Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Obama’s Latest Executive Order Won’t Help Ferguson

 

President Obama is going to announce an executive order responding to the controversy in Ferguson, Mo. What is the great reform that we are going to see to address the shooting of a black male youth by a white police officer?

Efforts to regulate the “militarization of the police.”

This makes little sense. Whether the police have weapons that are too powerful and tactics that are too militaristic had nothing to do with the original shooting involving Wilson and Brown. It had more to do with the public images that came out of the protests after the shooting. This seems like a classic political move from this White House: address the public appearance of the problem, but not the problem itself.

The fruitless symbolism of the executive order is all the more telling given our constitutional order. Whether the police are using weapons that are too powerful or not, or tactics that are too aggressive or not, is not a matter for the federal government, especially the executive branch. Our Constitution reserves criminal law and enforcement to the states. There is some federal restraint through the Due Process Clause and the Equal Protection Clauses, which regulate the use of force, and the federal government procures and apparently transfers military equipment to the states under existing programs. But if the police are not using unreasonable force in their treatment of suspects, the type of weapons should be up to local and state authorities.

Living near Oakland, Calif. now, and having grown up in Philadelphia, Penn., I think criminal violence in the inner-city is a terrible problem. The police should have the weapons that they need to match criminals who have access to high-powered weapons. Under-arming the police, who have a difficult job where they must make split-second decisions about life and death, is not going to help reduce violent crime in our inner cities.

There are 11 comments.

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  1. Johnny Dubya Member

    Good Lord.

    The president is a worthy leader for an alleged “nation of cowards”. Black teen robs store for supplies for getting high, jaywalks, ignores police officer’s request (however profane it was), attacks officer, charges officer, and gets self shot. And the solution is to de-militarize the police?!

    As Adam Carolla says frequently on his podcasts, the solution is simple: Focus on education; focus on the family. But these simple things are actually hard, and it makes some people uncomfortable talking about them. God forbid we should have an honest conversation that entails some discomfort.

    I believe that Brown was not 100% at fault for his shooting (but close to it). A small proportion of the blame lies with Officer Wilson, who demonstrated a degree of anger that was unnecessary, and he helped to escalate the situation by the way he aggressively positioned his vehicle after being disrespected by Brown. I do not believe that Wilson’s actions were criminal, but they were probably imprudent.

    Therefore, there is something to be learned on both sides. However, the issues that need the most attention are the criminality of many young, black males; their underperformance in school; a lack of good male role models; a high rate of illegitimacy among black families; schools that are run for the benefit of teachers’ unions; few employment opportunities; a nihilistic worldview; etc.; etc.; etc.

    The solutions for all of these problems can be found in two areas: Education and the family.

    The Democrats and their leader are too gutless to say so. It’s easier to blame the police and watch yet another generation of the underclass sink into the mire.

    • #1
    • December 1, 2014, at 2:09 PM PST
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  2. Tommy De Seno Contributor

    It would be an excellent response to Ferguson if the President signed an executive order making it illegal to rob a store and punch a cop.

    • #2
    • December 1, 2014, at 3:21 PM PST
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  3. Basil Fawlty Member
    Basil FawltyJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    “It would be an excellent response to Ferguson if the President signed an executive order making it illegal to rob a store and punch a cop.”

    You mean that Officer Wilson didn’t need to take his beating like a man?

    • #3
    • December 1, 2014, at 4:08 PM PST
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  4. Tommy De Seno Contributor

    Basil let it go, man. We had that disagreement years ago.

    • #4
    • December 1, 2014, at 4:13 PM PST
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  5. Basil Fawlty Member
    Basil FawltyJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Tommy De Seno

    “Basil let it go, man. We had that disagreement years ago.”

    I am the ghost of silliness past.

    • #5
    • December 1, 2014, at 4:49 PM PST
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  6. Tommy De Seno Contributor

    …and the father of false equivalencies. But let’s not hijack the professor’s thread. Meet me in an alley with George Zimmerman at your side, I’ll bring Trayvon, and we’ll settle this like men.

    • #6
    • December 1, 2014, at 4:53 PM PST
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  7. Fake John/Jane Galt Coolidge

    How about an executive order making it illegal for white people (especially LEO) to defend themselves from non white people (especially black young men)?

    • #7
    • December 1, 2014, at 5:17 PM PST
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  8. Fake John/Jane Galt Coolidge

    Did LEO Wilson use military grade weaponry for the shooting? I do think some of the display of force afterward involved military equipment but not the orginal shooting?

    • #8
    • December 1, 2014, at 5:19 PM PST
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  9. Hammer, The Member

    more regulation… its good for what ails you, I guess.

    • #9
    • December 1, 2014, at 9:38 PM PST
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  10. Misthiocracy got drunk and Member
    Misthiocracy got drunk andJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Fake John Galt:Did LEO Wilson use military grade weaponry for the shooting?I do think some of the display of force afterward involved military equipment but not the orginal shooting?

    If the police had deployed in MRAPs after the grand jury decision, they might not have lost nearly as many police cars to arson.

    • #10
    • December 2, 2014, at 7:55 AM PST
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  11. Ross C Member
    Ross CJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Never let a crisis go to waste. This gives you the chance to do things you could not normally get done.

    • #11
    • December 2, 2014, at 10:12 AM PST
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