I just wanted to comment on your latest posting. I usually enjoy the information you provide and find it as a good kick start to what I need to do to prepare for future uncertainty. But, your latest posting in a lot of ways is unfair to Law Enforcement in general (of which I am a part of).
The vast majority of police officers do not violate people’s rights. They do not abuse search techniques and are champions of free speech, property rights, civil order, gun rights, personal responsibility, and many other things your posting talks about. I think you should differentiate between local police agencies and federal investigative entities like the FBI, CIA, etc. We are NOT one-in-the-same. In fact, most law enforcement officers hate dealing with the Feds for many of the same reasons you talk of.
Also, police agencies have little to do with many of the causes for shrinking privacy. Many cameras used for surveillance were placed by private entities and other governmental units that have nothing to do with law enforcement…but because law enforcement (especially uniformed local police) are the most visible enforcers of law, it’s easy to assume that they are directly responsible for abuses. While these items are available for investigative purposes, the police have way more to worry about than surveilling ordinary, law-abiding citizens. There is much more going on here than what your leading your readers to believe.
I admit there are abuses. Law Enforcement officers are human and can succumb to temptations, become drunk with power, violate rights, and any other host of human frailties. But these are far and few between when you look at the millions of people we deal with on a yearly basis. Please don’t cast the entire profession in a bad light just to pump DVD sales.
Thank you for writing. I can understand your concerns, and agree that not all local law enforcement is abusive. You’ll note the use of the word “local.” I know from personal experience that the quality of the character of the men and women that we have in our city police departments and county sheriff departments are directly related to the type of people we elect into the leadership positions that hire these folks. For example, years ago we were “blessed” in my county to have the worst sheriff you could imagine. He was a regular Boss Hogg, and no Dukes of Hazards episode ever got close to the real life situation we experienced for his term. His deputies were swaggering, tobacco-spitting, pot-belly, arrogant jerks who did what they pleased and abused their privilege as law enforcement as they pleased. That immediately changed when we elected a new sheriff. We got academy-trained recruits who were neat, clean, and respectful. They operated within the law, and they were not out to prove a point. There will always be a few bad apples in every bunch, but for the most part, our bad apples were contained. This man has remained sheriff for many years, and I hope many years to come. He’s brought a professionalism to our sheriff’s department that was sorely lacking.
It’s imperative that we realize, as citizens, that elections matter, and in matters of local law enforcement, we do have the ability to get people of character that will not abuse their positions. State and federal level law enforcement are not so easily influenced. They don’t have the community ties to limit their overreach of power. This is where years of allowing the state and federal governments to operate as they please have led. I see things like the aftermath of Katrina, where local, state, and federal agents abused their power. I read about raids on family farms by local, state, and federal agents and feel that we are living in George Orwell’s 1984. While there are many pockets of restraint throughout our country (and I read by your letter that you believe you work in one of those pockets), there are many, many more that have taken the privilege the citizen’s have given them and have expanded their power over those very citizens in an abusive way.
We are fairly new at preparing and have been gung-ho and doing pretty good at getting food, water, etc. stored up. We are not nearly ready enough though. Two days ago, our daughter just got diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. Suddenly our whole world and outlook changed on being preppers. I can’t help but think “What if?” What if we have no refrigeration for the insulin – then I guess we’ll use our solar generator for the mini-fridge and keep the insulin in there. What if we have no way to get to the hospital or get more insulin refills? That is the biggest, scariest question I have right now. I do not want to sit back and watch our daughter die. So, now, I hope we never ever get into the survival way of life and before I had such a conviction that we would face that day very soon. I know we are supposed to trust God, but WHAT IF?
Dear Panicked Mom,
Your letter is one that made my heart break. One of the maxim’s of being a prepper is “Pray for the best, but prepare for the worst.” I wish I could give you an answer that would make all your worries vanish. I wish there was a magic prayer that I could give you that would make your doubts and fears go away.
But I can’t.
The simple fact is that many, many people are in your same situation. Maybe not with diabetes, but with a host of other illnesses that, if our thin veneer of civilization is stripped away, will mean a certain death sentence. Unfortunately, life is seldom fair or just. Job struggled with this, David struggled with this, and countless saints and sinners throughout the ages have struggled with this idea of unjust and unfair circumstances that happen in life. However, we do not have the ability to control a blessed thing outside of the preparations we can do.
At some time we have to surrender in faith, realizing, through what we know of the character of a loving God, that He is neither capricious nor cruel, and that we do not have the capacity to understand all things that occur. Sometimes they are just the results of living in a sinful world, of confronting evil, of fighting the good fight. What we must not allow is fear for the future to overtake the peace that He offers in the now. You want to worry about tomorrow, about the “what ifs.” But Jesus said, “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” (Matthew 6:34) Jesus isn’t saying not to be prepared, but not to give in to overwhelming fear. We are not given the strength today to face tomorrow’s trials. But when tomorrow comes, and we face those things that threaten to destroy our hearts, our minds, our spirits, and our bodies, God is more than able to provide us the strength, the grace, and the peace to get through it.
My prayer for you, Panicked Mom, and all others facing similar situations, is that the Lord would bless you and keep you, that the Lord would cause His face to shine upon you and be gracious unto you, and that the Lord would turn His face toward you and give you peace.
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