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The Police and the Legacy of the ‘Punisher’

by Gregory B. Gonzalez

I have to be honest, here- I pretty much have an aversion to police. Kind of ironic in that I write for one, or at least, a retired one. It isn’t so much the institution, it mostly has to do with my utter disregard for authority in general.

Please don’t take that to mean I hate cops. I mean it in the same way I have an aversion to spinach- I won’t eat it if it’s boiled, but I will if it’s in a salad.  I treat them like this: if they don’t bother me, I don’t bother them unless I absolutely need to. But having said that, I don’t disrespect them or knock them for the job they do. I know that they serve a vital role in the community. The only problem is, a few of them abuse their authority in ways that goes against their creed, “to protect and serve”. 

It seems like every time I turn on the news, there’s at least one story about a cop and an unjustified shooting. I mean, how are people supposed to trust the police if they’re afraid of them? I know there are good cops, but I have to wonder- how do they deal with it when one of their own crosses the line? Doesn’t their job become that much harder? 

Earlier this morning, I was reading an article about how a police union in St. Louis was asking officers to adopt the Punisher skull as a symbol of solidarity to show support for two cops who are currently being investigated. I found this interesting for two reasons: one, I am a comic book fan, and two, I can’t understand why a police union would ask its members to idolize a character who stands for the exact opposite of what they do. 

Before I get to that though, a little background info. The Punisher, AKA Frank Castle, was a former marine who served three tours in Vietnam. While on leave, Frank and his family were on a picnic in Central Park when they stumbled onto a mob hit. Not wanting to have any witnesses around to identify them, the mobsters shot Castle and his family, killing them. Castle survived. As he recovered from his wounds, Castle learned that the police had scuttled the investigation into the death of his family, so he adopted the identity of the Punisher and used the skills he learned as a marine and wiped out the mobsters. He then vowed to wipe out every criminal he encountered. 

Now, let’s get something straight- the Punisher is a vigilante, a criminal, and a serial killer. The fact that he only kills criminals is irrelevant. The Punisher may think that he’s serving the cause of justice, but what he’s really doing is getting revenge. And if you’re a cop who takes on his symbol, you’re pretty much a thug in my book. 

I know I’m probably going to get a ton of shit for saying that, but it’s the truth. Police are servants of the law. They take an oath to protect and serve. The Punisher may protect, but he serves no one. He answers to no one. The person who created him, AMAZING SPIDER-MAN writer Gerry Conway, had this to say, “Whether you think the Punisher is justified or not, whether you admire his code of ethics, he is an outlaw.”

Besides, in the Marvel Universe, the Punisher has a sketchy relationship with the police anyway. The NYPD turns a blind eye to his activities, and he will not hurt a cop or allow one to be hurt. But that’s not to say he’s above kicking the crap out of one if he gets in the way. In the storyline, “The Brotherhood”, Castle encounters two corrupt police officers, one of whom deals drugs on the side. I guess I don’t have to tell you what he ended up doing to them. 

My niece’s boyfriend was both a sheriff’s deputy and a fan of the Punisher. It also turned out that he was a drunk who used to playfully pull a loaded gun on her when he was wasted. She now has a restraining order against him and the Sheriff’s department fired his sorry ass. 

Look, I’m not saying cops can’t like the Punisher or enjoy the comics written about him. All I’m saying is that if they want to model their careers after him, maybe they shouldn’t be cops in the first place. 

I don’t expect police to be heroes, I just expect them to be decent human beings. I know they’re fallible, but they should be held accountable for their mistakes, just like the rest of us. A brotherhood of solidarity is a fine thing, but police shouldn’t forget that when one of their own does wrong, it reflects badly on all of them. They need to be reminded that they are in many ways, their brother’s keeper. 

The shield they wear is a sacred trust, not a license to exercise their own brand of justice. I know it doesn’t seem like it right now, but we live in a land governed by laws, not men who try to be a judge, jury, and executioner. The system we have isn’t perfect, but it’s the only one we have. If it fails, then chaos reigns. 

There’s good and bad in everyone, and I accept that. No one is perfect, not even officers of the law. Police don’t deal in black and white, they deal in shades of gray. I understand that. The point I’m trying to make is that they shouldn’t model themselves after someone who only sees in absolutes in the extreme.

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Posted by on July 15, 2019. Filed under COMMENTARY/OPINION. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Responses are currently closed, but you can trackback from your own site.
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69 Responses to The Police and the Legacy of the ‘Punisher’

  1. Dale Feltz

    July 15, 2019 at 10:14 am

    This might be one of the dumbest things I’ve ever read, and I’m an avid reader. The ‘Punisher’ is a comic book character, not a leader of the free world, nor anyone’s idol, except those who read comic books. It’s clear you didn’t take the time to read the handful of articles out there about the police union’s recommendation of solidarity using the image of the Punisher, not the fantasy characters personality or philosophy. Your complete ignorace of symbols of solidarity, and your ignorance of the police culture is shocking, then again it’s clear you don’t like the police and have seized upon this opportunity to twist the truth to serve your bias. I’ve seen it before and no doubt I’ll see it again before the sun sets a final time.

    • jess

      July 15, 2019 at 11:41 am

      “This might be one of the dumbest things I’ve ever read, and I’m an avid reader”
      Obvs not an avid reader or this would not have been one of the dumbest things you have ever read because Twilight and 50 Shades exists out there in meat world pal. Your comment however, is one of the dumbest I have ever read.

    • Bill Formby

      July 15, 2019 at 8:19 pm

      Dale, why do police need a unity symbol. They already have one. It is called a badge and an oath. It is really sad that people think that police should emulate this comic book character, and behave as vigilantes.

  2. jess

    July 15, 2019 at 11:39 am

    Maybe they don’t know his back story the way comic book fans do Greg and are just seeing the get justice for the perceived good guy without looking into it further.

    • Michael John Scott

      July 15, 2019 at 12:09 pm

      Ayup! And I got that expression from you. They say imitation is the most sincere form of flattery.

      • jess

        July 15, 2019 at 12:26 pm

        You know when it irritates me when others use it never. Well I say never but when my boyfriend says AYUP J, he does that cowboy thing with his thumbs in his belt, that irritates me to no end. He does it on purpose. I talked to him on the phone last night because I am up in Sacramento helping out a friend right now trying to get a grant for her non profit and he tells me we need to take our relationship to the next level. I am getting scared right, this week is the anniversary of Kent’s passing and I am a tad sad, so dude tells me I just have 4 words for you, no more. I am freaking out because I’ve only known this guy since like 5 minutes ago and certainly not long enough for whatever it is I think he’s going to ask me, will you marry me, move in with me etc all manner of shit running through my head. He asks me, where’s your poop bags. He heard the sigh of relief and asks me what’s up, ah you thought I was going to ask you didn’t you, he then tells me I wouldn’t even consider asking you that… this week of all weeks. You told me you don’t want to marry or live with anyone and I am good with that Jess, don’t worry I am not going to ask you. Oh and so you know if it happens, I will be waiting for you to ask me because we are equals.

  3. Timmy Mahoney

    July 15, 2019 at 11:46 am

    Who or what is a PUNISHER? I stopped reading comics when I was about 12. I prefer a more sophisticated form of entertainment, like reading an actual book. Curious as to why you don’t talk about the good things cops do everyday. Of course not, because that doesn’t serve your fucking bias. I spent 30 years in law enforcement, and never shot anyone, nor did I ever see anyone shot. Your BS statement about turning on the news everyday and hearing about an unjustified shooting is just not true. The vast majority, ninety-nine out of a hundred, are more than justified, so you just made that up. Ask Mike. He knows this shit like the back of his hand. At least go to the experts to find out the truth and not rely on the comic books for your character comparisons. I read your linked article and no where does it say the police are goiing to become this PUNISHER fantasy fool, only that they were going to adopt the logo as a show of solidarity, and in this day and age the police need to be together because there are too many haters like you out there.

    P.S. Mike I only said fuck once 🙂

    • jess

      July 15, 2019 at 12:02 pm

      Punisher lives in the Marvel Universe alongside the Avengers, Thor, Spiderman, Iron Man etc. he’s a made up dude that is entertaining and escapism not something you want to emulate in real life, bit if a badass that does not follow rules at all.

      P.S. Mike I only said fuck once

      Then you my dear fucking friend are a fucking slacker 🙂
      PPS Mike. I said it only twice.

      • Michael John Scott

        July 15, 2019 at 12:08 pm

        LOL! Yes Jess, you only said it twice, which is a great improvement. Actually, gratuitous fucking is what I object to, more than just saying the occasional fuck. Wait. I said that wrong. Oh well, you get my point 🙂 Thanks for explaining the Punisher dude to Tim. He gets confused at times, although I support what he says 100%. Dale too, but you didn’t like his avidness apparently 🙂

        • jess

          July 15, 2019 at 12:29 pm

          No Dale’s avidness is all good. Truly, he needed to see there are other views out there and come on Twilight and 50 Shades are crappy reads. Gratuitous fucking is how some people go through life. I always use Jason Stackhouse from True Blood as my prime example of this.

    • Michael John Scott

      July 15, 2019 at 12:10 pm

      LOL! Yes, my friend. I was shocked and proud at the same time, but you do know I was fucking kidding when I said you should limit your fucking right? 🙂

    • Bill Formby

      July 15, 2019 at 8:14 pm

      Actually, Timmy, I am not sure that many people know that much about “The Punisher”. I only know a little about him because I stumbled onto him in a movie. What hasn’t been addressed here is the fact that he was betrayed by the government who allowed it to link to mobsters to the the guy and feeling betrayed plus costing every member of his family was killed. But, it isn’t unusual for people to believe it was justified. It is the “Dirty Harry” type guy that many people believe we should be. It is as Arthur Neiderhoffer identified officers who become cynical in his study in “Behind the Shield: Police Cynicism”.

  4. Gregory B. Gonzalez

    July 15, 2019 at 12:30 pm

    @Timmy and Dale- I don’t hate the police (as I explained in the article,) and if you don’t know who the Punisher is, or use that symbol, you don’t fall into the category I’m talking about. There isn’t one damned thing I said that was negative about the police. You’re right, I’m not a cop, and I have no idea what it’s like to be a cop. But that symbol doesn’t engender public trust, which is my point.

  5. Gregory B. Gonzalez

    July 15, 2019 at 12:33 pm

    And yes, I did read the article about it being used for police solidarity. Why do you think I wrote the article? It still sends the wrong message.

  6. Gregory B. Gonzalez

    July 15, 2019 at 12:39 pm

    I also noticed that none of you had anything to say about my niece’s ex being a deputy who used to drink and pulled a gun on her. Funny thing about that.

    • jess

      July 15, 2019 at 1:02 pm

      I glossed over that myself because it’s just real life now with people being abused isn’t it? Sad as that is, it is a fact of life now. Told you, I have been in a depression death spiral and this week is just NOT HELPING me at all, sympathy for and empathy with others is escaping me right now. All my energy is focused on out running my demons temporarily.

  7. Danny22

    July 15, 2019 at 2:00 pm

    “That symbol doesn’t engender public trust.” Fuck off. You don’t give a shit about public trust. All you care about is the logo of your sacred comic book hero being used by those you hate. Get the fuck outta here. I’ll never read anything you write again asshole and I’m no cop but I recognize disingenuous garbage when I see it.

    • Bill Formby

      July 15, 2019 at 8:01 pm

      See my comments to Bill54.

  8. Gregory B. Gonzalez

    July 15, 2019 at 2:05 pm

    As if I’ll miss you, dickhead. Buh-bye.

    • jess

      July 15, 2019 at 2:19 pm

      You should have introduced him to Lady Felicia, patron saint of the farewell. Also too, shame on you for knowing the origin story of a MCU inhabitant you nerd 😉

  9. Bill54

    July 15, 2019 at 3:08 pm

    Who gives a fuck about that? What? Cops are human? Oh gawd!!! Imagine that you arrogant POS. I’m with Dan. I used to like your articles but I won’t be reading or sharing any of your shit after this crap show.

    • Bill Formby

      July 15, 2019 at 7:59 pm

      Bill 54, This that like Car 54, where are you. Yes, cops are human, and they come with all the frailties of humans. However, when we, as a people, give as much authority to someone as police in America have we as a people need to hold them accountable and to take objectivity into their jobs. In terms of power over individuals and individual rights “Police”, stated former FBI Director Clarence Kelley, “are one of the most powerful persons in America. They can, of their own volition, take away a persons liberty and even his or her life. No one else in America has that much power and authority.”
      What is really shameful is that someone rattled your cage and woke you up. All of these cop wanna be’s keep one thing in mind. Why do you not stand up for them when it is time for politicians to vote for fair compensation. Many of the cops I have known had to work second jobs to achieve a wage commensurate with their positions in society. But, placing them on a pay level that they deserve take money of the pockets of the would be controllers of public policy. I have made this argument for more fifty years and no one wants to hear it. Yes, “Car 54”, police have a tough job and those of us who have really done the job accepted the job for what it really is wonder where you people are when you really are needed. The vast majority us do not abuse their positions. We understand that we were not hired to kill or oppress civilians and we damn sure don’t need people trying make a caricature of our place in society.

  10. Neil Bamforth

    July 15, 2019 at 3:19 pm

    Greg old bean. Nice one.

    Cops over here in Blighty haven’t, generally, got guns but, the calibre of people being accepted into cophood has deteriorated over the last couple of decades.

    Yes, there are plenty of great officers – as there have always been – but, sadly, there are far more numbnuts than once upon a time.

    Great article mate.

    Having a hide like a rhino myself, more n happy to lend you a bit of my hide if you like 😂😂😂😂😂

  11. Neil Bamforth

    July 15, 2019 at 3:21 pm

    Danny22 : please tell me the other 21 aren’t like you 😂😂😂😂😂😂

  12. Neil Bamforth

    July 15, 2019 at 3:22 pm

    Bill54 : oh no… Not another 53 dicks!! 😂😂😂🤣🤣🤣🤣

  13. Gregory B. Gonzalez

    July 15, 2019 at 3:22 pm

    Well, this story sure has made me public enemy #1 amongst the police readership. Normally, I wouldn’t care what symbol they used inlaid with the blue stripe flag, but using the Punisher logo, knowingly or unknowiningly of what it stands for, sends the wrong message to the community. As for my ‘unjustified’ shootings comment, I meant that in terms of how the public sees it, not how the police see it. As I said, I leave it to the system to make that determination.

    All you cops who got pissed off about this article- is it really so wrong to wish that the people who protect us be a little more aware? I don’t think so. You may think that I hate the police, but I don’t. I stay out of their way and let them do their job.

    And one last thing- don’t be surprised if you get a cease and desist letter from Marvel about the skull. Selling t-shirts and co-opting it for your own is copyright infringement. That’s against the law. Now you’re all outlaws. LOL.

    • Michael John Scott

      July 16, 2019 at 12:06 pm

      You aren’t public enemy #1 Greg. The crew that commented here are only expressing their thoughts, and most of them long ago identified those who are, in reality, public enemies.

  14. Neil Bamforth

    July 15, 2019 at 3:25 pm

    Timmy : that’s better mate! A forceful argument against. Read and understood 👍😁

  15. Shirley62

    July 15, 2019 at 5:42 pm

    Norman stepping in on this? He knows less than Gonzalez about police I’ll wager. One colour is all colours. Now we know where these two stand. Silly buggers both.

  16. Gregory B. Gonzalez

    July 15, 2019 at 7:05 pm

    Again, this story is less about the police and more about them not being aware of what that symbol stands for, so all your anger towards me and my feelings about authority figures are pretty much irrelevant. Hate on me all you like, it makes no real difference.

    If anyone got so butt-hurt by this story that you felt the need to complain about it to him personally, you should know that he hated it just as much as you did and didn’t want to publish it. He said that a lot of law enforcement types would turn on me and give me shit. I said I didn’t care.

    At the end of the day, no, I don’t understand the daily lives of police officers, in as much you probably don’t know who the Punisher is and what that skull represents. As much as you don’t like to hear it, there is a bit of a perception problem where the police are concerned. That’s the truth, whether you want to acknowledge it or not.

    I never said all cops are bad. That’s just what you choose to believe. But considering that there are some folks who stood up for me, I’m not alone in my opinion. You might want to take that into account.

  17. Gregory B. Gonzalez

    July 15, 2019 at 7:07 pm

    Complain to Mike, I mean.

  18. Carol

    July 15, 2019 at 7:19 pm

    I’m not a police officer but I’m pretty sure your comic book hero isn’t inspiring police beyond the image, much like what we did in Vietnam and soldiers have done from wartime immemorial. Be truthful as to your motives.

  19. Bill Formby

    July 15, 2019 at 7:25 pm

    Greg, I think your post is on sound footing. Timmy would defend a police officer against any behavior. I was a police officer back in the day when police were called pigs. This was an entirely different culture and generation and during a period when the police were targets for a lot of criticism. Some the criticism was well earned and much of it was not. Per capita there were more police being injured or killed than this particular era. We endured then and those of today. However, law enforcement today, at least a minority of them are not what, we the public, would like to see as our protectors. We should all keep in mind that police officers are humans and just as susceptible to being influenced by popular culture as any one else. This is a little like the “Dirty Harry” syndrome. No, all police officers do not end up shooting it out with the bad guys, and in effect, becoming judge, jury and executioner. But, some do behave in that manner and sometimes they end up with collateral damage. So, you are correct to point out a major problem in police work. That problem is a lack of qualified applicants for the position. Today, police have so many up to date resources to call on and and much more knowledge about human behavior that we should be having less, not more police misconduct. Having police officers who adopt a vigilante as a symbol of unity is bullshit. In many cases that thought process is backward and the people need to understand the fallacy of that imagery. As I have mentioned in earlier posts we need more cops as honest brokers in their jobs and not whimserly, purveyors of violence as a solutions to massive social problems. Cops once were seen as public heroes by standing up for fairness and law obedience. Now days police would prefer to be seem as victims, which many are, instead of those who can withstand public scrutiny and keep their jobs from becoming who they are.

    • Michael John Scott

      July 16, 2019 at 7:22 am

      Bill writes:

      “That problem is a lack of qualified applicants for the position.”

      There is no lack of qualified applicants for LE positions. There is a lack of qualified black applicants because very few blacks want to be police officers.

      As to the symbol being “bullshit”, we can agree to disagree on that, as we have agreed to disagree on our divergent police philosophies over the years.

      • Bill Formby

        July 16, 2019 at 3:18 pm

        Mike, I would have thought the same thing until lately. I just finished a class on Critical Issues and the problem is growing worse and not better. Many departments are down about 10 to 15 percent in manpower and having problems recruiting officer candidates. The justice department has concluded that between the arrests for drug possession, competition from private industries, and competition from other agencies the potential pool of applicants has shrunk a lot in the last ten years. The other issue is that police officers traditionally jobs in law enforcement are locally based. More and more departments are having to recruit nationally or on a regional basis. This has put the vast majority of departments in competition with the larger departments which usually pay better and have better benefits. Additionally, and until here lately policing candidates have not been willing to pick up and move across the country for jobs. Some departments have started to accept lateral transfers and even signing bonuses. Some are trying to even paying relocation expenses. While the private sectors has already been using incentives for people to relocate, police departments are struggling to find the funds to compete. A few departments have even turned their recruiting over to private recruiting firms. Many are revisiting their requirements as well as their benefit packages. However, with more than 17,000 police departments the competition is tough. Unlike the private sector where they can offer higher level of pay for applicants, police departments are often restrained by civil service or unions.

        • Michael John Scott

          July 16, 2019 at 6:25 pm

          Perhaps in Alabama, and I can understand that, but not in Georgia, Florida, Pennsylvania, Ohio, New York, and etc….Of course, one of the reasons for lower recruitment, in states where it exists, is all the cop hate out there, and there is more today than I’ve ever seen it, as evidenced by this article, despite what Greg might say.

  20. Gregory B. Gonzalez

    July 15, 2019 at 8:38 pm

    Carol, if you really think that this article is about me being offeded as a geek that the police are using the Punisher symbol,clearly, you weren’t paying attention to the article at ALL. I don’t give two shits about THAT.

  21. Gregory B. Gonzalez

    July 15, 2019 at 8:39 pm

    And Bill, thank you for your comments. I truly appreciate them.

  22. Neil Bamforth

    July 16, 2019 at 7:40 am

    Wow! I’m well impressed Gregory!

    You’ve wound em up!!!

    And yes, as always, the most wound up haven’t actually read it properly.

    No change there mate,

    • Michael John Scott

      July 16, 2019 at 8:32 am

      I’d prefer you not insult those who respond to posts old bean. I’m pretty sure everyone “read it properly.” Cheers!

  23. Glenn Geist

    July 16, 2019 at 8:59 am

    In these days of the war of all against all, this “conversation” doesn’t surprise me, but having recently read an LA times article about “tattooed deputy gangs” https://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-fbi-investigating-sheriff-20190711-story.html I have to wonder if the divisive “us against them” psychology isn’t part of our descent into a Hobbesean nightmare. I’m starting to wonder if that’s not part of a larger thing by some sort of pied piper. If tha’t paranoia, none the less, being paranoid doesn’t mean their not out to get you.

    As to the Punisher – and no I haven’t read comic books since I was about ten which was normal at the time. The Corvette factory racing team uses that skull as a logo and no, it’s about winning races, not uniting racists.

    • Michael John Scott

      July 16, 2019 at 2:51 pm

      That’s one tough part of the country for police, and yet they don’t use the ‘Punisher’ as a team mascot. And, speaking of that, all sorts of organizations use that skull as a logo, so I guess they’re all going to go out now and oppress the unsuspecting public, at least that’s what Greg would have us believe.

      I also stopped reading cartoons when I was about 10. My mother bought me Bradbury’s “Red Planet” for my birthday, and it was the first ‘real’ book I ever read. From that point on I put down the comics and started reading books, and have never once stopped.

  24. Gregory B. Gonzalez

    July 16, 2019 at 10:47 am

    Actually, no they didn’t.

    • Michael John Scott

      July 16, 2019 at 12:06 pm

      No doubt you are much smarter than all of us Greg.

  25. Neil Bamforth

    July 16, 2019 at 12:17 pm

    Some comments suggest they didn’t read it properly old bean.

    Some just go apoplectic after a sentence or so.

    In context, you can agree or disagree with Greg – I can’t as I’m over here in Blighty, not there.

    But some of the comments clearly show a knee jerk without reading it properly.

    Just saying 😘

    • Michael John Scott

      July 16, 2019 at 12:24 pm

      Well, old bean, I do disagree with Greg, as do my brothers and sisters in blue, but that’s not my point. Because people disagree doesn’t mean they didn’t read the article properly. It just means they disagree. Lots of people have disagreed with you but no one tells your detractors they didn’t read your post ‘properly’. So, that being said, I’ve wasted far too much time on this nonsense. I do, however, enjoy a spirited discussion, and this one is most spirited indeed.

  26. Timmy Mahoney

    July 16, 2019 at 12:28 pm

    Hey Mike, how come no one calls out Jess? She can be the master of the insult, or should I say mistress? LOL

    • Michael John Scott

      July 16, 2019 at 12:30 pm

      What? Of course, no one calls out Jess. She’s Jess! 🙂 🙂 Even Neil is afraid of Jess 🙂

      • jess

        July 16, 2019 at 1:37 pm

        No he’s not Mike, neither is anyone else except the ones that need to be. You know who you are troll people. I’ve been called on my shit by some here. Does not happen often but it has happened 🙂 I don’t care, I give as good as I get.

        • Michael John Scott

          July 16, 2019 at 2:41 pm

          Just having a bit of fun there lass 🙂

          • jess

            July 16, 2019 at 4:31 pm

            I know. I do tend to get away with more than others though, you have to admit that. I think it’s because you guys have been different places with me for way over a decade or more some of you, and some of you consider me like a virtual kid due to life crap you all know about hitting me and let me get away with shit you don’t let others get away with for that reason. I mean, you Bill, Holte, Neil and Joe I have known since my early 20s, still in college, I think, when Joe still had Truth 101 going on and what’s his name Tom’s blog and the parrothead guy where we all hung out at one time or another with each other commenting back and forth.

    • jess

      July 16, 2019 at 1:31 pm

      I have a special dispensation from below. I’m an equal opp insulter Timmy 🙂

  27. Gregory B. Gonzalez

    July 16, 2019 at 12:53 pm

    But they aren’t police, Glenn.

    • Glenn Geist

      July 16, 2019 at 3:31 pm

      I find such stories disturbing too, but swimming as we are in a deep sea of bullshit, I don’t know what’s real and what’s propaganda. The notion of police with death’s head symbols is as disturbing as it gets, but no more disturbing with the everyone against everyone world we live in. I either have to be afraid of everyone or no one because there’s no way to know what’s real, so I try to hope for the best and expect the worst. If Trump wins nothing really matters and all is lost anyway. If he loses we still have to contend with a hundred warring factions that became important only because they opposed him.

  28. Gregory B. Gonzalez

    July 16, 2019 at 12:55 pm

    I didn’t say that. If all you got from this was that I hate the police, then no, you weren’t reading the piece right.

  29. Gregory B. Gonzalez

    July 16, 2019 at 1:12 pm

    If all I was doing was bitching about what I don’t like about the police, I would’ve barely mentioned the Punisher. Instead, I explained exactly who the Punisher is and what he’s about. I also explained why the police shouldn’t embrace that icon. So if anyone got so insulted by this article that they felt the need to cuss me out and call me a cop hater, then no, I don’t think they paid close attention. Bill nailed it perfectly, and he’s been in law enforcement, too.

    • Michael John Scott

      July 16, 2019 at 2:42 pm

      Yes. Fifty years ago Bill was in law enforcement for 7 years. That is true.

  30. Gregory B. Gonzalez

    July 16, 2019 at 1:22 pm

    If I wanted to, I could have ripped into everyone who gave me shit about this article, but I didn’t. If you really think the police offend me as much you think they do, I could have made fun of them to the point that they show up on my front door and burn down my house. I didn’t. Keep that in mind.

    • Lyndon Probus

      July 16, 2019 at 2:45 pm

      No doubt everyone here is quaking in their proverbial boots at the terrifying idea of you ripping into them. What a ridiculous comment, and no, I’m not now, nor have I ever been in law enforcement. Now, ‘keep that in mind.’ The arrogance of your statements boggles the mind.

  31. Gregory B. Gonzalez

    July 16, 2019 at 3:37 pm

    Lyndon, you totally don’t understand my statement. It’s not a threat; I’m saying that I could have gotten angry and just went off on everyone who went off on me. I didn’t. I’m not being arrogant about anything. And being that you’ve been reading my stuff for so long, you should know that. My comment was in regard to my showing restraint. At least have the intelligence to understand the difference.

  32. Gregory B. Gonzalez

    July 16, 2019 at 3:47 pm

    And Mike, a lot of people use that icon, but they are not in law enforcement. There’s the difference.

  33. Glenn Geist

    July 16, 2019 at 3:50 pm

    You know, this sucks. It’s like a bunch of programmed responses that don’t have much to do with anything but the egos of the participants. Threats from anonymous online sources are pathetic. None of us are anybody anyway.

    Does anyone remember the SS with the “Totenkopf” or death’s head insignia? I do and it disturbs me even when the retired accountants who dress up like outlaws and ride Harleys wear them. I don’t know much about alleged groups of deputies and officers who wear them whether it’s a cartoon version or not. I mentioned the Corvette racing team because I don’t think the symbolism goes deep and maybe it does not with the police who wear them either. Symbols are cheap, especially with people who read the comics and take them seriously

    We have way too many arguments about symbols these days and as far as I know symbols don’t have fixed or even coherent meanings and many only exist to confuse, to ennoble or detract. I’d wait until someone does something before we begin the formal damnation proceedings, but that some people are nervous about a possibility is legitimate and calling them names doesn’t engender respect, in my opinion. I think we have the right to think what we think and worry about what we worry about and some of you are confirming that we don’t. That’s as scary as some stupid symbol.

    The police have a great deal of power and great power demands great responsibility. Calling a citizen an asshole for his legitimate concern suggests we have something to worry about indeed. I suppose the nature of police work creates that “band of brothers” attitude, and we are owed some assurance that it’s kept in proportion and that the gaudy rhetoric and barbarian semiotics don’t presage the official barbarism that has emerged in other times and places. Too many other things that couldn’t happen here are happening.

    • Michael John Scott

      July 16, 2019 at 7:15 pm

      Greg, while well-intentioned I expect, has made something out of nothing and we have all, including me, contributed to the fantasy in this thread. The fact is, the police are a quasimilitary force. The military has been using death head type insignia for hundreds, if not thousands of years. There is no vigilantism, nor is there any evidence of it.

      I agree with several commenters, that this is Greg’s purism. He is a comic/Marvel type geek and he is personally and deeply incensed that some police, which he claims he “distastes” have the temerity to adopt it as their logo. I think that micht be what this is about.

      Again, there is no vigilantism, beyond the St. Louis PD police union urging their officers to adopt the silly looking logo of a comic book character to show unity for their fellow officers. That sort of thing has been happening since Roman times, and well beyond I dare say.

      As I’ve said repeatedly, I’m no apologist for the police but I will stand up for and with them when I suspect they are being attacked without reason or cause, and this is one of those times.

      This will be my last word on this subject and I thank all, from both sides of the issue, for taking the time to join us.


  34. Gregory B. Gonzalez

    July 16, 2019 at 4:09 pm

    Listen, at the end of the day, the police are going to do whatever the fuck they want to do, I have no power over that. I’m just pointing out the fucking inappropriateness of it. How people take it or decide to interpret it is not my problem. I’ve heard all the complaints and responded to them. I didn’t return the insults even though I wanted to. For all of you who got upset, ask yourself this question- if this article is such garbage, why bother responding to it? There’s very little here in the comments I’ve read that responds to anything I’ve said other than that I hate cops. Nobody has said anything about the deputy who pulled a gun on my niece, nobody has said anything about the police and the way they’re perceived by the general public, and not one angry cop has said a single thing about how they feel towards other cops who abuse their authority. How about THAT?

    • jess

      July 16, 2019 at 4:36 pm

      It’s like the Israel/Palestine fight when you have anything to say about cops vs anyone else Greg. One side digs the heel in and the other side does the same thing.

      • Michael John Scott

        July 16, 2019 at 6:38 pm

        Except one side is right and the other is not my young friend. I’m not saying the police are always right. Never would I say that. But I will say the cop haters, and they are legion, plus, like the Trumpers, completely ignorant as to the real world and how things actually work. I can spot both a mile away, and hate both equally.

    • Michael John Scott

      July 16, 2019 at 6:30 pm

      “at the end of the day, the police are going to do whatever the fuck they want to do.”

      What a stupid, irresponsible statement that goes to your ignorance of the paradigm. Do you really think the police just go out every day, running around, doing “whatever the fuck they want to do?” You have absolutely no idea as to how it works, which points out to me that you’ve never served a day in the military, but then again I think I knew that.

    • Michael John Scott

      July 16, 2019 at 6:35 pm

      “Nobody has said anything about the deputy who pulled a gun on my niece…” Perhaps you aren’t ‘properly” reading the comments Greg. Check out Bill54. Oh. Did you miss that? And, to echo Bill’s thoughts: who cares? The police are human Greg, and humans are imperfect beings.

  35. Neil Bamforth

    July 16, 2019 at 4:52 pm

    I’m not afraid of Jess.

    I learn from Jess.

    Nuff said 😁