Friday, November 29, 2019

"War on police" - rebuttal

Police car - Photo by Free Photos/Pixabay
I posted earlier this week about a Detroit police officer who was tragically killed in the line of duty approximately four miles north of the Warrendale neighborhood. My intention was simply to memorialize an individual who lost his life while heroically protecting our city. I had absolutely no intention of dragging partisan politics into this or causing any type of debate. I simply wanted to memorialize a fallen hero.

When I shared that post on Facebook, the majority of people reacted in much the way that I expected. There was shock and outrage as well as praise for the fallen officer and prayers for his family and all other police officers. This is great and pretty much what I expected when I shared my post.

However, there’s always that one guy.

One individual in particular was rather vehement in his opinion that former President Barack Obama had started a “war on police” and this was the latest example of it. This was followed by repeated usage of Blue Lives Matter hashtag and insults directed toward those who disagreed with him. When I pointed out that a thread dedicated to memorializing a fallen officer wasn’t the best place for partisan politics, he only seemed to double down on his attacks.

This prompted me to do a little bit of research. Here’s the big headline that I want everyone to remember: a carpenter in the United States today is approximately 30% more likely to be killed on the job than a police officer.

In spite of this, no one claims that there is a war going on against carpenters. There has also never been a Carpenters Lives Matter hashtag trending on Twitter or any other social media platform.

As for the numbers, there is an estimated 950,000 carpenters working in the United States, according to official statistics. On average, one out of every 10,000 carpenters died at the workplace each year. In contrast, with an estimated 850,000 police officers in the United States, there are 0.7 out of every 10,000 who die a violent death on the job each year. This translates into a carpenter being 30% more likely to die on the job than a police officer.

Oh, and the reason why I chose carpenters for this comparison is simply because my father, grandfather, and many of my uncles worked in carpentry. I’m the misfit in my family who chose to earn a living with a cell phone and a laptop.

I suspect that much of the reason for this has to do with the fact that police officers expect to encounter danger on the job. As a result, they train and prepare for it. This training and preparation helps them to mitigate the danger and bring the number of deaths down dramatically. Carpenters, in contrast, do not expect to die on the job so they don’t take anywhere near the precautions that law enforcement officers do.

But still, I cannot help but feel that if there was a war going on against police officers - regardless of whether Barack Obama, George Soros, Hillary Clinton, or whoever else was leading it - the result would not be that they would be less likely to be killed on the job than carpenters.

As further evidence that there isn’t a war on police that Barack Obama, George Soros, Hillary Clinton, or whoever else are responsible for, I would simply point out that line of duty deaths for police officers are largely unchanged with them out of office and someone who is the polar opposite replacing them.

It’s a sad fact that I will one day again have to memorialize the tragic death of another police officer or firefighter on this blog. I dread this prospect.

My only hope is that when that tragic moment comes, I won’t have to also worry about someone hijacking the issue with partisan attacks. It is much better, in my opinion, to keep the focus on the fallen hero and the grief that his or her family and friends are going through.

This post is a part of this blog's semi-regular Friday Focus series, which endeavors to highlight news and opinions that, in my opinion, don't get as much attention as they deserve.

Please follow this blog on Facebook for more great content. I'm also on Twitter and Instagram as @fnemecek.

No comments:

Post a Comment