The Ethical Warrior: What is a warrior?
If a warrior is a person who fights in wars, are law enforcement officers warriors?
The most famous definition of war is attributed to Prussian soldier and military theorist Carl Philipp Gottfried von Clausewitz (1780 –1831): “War is the continuation of politics by other means.”
We don’t know about you, but that definition is about a clear as mud to us.
A more mainstream definition is that “War is a conflict carried on by force of arms, as between nations or between parties within a nation...”
Are Police Officers Warriors?
But, are police officers warriors? Look again at the definition above, especially the part that says: “between parties within a nation.” That would seem to make police officers eligible to be called warriors. Webster’s Dictionary has yet another definition of warrior as “a man experienced or engaged in warfare; a fighting man.” We may not be in a physical confrontation every day, but we are trained and prepared to fight. That would also seem to make police officers warriors.
But, several of our readers have objected to the term “warrior” being applied to law enforcement officers. This perspective is often based on a legitimate concern about the militarization of law enforcement.
On the other end of the spectrum are those who think that anyone who faces adversity of any kind is a warrior. For example, the local football team in our area is called the Warriors, as is a professional basketball team in California. Are they really warriors?
And how about this that we just yanked off the Internet: Inner Warrior. “The Way of the Inner Warrior is a personal training for individuals who are willing and able to begin living a life dedicated to the evolution of their spirit.”
Huh? Clearly, there is plenty of confusion about who is, and who is not, a warrior.
So, what does the Ethical Warrior say?
All About Protection
If you ask cops why they signed up for the job, they might say, “to put criminals in jail.” However, while the criminal justice system imposes penalties on convicted law breakers, the practical effect of the entire system is protection. The penalties protect individuals and society from further criminal actions, and can even protect the criminal by providing the opportunity for rehabilitation and redemption.
So, do protector and warrior mean the same thing? Yes, for the most part, but there is one important distinction. Almost everyone will fight to protect their loved ones. Many people will fight to protect an innocent stranger — especially if there is no other choice.
Law enforcement officers, however, make a conscious decision to dedicate their life to protecting others, all others if possible, anywhere, anytime. We think this voluntary commitment deserves a title reserved for the most noble of all protectors: warrior.
The Ethical Protector
The term “Ethical Warrior,” is a concept — not a person. The authors would never refer to themselves as Ethical Warriors. Jack is a Marine and Bruce is an FBI agent. But we both view ourselves as protectors and train to be physically, mentally and philosophically prepared to do the job of an Ethical Warrior — if necessary.
So, should we rename our column The Ethical Protector or should we leave it The Ethical Warrior?
What do you think? We would appreciate your opinions and comments. Finally, whether you see yourself as a warrior or protector, we salute you for making everyone safer because of your presence.
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