Day By Day© by Chris Muir.

Friday, March 11, 2005

Did affirmative action kill three people today?

I was shocked and saddened when I heard about the violent deaths in Atlanta today. It gave me the creepy feeling that it's open season on judges. I was even more shocked when I heard exactly how this tragedy came to be. It started when "Nichols took a gun from Deputy Cynthia Hall, who was alone with the 6-foot, 1-inch Nichols. She had just unhandcuffed his hands to let him change out of his jail uniform into street clothes for court. After a struggle, Nichols allegedly shot her in the head, wounding her." My sincere good wishes for a swift and complete recovery go to Hall, who obviously reacted bravely to the situation, at great risk to herself. However, the moment I heard that Nichols was alone with a woman deputy, I asked myself what the heck is a woman doing guarding a large man (and I heard on the radio that he weighed in excess of 200 lbs)? Now, it's entirely possible that Ms. Hall is a huge, muscle-bound woman who eats smaller people for breakfast, but I somehow suspect she isn't. I suspect that she's an average woman, much like the many female bailiffs I routinely see in my local courthouse. If my assumptions are true, I also have to assume that, had Hall in fact been a huge, muscle-bound man, this affair would have been less likely to end as it did. That is, sexist woman that I am, I think one large man would have been better able to foil a physical attack by another large man. My point? It was the impetus from affirmative action that resulted in Ms. Hall being alone in a changing room with a man who probably was substantially taller than she was and who also outweighed her. Those of you who came of age in the affirmative action era remember that fire stations and police stations quickly realized (or were brought to realize through legal action) that the only way they could integrate women into their forces was to lower the physical requirements (height, weight and strength). There were still requirements -- that is, the average woman police officer or firefighter would probably leave many in the dust -- but the requirements were not those originally formulated with hulking men in mind. (I've culled a fairly random segment of websites, all discussing, either positively or negatively, the fact that women police officers are not as strong as men. See here, here, and here.) What you also discover when you review the literature about women police officers and fire fighters is that, while admitting that women cannot match their male counterparts in strength, the authors all insist that women are more likely to engage in non-strength based resolution -- which is logical, if you can't respond physically to a threat. The problem, of course, is that while a man can be trained to negotiate (at least in theory), a woman cannot magically be made stronger. If negotiation fails, or is never an option, you end up with the situation here: Ms. Hall with a head wound; a judge, a court reporter, and a deputy dead; and who knows who else wounded. Even in my liberal incarnation, I was never shy about admitting that, when push came to shove, I'd rather be protected by muscle than by a woman who might have an edge (and how big, really, is that edge?) in defusing the situation. I therefore end as I began, wonder if the Gods of affirmative action are laughing somewhere tonight. UPDATE: I just read, courtesy of Michelle Malkin, that political correctness may have had a hand in the deaths today through another avenue: the fact that the Left has fought a so-far successful battle against using shock belts on violent offenders who are being brought to court. UPDATE II: This from the NY Times: "Deputy Hall, 51, described as about 5 feet tall...."