Groups that promote guns to children as a way to deal with problems with authority should be considered potentially very dangerous and treated with extreme caution. I am disappointed that the Carrboro Aldermen apparently disagree.
Approximately two years ago, I was walking on Main Street in front of the then Kentucky Fried Chicken. On a telephone pole in front of their parking lot I saw the most disturbing poster I have ever seen. On it was the picture of a child sitting cross-legged and looking out dreamily. Above the girl was a photo of a large handgun. Under the picture was the line (I am paraphrasing because I can not remember the exact text from two years ago): Do you have problems with Authority – police, teachers, parents – there is a way to solve those problems. The implication was obvious.
It was scary, very scary. The last thing I wanted was for Carrboro to be the next Columbine. I immediately went home and called then Chapel Hill Police Chief Curran and told him about the poster. He explained that there was a group of the NC Anarchists who were in town and yes they are aware of the posters and they are keeping an eye out.
The point is simple, if the CH police for any reason had even the slightest suspicion that the same irresponsible group that was promoting guns to children to kill authority figures had broken into and was squatting in the Yates Building then they had every right to protect themselves and everyone in the community when going in to what was a potentially life threatening situation.
The comments many of the aldermen have been making about the police arrests of the squatters and the apology later made to the reporters by Carrboro Alderman were simply not appropriate. The police have not just the right but the obligation to protect the community (and themselves). I think it is outrageously naive to believe that people that have a moral system that allows them to promote gun violence to children, have an ethical standard that would prohibit them from saying they are reporters/journalists even if they are not. If the reporters were in the building when the police arrived, then the police should first be certain the scene is secure. After everything is secure, they can then call the publisher where the journalist says he/she works and verify the reporter is in fact a reporter.
Please do not handcuff our police by apologizing when apologizing isn’t appropriate. They do a tremendous job under frequently difficult circumstances and they almost always do it with a smile and good humor. In situation when there lives and others are in danger, please allow them to protect themselves and us. They deserve it. We deserve it.