What makes one person law abiding, the next behave illegally? What makes for a few dumb mistakes versus a life time, a life style of purposeful wrong doing? I ponder this as I watch the morning news connected with the very events of the night before which unfolded down the hill from my backyard view. Police blocked off this one street at both its ends, spending hours coaxing a wanted fugitive from his apartment. I tried walking my dogs that evening, but couldn’t proceed due to the blockade. That is how I learned something was going on. I marched back home and could look across my back wall, out over the area, front row seats. I saw the police unit, the light bars strobing through the night darkness. At one point, I heard a female officer’s voice over the bullhorn, “come out with your hands up!”. She repeated herself so many times I wondered what academy she went through. Officer presence, verbal commands, soft techniques, hard techniques, deadly force. She stayed very stuck in the verbal command level of the Use of Force Continuum; no wonder no one listened to her. She had lost her aura of officer command. She should have had her partners go in and retrieve the fugitive while repeating her command only once. I finally went to bed; I got bored. House and grounds locked up, alarm on, firearm at the ready, I slept well. The morning news, then, reported that said fugitive finally presented himself to the police after about 4 hours of holding out. I about fell over. I knew the guy. What makes a man turn? Had he always been on The Dark Side and just gotten away with it until he didn’t? Did he incur a sudden surge of insurmountable obstacles he believed Organized Crime would overcome? He had been my neighbor on the same street as me when I first moved to this town, a presentable professional with the wife and kid and even a little dog. Now, come to find out, he was still my neighbor but at this current locale. So, what is the lesson learned? Something trite like, “you can pick your friends, but you can’t pick your family,” falls short. How about, “ you can’t pick your family or your neighbors,” doesn’t really fit either. Maybe staying observant and vigilant works well. Even better, staying on the law abiding side of citizen conduct works best. We all ponder the Dark Side. It’s human. But to actually follow through relinquishes the rights and delights of adulthood. I’d rather stay grown up, right intact, and out of trouble.
NRA Firearms Instructor – Nancy Rothschild
What Nancy’s Reading
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