i was just following orders


following_ordersThere’s this article —

I’m seeing this article hit Facebook, repeatedly, with people [allegedly liberals] getting all enraged about it.

It’s about police in Colorado refusing to spend their time enforcing a “take away their guns” policy.

Here’s the article:

Sheriffs Refuse to Enforce Laws on Gun Control [New York Times]

Here are some of the comments I have seen:

“They aren’t fit to hold the office of sheriff. AND they are, for the most part, cessessionists.”

“And here I thought they were to uphold the laws, not just the ones they like!”

“The one good thing is that they are “outing” themselves and, in their ignorance, they think everyone is onboard with them and their ideas. This, of course, is not so and brings them media attention and scrutiny. That tactic has already brought several of these types down.”




In the article, Sheriff John Cooke is pointing out it is impossible to tell whether identical gun magazines were purchased pre-law, or post-law. Which is a valid point. Apparently purchase, sale, and ownership of the magazines is only illegal from the point of the law going into effect — ownership of magazines purchased pre-law going into effect is not illegal.

Gun control advocates who are hard core appear to think law enforcement should spend its time storming gun owners’ homes searching their residences and confiscating legally purchased gun magazines just to be sure. Wow. My liberal brethren. Really?



That’s not “liberal,” btw. That’s “Nazi.” I hope you know that.



*Cue hate mail.



My other, and bigger concern, is, what happened to the law of “conscience”?

It used to be illegal for someone of color to drink out of a “white” drinking fountain. Would the same people going crazy yelling at law enforcement “it’s the law, just do it and don’t ask questions!” applaud, or deride, a police officer who refused to enforce the drinking fountain law?

It seems to me, lately, the question of conscience that should be allowed any officer of the law, according to both the “conservative” and “liberal” camps currently screaming “if I want it just do it, don’t ask fucking questions no conscience required!,” appears to not be a concern.

“If you are doing what I want, your conscience should not come into play.”

“If you are doing what I do not want, your conscience should come into play.”



Not to bring Hitler into the equation, but I am going too, How many people are still enraged the people taking orders in Nazi Germany said, “I was just doing my job”?

The Hitler guys were “enforcing the law.”



[Law, you know, is an arbitrary system made up by people. Yeah, sometimes we do our best. Sometimes we really seriously don’t. It depends who is making the laws.]



Everyone post-Hitler seems pretty agreed, the Hitler employees should have seriously questioned orders and engaged their own free will and conscience.

And yet here we are today, with police saying, “That’s wrong, I won’t do it,” and —

Self professed fucking liberals, yes, fucking liberals! [I get to say that because I grew up a “liberal” and am so betrayed by the whole concept I can’t even begin to stutter out how fucked up this is] screaming at them, “It’s not your job to think, it’s your job to do as you’re told!”

Jesus Christ. Seriously?

You really want to be the asshole saying, “Do the fucking law as written, be an automaton for the state, don’t engage your conscience”?

That’s backing up every Nazi who ever hit a twelve year old kid in the head with a rifle butt.



This is a question of conscience, and whether or not police should enforce all laws, regardless of what those laws are, acting as automatons of the state, or should at times question a law and whether or not that law is correct and/or should be enforced.



I personally am relieved to see some police officers engaging their consciences and thinking about and questioning the rules handed down to them from on high and whether or not as officers of the “law” in a more moral sense, they can or should in good conscience enforce those laws.



This same issue came up during the Occupy Wall Street protests when some law enforcement officers refused to beat and pepper spray peaceful protesters. Were those law enforcement officers entitled to make a moral decision about the orders they received, then, or should they have behaved as automatons of the state then too and beat and pepper sprayed teenage girls along with their gung ho less thoughtful companions?

And going back to Nazi Germany, should any of those guys have made a moral decision on their own? Or should they have just “followed orders”?



3 Responses to i was just following orders

  1. Anyone ever hear of the concept of “Jury Nullification”?

    I guess this is “Sheriff Nullification”! :)


  2. Whether or not I thoroughly agree, which I do btw, we are a country with a Chance when free will is exerted. We are doomed when anyone, especially those in a position of power, hand over that free will in favor of a State’s will that asks of them to place matters of conscience completely aside.

    While our society functions to some extents, on the juxtaposition between compliance and therefore, order, the counter-weight that allows for our democracy is the concept of individual responsibility. While an imposing government would ask that this be gently converted to national loyalty, questioning this request at all junctures fuels democracy’s longevity.

    Thanks for stepping out with this. We need to read this and hear this.

  3. Max

    We live in strange times when self proclaimed “liberals” are screaming police must be automatons of the state.

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