Yesterday morning another law enforcement officer was shot and killed. His partner was shot in the head but is holding onto life. You can read the news report here.
The violence against law enforcment has increased dramatically. According to the Officer Down Memorial Page website, deaths for cops by gunfire has increased 69%, death by traffic accidents 22% and line-of-duty deaths 15% since 2015. And the statistics continue to rise (and that is compared to all of 2015 and we have yet to finish up 2016). This translates to 252 law enforcement deaths in our nation.
Each of those officers was someone's child; the majority someone's spouse, someone's parent. Each officer who died left behind grieving families, grieving police departments; grieving communities.
Not all law enforcement officers are good, but the vast majority of them are. They take an oath to protect and serve the public. Some may make loads of money but most don't. Most are struggling to pay their bills and provide for their families. Most kissed their spouse and their kids after they put their duty belt on fully expecting to come home later.
This cop killing spree is a consequence of people dismissing them as people. It is a consequence of disdaining authority. It is a consequence of allowing others to have bad attitudes toward cops in general. It is a consequence of letting those we love play video games where they get points for shooting cops. It is a consequence of listening to music that celebrates cops' deaths.
This affects us all. We must not stand for it. Please.
Here is what Paul says (and it sounds exactly like our society today):
"But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come. For (people) will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God."
2 Timothy 3:1-4
It isn't fun to be stopped by a highway patrol officer or deputy sheriff. But we're glad they're there when we need them.
I'm not asking you to take up some physical fight and protest and such like that. But we can show them respect; we can make sure our children show law enforcement officers respect; we can refuse to allow hateful attitudes toward cops around us. We all can do that.
Actions begin with a thought. That thought gets attached to a feeling. And if that feeling is negative, and if the conditions are right, that negative feeling can translate into violence. If we address that thought we might stop the escalation to violence.
It does matter.