I was recently watching some YouTube videos featuring "dumb criminals" and hold ups gone bad. One video featured a guy at Walmart who got caught shoplifting. He removed at least 8 large items that were hidden in his clothes for the employee who caught him before he bolted free and ran away. I was shocked at how much stuff he was trying to steal in his clothes but I was even more surprised at the comments the viewers were making about the event.
The majority of comments were actually supportive of his actions and critical of Walmart. There are many things I don't like about Walmart, but I was shocked that the majority of the comments supported theft because he was robbing a huge retailer that "doesn't pay it's employees well or offer good benefits". Their justification was frightening and then there were those who didn't even try to justify and just said things like "good for him, I hate Walmart." The juvenile commentary, name calling, foul language, and threats made online by those brave anonymous commenters infuriated me.
Maybe I'm getting old but it seems there is a lot of backwards thinking going on today. I just hope that the people shouting their opinions on YouTube videos and commenting on news stories are not an accurate representation of our society. Another topic related to this is the attitude so many people have towards law enforcement. The media has been promoting recent controversial events involving law enforcement and has attempted to portray them as a bunch of trigger happy racists and bullies.
Do some police make mistakes? Yes. Are some cops jerks? Yes. Are there such things as racist or
crooked cops? Yes. I think any corrupt cop or public servant who abuses his authority should be severely punished, but let that process come through the appropriate time and channels instead of acting like a vigilante. In any field, there are people who do their job well and others who are a disgrace to their profession, but I think the majority of those in law enforcement do a great job and I would hate to do what they do for the pay they earn. As uncomfortable as I feel when a patrol car is behind me on the road, I am still glad they are there to serve.
I am big on preserving freedom and maintaining my rights so if I was stopped at a random checkpoint that was stopping people without probable cause, then I would object to a search. If I felt a cop was abusing his power I would report him and go through the appropriate legal channels, but I would not threaten or attack him because I felt I was being wronged.
I have noticed a big anti-police movement recently and people have not only been protesting and second guessing how law enforcement does their job, but they have also been threatening and attacking the police. I find it ironic that if something bad happened at one of the anti-police rallies, they would probably be relieved when law enforcement showed up to help and protect them.
Anyway, I guess my point can be boiled down to "don't be an idiot." Don't steal from people, don't hurt people, don't mock and threaten people online under the cowardly cloak of anonymity, don't fight against the police and then act like you are a victim if you are guilty of committing a crime.
One of my goals this year is to watch much less news so I don't get so worked up over stuff like this.