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Monke: Either you want police to protect you, or you don't

There are a segment of people in this country who don't want anyone to have guns. Many of those same people all of a sudden also have a huge problem with police.

There are a segment of people in this country who don’t want anyone to have guns. Many of those same people all of a sudden also have a huge problem with police.

It begs the question: What the hell do these people want? Utopia? Because that isn’t happening.

First -- and let’s just get this out of the way -- the U.S. government will never go door to door and take everyone’s guns away. If our government tried that, they’d be inciting a second Civil War. No one wants that, so it won’t happen. But, that doesn’t mean a like-minded government won’t try and strip its citizens of their rights to obtain certain types of weapons and/or ammunition.

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Last week in San Bernardino, Calif. -- in a state with some of the toughest gun laws in the nation -- a couple who the Federal Bureau of Investigation alledges has ties to the terrorist group ISIS walked into a holiday party and killed 14 of their co-workers while wounding several others. They weren’t criminals and had obtained their guns legally, according to The New York Times.

It took police armed with assault weapons and assault vehicles to stop them.

Every day throughout our nation, there are groups of people who call for more police oversight and scrutiny. They don’t want our police to have assault weapons or vehicles. They believe we’re militarizing police. It’s unbelievable that anyone would try and justify an argument for our police to be outgunned by criminals.

Imagine that same San Bernardino police force armed with nothing more than pistols, bulletproof vests and a few squad cars trying to take on criminals armed with thousands of rounds of ammunition and assault weapons. The advantage doesn’t go to the police.

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This week here in Dickinson, we saw the importance well-trained and well-equipped police and law enforcement play in our society, albeit on a much more subdued scale.

Law enforcement in and around Dickinson spent more than 48 hours searching for a fugitive known to have played role in a string of firearm burglaries throughout the city and the area. Police believed this man, 31-year-old Jeremy Mellmer, to be armed and dangerous.

I witnessed two separate situations -- including the entire Wednesday night standoff in an east Dickinson neighborhood -- where our Southwest Tactical Team did their jobs and did them well. They kept citizens out of harm’s way and the only shot fired was by the suspect -- on himself.

The tactical team was armed with an assault vehicle, assault weapons and bulletproof armor. Some might say that’s a little much for one man who’s known to be armed. But why? Why should our police go into a potentially dangerous situation with a potentially dangerous individual without proper armor and weapons? One bullet can do a lot of damage. Are the lives of law enforcement officers not important? Is it so bad if they wear military-style helmets and carry assault rifle for their protection?  

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During a time when news about police is overwhelmingly negative and crime seems to be on the rise, our country needs to start realizing that law enforcement’s job is to protect us. They didn’t pick their jobs simply to single us out by race, sex or appearance. The extreme minority of bad cops need to stop being lumped in with the rest who put themselves in harm’s way every time they walk out the door.

Monke is the managing editor of The Press. Email him at dmonke@thedickinsonpress.com , call him at 701-456-1205, tweet him at monkebusiness.

Related Topics: POLICECRIME
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