Not a psychopath

Yes, I voted as a Democrat. No, we don’t cheer when police are killed.

This letter is in rebuttal to Jon Buss’s letter in your Aug. 25th edition. My wife and I, as well as all others who voted as Democrats, he now considers psychopaths. Since over seven million more of us voted for President Biden, what does he propose — that we institutionalize over half the nation?

Let me explain the origin of my own beliefs concerning our police. If I don’t, then I will be written off by Mr. Buss as just another left wing psychopath to be ignored. When I worked abroad for our government over 30 years ago, my last post was in Pakistan. There I sometimes went into Afghanistan carrying a 70-pound pack and a 26-and-a-half pound sniper rifle in the mountains of the Hindu Kush. When running guns at the border, I wore five weapons and a bullet proof vest under my Salwar Kameez, a very loose Pakistani garb.

My government-issued Toyota Camry ended up with two bullet holes from running the Khyber Pass. Trust me, I never felt safe while having to protect myself. After being kidnapped back from a half year of imprisonment and torture it was a tremendous relief to not have to be armed. I would much prefer that my tax dollars be used to hire someone else to take on that responsibility.

Instead of generally reducing our police, we have for a long time needed to remove those with ugly racial and ethnic prejudice and spend even more money to hire special interventionists to deal with domestic violence. If the only tool in our box is a police officer, then we are bound to treat every incident as a nail. In some cases this will involve having someone without the proper training to de-escalate the situation. If our economy suffers a severe recession in the near future, I agree with Mr. Buss, we will need more officers not fewer. Thus, from personal experience I would much rather have our constabulary protecting me than have to do it myself.

And no, I do not cheer when an officer is killed in the line of duty, any more than I cheered when I lost a friend fighting in Afghanistan. I do not support criminals because they are my friends and relatives, and no, I do not consider others as psychopaths just because they differ with me politically. It is unfortunate that there are too many individuals in our society who have experienced prejudiced officer contact and have come to fear our police. I have worked in countries where I too feared their police as a corrupt controlling autocratic arm of their government. That is not the case in our wonderful nation, at least not yet.

Postscript: If you look up my bona fides on the internet, I want to warn you that nearly everything concerning my past has either been altered, redacted or reclassified; my strange past has been erased.

Eugene Ray Clegg