Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Ask yourself, is this the posture of a free man?

Shots ring out, causing an elderly man playing Santa at a suburban shopping mall for part time money to crawl away in fear for his life; at least three lose their lives, and more are wounded.
A couple of kids bullied by high school jocks come to class one day, equipped with makeshift bombs, shotguns and assault rifles; they slaughter large numbers before turning their guns on themselves.
An Army psychiatrist either cracks under the stress of counseling and prescribing for troopers who have been fighting the Islamic faithful on their home turf, or decides to follow the teachings of the Prophet to direct Islamic jihad against the infidel; he mows down 13 and wounds two dozen in a rampage against defenseless soldiers and civilians at the world's largest soldier fort.
A defendant goes berserk at the Fulton County Courthouse in Atlanta, grabs a bailiff's service revolver, and begins to lay waste to all who cross his path.
Travelers board jumbo jets on a cloudless, crystalline early autumn day filled with sunlight under a perfect dome of blue skies; a short time later, the world's two tallest buildings lay in smoking rubble, the Pentagon is devastated, and the world is plunged into an abyss of terror unanticipated in even the worst nightmares of a highly imaginative world.
The sad truth is this, and nothing less.
The world is held hostage by the threat of violence; business as usual has become unusual; the prospect of sudden death, or a life lived out as a maimed victim of the unthinkable, is a very real possibility for any American out to pay a bill, pick out a new addition to a wardrobe, or settle a civil matter with a visit to a local courtroom.
No matter who you are, or what you do, the sad reality is this - you are living under the terms of a siege you can't avoid, duck, dodge, or run away from. It's here, every day, in your face - big as Dallas.
So it shouldn't come as much of a surprise that when change comes to the Victorian good old boy world of a Central Texas courthouse, where America's Main Street crosses a sandy old river on the prairie, that change is wearing a badge.
Congratulations to DPS Sgt. Pete Peterson, on his appointment as the Honorable Justice of the Peace of Precinct One, McLennan County, Texas.
He will replace a DEA Agent, the Hon. Billy Martin, and he takes his place at the end of a long, gray line of cops who donned the black robe to sign warrants and pronounce folks dead at scenes both bloody and sad, adjudicate misdemeanor cases, settle minor suits in equity, order evictions, and all details such as those, in the Justice Courts of Texas - the people's courts. 
Good luck, hoss. As you know, business as usual has become unusual.  

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