By now, everyone who hasn’t been living under a rock is familiar with the situation in Missouri. Protests and rioting broke out in response to a police officer gunning down an unarmed teenager. In recent days, in an effort to swing the pendulum of public opinion back in favor of police, a video has been making the rounds on cable news that is purported to show the shooting victim stealing some cheap cigars from a convenience store and then pushing the clerk as he was on his way out of the door. This has lead to, of course, cries of “how can anyone still be on his side after this? He’s just a thug and a bully.” I’ve even seen people go so far as to say that stealing cheap cigars and pushing someone more than justifies deadly force (the hole in that logic being that the cop that shot the kid knew nothing of the shoplifting incident). These are people that have never dealt with the fragile ego and lust for power personified that is a police officer. I still remember when a cop pulled a gun on me during a routine traffic stop. If something like this happened to them, would they still make excuses for these “heroes?” As bad as Michael Brown’s story is, it is really only scratching the surface. Police in Texas shot and killed a 13-year-old carrying a pellet gun. A man was gunned down by police officers at an Ohio Wal-Mart after a twitchy ex Marine called reporting a man brandishing a weapon. It turned out to be an air rifle that was sold at that very store. Then there was the man who was almost shot dead in a drug raid because the cops got the wrong address (they counted the houses instead of looking at the actual addresses, whoops). Then there is the case of the 80-year-old man who was shot in a meth raid when cops claimed they “smelled” meth. Of course, they found none (whoops). Stories like this happen on a daily basis. We’re always reminded that “99 percent of cops are good people,” but I’m not so sure. This stuff happens so often, I would say that the ne’er-do-wells and thugs are the rule and not the exception. In Indiana, the police had gotten so out of hand that they actually passed a law that allowed citizens to shoot cops who were performing illegal acts (the actual law is rather more specific than that). It is the blind adulation and unwavering respect that we are trained to show towards these people that has gotten us to this point. Respect is not supposed to be freely given, it is supposed to be earned. What’s worse is that these guys are now armed like soldiers. Do we really need to give these guys with such fragile egos and a seeming proclivity toward violence hardware that would be found on the battlefield in Afghanistan? Violent crime has gone down in America, but has not been tied to the number of police on the streets. Perhaps it’s time we start firing (and possibly jailing) some of these cops that act like thugs, or who show themselves to be mental incompetents. With all the talk of reforming tax and health care and everything else under the sun, perhaps it’s time to give a serious look at criminal justice reform. Getting rid of some drug prohibition laws so the scruffy public and the politicians would whine less when you talk letting go of some cops. Yes, I know, the guy who writes for a music site supports ending drug prohibition, how cliche. Just remember, it’s a victimless crime. One must volunteer to do drugs, there’s no force involved. Acknowledging this would help change the idiotic reactionary panic response that comes up whenever the idea of losing a few cops is mentioned. If we don’t get a handle on this thing soon, things will only continue to get worse. I’m gonna end there, I’m rambling. Goodnight.