One of the issues is that while there are a lot of stressful moments that cops have to deal with, there is a stigma involved in seeking help, according to 90% of the officers surveyed in an I-Team investigation.
But what is it that’s causing the officers to feel so desperate that they have to end their lives?
One thing is for sure, there are many more laws on the books that the officers are being made to enforce, that shouldn’t be on the books.
There are all the drug laws. Why did our society become one in which the government acts as our nanny-caretaker, and telling us what we are allowed to consume into our own bodies? There are so many laws now, addressing what kinds of drugs are in this “schedule” or category, all the laws that say how much of one drug can get you thrown in jail for two years and how much of some other drug can get you thrown into jail for 30 years. It’s literally a crazy scheme, I think.
The government says that possession of something is a crime, even if you didn’t steal it. (And I’m not a drug person, by the way, I am a health food and health drink person.) So possessing a drug, in this or that amount, is a crime, selling it to someone is a crime, buying it is a crime.
But these aren’t crimes, because there is no victim.
And where did the government get the authority to prohibit the people from using or possessing drugs? Where in the U.S. Constitution does it say anything about drugs or does it authorize the federal government to get involved in drugs?
And also, didn’t they try to prohibit alcohol? And they failed miserably at that as well. Why hasn’t our society learned from that?
So there’s this whole war on drugs that’s a failed, unwinnable war, and making police officers get involved in it, local police and federal law enforcement including the FBI and other agencies.
And the real criminals, in my opinion, are those with badges and guns who are breaking into people’s homes, shooting their dogs (and shooting and killing the people as well), terrorizing and assaulting people who are otherwise behaving peacefully, to enforce this authoritarian nanny-state war on drugs.
And then there are all the other kinds of laws that police feel obligated to enforce, such as all the bureaucratic code laws. For example, this guy Eric Garner being choked to death — that’s in the news again — by police acting like goons because Garner was selling individual, untaxed cigarettes.
First, if we had an actual free market, if Garner had a pack of cigarettes then he has a right to sell each individual cigarette if he wants to. There shouldn’t be any regulation of that. And regarding the taxes, well, the government demands that people pay some sort of tribute to the bureaucrats in charge just because of selling or buying something. Are the bureaucrats justified in demanding such a payment? Nope, in my opinion.
So, police are being given so much responsibility and so many laws on the books now to have to enforce. I think they are being trained to act over-zealously for no good reason. And that causes them stress.
And there are many officers now who are military veterans and who have PTSD. They witnessed (or caused in some cases) atrocities during war such as in Iraq, and that affects them. Some of them have already been given psychiatric drugs, from military doctors, which already screws them up before they have reentered civilian life and joined a police force. (See Dr. Peter Breggin: Antidepressants cause suicide and violence in soldiers.)
Another possible reason for police suicides that could be associated with having to enforce unjust laws and possibly having to forcibly detain, arrest and assault (or kill) an otherwise peaceful person, could be a guilty conscience. Such issues have arisen in the military and at war. The U.S. military has been experiencing record numbers of active duty suicides, and, Jacob Hornberger, of the Future of Freedom Foundation, thinks that such problems with soldiers could be a guilty conscience.
Police are often compared to military, especially these days with the ghastly militarization of local police forces.
And then there are the steroids that supposedly some cops use, according to Professor John Hoberman of the University of Texas, Austin, who has studied steroid use. This has been a problem for police departments in Miami and New York, and other cities who are now imposing mandatory drug testing on police.
Steroids have terrible medical side effects as well, including on the liver and the heart, and “can cause mania, delusions, and violent aggression or ‘roid rage'” according to WebMD.
So besides all those issues, I think that police have too much pressure upon them to have to enforce the many, many laws that are on the books, that shouldn’t be on the books, because they are unjust laws and don’t involve actual criminal activity in which there is a victim. As Wendy McElroy wrote, it would be a good idea to decriminalize the average innocent, peaceful person.
And this should at least help to de-stress the police.