SERWAN ZANGANA: I Pray No Law Enforcement Officer Or Soldier Engages In Gunfire

As a routine on my days off, the other morning I stopped by Panera Bread for a coffee and breakfast. As often happens, I saw a friend and we engaged in some friendly banter. Usually, we converse about running, politics, and sometimes work. We both began to express opinions and criticize our employers and the work overload and staff shortages.

Of course, every subject is connected with another, and there is an example for every situation. I would like to share one of my life experiences in the past living in Iraq with my American brothers and sisters serving as a translator.

Without a doubt, it is easier for politicians or others with ill-will to brainwash young and fresh minds with toxic ideologies while brains are fresh and young with no life experience. But life experience, in most circumstances, can become a shield to protect our minds from ideological manipulations.

My friend asked me about work, and I as usual responded that staff shortage have put a lot of strain on the rest of us. Unfortunately, not everyone sees the risks and the responsibilities of our job. As law enforcement officers, we are hated by most of the liberals, but ironically as soon as a crisis occurs, they demand us for their protection, and we must take the bullets!

However, speaking of crises and bullet-taking, I told my friend that I hope no law enforcement officer engages in any shootout. Regardless of training, readiness, and bravery, it is a catastrophe to be in battle and either shooting or getting shot at. Such battles and fights are definitely far from that portrayed in Hollywood movies.

I believe there are two situations a human should never wish for, regardless of the cause or purpose. First, being in a situation to shoot at someone, or second, to get shot at by someone else. One’s mind will never be free from the memories of the past battles, and in most cases they will cause terrible flashbacks.

I told my friend that the worst day in my life came in 1991: the bloodcurdling of the shootings and rockets that were being firing by the former Iraqi regime’s helicopters. It felt like the whole world had become the size of an apple, with nowhere left for me to hide. Yes, that’s how I felt that day. I was wishing God would make me just disappear.

To look back and think about all the conflicts and wars in the world, we realize that humans name each one and legitimize it for a specific purpose. Unfortunately, a group of innocent people loses their lives in each war, and in the end we think someone has won, but in fact many have died.

After all, I told my friend that I always pray to God that no law enforcement officer or even a solider ever has to engage in gunfire again. Amen.

–Serwan Zangana

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