Is it time to take guns away from the police?

FIREARMYet another shooting of an unarmed man by police has taken place in Florida. The incident heightens the fact that police are using their weapons too freely.

Which means that perhaps the police need to have their guns taken away. 

The police are stuck between a rock and a hard place. If they don’t have weapons, they’ll get shot by people who do. And if they use their weapons too quickly, they get blamed for using too much force. So let’s do the rational thing and protect the lives of police officers. Let’s take their weapons away.

This might seem counterintuitive to some. The police need guns to protect themselves, right? In fact, taking away guns from police holds real potential to illustrate just how far the nation has gone in granting gun liberties to so many people. The number of weapons with power and potential to kill has escalated, if not by number, then by meaning. It’s all escalated thanks to the unwillingness of gun advocates to limit the purchase of military-grade guns. And our police are paying the price of that judgement.

Aggression, fear and response

In Great Britain, most police do not carry guns. In situations where gun violence is threatened, police are forced to use patience and numbers to disarm gun offenders.

Somehow, it largely works. But in America, we’re so far out of balance the police are opening fire in some cases before they even ask questions of suspects. The police fear for their lives, so they shoot first and in many cases don’t even bother to ask questions later. Their subjects are in the hospital, or dead. That feels like a solution to gun crime, but’s only a solution to the threat of a gun. It belies the meme that “guns don’t kill people, people kill people.” The mere threat of a gun on a person is enough to get police to shoot first. It’s the idea of guns that is causing police aggression and fear.

Concealed Carry lies

In America, the reason why Concealed Carry laws were installed was to give regular citizens the supposed power to defend themselves against whatever they perceive as threats. There are as many guns as citizens in America right now. So the problem of gun crime should be solved by now, correct?

Instead, the unpunished gun violence being perpetrated by police in America has our public servants increasingly viewed as a threat to public safety.

So let’s take the guns away from the police. Retrain them to rely less on guns. Makes sense.

And if violence and gun deaths escalate, we’ll know for sure the falsity in claims that Concealed Carry laws are a suitable solution to “maintain the peace.”

Changing expectations

We need police officers to carry out the law. But we need to change the expectations placed upon them by society. Heading out to enforce that law when they essentially expect to engage in gun battles in order to subdue suspects is causing many officers to operate under conditions so stressful they have resorted to a distorted view of reality in dealing with potential lawbreakers. That’s how racial profiling evolves as a tool for identifying suspects. It is a convenient and yet ignorant handle by which police feel they can gain control over their thankless jobs.

But the truth is sad. Profiling gives police a target more than it gives them insight.  

It’s really no different than the soldiers sent to Iraq with Rules of Engagement that prevented them from firing at will. Well, the enemies or terrorists or fearful everyday citizens they encountered did not have that playbook at hand, or abide by it. So our soldiers were not fighting a battle they could win.

And that’s because the war in Iraq should have been a police action reliant upon increased and aggressive diplomatic engagement. Not war.

So the parallels are evident in the manner in which we throw our police into situations where their lives are threatened by the proliferation of guns and the militarization of our society. They operate in what are essentially terror zones. These might be urban neighborhoods, but they also might be country farms where people obsessed with paramilitary psychology and hatred for the government consider police a tool of evil.

The NRA doesn’t care about police

The NRA has been no help in protecting the lives of our policeman. So let’s take the police completely out of the gun formula and bring them back into the realm of sanity. Let’s take away their guns.

What will this accomplish? It will illustrate the dangerous social imbalance created by our prevailing gun laws. Concealed Carry and Open Carry are nothing more than veiled attempts to install vigilante justice. They give license even to supposedly law-abiding citizens to take the law into their own hands. People get killed by those who determine for themselves what they consider a threat, and what the law means.

An unarmed police force

An unarmed police force will likely be converted into a considerably more cautious and respectful police mission. And if confronted by aggression with guns in the public, these situations must be 1) avoided until numbers can arrive 2) documented and 3) reported in full with the media. We’ll have real statistics on who is doing the shooting.

And what happens when mass shooters attack everyday citizens? That’s indeed a job for a militarized unit trained to confront terrorists and other heavily armed assassins. The regular police are generally unable and ineffective when confronted by mass shooters armed with machine guns and other military-grade weapons. Yet it’s become so common it is not hard to identify the need and level of force necessary to take out a crazed or determined shooter. Get the police out of harm’s way in those situations. Call in the weapons pros if need be. If citizens are going to militarize themselves and attack society, then we need to confront the enemy within our borders.

But we should also seek to disarm or prevent those unhinged from normal society by putting strict controls and measurements equal to attaining a driver’s license in society. All guns should be trackable, and any every gun, just like every car in America, is the responsibilty of the owner with legal consequences if weapons are stolen or used for insane purposes.

Accountability

Advocates of the current advocates of gun rights as they stand must be held accountable for each and every instance of gun threats against the police. If these outnumber a reasonable social balance in America, then the laws that govern the nation pertaining to gun rights must be changed. That is the only way to gain some sensible perspective on these issues.

And if police forces object to these standards in having their guns taken away, then it also illustrates the fact that our current gun standards are inadequate to provide civil protections.

Taking guns away from police will no doubt illustrate the insane idea that arming every citizen to the teeth is a protection for American society. We’ve known for too long that when both the police and the public are equally armed, the police will always be outnumbered.

Sold a bill of goods

 

Because honestly, according to the manner in which our Constitutional gun laws have been interpreted, it is the duty of regular citizens bearing weapons in Concealed Carry to mete out justice and protect themselves from other people with guns. That’s the narrative we’ve been sold by the NRA, and it has profited their constituents, the gun manufacturers and ammo dealers. So let’s force their hand. Take guns away from the police, and document how that goes. If the NRA is correct, peace will reign in America because millions of law-abiding gun owners will police the streets in place of our unarmed police.

So let’s force their hands and show them we care about the police. Take guns away from the police, and document how that goes. If the NRA is correct, peace will reign in America because millions of law-abiding gun owners will police the streets in place of our unarmed police.

Then let’s see how brave, intelligent and Constitutional our gun laws really are. Chaos has a way of pointing out the truth. Perhaps that’s what it will take to blast the truth into gun zealots and their militarized police buddies.

 

 

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