The importance of proper authority

Kelly Smith

Headline: The importance of proper authority

By: Kelly Smith

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I’ve been noticing several articles related to police brutality in the Lanthorn and its effect on Grand Valley State University. While I could branch off of this issue, there’s something else that’s just as important to remember: the police are here to help.

We need authority in our lives.

While there are many situations where it is good to have the freedom to make a choice, there’s a fine line between freedom and chaos. We may not always like it but there are times when doing what we consciously or subconsciously want to do is not something that should be done. We need rules and laws in order to function, and police are one of many people to help keep these rules from being ignored and insanity taking over.

For those of you who haven’t heard, there’s a group of people in this country who like to call themselves “free inhabitants.” They often cite passages from a few national documents, including the now-useless Articles of Confederation, to justify their beliefs. Basically, according to their logic, as “free inhabitants” they have the right to enjoy the rights of a U.S. citizen without having to follow any laws, and that the government requires their consent to have any authority over them.

Even more comically, some of them argue that anarchy wouldn’t result simply because they are “peaceful people.” There are a few videos I’ve seen online, one of which can be found on quite a few sources, that involve people arguing with their arresting police officers and saying, “I do not consent!”

The problem with this so-called belief is that allowing people to do whatever they want will inevitably result in mass chaos. Thieves, rapists and murderers couldn’t legally be charged as long as they scream, “I do not consent to this arrest! I am a peaceful free inhabitant!” No one is perfectly innocent. Regardless of how civilized someone is, laws are still necessary to keep everyone in line.

I’m not ignoring the fact that we do have rights given to us in the Constitution, nor am I saying that there aren’t some corrupt leaders out there. The golden system of America has always been its checks and balances to keep even our highest leaders in check among the others. This means even our policemen and mayors need to follow the same laws.

Any time a police officer strays from these laws, such as in police brutality, simply because they have authority, then that’s definitely something to protest as many people do. While some in authority definitely do abuse their power, authority in general is still needed in such a crazy and messed up world.

The bottom line is not to stray from the Constitution or local laws. On one hand, it is important to stand up for all rights that are clearly given in the Constitution. On the other hand, we do not have the right to exclude ourselves from authority. It’s there for our safety.