Our View: Another life lost

Another police officer gunned down by a member of the general public.

Another police officer gunned down by a member of the general public. This time over an allegedly stolen vehicle. It’s bewildering and tragic. Another life lost in the line of duty, another widow and now three more children without a dad.

When he donned his uniform that day, and kissed his wife goodbye he might have been thinking about the game he would attend with his kids that weekend or the errands he had to do after work. All of that changed in a split second. His projects are now left unfinished, his clothes sit in the laundry basket and plans his wife might have made for Valentine’s Day will never happen.

What is it about dangerous jobs that has society thinking that getting shot and dying goes with the territory? It’s so ingrained in us to believe that cops and military personnel are just expected to put their lives on the line every day. It doesn’t seem right that an RCMP officer or an unarmed, kilted honour guard as in the case of Cpl. Nathan Cirillo in Ottawa, should have to expect that they might not come home to their kids at the end of their shift just for the job they have chosen.

 

Next, the information surfaced that the alleged killer was a career criminal with a long rap sheet. This is highly disturbing. It seems that someone with that amount of recidivism should not have been walking around, stealing vehicles or carrying a weapon, yet he was. He was a petty criminal who was likely shuffled through a system plagued with a lack of resources and a poor history of rehabilitating the “bad guys.” So unless that changes, our police officers live with the reality that their day might end with them staring down the barrel of a gun.