Pogo was right

Pogo was right

Some might argue that the Monday ambush execution of Brackenridge Police Chief Justin McIntire has nothing to do with public policy. But it has everything to do with public policy.

As various media outlets have reported, the chief’s killer – shot and killed himself in a subsequent police shootout — was a recidivist criminal with a very long and violent rap sheet, 26 violations in all.

Yet he skated multiple times out of prior serious criminal charges, including murder. And that directly led to his being free to wantonly kill Chief McIntire, a police officer sworn to uphold the peace and the rule of law in defense of a civil society.

It is a sad and tragic sign of the times: Employing namby-pambyism in dealing with society’s ever more entrenched criminal element has enveloped Greater Pittsburgh, if not the nation.

To wit, tales have been legion in Pittsburgh Public Schools of supposedly “enlightened interventions” that are not discipline at all. Teachers and staff have been beaten up. One was even raped.

So, too, are the tales in some magistrate courts that mock the established order’s necessary steps to maintain law and order, mocking law enforcement and civil society in the process.

And we’ve repeatedly noted the kid gloves applied to those who flout the basics of civil society in downtown Pittsburgh and government agencies that too often, through their half- and woke measures that more resemble public servants being asleep at the wheel, end up further promoting dysfunction and disorder.

The soundest of public policy has no chance of succeeding in a free-for-all climate of lawlessness. It is a cancer that only grows and, left unchecked as it painfully  too often has been – and at its most embryonic levels —  grows unchecked and lives to  kill its host.

In this case, that host is free and civil society.

Having repeatedly failed to nip such lawlessness in the bud, whole branches of gangly trees must now be cut. The road ahead will be long and painful. But it is a pain that the embrace of namby-pambyism has inflicted on our body politic.

Comic-strip character Pogo was right: We have met the enemy and he is us.

Colin McNickle is communications and marketing director at the Allegheny Institute for Public Policy (cmcnickle@alleghenyinstitute.org).