Times Are Changin'!
Yep, it’s scary. I read a few years ago, that a farmer in England was sent to prison after laying in wait for burglars who had broke in twice before. He killed one and wounded the other. The survivor sued the farmer for “ruining his life”, AND WON.
Liberal courts and apologists for criminals do us all a disservice. Go easy on crime and discover, to no one’s surprise, that crime increases.
Although your comment sounds reasonable, I have trouble with accepting it, as you describe it, in today’s world. The balance you describe was more a reality 50 years ago in the years following WWII. (I remember those days being born in 1935.) Today, we are being constantly presented with, out of control police, who are indeed not hobbled or muzzled. Take the police use of tasers for example. Numerous reports of misuse can be shown with no justice involved. My feeling is that we are drifting toward a police state with the power on the enforcement side, rather than, as your cartoon shows, a drift to the criminal.
That noted, I am a great fan of yours going back to the early Rick O Shay strips. Along with a legion of others, I literally mourned the death of the strip. I still have many of the newspaper cartoons I saved of Rick and Hipshot that to this day bring me joy. Thanks for the memories!
Paul E. Scott
I appreciate your comments, Paul, and respect your point of view. It does seem that we are seeing more cases of out of control police these days, but that may be, at least in part, because video and photos are omnipresent and available to many more people. Thus, more reporting. Because police have the power, there have always been cases of its abuse. Rubber hoses yesterday, tasers today. But my long association and friendship with dedicated people in law enforcement causes me to believe the bad ones are in the minority, and that police and the military stand between the evil doers and we the citizens. Also, the cartoon was done back in 1984 when the culture was in a different place. Clint Eastwood’s Dirty Harry films were also in support of the good guys against the bad, with the deck stacked slightly in the bad guys’ favor.
Thank you, my friend, for your kind words on Rick O’Shay. One quick reminiscence–in one of the strip’s stories, Rick confessed to Hipshot his frustration at not being able to go after criminals he absolutely knew were guilty. Ever practical, Hipshot suggests he just go shoot them. Rick taps his badge, and says, “I can’t do that! Don’t you know what THIS is? Whereupon Hipshot replies, “Sure ah do. That’s your HANDICAP.”
I can’t say that I’ve followed your strips religiously or continually, but I have admired your artwork going back to Rick O Shay days.
As you say, the above cartoon was done by you in 1984 when “the culture was in a different place,” and law-abiding citizens feared the courts were crippling law enforcement and giving free rein to criminals. I think you might agree that from today’s perspective, after decades of living with the Miranda decision and and accepting it as a fact of life, the cartoon seems a little over the top. Of course no police officer starts mirandaizing an armed perp until he/she is disarmed and under control of the law. And reciting an arrestee’s rights has not led to anarchy and the downfall of civil society.
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