But this is too much. The injustice that I cannot wrap my mind around is too close to home, too much in the face of every neighborhood, friend, and relative in this beautiful nation we live in.
I believe in free speech. I believe in freedom of religion, freedom of thought, the right of EVERY man to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
These rights are forfeited when we break the established laws. Laws that have been established by governments both local and national, laws that have been established by religions of all varieties. Laws that have been established by nature. Do no harm. Do not injure. Do not steal. Do not destroy. Do not kill. When these laws are violated, actions must be taken. This is the agreement we, as free people have entered into as citizens in a civilized world. Accountability. Answering for our wrongs. The external government that WE MUST HAVE is the only answer to the self government we refuse to demonstrate.
Our law enforcement systems are flawed because they are human. Our police officers are imperfect because they are men and women, capable of the same mistakes and trespasses that every single one of us has potential for. But they are necessary and vital to the survival of a civilized culture.
I have spent this entire week in our nation's capital. Less than an hour away from where violent, destructive riots took place to protest the unnecessary death of a young man. Freddie Gray's death was tragic, and probably avoidable. Just as Michael Brown's, and Eric Garner's probably were. They shouldn't have died. Their lives do matter. There should be an investigation, and justice should be served. But in ALL THREE of these cases, these men found themselves on the other side of the law. Things that all of us, as citizens, have obligated ourselves to accountability for. Were their crimes worthy of death? Absolutely not. Should these tragedies be addressed? Absolutely yes.
But rioting in the streets? Destroying the very neighborhoods that these men called home? Injuring other people, law enforcement officers; stealing; destroying... How in God's name does this translate to justice for anyone, black, white - human?
And then we encounter the death of law enforcement officers. Not one, but many.
Brian Moore was 25 years old. Following in the footsteps of his father and uncle to become an officer of the New York Police Department, he had just enough time in to establish his reputation as a good cop. In five years he had perpetuated the good reputation of his family in the department. On Saturday, May 2, Moore was fatally shot while investigating a suspicious person.
Sergeant Greg Moore was young. A father. A husband. As a police officer he had passed the background checks, the written tests, the physical tests, the psychological tests, the lie detectors... he had proved himself not to be PERFECT, but to be accountable to the laws that we have all agreed upon. Interested in the welfare of his community, his neighborhood, his FAMILY. On May 5th, Sgt. Moore was shot while following up on a suspicious person report and died hours later from his wounds.
In neither case was there rioting in the streets. There was no destruction. There was no violence. There was no harm. Because these men had committed to this ideal: To do no harm. To bring peace, and safety. Two families are left alone, their heroes gone forever. Two departments feel the gaping hole left by the loss of a good officer. But there are no burning cars in the streets for them. No looted shops or destroyed neighborhoods. Because these men that died believed in a different world. Not one of opportunistic greed or following an angry mob to destruction. They believed in building up - not tearing down. The BELIEVED in the system. The imperfect system. And they died from it. In the same way that Freddie Gray and Eric Garner and Michael Brown did. The difference was that these men hadn't broken the law. They hadn't violated the terms that we all agreed to as part of this society.
Where is the justice for Brian Moore and Greg Moore?
I spent a week visiting every war memorial and museum in DC. I have read about the annihilation of the dinosaurs, the founding of our country, the pillaging of Native American Cultures and the rise of this society that we call the Land of The Free. From where I stand, those freedoms are turning to entitlement and victim mentalities that result in the justification of murdering cops and stomping on flags. We are doomed. The zombie apocalypse is upon us and it is the soulless, mindless, self-destructive path that our entire nation is walking down. We are gnawing on our own tail and it's only a matter of time before we work our way up to the neck and realize that it's too late.
Wake up, America. Let your hearts be broken for the good men that are lost, who fight FOR US. Don't take our hard-won liberties for granted. Honor the standards that we all live by. Do no harm. Love others. Let the lives of Brian and Greg Moore, and countless others, mean something more than a picket sign and a burning tire. Let their sacrifice be the catalyst of change. Not more tolerance for entitlement and lack of accountability, but a reckoning for our choices, a renewal of our commitment to community and the laws that guarantee our liberty. ALL LIVES MATTER.
To support Greg Moore's family, go to: http://www.gofundme.com/ttgu73b