The cold-blooded murder of a California Highway Patrol officer on a freeway in Alamo last week was a tragedy in every sense of the word. A decent civil servant lost his life. His family, friends, and colleagues lost an important person in their lives. Law enforcement lost one of its heroic peacekeepers. And finally, civil society lost one of its guardians. In a senseless killing like this, everyone loses. Everyone is a victim of the deranged motorist who fired his Glock point-blank into the head of the uniformed highway patrolman who was there to protect and to serve the public. Every time something like this happens, we all slip a little deeper into chaos and anarchy. Cops feel more vulnerable, less trusting, more anxious in their encounters with the public. And the public now senses danger and feels a little less secure during traffic stops. Law officers should not have to fear civilians. We don’t want them nervously unsnapping their holsters when they walk up to our cars. We don’t want them to think the worst when they approach us. And it’s a two-way street. If you get pulled over, keep your hands in plain view on top of the steering wheel. Do not leap out of your car to confront the officer. Remain calm and cooperative. The lack of trust on both sides can erode the sense of security that all of us, including police officers, should be able to feel as we go about our daily lives. The deadly freeway attack last week was an attack on society as a whole. So let’s all do what we can to make life safe and sane for civilians and those who wear the badge.
John Maybury, Editor and Publisher