I don’t wear a mask, but I also don’t think it’s cowardly to do so. The Lone Ranger wore one, he was a hero, as was Zorro, Batman, Daredevil, Robin Hood… wait, what? Okay they’re fictional characters, but the point still stands. These were characters that chose to hide their identity because that was their first line of defense against very powerful adversaries. I don’t feel those who do wear masks are necessarily bad people. Want a real life example? During halloween many of us wear masks, and that doesn’t make us bad people.
Before the terror threat, popularized by our government, we used to be able to wear whatever mask or face covering whenever we wanted. We wear ski masks in winter, hoodies in all seasons and religious garments that cover most of the face. These protective garments never used to make us criminals. Now they do. We cannot walk the streets, peacefully protest, protect ourselves from the elements and display our pride in a chosen belief without being at risk of arrest or murder by those who are supposed to back us up against those who really would harm us. It no longer takes much to be labelled a terrorist. It no longer takes much for an RCMP officer to shoot first and be protected by the force, or in this case the government. This protection removes the element of accountability. Sure, most of us don’t need to be held accountable for killing another person, we just wouldn’t do it anyway. There’s a smaller group that would kill without regard. I’m not talking about them. I’m talking about those people that really would harm another primarily because they would get away with it.
Okay, I understand the need for a law that prevents us from wearing masks at rallys, but the penalty is at best a fine and worst a prison term, not death. I also understand putting down someone when an officer’s life is at stake. But that was not one of those situations. It was my belief that de-escalation of a situation was to be attempted when possible. The way the story reads, James Daniel McIntyre of Dawson Creek wasn’t attacking, or putting any officer’s lives in immediate danger, requiring immediate lethal force. He was just standing there with the knife. So, what do you do when you command a suspect to put down his knife (if he actually had one) and he refuses, yet is still not attacking? You wait him out. No immediate threat, a life can be saved. Yet this officer, this member of a once looked up to force, felt the need to waste a potential, waste a chance to preserve a life and waste a human being. No care about life, no consideration of loved ones and no thought that such a choice cannot be undone.
We did away with capital punishment in 1976, yet still some are being judged as unworthy to live because a mask represents an idea the government is at odds with. Enforcement now behaves like Judge Dredd, dispensing justice with deadly efficiency. It was nothing but pure, unbridled, hate of someone perceived as an Anon member. I say perceived, because at the time all they saw was a mask, all they knew was a mask. Why would McIntyre wear a mask? Maybe it was his first line of defense. Maybe he felt he had to hide his identity from a very powerful adversary.