May 6, 2013
“What does it hurt,” asked Sheriff Ric Bradshaw of Florida’s Palm Beach County, “to have somebody knock on the door and ask, `Hey, is everything OK?’”
The answer to that question obviously depends on the identity of the “Somebody” who is making that inquiry. What Sheriff Bradshaw had in mind was a strike force composed of deputies, social workers, and “mental health” professionals from a “Behavioral Sciences Unit” (BSU) who would be on-call twenty-four hours a day, ready to be deployed to visit the homes of what the Soviets used to call “socially dangerous people.” In the Soviet Union, such people would often be involuntarily committed to a psihuska, or psychiatric prison.
“We want people to call us if the guy down the street says he hates the government, hates the mayor and he’s gonna shoot him,” Bradhsaw told the Palm Beach Post in describing the BSU, which would be funded through a $1 million grant from the state government. That grant hasn’t been formalized, but if the state legislature balks, it’s quite likely the Feds will chip in: In a speech last February 6 to the Alliance of DelRay Residential Organizations, Bradshaw said that he would prefer to fund the unit “through a federal grant.”
This is precisely the kind of pilot program the Feds would find worthwhile – indeed, it represents a model of “preventive intervention” that the federal government has been promoting for at least two decades.
In 1993, another law enforcement personality with roots in Florida, then-Attorney General Janet Reno, proposed the creation of specialized units composed of police and social workers who would fan out in troubled urban regions, knocking on doors, conducting “safety” evaluations, and connecting residents to government “services.”
During her reign of terror as Dade County Prosecutor – in which she displayed unalloyed viciousness in tearing children from their homes and persecuting innocent parents – Reno created “Neighborhood Resource Teams” teams composed of “community-friendly, highly respected police officers, social workers, public health nurses, [and] community organizers, working full time within a narrow neighborhood,” she recalled in a May 1993 speech to the National Forum on Prevention of Crime and Violence.
Reno had the temerity to offer her program as a national model just weeks after presiding over the April 19 holocaust at Waco, where she and her underlings provided the indispensable service of annihilating dozens of innocent children after torturing them for fifty-one days.
Like Reno, Bradshaw describes the purpose of his proposed Behavioral Science Unit in therapeutic terms. The objective, he insists, is “violence prevention” and “referral to services,” rather than an arrest. To those on the receiving end of that intervention, this distinction is entirely theoretical: Being taken into custody by armed strangers is an arrest, irrespective of the semantic camouflage, and every encounter between the public and the State’s costumed enforcers is pregnant with life-threatening violence against the innocent.
It should also be understood that Bradshaw’s real objective is not “violence prevention,” but rather civilian disarmament. This was also explained by the sheriff in his February 6 address. The purpose of the BSU, the sheriff said, is to “identify people with a propensity and inclination to go do violent things and stop them from accessing firearms.” A system of preemptive disarmament of people considered to be psychologically unstable or otherwise “dangerous” has actually been in place in Connecticut since 1999. Although it has resulted in the confiscation of firearms from thousands of innocent people, it did nothing to prevent the horror that unfolded last December at Sandy Hook Elementary School.