The International Writers Magazine: Who Protects Us?
An old fashioned Hero
Leroy B. Vaughn
I’m sure by now that readers are aware of the lone wolf terrorist that attacked the Canadian Parliament on Oct. 22, 2014.
As I watched the news I felt a sense of pride for the Sergeant at Arms of the Parliament. I am not a Canadian, but I do know a lot of Canadians from the time my wife and I lived in Mexico for over three years. At the American Legion, we welcomed Canadian veterans and our post shared the same post number as a Canadian Legion post in British Columbia.
The only difference between Americans and Canadians that I could find besides our countries politics was that even though we speak with the same North American accents, they spell their words the same as the British.
I’m not going to go into a lot of detail about the terrorist attack, or critique the action of the law enforcement agencies on the scene because I wasn’t there and by all reports from the news, the law enforcement officers did their jobs well.
September 11, 2001 changed the U.S.A. forever and we are now experiencing what the news media calls the militarization of our law enforcement agencies. I see this every time I go to the border at Mexico. U.S. Customs Agents that used to wear dress uniforms are now dressed as if they are on a Delta Force mission in Afghanistan and our local law enforcement officers look as if they are filming a commando movie, wearing all of their ninja turtle gear.
I’m not anti-police and I know that this gear makes their jobs a lot easier, but what about their public image? I used to be one of them. I worked in the days before mandatory armored vests, stun guns and computers in patrol cars. We wore class A wool uniforms with polished boots or shoes all year around, and I worked in the desert of southern California.
Mace was brand new at that time for law enforcement and back-up guns were called hide-away guns.
On October 22, after the terrorist killed a soldier at the Canadian tomb of the Unknown Soldier, he wounded a Parliament security officer inside the Parliament building, as police officers ran to the location with semi-automatic assault rifles wearing protective gear and some with balaclavas covering their faces.
Again, this is not meant as a criticism of the Canadian officers. I’m just pointing out that with all of the training, weapons and gear today, the Sergeant at Arms was able to shoot and kill the lone wolf with a nine millimeter pistol, while wearing his ceremonial uniform.
When I saw his picture on television, the fifty eight year old grandfather was not carrying his ceremonial sword or wearing the hat that made him look a little bit like Andrew Jackson during the war of 1812.
A lifetime of experience and service with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and Sgt. at Arms Kevin Vickers being in the right place at the right time may have saved several politicians as well as the Prime Minister of Canada’s life on October 22, 2014.
© Leroy B Vaughn November 2014