The Michael Brown tragedy is a much too familiar scene on the streets of America; there is not a day that goes by without families across the US grieving their loved ones gunned down, or coping with emotional rollercoaster of grim news, bad news and worst news of their loved ones being treated in the emergency room. According to a December 14, 2013 (just 3 months after the Sandy Hook School massacre) study by AlterNet.org , there was an average of 18 deaths every day in the United States. In an article published by ABC News on its website on Sept 19, 2013, three days after the Sandy Hook massacre, the study found that the United States has more guns and consequently more deaths than any other country.
To put it in perspective, the study found that US has 88 guns per 100 people and 10+ deaths per 100,000 on average while Japan has less than one (this is not a typo) gun per 100 people (0.6) and 0.06 death per 100,000. US is challenged only by Switzerland and Finland that have 45.7 and 45.3 guns per 100 respectively but less than four (3.84 & 3.64) deaths per 100,000.
Below is a sample of the countries included in the study, and how US fares overall.
It is obvious the argument that guns prevent violence is hogwash; the argument’s main objective is to protect the lucrative business of gun sales, even at the cost of our lives and those of our children’s. While gun violence in general is deplorable, it is beyond disgusting in a civilized society when the perpetrators are police officers whose primary duties are to prevent violence in the first place. It is downright repulsive when members of our society bring forth argument to defend police officers who have committed those heinous crimes. It seems as if society finds it okay for someone in uniform to commit murder without any accountability; that is probably at the roots of the perpetuation of the malign disease – firearm murders – that have plagued our society.
It is somewhat ironic that our government has been waging wars with other countries to overthrow dictators and “tame” ruthless leaders from murdering their citizens while here in the United States cops have been murdering the youngsters in our streets. Why is the United States government so eager to stop senseless killings in other countries but seems unfazed by its happening right here in America? There should be no excuse; there should be zero tolerance for any cop that guns down an UNARMED civilian. Any such cop should be immediately arrested and tried like any other criminal. If any cop has to resort to his gun to deal with an UNARMED civilian, such cop has no business being on the streets. If the cop who commits such murder has a partner at the time of the crime, the partner should be tried as an accomplice and the chief of police should be put on probation. Any future such occurrence under his watch should be his resignation order.
As such, Ferguson Police Chief Thomas Jackson should resign from his post. He is either incompetent or condones those types of behavior, the latter seems most obvious; in fact, Mr. Jackson’s first conference following the tragedy gave a hint of a cover-up in progress. Mr. Jackson’s attempt to link the shooting of Michael Brown with an earlier incident – has he not been challenged by reporters present at the conference – where the victim is alleged to have snatched a pack of cigars from a store nearby should give a window to how Mr. Jackson runs his precinct. The link was meant to justify the actions of officer Darren Wilson; there are only two possible explanations for Mr. Jackson false link statement (although he rectified later) a) he wasn’t aware that officer Darren Wilson was not privy of the earlier incident in which case Mr. Jackson lied about a situation he was completely clueless about; that doesn’t look good for a chief of police b) or he was well aware of the situation and was helping with the cover-up of Michael Brown’s murder in which case Mr. Jackson is directly responsible for his cops’ behavior on the streets. Whichever it is, Mr. Jackson proves unfit for the job and should be asked to resign.
The scene in Ferguson, MO following the tragic murder of Michael Brown is reminiscent of the Selma to Montgomery march for Voting Rights in 1965. It started with a peaceful march towards Montgomery on March 7, 1965 when the peaceful marchers, attempting to leave Selma to Montgomery, were savagely attacked by state police for no reason. Here in Ferguson, MO, a peaceful demonstration to demand justice for the murder of Michael Brown was countered by police dressed in military camouflage with heavy machine guns pointing at the protesters, ready to gun them down.
The police action was in stark contrast to the freedom of expression every American citizen is endowed. Police action was not an isolated incident in the area. Just a few days – August 19 2014 – after the public execution of Michael Brown by officer Darren Wilson, two police officers unloaded their weapons onto Kajieme Powell who just robbed a store of two cans of energy drink. The police officers – as it is customary in Ferguson, MO – quickly cooked up a story that Powell was wielding a knife. The video which is extremely graphic tells a very different story.
We are now learning that Mr. Darren Wilson, the officer who murdered Michael Brown the unarmed 18-year old teenager on August 9, 2014 began his career in a police force that was disbanded by authorities for exactly those types of behavior. The Ferguson Police Department welcomed him with open arms. While most civilized people here in America have already expressed their disgust for police brutality directed almost exclusively at blacks, there is still a considerable group which finds it okay for those recurring tragedies in the black community; to that group, the victims are most deserving of their fate. Suffice to listen to Fox commentators after each tragedy. The situation is very reminiscent of the tension in the country before the Civil War erupted. Then, it was a fight against freeing the slaves; now, it is a fight to justify the killing of the blacks.
Follow Mike Ducheine on Twitter: @mducheiney