in a car wreck about a year later and a whole community cried.

    You are absolutely correct with your post.
    My personal take on this topic is this; I treat EVERYONE with respect initially, and I continue to do so until a person shows me that they do not deserve it, by showing me none.

    People always gripe about the bad attitude that Cop had, or what a *&$#! he was, but I can tell you from experience that usuallythe attitude a Cop projects is a direct response to the attitude he is shown by the person being contacted.

    As you can imagine Copscontact some real a$$hats on a regular basis. I have no problem with anyone who wants to discuss a situation in a civil manner, but if you want to act like a jerk, rest assured that you will likely be treated like one.

    Also to those who think that all Cops do is harass OC'ers, I personally have not seen or contacted anyone OC'ing in at least 6 years, but I can tell you that the next time I do,they will be shown the respect they deserve.

    One has to keep in mind that Police have a duty to check out complaints no matter who makes them or how untrue they are. You may not like the fact that you get contacted, but try to remember that a Cop does not know what kind of personyou are (good or bad), what you're doing (or about to do), or what your mindset is at that moment. The type of response you get will depend on that particular Officers comfort level with the given situation. One's body language, dress, and of course choice of words will influence that response in a negative or positive direction.

    Tempering your response with maturity and respect will generally get you a like kind response from most Cops. If some would take a minute to have a civil conversation, you might find that most Cops don't have some big agenda, and aren't out to get you. I oftendeal with the the absolute scum of society, and extremely dangerous criminals,but I also have many chances to contact good people, and have made many friends through my work.

    The only thing most Officers want is a little cooperation. Once convinced that all is well, they will soon see that they are not needed there, or the complaint was frivolous,and go on about their duties. The attitude of the person being contacted hasMUCH more influnce on an Officer's attitude and actions than you might imagine.
    JL, your post is most appreciated and as others have said, needs to be recognized around the LE community generally. But the context of your comments assumes the contacts take place in a street encounter-type scenario. A contact in another forum like a phone call can change the tone completely.

    What I am about to describe does NOT at all reflect my view of law enforcement. Quite the contrary. A little over a week ago I was researching a local law for this board and before continuing, thought it a good idea to seek out an LE opinion. My plan was to talk to LE first, then other departments like district attorneys and perhaps some others. I called a local LE agency (I will not name anyone or any agency here) and asked to speak to an officer -- any officer would be fine for my purposes. A few hours later my call was returned and I posed my question, and cited the local law. Instead of going directly to my question this officer launched into a rant about OC, and I quote: "If you strap iron on your leg and walk down the street like Rambo and someone calls 9-1-1 I can guarantee you will have a whole lot of law enforcement all over you in no time. You will have a real hard time." When I asked what he would charge me with in this circumstance, he said "brandishing".

    Here was a purely hypothetical situation where the officer had an opportunity to show professionalism without having to deal with a situation on the street. Instead he displayed a shocking lack of knowledge about the law and an arrogance that supports the negative view many have of law enforcement in general. In spite of this encounter my view of law enforcement remains unchanged. You guys (and gals) are out there doing a sometimes very dangerous job and truly represent "the thin blue line" against the criminal element in our society.

    As you have said I give others the benefit of the doubt, until they give me reason to think otherwise. If an officer is professional toward me I will treat him with respect as I would any other person. But I do not unquestioningly give him respect just because of his badge-- that is a very dangerous view to take because it can too easily become the "lemming" effect. I see the officer on my phone call as a renegade who needs some training by his department. I hope there are not too many like him.

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    So when Officer Unfriendly finished his rant, did you reply by saying, "Could you please direct me to the section of the RCW where 'brandishing' is mentioned?"


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    kparker wrote:
    So when Officer Unfriendly finished his rant, did you reply by saying, "Could you please direct me to the section of the RCW where 'brandishing' is mentioned?"
    He didn't need to ask. I volunteered that the word does not appear anywhere in the RCW or in the local ordinance. He stepped all over my next words.

    Needless to say I have mailed a letter to the head of his department.

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    As far as i am concerned if a LEO acts like an idiot i am going to call him on it, If a LEO acts professional and respectful then i will mention it but then again i shouldnt have to make mention of a good encounter as all LEO's should be polite and respectful and carry themselfs with the ut most professionalizm one can have.

    If you did something good at work would your boss point it out or would he just assume that its your job todo the best job you can do? I personally dont want a cookie everytime someone notices me doing my best as the only person i need to be better than is the person i am today.

    My point is that LEO's are held to a higher standard than your average everyday joe.
    And i dont think they should get a cookie evertime they actually uphold the law they have taken an outh to protect.



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    I don't think the issue is to give them a cookie every time they do their job, just to understand that they are people too and some have good days and bad days. It never hurts to tell someone they are doing a good job. Its no different then tipping a server when your service is good. You can treat people any way you want, it only reflects on your own life. I learned along time ago that you almost always reap what you sow. Don't be shocked if you calla guy an idiot that he treats you like one.

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    I know LEs have a different perspective and different experience with the law than I do. But they are the ones who have taken the job and are paid to be professionals about it. And they usually are. I always appreciateinsights from Johnny Law. He generaly seems fair and honest. I also respect the job law enforcement does. It is when a leo decides to enforce some personal agenda or doesn't know the law he is attempting to enforce or cops some holier-than-thou attitude thatI get upset. That said there is never an excuse for bad manners on either side. AndI have seen some leos take terrable verbal abuse and still maintain their composure. My hat is off to them.I have also seen some have a snit fit at the smallest little thing. We need some way to tell in advance which we are dealing with.

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    Thing is, the officers who know it's legal aren't the ones hassling us, so by and large, we've had nothing BUT bad experiences with officers because the good officers aren't going to come up to us and say 'hey, you're not breaking any laws, have a good day'.

    IME with pierce county, the original contacting officer was professional for the most part, it was the peanut gallery that rode in with him that wanted to threaten me with arrest, tell me that state law didn't apply, etc.

    A good officer should step in and stop such behaviour, but officers are taught to never interfere with something another officer is doing...Do so afterwards, not during.
    Evangelical lessons are provided upon request. Anyone wishing to meet Jesus can just kick in my door.

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    Good topic and good post sv_libertarian, I feel for the most the same as you especially if you have a cause such as this . I feel that no matter what your personal opinion of Police officers when you are representing something important as this, we need to be polite and respectful as possible, that doesn't mean complying or giving in to unlawful commands or orders. I am not a religous person per se, but the bible has a passage about an answer in kind heaping fiery coals on the head of your reviler, so if we remain polite and respectfull it just makes the other guy look worse. It was brought up on the Ridley report that you want to make the officer feel bad about doing something wrong to you, but ifyou start acting beligerent and offensive (even when correctly so) the officer will not feel bad but want cause you as much grief as possible.

    That being said I think your friends or the people you know who are LEO's should openly post here and let people know what they do. They often can give good insight on many points from their perspective, and prove to people here that not all LEO's are the way many people percieve them to be. I like reading the Virginia boards because there's a poster their named the sherrif and he even puts his picture in uniform as his avatar. He also helps people who have been harrassed by LEO's with lots of good advice. I also feel more people would open carry if they knew they had the backing of the people enforcing the law.

    I also believe though that constitutionally one reason we need to be armed are because of the Law Enforcement agencies, we can see that many agencies have a general attitude of pacifying and disarming citizens. I feel that they will be on the frontline of disarming the public and are used by government for enforcing unconstitutional laws and policies. Who will nickels use if he passes his ban? Hopefully the the few bad apple officers don't ruin it for the whole bunch.
    I am not anti Cop I am just pro Citizen.

    U.S. v. Minker, 350 US 179, at page 187
    "Because of what appears to be a lawful command on the surface, many citizens, because
    of their respect for what only appears to be a law, are cunningly coerced into waiving their
    rights, due to ignorance." (Paraphrased)

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    TechnoWeenie wrote:
    Thing is, the officers who know it's legal aren't the ones hassling us, so by and large, we've had nothing BUT bad experiences with officers because the good officers aren't going to come up to us and say 'hey, you're not breaking any laws, have a good day'.

    [SNIP]
    This is a very good point and something I hope all of the "good-guy LEO's" see this and understand that when folks do start to get negative about LEO's here or elsewhere, they recognize that we're not trying to label all LEO's as enforcement officers who are ignorant of the law.

    In the very few threads I have spoken about LEO conduct I have made every effort to point out that it's the individual officer who is in the wrong, and not all LEO's. I hope everyone who posts here makes that same effort in distinguishing between an individual bad-apple and the group.

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    I hope my report of the telephone incident was not what got this discussion into a bit of an "us-versus-them" bent. There seems to be a bit of defensiveness running through some of the posts since my comments. I want to repeat what I said in my post, which is that my view of law enforcement is probably more positive than the average. You guys (and gals) are doing a tough job, and you are doing it FOR US (also for U.S.). In much the same manner as the armed forces you are the defenders of our Republic, and for that I salute you. Again, the officer who created the problem for me needs some re-training about Washington law and probably some attitude adjustment. Call it basic discipline. But there are renegades in every organization, be it law enforcement, military or private business. I don't hold theorganization or all of its members responsible, except perhaps supervisors for failing to maintain discipline with this individual. But all of these things can be corrected.

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    shad0wfax wrote:

    In the very few threads I have spoken about LEO conduct I have made every effort to point out that it's the individual officer who is in the wrong, and not all LEO's. I hope everyone who posts here makes that same effort in distinguishing between an individual bad-apple and the group.
    Good point and well said. Except sometimes it can be whole departments, cities, counties, agencies that need to be educated on peoples rights andon how to treat the citizens.
    I am not anti Cop I am just pro Citizen.

    U.S. v. Minker, 350 US 179, at page 187
    "Because of what appears to be a lawful command on the surface, many citizens, because
    of their respect for what only appears to be a law, are cunningly coerced into waiving their
    rights, due to ignorance." (Paraphrased)

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    deanf wrote:
    If you are happy being viewed as an angry blowhard who distrusts all cops, is suspicious of government, and an arsehole in general, be my guest. It's a free country after all.
    But not on this board it's not. Some swift, firm, and fair moderation could solve some of the attacks on cops.
    When the LEO's in general stop letting that badge go to there head then yes there will be some respect tossed there way, when i stop seeing cops speeding down the interstate and mind you they are NOT on a call or when i see cops use there lights to change traffic lights just so they can get to the meeting point so they can eat lunch with there buddy then yes i will start showing respect.

    If you put on a uniform of a LEO then you take the responsibility of being held to a higher standard than your average person. The same goes with people in the military, So can any LEO's eplain to me how if i have someone in cuffs and i shoot them with my real gun and not the taszer i was going for why i would go to jail and a LEO gets to go on paid leave?

    Most cops are like the higher ups in the gov't, they lie break rules and always seem to think that the laws dont apply to them. So Leo's the last time you got pulled over did u even get a ticket? probably not because you were kind enough to show your badge and as we all know LEO's cover for eachother.

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    Jarhead, I think youare generalizing all cops or most cops in your posts. Just because you may have had some bad experiences doesn't mean that all LEOs are bad or dirty. Have you ever asked why they do some of these things? When it comes to speeding down the road when not using lights and sirens it doesn't mean they are going to a meal. There are many reasons a LEO will go faster the the speed limit. Lots of calls don't require lights and sirens but the officers still have to get there quickly. They will also sometimes move faster then traffic so they don't slow traffic down. Youalways see people slow down when an officer is in the lane next to them no matter how fast the LEO is going. If they go the speed limit then traffic moves slower and people start screaming that the cops are not letting them go fast enough. Same applies to the changing lights.

    I hear alot of people state that LEOs should be held to a higher standard and I agree with that 100% but I don't think that anyone really understands what that means. The issue with the transit cop that shot the man in cuffs was a tragedy for sure,but assume that a civilian would have been treated any differently in that situation. As for being put on admin. leave, even LEOs are presumed innocent until proven guilty. Keep in mind as well that in their job they can be terminated for things that would never hurt you in the civilian world.

    As for not getting a ticket, I have been pulled over more than my fair share of times and have not gotten a ticket. I would guess that if you asked there are quite a few people here that have been let go with a warning. If you haven't just look back at your posts and you can get an idea as to why. You will see professional courtesy in any profession. If you are an electrician most plumbers will cut you a deal on work and so forth. In my industry I get favors from other people that the average person will never get. It is they way of the world.

    If it really bothers you that much, put on the uniform and change it from the inside instead of slinging arrows from the outside. If not this then ask one.

    Just my .02

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    ElJefe1911 wrote:
    SNIP...I have been pulled over more than my fair share of times...
    Are you sure that's the wording you wanted whendefending police?


    I'll make you an offer: I will argue and fight for all of your rights, if you will do the same for me. That is the only way freedom can work. We have to respect all rights, all the time--and strive to win the rights of the other guy as much as for ourselves.

    If I am equal to another, how can I legitimately govern him without his express individual consent?

    There is no human being on earth I hate so much I would actually vote to inflict government upon him.

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