Capitol guards

It’s very unfortunate that one of America’s newest hot topics for debate is whether or not to place national guard troops in our nation’s capitol to fight a nearly insurmountable epidemic of violent crime.

Washington, D.C. is not only our nation’s capitol. It is also one of the world’s capitols of murder and mayhem. Like nearly every major U.S. metropolis, drugs, gangs and all the tragedies of urban plight are an everyday reality.

In a desperate move to keep the peace, government officials are considering using national guardsman as a supplement to the D.C. police force. There are several problems with this idea as there often are in quickie solutions determined by public officials whose backs are against the wall.

First of all, cops are cops and the guard is the guard. The two separate groups are trained to deal with entirely different kinds of conflicts which bear little similarity.

A huge portion of police officers’ calls deal with volatile domestic problems, not political riots. Urban cops have learned to adapt to their difficult environment.

National guardsmen are not, and should not be interested, in adapting to everyday urban crime. The troops should be, and are, used in major cities when rioters are taking to the streets.

A show of national guardsmen in any neighborhood will likely instill great hostility in both criminals and law-abiding citizens alike. Marching stormtroopers up and down the streets of D.C. seems hardly a responsible way of keeping the peace.

Martial law should never be necessary in the land of the free except under very extreme circumstances. Those very same extreme circumstances might be evoked by the ominous presence of national guard troops. Sadly enough, urban residents have enough to fear as it is.

Unless the guard plans on staying put in D.C. permanently, which they obviously don’t, this is not a feasible solution.