Dave Smith: A Light in the Tunnel

Is the United States finally turning back to support law and order and the men and women who enforce it.

Dave Smith Headshot

Dave Smith

The old saw about the light at the end of the tunnel that is a train coming at you or an indicator of the safe way out is true now more than ever when you think about the War on Cops that has raged since President Barack Obama started with his “beer summit” nonsense. That 2009 "summit" involved the famous African-American author, TV personality, and Harvard University professor Henry Louis Gates, the president, and Sgt. James Crowley of the Cambridge (MA) Police Department. It stemmed from a controversial arrest of Gates outside of his home. And it was the opening shot of the Obama Administration's assault on American law enforcement.

Five years later, using the justified fatal police shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, MO, as an excuse, Obama and then U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder began a pseudo intellectual campaign that weakened public safety. It has since spawned defunding of police, demonization of officers, misrepresentation about police work, a critical shortage of law enforcement officers, politicized police leadership, and a criminal justice system more about serving the dirtbag than the victim has slowly turned America’s urban communities into places so dangerous and dystopian that even the remarkable movie character Snake Plissken—anti-hero of "Escape from New York"—might have a hard time “escaping from.” Law enforcement numbers have been decimated by retirements, transfers to supportive communities, and ideological witch hunts that have left communities with almost no protection.

Cries of systemic racism, white supremacy, right-wing extremism, and whatever the flavor of the day is in the lexicon of “oppression” have been used to eviscerate the police services to the very communities the radical extremists claim to represent. It is these communities that have suffered the most from these idealistic absurdist dreams as cities and counties lose police resources.

My old agency, the Tucson Police Department is—thanks to leftist ideologues—hovering close to the same personnel numbers we had back in the 1970s when the city was vastly smaller. Current officers report that when they log on the number of high-priority calls isn’t just absurdly long, but the time the calls have been pending is bordering on the obscene. The left has proven to be not only foolish, but remarkably incompetent. One of the bright lights ahead in that is that more and more people are opening their windows and screaming, “I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore!” like the public did in the old movie "Network."

“Gee, Smith, sure a lot of movie references?” Yeppers. And that is just exactly the image I want you to have in your mind. American communities are starting to fight back. Long-suffering Chicago recently retired the bizarre Mayor Lori Lightfoot, who appeared to be more of a supporter of gangs, cartels, drug lords, and illegal aliens than the common Windy City voter. “Great!” we all thought when we heard that. But not all is well. There are two candidates in the runoff and only one is supportive of law enforcement while the other could very well be worse for Chicago's public safety than Lightfoot.

Chicago is not unique. In places like St. Louis, Baltimore, and New York, the people are remembering what we have been saying all the time, that law enforcement is an essential element of freedom. Even the highly woke NFL has suddenly rediscovered patriotism and standing for the flag and the anthem. People remark positively when I wear my Thin Blue Line t-shirt and television networks are once again showing police shows ubiquitously. So maybe that light in that tunnel is indeed an indicators of the way out.

But it's not entirely clear that the nation is turning toward support for public safety. Illinois continues to support “no bail” laws, the long-awaited revolution of the 2022 mid-terms never materialized, and bright blue states like California, Washington, and Oregon seem to be doubling down on their utopian public safety theories that so far have only produced dystopian results. The once beautiful city of San Francisco has become a massive public toilet, over 5 million illegal immigrates have streamed across our still “secure border,” and the propaganda keeps on coming. Lying is the hobby of the left and they actually aren’t very good at it, yet the American people keep pretending to believe the absurd!

Against this social disaster, many sheriffs have stood strong and, in many states, they are leading the way back to freedom and security. To them I say, “thank you." It is in these men and women that I see the light may truly be the way and the fears of a train are relieved. Finally, I call on all of you in law enforcement to deny the lies, speak truth to power, and become a law enforcement activist for freedom. Never forget, “People who are not safe, are not free.”

Dave Smith is an internationally recognized law enforcement trainer and is the creator of “JD Buck Savage.” You can follow Buck on Twitter at @thebucksavage

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Officer (Ret.)
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