To be fair, in the absence of specific orders, in North America anyway, cops will use their brain and do the morally correct and righteous thing more often than not. But...
Surely that's an exaggeration, isn't it? Well, apparently not.
Vaillancourt was one of thousands of people who found themselves in a national park as the federal government shutdown went into effect on Oct. 1. For many hours her tour group, which included senior citizen visitors from Japan, Australia, Canada and the United States, were locked in a Yellowstone National Park hotel under armed guard.
The tourists were treated harshly by armed park employees, she said, so much so that some of the foreign tourists with limited English skills thought they were under arrest.
When finally allowed to leave, the bus was not allowed to halt at all along the 2.5-hour trip out of the park, not even to stop at private bathrooms that were open along the route.
"We've become a country of fear, guns and control," said Vaillancourt, who grew up in Lawrence. "It was like they brought out the armed forces. Nobody was saying, 'we're sorry,' it was all like — " as she clenched her fist and banged it against her forearm.
No "recreating". Translation: "No having fun you miserable peons, my superiors have given me specific instructions to see that you all have as lousy a time here as possible, and I am going to carry out those orders, so that I get a promotion."
The bus stopped along a road when a large herd of bison passed nearby, and seniors filed out to take photos. Almost immediately, an armed ranger came by and ordered them to get back in, saying they couldn't "recreate." The tour guide, who had paid a $300 fee the day before to bring the group into the park, argued that the seniors weren't "recreating," just taking photos.
"She responded and said, 'Sir, you are recreating,' and her tone became very aggressive," Vaillancourt said.
The seniors quickly filed back onboard and the bus went to the Old Faithful Inn, the park's premier lodge located adjacent to the park's most famous site, Old Faithful geyser. That was as close as they could get to the famous site — barricades were erected around Old Faithful, and the seniors were locked inside the hotel, where armed rangers stayed at the door.
Its not a government "shutdown" if the whole Parks Police force is on emergency overtime, is it? Its something else. Something more like a show of force, to scare the stupid public into calling up those damn Republicans so they'll knuckle under to the Dems like they're supposed to and get the government opened back up again. Before something bad might happen.
Because of the federal government shutdown, all national parks are closed and National Park Service webpages are not operating. For more information, go to www.doi.gov.