(originally published in the Chicago Tribune, letters to the editor, January 12, 2015)
In my capacity as a police officer, I have on several occasions been attacked, each time for trying to speak reason and truth to someone who — imagining him- or herself more powerful or righteous than me — then became incensed and physically battered me. Between these and the things I have written with which some have taken issue — and those things I will write in future — I, too, am Charlie Hebdo.
The groups that want to silence satirists won’t stop there: they want to stop anyone who disagrees with them, anyone who doesn’t think along their rigid mindsets.
There are those with long-standing grudges, there seems no end to the many extremists, who want us to go back to the Dark Ages. Their name is Legion and they are just about everywhere. The madmen are not going to listen to nor respect modern society and they will certainly never sit down for a civil debate.
Maybe one solution is for anyone seeking to emigrate to the West to be compelled to sign off on sworn statements that if they or their children ever attack others – turn into traitors – they agree to be sent straight to prison, the murderers to the gallows. Extreme? No more so than what the terrorists keep visiting on society, taking every advantage of the benefits of those free nations in which they set up shop.
I am relieved when I see police officers bearing military grade weapons, and I hope if any terrorists crop up around here — or anywhere — we and others will be saved by, paraphrasing George Orwell, those rough men and women who stand ready to do violence on our behalf. Let’s stop arguing against the militarization of civilian police forces when they are already trained to be quasi-military, and focus instead on quashing terrorism in all its deceitful, disgusting iterations.