Lack of common sense

Dear Editor:Last week I started a letter to the editor in response to Kevin Solis' assessment of the recent police-involved shootings in Downey ("Police Shootings," 12/1/11), but the demands of family and work left the letter unfinished. This week I saw a reasonable response to Mr. Solis and breathed a sigh of relief. However, that is not enough because such an unreasonable attack on our police department and such an awful rationalization of criminal behavior needs more than one response. One good rebuttal may get us back to where we were before Mr. Solis' exposition; but we need to advance beyond simply recovering lost ground. My response to Mr. Solis is from the perspective of who I am, a husband, father and homeowner concerned about the safety of my family. I value all life, not necessarily equally, with my family's obviously more important than others. Nevertheless, I do not take the loss of any life lightly. I am fairly certain that all Downey PD officers, many being fathers, mothers, husbands and wives, share these same values. The Downey PD is rightful source of pride for our community. Over the years there have been no major scandals, I have never encountered a rude or non-professional officer nor recall anyone complaining of such, and I cannot recall any serious issues that would indicate mismanagement. In my estimate the Downey PD is a valuable asset to our community. On the other hand...The criminals they have to deal with must be absolutely daft with not an iota of common sense, such as respect the police. Any responsible parent must teach their children to respect the position, whether or not you particularly like the person in that position. When an adult does something as dumb as running away from the police, a valid question is "was anybody doing any parenting?" Beyond that, regardless of good, bad or indifferent parenting, all adults have to take full responsibility for their actions - after all, we are calling them "adults" aren't we? If an adult is so clueless as to run, repeatedly as one man did, from the police, things likely will get out of hand and that man is putting his life at risk. The job of a cop is risky enough as it is. I appreciate that they do what they do in the manner they do it, but I do not expect them to put their lives in undue jeopardy when it comes down to them or a criminal who may turn in a split second and kill them. I fully want the cop to be the last man standing in such a confrontation. In the last couple of months we had two criminals killed by the police. As I mentioned, one man escaped from the police twice, leading them in what any reasonable person would say was a completely futile, dangerous and very ill-judged foot pursuit. A rational adult would have simply acceded to the policeman's demands and let matters play out. In the second episode [in Los Angeles] the man ran away and while being pursued pulls a gun from behind his back (or another way of putting it, pulled a gun in front of the policeman pursuing him). Sorry for the guy but to me that is plain dumber than dumb. If you're going to pull a gun on somebody at least be looking at them, and if you're going to pull a gun on somebody don't make it a policeman because he's well-trained to shoot and will shoot. I can emphasize with the parents, wives and relatives of these young men; I'm sure they were loved and are now missed. But everybody has to be honest about why these unfortunate deaths occurred. We all have to admit that both men acted in ways that no reasonable person would act. It is not surprising that their dangerous and precipitous acts led to their deaths and is entirely their responsibilities. As a parent I would be grief stricken, searching my soul asking both for forgiveness from the Lord for mistakes that I may have made and for help in relieving the pain. Blaming the officers who were doing their jobs is not a valid option. And, on yet another hand...Kevin Solis I presume is intelligent, educated and well versed on social issues. To be so blind to a fundamental requirement that all adults are responsible for their actions regardless of what happened in their youths. To be so willing to rationalize the indescribably poor judgment displayed by these two men. To have never asked himself "what would a reasonable person have done in their situations?" To have not asked "what would Kevin Solis have done?" These things I cannot explain to myself except to say some people place no value in what most of us call plain common sense. A friend refers to people like Mr. Solis as "pigeon feeders." They feed the pigeons because it makes them feel good thinking they are doing good but actually they are killing the pigeons. The main purpose of writing this letter is to advance the cause of common sense. To say to all of those like me who toil each day consumed with the demands of job and family, hoping quietly that our community is governed in a reasonable manner, that when somebody says something that is absurd then speak up, be heard! A "silent majority" is not adequate when somebody does or says things that are unreasonable and harmful; a vociferous majority is a far healthier and necessary choice. My message to the police is "stay the course, it works." -- Scott Ramey, Downey

********** Published: December 22, 2011 - Volume 10 - Issue 36