26 Nov 14

Bad Outcomes

“I notice that people who claim everything is predestined, still look before they cross the road!”

Stephen Hawking

From a friend and physician:

“When we talk with sick people, before we give them facts, it is critical for us to lay the groundwork, to educate our patients about how things work, and how and why we do what we do the way we do it.

Only then can we tell them what didn’t go as we planned and why. And, straight up, we say we’re sorry, that we’re sympathetic, that we know what getting bad news feels like.

That doesn’t mean we confess to being guilty of some wrongdoing, nor incompetence. Always under pressure and with incomplete information, we do the best we can!

Bad outcomes are not always the result of people doing bad things, nor even doing good things incompetently. When doctors, and lawyers too, agree to take tough cases, they know only too well, and their clients also need to know and understand that, going in, it doesn’t look good.

‘We’ll do the best we can’ is a close to a guarantee as we can give our patients.

The police parallel isn’t strained.

In policing, some critical and immediate ‘problems’ cannot be solved without using force, sometimes deadly force. Any use of force, also delay in using force, puts people at risk, including officers.

This is accepted and understood by cops, going in. However, acceptance of risk isn’t the issue. That issue is understanding risks and outcomes by the nonprofessional public.

Sometimes cops are wrong, sometimes even criminal. Something concrete needs to be done when that happens, and usually is.

However, in modern policing, to one degree or another ‘unhappy outcomes’ are unavoidable and are often part of the whole of doing the right thing, at the right time, and for the right reasons. That is what needs to be communicated. Deadly force is never a cheery thing. And we, as normal human beings, can be distressed about death, without being apologetic.

Sometimes, in order to save a life, you have to take a life. Who can’t accept that are destined to become object lessons in Darwinism!

Self-righteousness actually has its place. When you don’t believe in yourself, your organization, and your mission, you can’t do your job. It is appropriate to be sorry that someone died, while simultaneously not being sorry that you survived and defended yourself expertly, appropriately, and justifiably.”

Comment: My problem is the weary, leftist rhetoric we continually hear from the Administration. There is little doubt their goal is to neuter local police, with disarmament of citizens to immediately follow. I am persuaded that current riots in any number of metro areas are being promoted by leftist race-baters, with the furtherance of that goal in mind.

When it becomes an automatic civil-rights violation for cops to employ any degree of force in an effort to protect themselves from harm, it logically follows that it is also a civil-rights violation for any citizen to live through a violent attack, using any degree of force against an attacker(s).

The erroneous notion that every bad outcome requires a scapegoat is corrosive to any organization, to any society.

“Foolish liberals who are trying to read the Second Amendment out of the Constitution by claiming it’s not an individual right, or that it’s too much of a public safety hazard, don’t see the danger. They’re courting disaster by encouraging others to use the same means to eliminate portions of our Constitution they don’t like.”

Alan M Dershowitz

“The right of self-defense never ceases. It is among the most sacred.”

James Monroe