The Thin Blue Line Frosts and Cracks Up

In the 1987 movie The Untouchables, Sean Connery plays streetwise Chicago cop Jim Malone who utters one of the more politically incorrect lines in the film, "Isn’t that just like a wop? Brings a knife to a gun fight."

The quote popped into my head after reading a story reported by the BBC – which provides better analysis of the state of American culture than many American media outlets ever could or would – present company excluded.

According to the BBC…Police in the US are investigating a detective who appears to draw his gun during a mass snowball fight on the streets of Washington DC.

The video appears to show the detective holding a gun in his left hand as he begins to approach a large group of people, which had gathered for the snowball fight.

People in the crowd can be heard saying “he has a gun."

Doesn't that sound just like some cops? Bringing a gun to a snowball fight?

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The thin blue line seems to be rather jumpy these days. And the government from which it extends seems equally so judging by the number of radio ads for emergency planning I keep hearing.

90 percent of communication is expressed through body language/actions so brandishing a gun at a snowball fight leads me to believe some statists and their hired guns are twitchy.

Perhaps the police in Washington DC should requisition flame throwers since fire beats ice if I remember a version of the childhood game rock-paper-scissors.

Pulling a gun during a snowball fight is obvious overkill but what's more worrisome is the mindset of the detective who presumably considered the snowball fight threatening.

He and his car, his personal property, were reportedly hit by snowballs but to pull a gun in response seems nuts.

Besides I thought more and more police departments were using "non-lethal" means of dispersing crowds.

There's the old classic stand by…"stop hitting me and my car with snowballs otherwise you're going to jail."

Or, "the next jackass who hits me with a snowball is going for a ride in the paddy wagon."

Or just take the snowball hurler to court and sue for damages.

After all if you're in law enforcement, you must know some capable attorneys.

There has to be some lawyer advertising on TV for the snowball fight victims.

Perhaps Washington DC cops need to be issued winter protection like garbage can lids for snowball shields.

Of all the "crimes" with which cops must concern themselves, I find it hard to believe snowball fights are anywhere near the top of the list.

But every year, it seems innocent childhood games are deemed dangerous to the general public and banned.

A politician is likely to propose a ban on snowball fights in order to "protect the safety of the police and the general public."

It'll be the Frosty The Snowman clause inserted into some Homeland Security bill and no doubt it will ban children from using coal as Frosty's eyes since coal is a "dirty" fossil fuel that contributes to CO2 emissions and ultimately to global warming and/or climate change, whatever catch-all phrase they're now using.

Only in a country where every need and want can be fulfilled almost instantaneously do we have such paranoia. When your creature comforts are met, you have time to worry about things you should not worry about.

Perhaps that's ultimately government's problem. What's that old expression? Idle hands are the devil's tools.

December 22, 2009