The Chris Dorner Saga: Individual Liberty and Justice?

I know that Chris Dorner is not officially deceased, but I am going to write this article assuming he is, considering the man who died in the fire/shootout at Big Bear Lake recently matched his physical description and Chris Dorner’s wallet with his driver’s license was later found in the fire rubble.

First, perhaps I have just caught a few rogue opinions, but it seems to me that more people than expected are upset about the way in which the San Bernardino Police Department killed Dorner. There is still conflict as to how the fire started. Some suggest that the heat emitted from the tear gas caused the cabin to go up in flames, while some recordings of the officers at the scene suggest that the burn was intentional. Even if the burn was 100% intentional, I have no problem with this. Dorner was a deluded killer, bent on murdering more innocent people in light of his twisted and perverse ideas of “justice”. I feel that the actions by the police to burn Dorner alive do not conflict with the conservative/libertarian ideas of justice and individual rights. I feel that these actions are justifiable under Nozick’s “Night-Watchman state”. Dorner was a serious threat to the well-being of other individuals of society. The moment that Dorner declares war on innocent citizens and then kills innocent people, he then becomes an immediate threat to society, thus being a legitimate target for the government to “coerce” in a manner to protect its citizenry. The government (the police force in this instant) are not abusing their power. It’s actually quite the opposite: Dorner sacrificed his rights to legitimize himself as a serious threat. As someone who is usually highly skeptical of the effectiveness of the government, I side with them on this one. This was a legitimate procedure to protect people. I’ve already heard the excuse that “What if it wasn’t Dorner?” Please tell me what person other than Dorner would hold themselves up in a cabin and murder a deputy? No one. If someone did, they then fall under the same disposition that Dorner did, which was the sacrificial state of becoming a coercible threat.

Secondly, I cannot take anyone serious if they want to claim that Dorner was some sort of hero. Yes, I sat down and read his incoherent and bizarre manifesto. I honestly don’t care that someone called Dorner the N-word in first grade. Even if you faced substantial racial discrimination your entire life, that never justifies murdering innocent people. Frank Serpico testified against corruption in the NYPD in the early 1970’s and was largely hailed as a hero and constructive figure in terms of promoting transparency. There are so many other paths Dorner could have taken. I understand Dorner did go through a large ordeal concerning the initial dispute, which was centered around excessive force being used by a fellow officer against a mentally unstable man, but again, nothing warrants multiple murders against innocent people. Dorner claimed he was going to reclaim his image of some sort. The only image he can have now is that of a relentless psychopath. If you supposedly have so much dirt on the LAPD, and they are so unjust, why not write a book? Take it to the media? There are so many other options.

Lastly, I read in Dorner’s rant that he wanted his brain to be observed to see if “something” was causing his wild behavior. I don’t want to get into too morbid of a discussion here, but I am not sure if his brain is still in an observable state to examine, but either way, I am always skeptical of this route. As a reader mentioned in one of my previous pieces, Charles Whitman, the infamous Texas sniper from the 1966 shootings in Austin, requested that his brain be examined after he died. Doctors did find a large tumor in Whitman’s brain, but it was largely a medical consensus that the tumor did not affect Whitman’s decision making given its location.

If you think Dorner died unlawfully I want to hear your opinion. If your relatives lived in Big Bear where he was camped out during this ordeal, would you still have the same opinion?

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