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21 March 2011

Running List of Pet Peeves: #13 "Thin Blue Line Decals"

Have you ever seen stickers like this on an automobile?
For the longest time, they were a mystery to me, but eventually, I figured out that they represent the "thin blue line," or police force. There are a couple reasons why folks purport to put these on their car. First, it can be a warning to other police officers that this vehicle belongs to a law enforcement professional or a family member of such a professional and that there may be firearms on board. Fair enough. Second, it can be a sign of comradery or honor for police officers. I can respect that. I suspect, however, that there is a third, nefarious reason that these stickers have become more prevalent. Based on the folks here in my condominium complex with these stickers on their cars, most of whom are students, I would guess that they put it on their cars in the hopes of avoiding tickets. Much in the way that Fraternal Order of Police stickers used to be commonplace, a thin blue line on one's car becomes a symbol of "I gave at the office (so give me a pass)." Instead of honoring those who place their lives in danger to protect and serve the rest of us, this kind of practice belittles those very folks.

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