While Moore was being taken to task by both House Leadership and rank-and-file members for the carelessness of the bill, another bill by Moore had been laid upon their desk.
The purpose of this bill, as written in large print across the top for summary, was “Crimes and offenses: person has the right to use deadly force against law enforcement officers who attempt violent entry into home without first knocking and announcing identity and purpose …”
Note that this isn’t fine print buried in his bill. This is not another section of Georgia’s code that was inadvertently altered while a bill to address the problems with “no-knock” warrants was being drafted. The intent of the author was first and foremost to authorize deadly force against police officers.
These are not the priorities of the conservatives our grandfathers once told us about.
There is growing concern about the exercise of police power within some circles of both the Democratic and Republican parties.
Within the Republican arena, these are usually voiced by members with libertarian leanings.
Moore, along with Cobb County freshman Charles Gregory, have staked out this territory mostly for themselves within the Georgia House — and have left other libertarian-leaning Republicans whose views are a bit more pragmatic and less absolute working to put distance between them and the other two.
Moore’s bill reflects a growing trend in these circles that transcends concern for individual protection and places suspicion and blame upon the police officers themselves.
In attempting to ensure that individual liberties are protected, a line is crossed whereby those who protect and serve are to be put on the defensive merely by putting on a uniform.
Moore is not alone in this appeal to those who believe policemen are part of the problem. (Former U.S. Attorney and current 11th District Congressional candidate) Bob Barr, writing a column for TownHall.com in December, jumped on the anti-law enforcement propaganda train, saying, “The over-militarization of small-town America is turning Mayberry into the Middle East; with Andy Griffith monitoring a license plate camera while Don Knotts patrols the streets carrying an MP5.”
Criminals that would do us and them harm are more sophisticated and better equipped than ever before.
We have sheriff’s deputies and police officers laying their lives on the line every day for us to protect and serve.
Their reward is long hours, relatively low pay and now proposed bills from state representatives that think the proper response to an improperly served warrant is lethal force, or from a would-be congressman to compare them to Barney Fife.
That’s some gratitude.
What’s worse is that while Sam Moore will argue the merits of his bill on principle, Bob Barr will demonstrate that he continues to endeavor to be all things to all people, earning the nickname from National Review “Weathervane Bob Barr.”
In December, the winds were blowing toward appealing to libertarian leaning voters by protesting the weaponry assembled to fight crime by local law enforcement.
But in early February Barr couldn’t resist the mass market appeal of standing next to Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio for an endorsement. Arpaio was using MRAP surplus military vehicles that Barr cited in his column on SWAT raids a decade ago, and has recently said he’d like to add a few drones to his department for surveillance purposes.
And so Cherokee voters have one elected official who believes carrying his principles to their logical extremes should allow child molesters at schools and citizens to use deadly force against police officers if they err in executing a warrant.
On the other hand, they have a candidate for Congress that gives a wink and a nod to libertarian-leaning Republicans, while wrapping his arms in the endorsement of a sheriff that is the antithesis of his own words just one month ago.
Which approach will Cobb and Cherokee voters reject? The answer in this case can and hopefully will be “both.”
Charlie Harper is the editor of PeachPundit.com, a website dedicated to Georgia state and local politics.