08 July 2016


Dear Black Lives Matter,

I agree.  So, here’s what to do.

PRIME DIRECTIVE:  As parents and grandparents, as neighbors, and as citizens, we want to live our lives in peace and to see our children grow up to be safe, successful, and responsible citizens.  We have the right and responsibility to demand that they be treated with the respect they deserve, but we have a duty to ensure that they learn their responsibilities BEFORE they get the impression that their “rights”  have no limits.

RULE NUMBER 1:  Police Officers want to go home alive that night. 

RULE NUMBER 2:  Stand still.  “The wicked flee when no one pursues,…”  Proverbs 28:1a  

RULE NUMBER 3:  Do not rely on calendar age.  A 12 year old who is 5’7” and weighs 195 and points what looks like a real pistol at a police officer, doesn’t have any reason to complain if he is shot.  An Officer shot through the head by a 10 year old first offender is just as dead as if he was shot by a 35 year old career felon.   See, Rule Number 1.

FUNDAMENTAL LAW OF PHYSICS (based on Colt, Model 1911A1 pistol): From the time the trigger is pulled, the round will have traveled 20 feet in less than one-tenth of a second.  A "blink of an eye" lasts up to 4 times longer.  If the officer sees what looks like a pistol aimed at him, his only hope is to fire first. See RULE NUMBER 1.

RULE NUMBER 4:  Do not reach into your belt, or pocket, or coat until permitted to do so, and even then, very slowly.  See Rule Number 1.

RULE NUMBER 5:  Never, NEVER, NEVER try to take an officer’s side-arm.  It always ends badly if you do.

RULE NUMBER 6:  When an officer in uniform approaches you or speaks to you, “Yes, Sir” and “No, Sir” are the ONLY words that you should utter until invited to do otherwise. Politeness and courtesy will defuse most situations. Let the adrenaline dissolve.  (I am a middle class, white man.  I taught my white middle class kids the same thing.)

McCarty’s FIRST COROLLARY TO RULE NUMBER 6:  That will almost always mean that the encounter is brief and everybody gets to get on with their day unhurt.
McCarty’s SECOND COROLLARY TO RULE NUMBER 6:  The assumption by some people in 21st Century America that they have an absolute right to set all the rules, define all the rights, and ignore all their responsibilities of civility and citizenship, is what gets people killed.

RULE NUMBER 7:  If you can’t do the time, don’t do the crime.

The View From the Bleachers: Most – not all, but most-- of the Black Lives that have mattered to your relatively new movement were people who were, in some way or another, breaking the law. None of them, to date, have been police officers of color. You do your movement a disservice when you refuse to concede that. It is hard for you to garner sympathy for your cause when the only lives you champion are criminals who could have saved their lives by doing the right thing in the first place.  Just saying.
McCarty’s FIRST COROLLARY TO RULE NUMBER 7: Do what the officer tells you to do, when he tells you to do it.  Resistance is futile, usually painful, and all too frequently unintentionally fatal.
McCarty’s SECOND COROLLARY TO RULE NUMBER 7:  Making laws – defining crimes and offenses -- is the job of the legislature.  Interpreting the law is the courts.  Deciding who will make and interpret the laws is the job of every citizen at the ballot box.  What you think of the law is irrelevant out on the street.  That is why we have lawyers


The Good Right Hand Of Fellowship:  I have lived a long time. I remember an America that had segregated restrooms, lunch counters, and busses—and fire hoses, police dogs, and bombed out Sunday schools. It was unfair and un-American. We have come a long way, and still have a long way to go to get to the vision that Rev. Dr. King so eloquently prayed for. Don’t you think the journey will be a lot quicker if we walk there together?

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