No, I’m not ok

rcmp

I’m not ok.

I heard the news after I came back from baseball with my sons. Three fallen police officers, Mounties, killed by some kid with a hate-on for cops.  Two more in the hospital.  A whole community threatened (still threatened as I write this…)

I responded like anyone would.  Shock, but then relief that it wasn’t anyone we knew.  Then gratitude for the life my family has, tossed in with some serious denial that this could ever happen to my husband.  Then I thought I was “good to go”.  I thought it was ok to watch the news, ok to wait for updates, ok to tuck my kids into bed, and to finally go to sleep.

But I didn’t want to sleep. I watched the news.  I saw the unnecessary image of an officer’s blood on the pavement.  I watched grown men cry, giving news briefs, heartbroken.  I read Facebook – saw the good, the bad and the ignorant.  I waited for the shooter to be caught.  I sent a message to my husband, who was working the night shift…

You ok?

He Answered:

Yep

I said:

This is terrible

He replied:

Yes, it is

I said:

Be safe tonight.

He said:

I’ll be fine, now sleep.

That’s all he could say.  Probably because he was too sick and distracted, maybe terrified to say anything else. Later he would say he “felt numb”.  Because he’s not a super-hero.  He’s not a robot. He’s a Dad.  He’s a husband.  He has his fears and doubts about things, just like the rest of us. And he had to push this terrible event out of his mind to get back to cleaning up the streets in our town, so far away from this tragedy, but still too close. Back to taking statements…and looking over his shoulder.

And I didn’t think I would sleep.  But I did, and when I woke up in the morning, I scrambled for my phone to see if they had caught the shooter.

They didn’t. They haven’t.  Instead, they are sending more officers in to find him.  Sending more mothers and fathers, sisters, brothers, daughters and sons, to stop this guy. One unstable guy with no respect for life.

I am not OK.  None of us should be OK.  This is insanity!   Not just this one crazy guy with guns, but all of the crazy people with guns!  And the terrible, fear-mongering, bull-shit attitudes that people have toward law enforcement officers!  I am SO SICK of the stuff I read and hear about police officers being “power-hungry, power-tripping, too dumb to get any other job, gun-happy, muscle-headed, donut-eating, uncaring…”.  The list goes on.

Everyone needs to stop now and really think.  Stop teaching your kids that police officers are the bad guys who give you tickets you “don’t deserve”.  Stop assuming that you know every person who wears a uniform, or that they are all alike. Because you don’t, and they’re not.  Stop giving officers flack when you see them breaking for lunch or a coffee.  That’s bullying.

Let’s stop making it ok for our kids to play hours of violent video games. Send your little boys and girls outside to build something, ride a bike, to make friends, play kick-the-can.  Teach them to talk, read, volunteer, socialize.

Take their damn phones away from them once in a while.

Our v-idiot society is breeding a bunch of ignorant, narcissistic, anti-social, desensitized people.

I remember when I was a kid, we were taught to respect authority, and to NEVER EVER pretend to “shoot” someone with our fingers. We were allowed to play with water guns and bb guns, but we knew we could never point them at each others heads, never point them at someone who wasn’t playing.  My Dad had guns.  He was a hunter.  But he didn’t glorify killing.  He didn’t obsess about his guns.  We respected how dangerous they were.

And  I was taught that you only needed to be afraid of the police if you were breaking the law. And as far as I am concerned, this is still the case.

If you are such a simpleton or a snob that you think you can make some broad-sweeping  assumption about what kind of man or woman is behind that police badge, you scare me more than anyone.  Open that closed mind.

And now, because someone decided he hates cops so much that he would walk into a quiet neighborhood, and bait them into a gunfight, three human beings are dead.  Two more are injured.  Families are destroyed.  Family these fallen loved.  Family who love them.  Family who depended on them to be at ball games, birthdays, ballet recitals and grads. Family who depended on them to “watch their six”.  And out there somewhere is a cop-hater, who has been free to debase and hate cops openly. Maybe he has a mental illness, or maybe he was victimized by someone in a position of power.  I don’t know who he is, or why he did it.  What I do know, is he has targeted a group of people I have the utmost respect for, and one whom I love very much.    So until this guy is found, until bullying like this is stopped, I’m not ok.

 

To the families, friends of the fallen officers, and to the members of the NB RCMP, my deepest condolences.  My prayers and thoughts are with you all. 

 

 

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160 Responses to No, I’m not ok

  1. Dave says:

    Yes indeed it’s a tragedy and my heart goes out to the families. She makes some good points in her article but having an RCMP husband her message is all too biased. Just Google police abuse and you will see the litany of serious incidents where officers abuse their power left and right. They use their discretionary power to fine you, interrogate you, make you feel like a criminal just for being a law abiding citizen. There is no wonder some people have a profound distrust even disgust for cops. Granted, not all and that is unfair to lay a blanket statement but in my humble opinion people have started to fear police officers which is very telling. Before, they were called peace officers, now they are law enforcers… There is less humanity with them and more law. Less judgement and more law. I believe that it is important to reverse this trend otherwise the gap between citizens and officers will only widen.
    Love,
    Dave

    • purplepiggie says:

      Dave, you are entitled to your opinions and my heart goes out to you if you feel you have been victimized in the past, but this isn’t the appropriate place for bashing law enforcement officers. This is a blog written by a wife and mother, sharing her feelings and opinions about a tragic situation where 3 RCMP officers died and 2 were injured while protecting the citizens of Moncton. These fine brave souls are not on trial for “police abuse”. They should be remembered and honoured for their sacrifice and your comment does nothing to honour them.

      • kat says:

        If she only wanted replies that agreed with her she should take the comments section off. Freedom of speech should always be aloud and it is sad and telling about the type of person you are to feel others should not say what they feel.

      • Bearmama says:

        Hi! Author here…I have approved every comment that has come in to my blog. I didn’t write this blog for the purpose of “receiving comments”. I wrote this blog to express my feelings. That said, I have not censored any comments yet. If I choose to, that is my right, as this is my blog and therefore I am free to mediate the comments.

    • Jean Hebert says:

      Agreed. That same day, ironically, in Burnaby a man died after being tasered by the police, because they “felt he appeared aggressive.” Who is empathizing with his family? … not the police, it seems, because they refuse even to admit that tasers have any part in the death of ‘jolt-recipients’ and continue to use the taser-guns. Also, I know from friends in another police force that there is a police culture/attitude that is not healthy, and until that changes drastically and obviously, one can see more of these Moncton-like incidents happening.

      • Bearmama says:

        I empathize with the families of criminals – I feel terrible for them too. My heart breaks for the parents of people who go our and hurt other people for whatever reason…
        But let’s be practical here…If you are doing something criminal, and officers are trying to arrest you, let them do their job. Don’t resist arrest. You won’t get tasered. It’s that simple.

    • Daniel Lamontagne says:

      Most police officers I have encountered (I get pulled over for speeding too often) are very nice people and it makes the negative attitude unfair to this majority. I have, unfortunately, encountered several officers who have abused their power because they didn’t like me or some other unrealistic reason (I never treat officers with anything other than respect). The negative view of the police is unfortunate but they might need to look more closely at the personalities they are employing if they want to reverse the damage of this image.

      • Bearmama says:

        I agree with most of what you are saying. There are good people and bad people in policing, just as there are everywhere. I think that this is a complicated topic, but just a drop in the “murky” water of officer personalities…I think most of them were hired for the right characteristics, but due to the wear and tear that they experience on the job (ie what they see every day, and it really is awful), and due to the lack of support for officers suffering from PTSD and other mental illnesses, this can definitely be a problem…as we have seen in the media with officers breaking down, making bad decision on and off duty etc. If there are aggressive cops out there, this should be looked at as the effect of unaddressed issues. The officer is ill, not necessarily a power-tripping jerk. Not in all cases – I am not going to make generalized statements, or bite off more than I can chew – this is a HUGE issue. But let’s start by listening to senior officers in these comments – you can hear from them how “the job” wears them down. My husband is a three year “rookie”, and his heart has been broken a million times over by the things he sees every day. It’s not all traffic stops for these guys…just remember that.

  2. Dianne Watson says:

    My son is also a member and being a part of the RCMP family, was deeply affected by the loss of three of his brothers. As the mother of a member I was also deeply affected and it again brought forward the fears I have for his safety. Your letter expressed exactly how I have been feeling for a very long time. It makes me so angry when I see all the arm chair critics who do not have all the facts make terrible, disparaging comments about those who daily put their lives on the line. They are unable to even respond to the comments or to clarify the misinformation because of confidentiality issues surrounding ongoing cases. I worked in adolescent psychiatry for twenty five years and have seen the change in kids nowadays. They have become more narcissistic, more entitled and more disrespectful than those I worked with in my earlier years. I took the liberty of viewing the shooter’s website where he made it very clear how he would kill anyone who tried to take his weapons from him and his hatred for police was very vocal. He had many that agreed with him and in my mind he was a stick of dynamite just waiting to explode and the encouragement he received from others were the match that lit the dynamite. Had just one person reported what he was saying, perhaps an intervention could have occurred to prevent this tragedy. As a society we need to support those who risk their lives in an attempt to protect us. We need to teach our children that respect as well. I raised both my kids as a single parent and a working mother but my kids still learned limits and responsibility. My son chose a career where he hoped to make a difference and his loyalty in spite of poor salaries ( they are the 56 lowest paid police officers in Canada) and antiquated weapons and protective gear. My daughter is now a correctional officer. I am so proud of both of my children who learned that limits mean parental love. In any case there are lots of reasons why violence is so prevalent in today’s society and I certainly don’t profess to have the answers. However when we use the excuse so readily that a person must have been mentally ill to commit such a horrific crime one has to beg the question. Were they aware that what they were doing was wrong because if they were they still are aware of consequences for their actions. If they are psychotic and responding to voices telling them to do it, then you can say without a doubt it is mental illness.anyway I am starting to ramble as it is a subject near and dear to my heart but I just want to again thank you for putting in to words what I was feeling. My deepest condolences and prayers go out to the families , friends and all members who share in their grief.

  3. Michelle says:

    THANK YOU. Well said.

  4. Ken Bennett says:

    Retired cop -per with38 yrs service with several cousins and one cousin’s daughter who married a member and a nephew are past/present of the RCMP,five in number all on my wife’s side of the family. lOur second oldest son now has 7 yrs with Halifax City Police from where I retired,my brother retired after 31 yrs Military Police.We have shared many thoughts over the yrs,my son who plays his cards pretty close to his chest sometimes will ask my opinion but quite often I can tell he is seeking someone to talk to.I know from him that are more guns out there then ever before and in his short career he has experienced a lot of death scenes,about half drug related.I to was at my grandson’s baseball game when a friend came over and broke the news.You are quite right in saying it hurts like hell.In my career when answering calls of death and your dealing with surviving love ones I always tell them in police work we have a saying,”Big boys are allowed to cry.” especially when you see someone whose doesn’t want to cry in front of you .God knows I did plenty of it and not one bit ashamed to say it.So to the members of the RCMP and the families of the fallen and wounded in Moncton know you have the greatest family in the world behind you.Just look over your shoulder and you will find us there.

  5. Lake Sheriff says:

    My wife taught me the saying “I’m not okay” with the rehabilitation ” … but I will be”. Of the many many reasons I adore her, one is the perspective of get up and then get back up. Her pen name is grandbear, so I guess it is in the bear mindset.

    I am appreciative of your title “No, I’m not okay”. That in itself gives great cause for pause and reflection. A number of comments I have read from other sites is that it will get worse before it gets better. For those of us in the states, and maybe just of my own finite insight, I don’t see it getting ever better and am fearful of what it will become. I am fearful for my children, for their children, and for their children whom I will probably never know.

    Please accept our most heartfelt of sympathies and know that our hearts are broken for you. As another family behind the badge, I appreciate you sharing the brief messaging between yourself and your husband. Outside of the profession few people know how often we try to sneak in a quick call in the midst of a tragedy just to say I am okay, but I am thinking of you. And I want to be home safe with you tonight. I think of officer’s families who hear that there has been an injury or a death and quickly dial to get a voice of reassurance. And the phone rings. I’ve been on a few non-officer deaths and traumas where word has started to travel and the victim’s cell starts to ring. It is not yet time to answer and we have to let the phone ring. And I know that at the other end a heart is starting to break. I’m thankful that when you sent your message, relief and love was eagerly sent right back to you. For the service and sacrifices of your husband and your family, thank you.

    For the kind words about cops … both sides of our border, thank you.

    And for the families of Constables Gevaudan, Ross, and Larch, our deepest of sorrows. These are people we never knew, but heroes we will never forget. Across our border we reach out to Moncton, knowing that innocence is gone, and we say we’re sorry. And to the extended RCMP family, to the all of Canadian law enforcement, we believe that tears are a language that God understands.

    And with all officers serving to keep our free society’s safe, we share a moment of silence.

    Chuck Poré

  6. carlyne says:

    so dramatictly true;we are not o.k

  7. dessie9 says:

    Totally agree with you!!! I, too, am sick of our Police being targets! It’s easy to be a COWARD and shoot someone by targeting them, not so easy to show yourself for the scum you are! There is no respect for authority anymore, and we have raised that generation: it’s all about “me, me, me”. People knew this scum was unwinding, and every shooter before him! But, those around them did nothing to stop what was about to happen! They must all take blame for these shootings: this scum pulled the trigger, but others gave him leeway to do it!

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