Jeffrey Scott’s Excellent Anti-BEARCAT Letter to the Sentinel

NO BEARCATThe Keene Sentinel has printed yet another letter to the editor opposing the BEARCAT, by Jeffrey Scott, one of Keene’s occupiers:

The mayor and the BearCat:

A happy fairy tale, or a story about a big bad wolf?

I was happy to read about our mayor’s trip to Alaska back in 1962 when he was a youngster.

Yes, those were the days when life was so much more simple, without all the complications of the times we presently live in. Unfortunately times have changed in many ways that cause us to be ever vigilant, but we also suffer from self-inflicted pain, suffering and fear.

War has been one of the main culprits as we continue to support the fear of communism, terrorism, this ism and that ism. The biggest beneficiary of this “support” is what former President Eisenhower warned us about 60 years ago: the military industrial complex.

The money barons who own you and me use fear as a tool to convince us of the need for more, bigger, faster, scarier weapons and related apparatus.

Case in point is the armored vehicle (the BearCat) being forced (passive aggressively ) upon us by Homeland Security. Or are we willingly and happily accepting this?

I understand our mayor exclaimed “We’re going to have our own tank.” I have yet to speak to one local business owner (or any of their employees) who is in favor of this vehicle showing up on the streets of Keene.

Except for a couple retired police officers (as expected) and a couple more who spoke in favor of this vehicle at a public meeting a few weeks ago, there is almost no support for the BearCat.

So whose will shall be served, the majority or the minority?

Though I am not a Free Stater or Free Keener (I disagree with some of their tactics and issues and respectfully told them so), I am very grateful to them for making the necessary noise about this vehicle and getting the national exposure it needs.

Their passionate activism is what is missing in this country and I appreciate them for their commitment.

At the public meeting I spoke briefly about what I call unintended consequences.

We have a Legislature that wants more guns in more places on more people. Insane!

I understand there was and is no support for this legislation from any police departments. Sane!

So let’s consider a combat veteran returning from one of the wars in the Middle East, probably suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (knowingly or not) and he or she is seeing guns on more people and suddenly an armored, military-type vehicle catches his attention. What might go through his or her mind, still raw with memories of what they thought they left behind. Intellectually, they probably know what is transpiring, but emotionally it may be a very different story, perhaps a story that includes fear.

Like the big bad wolf.

Too often we hear about an incident involving a veteran, most recently the killing of a forest ranger at Mt. Rainier by a veteran, and another where a veteran killed four homeless people, and today more veterans are dying by suicide than are being killed in our ongoing wars.

We owe it to the men and women who we sent off to fight these wars an opportunity to leave the war behind and come home to a more peaceful place without the additional fear of more guns and military-type vehicles on our streets.

So, I am calling on Mayor Kendall W. Lane to reconsider accepting the Homeland Security grant for the BearCat and sending a message to the rest of the country that Keene will not add to the culture of fear that is being peddled to us by those who capitalize by using fear as their tool.

Let’s be the first city in the country to just say no, and let’s bring back some of the innocence of a childhood trip to Alaska.

We the people, have (and should have) the power! And please, if you can, come to the next City Council meeting, Thursday March 1, 7 p.m., at City Hall, and listen in on the councilors’ conversation.

Box 31, Spofford

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