Over the weekend there was a small health expo at my local YMCA (which also shares a building with a public elementary school). A variety of organizations had stands and booths–from golf and swimming coaches to dietitians and chiropractors. And, like civilized people, they would pitch their goods and services to passers-by. Unfortunately, this peaceful demonstration of entrepreneurialism and voluntary market demand was tainted by the presence of the police.
No fewer than five “cruisers” lined the edge of the parking lot. About a dozen police officers, in full regalia (guns, tasers, cuffs, baton, military boots) interacted with children who would ask one question about another, their eyes glazed over by the “magnificence” of “our” public “servants.” But the “law and order” monopolists would still had a gem to show the community. Parked on the grass a B.E.A.R. military-style vehicle was the center of attention. Mothers and fathers, sons and daughters were taking turns climbing on the truck of mass destruction.
I approached and listened to the guy inside tell a kid that he was the one in charge of holding the bullet-proof shield when they have to go “serve warrants” and that the guy you see right there (pointing across the parking lot) was the one whose job was to break doors open. Another officer (dressed in camo and looked like a military soldier but was a local cop) told a girl that they were there to help the good ones and take care of “the bad guys.” Meh.