San Francisco is the land of hippies, of peace and love and social justice…and killer robots.
The San Francisco Board of Supervisors voted in November to approve a police department proposal to use robots to kill or disarm violent criminals in some extreme situations. Police departments across the country already employ robots in operations like disarming bombs or investigating suspicious packages. This particular proposal would have made robots available to pursue and apprehend individuals.
It might seem like a shocking move from the city that chose to rename over forty schools that bear Founding Father monikers, in the name of Anti-Racism™. After all, San Francisco is so pacifist that it has stripped funds from its police force, allows open-air drug markets rather than enforcing laws against drug use, and will not even allow city workers or police to remove the tents and trash left by homeless people nearly everywhere because the city views them as private property. The hippies and their bayside descendants should be the last people in the world choosing to deploy murderous robots to control their dangerous population.
But progressives, particularly the San Francisco kind, are really good at two things – projection and hypocrisy. They are very bad at reading the rooms they are in.
The “defund the police” movement is based on the Marxist notion that policing is the problem, not the solution, and that reducing contact between citizens and peace officers means reducing police brutality. The result has simply been to reduce police, which has in turn resulted in overwhelming crime, murder, and general disorder in what used to be one of the most beautiful cities in the world. As crazy as a killer robot program might seem at first blush, it’s not hard to imagine why the police department introduced the idea. They are low on manpower and overflowing with crime.
It’s a bit more difficult to understand why the uber-progressive Board of Supervisors would approve the idea. Maybe they too are overwhelmed by their self-induced crime crisis, and know they can’t address it by logical means because logic directly flouts the Democrat platform. Presumably, they also have no desire to make those “law and order” Republicans right. So, if they can’t hire more police to make the streets safer, their next big plan was to just let the robots do it.
The plan immediately received backlash as soon as it broke out of city boundaries. The national press got ahold of the idea and the Board of Supervisors was roundly mocked and criticized for the ludicrous program. The peaceniks are sending a killer robot to deal with residents who may be deemed a threat? Haven’t they already decided that the police in general cannot properly determine who is a threat these days, because of their internal prejudices? Do they think such miscalculations would be any better just because it’s a robot wielding a gun…or super galactic laser beams or whatever weapons it will use?
It only took about a week of public shaming for San Francisco to announce they’d rolled back the program for further review. In a hilarious moment of obtuseness, one board member indicated they plan to just keep doing more of the same insanity that has caused crime in the northern California enclave to skyrocket.
“The people of San Francisco have spoken loud and clear: There is no place for killer police robots in our city,” Supervisor Dean Preston said in a prepared statement after the vote. “We should be working on ways to decrease the use of force by local law enforcement, not giving them new tools to kill people.”
To reiterate, we could decrease the use of force by law enforcement by decreasing the ridiculous amount of crime they are being asked to respond to, which would decrease the opportunities for lethal/brutal force.
The plan is not dead, but instead has been sent back to committee for further review. In California, no bad idea ever dies, it just takes a nap and comes back under a different name.
Stay tuned for a dystopian future in which Skynet not only becomes aware, it forms a union.