At the beginning of the movie, American Sniper, the father is explaining the world to his two sons.
Wayne Kyle: [to his sons]
There are three types of people in this world: sheep, wolves, and sheepdogs. Some people prefer to believe that evil doesn't exist in the world, and if it ever darkened their doorstep, they wouldn't know how to protect themselves. Those are the sheep.
Then you've got predators who use violence to prey on the weak. They're the wolves.
And then there are those blessed with the gift of aggression, an overpowering need to protect the flock. These men are the rare breed who live to confront the wolf. They are the sheepdogs.
Most people consider self defense an ethical use of deadly force. However, many people are unable or unwilling to accept responsibility for their own self defense. Therefore, society has authorized the use of "sheepdogs" to exercise defense on our behalf. I am, of course, referring to the numerous levels of law enforcement, from the local police to FBI, DEA, and CIA. Focusing on the local police for the moment, news reports are filled with stories (and videos) of police officers shooting and killing presumably innocent victims. Naturally, each incident must be judged solely on the circumstances of that event. I don't doubt that some of the people shot and killed were less innocent than the news reports or videos make them out to be. On the other hand, it is clear that many of our sheepdogs have slipped their leash and are killing lambs and biting the mailman. Certainly not the actions we authorized them to take on our behalf.
I went to the theater yesterday to see Sicario which gives us a Hollywood look at some of our federal sheepdogs. (No spoiler alerts necessary.) The primary character is a young, female FBI agent transferred to assist in the drug war in Texas. She is a "straight shooter" who insists that the DEA officers she's working with "follow procedures". She begins to realize that the bad guys don't follow any set of rules, which means that her survival requires - how can I say this? - a more liberal use of lethal force than she's accustomed to. For me, the most important message to take from this movie is questioning the ethics of having sheepdogs in the first place. If you're not happy because your sheepdog isn't following your rules, then you should assume more responsibility for your own self defense. That way YOU can make all of those split-second ethical decisions on your own.
Every day there is a news story in Chicago about people who "just want to stop the violence". So do I, but the solution is not having a neighborhood barbeque and wailing "can't we all just get along?". We have systematically created the violence in our streets and towns. We establish additional gun laws that are followed only be people not prone to violence. Divorced, remarried parents exile their children to a disfunctional school system where self-esteem is more important than science, math, or proper grammar. How can we expect these children to exit that system as normal adults? Then we demand that police officers patrol our streets to capture well-armed, violent drug dealers, and we bitch when they get nervous and shoot a child who's brandishing a realistic toy gun. I'm not overly fond of authority figures in uniform, however we've asked our sheepdogs to do the impossible. The news reports we watch are the direct result of our folly.
I think the answer lies in the opposite direction. Each person needs to reaffirm the responsibility for their own self defense. All gun laws should be eliminated since they infringe on your right to self defense. Well armed parents should escort their children to schools replete with well armed teachers. This doesn't eliminate the possibility of a drive-by shooting, but it dramatically increases the probability that the shooter won't live to the end of the block. You probably know someone who thinks this solution is unacceptable. You may even think that yourself. "Some people prefer to believe that evil doesn't exist in the world, and if it ever darkened their doorstep, they wouldn't know how to protect themselves. Those are the sheep."
Protecting the sheep, one .45 hollow-point at a time!