Civil War in America? — Is this how it begins?
It seems surreal. Cops hunting citizens. Citizens retaliating by hunting cops. Two men shot dead in two days, by cops in separate incidents, in two different states. Now at least four officers dead in a sniper attack in a third state.
We live in a police state. Governmental agencies, many of which have no apparent police force, are making unprecedented ammo purchases. In the billions of rounds. Street cops are regularly caught up in instances of seemingly unprovoked killings of unarmed individuals.
The prevailing theory is that the police attacks on civilians are primarily racially motivated. Even President Obama said so, just moments before the Dallas killings of police officers tonight. But that may not be the whole story. Police shootings of unarmed (mostly poor) white people are also at unacceptably high levels.
Worse, we are living in a time where more and more incidents of gun violence are being used to defeat the rights of Americans to arm and defend themselves.
The politicizing of these tragic events is creating an even greater imbalance between the police state and the people. The government has more and more guns, and enough ammo to kill every American dozens of times over, at the same time as those same forces are working hard to disarm the citizenry.
Is it pure happenstance that these incidents are taking place in the same news cycle as the Director of the FBI is explaining to Congress why he did not recommend charges against the most powerful woman in our nation?
This country has never been so ripe for Revolution, at least not in the past 150 years. I know many “NRA-types” as well as many who carry the banner of “Black Lives Matter.” These two groups on the surface may seem diametrically opposed in their political leanings, yet both are fed up. Both want change. Both want a country where cops can be trusted to keep the peace, where good people are left alone to live peaceful lives, without fear of overbearing governmental intrusion.
People should be able to walk down the street, or drive on the road, or stand in front of a convenience store, without being scared for their lives, especially from the police. All people want that, every age, every color, every creed, all political leanings.
But the response in Dallas is wrong. And it will only lead to more institutional mistrust of the people within our law enforcement agencies and personnel. A tightening of restrictions will follow, more loss of freedoms. And then more senseless deaths of the populace. And then more retaliations.
Will the events of this week be remembered as the beginning of a new American Civil War? I hope not. But the die may already be cast.