How Guns Make Police Less Safe, Their Jobs More Difficult and Communities Less Trusting. Or Not.

Emily Badger (courtesy elgl.org)

Let’s start with this: Americans have a natural, civil and Constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms. Even if you could prove that this was a bad thing, not a good thing, it’s a thing. A thing that isn’t going away just because a man without morals murdered a couple of cops in New York City. So all those commentators using the Big Apple assassination to argue that civilian gun ownership is a bad thing, note: we shall not be moved. But more than that . . .

An armed society is a polite society. It’s true. If a significant number of law-abiding African-Americans were open carrying firearms – as is their right – the police would not mess with them as a matter of course. They would treat them with the politesse they deserve.

Of course the antis can’t – won’t – see this. Even the liberals who believe that cops are institutionally racist still want to disarm civilians. Which leaves blacks at the mercy of presumably racist armed police. Selling that idea makes for some pretty tortuous logic. Such as this gem from Emily Badger’s essay at washingtonpost.comHow guns make police less safe, their jobs more difficult and communities less trusting:

In comparing American police tactics and relations to other countries, it’s hard to separate the role of guns here from all of the mistrust, defensiveness and aggression that arise around them.

“There’s not a big gun culture in Australia,” Geoffrey Alpert, a professor at the University of South Carolina who has studied police use of force there, recently told me. “So the cops don’t have to worry the way our cops do. There’s not always a gun in every encounter. They don’t have to think about that.”

They’re freer to retreat, to reassess, to leave their own weapons holstered.

Translation: if America’s cops didn’t have to worry about armed citizens, they’d be nicer. Heck, they might not even shoot people by mistake. Or out of [supposed] racist animosity.

Setting aside the fact that Australian cops do worry about firearm-wielding bad guys (for good reason), is that hypothesis even remotely plausible? Wouldn’t cops facing a disarmed populace be less likely to retreat, reassess or leave their weapon holstered? Our post on the overlay of gun control-heavy locations and officer-involved shootings makes that point fairly clear, if not conclusively. Anyway . . .

We can’t really address police-community relations without talking about the fear of guns tugging at both sides — and how guns make the job of policing that much harder, how guns fatally narrow the margin of error for poor policework, how guns turn misunderstandings, mental illness and suspicion into something terribly deadly.

So let’s ban guns for civilians! Oh, wait. Let’s not. Because no matter how hard the job of policing, or how narrow the margin of error for police work, or how much “misunderstanding,” mental illness and suspicion bedevil our communities, untrammeled firearms freedom is the bedrock upon which our country was founded.

We must deal with any policing deficiencies within the context of those rights, or face the consequences of living without them. As African-Americans did throughout our history of apartheid, at the cost of their very lives. As they continue to do, in those places where Ms. Badger’s gun control regime is a deeply regrettable reality.

comments

  1. avatar Chadwick P says:

    So much dumb going on there. Like saying we take water away from Africa and nobody would have to worry about slips. Oh wait you mean there are a multitude of other dangerous things to slip on!?!

  2. avatar Marcus (Aurelius) Payne says:

    Riiiiiight, Because no one ever gets shot dead by police when the police are certain they don’t have a gun but have a knife instead.

    1. avatar Pieslapper says:

      Or no one ever gets shot dead because a poorly trained rookie heard a noise in a dark stairwell.

  3. avatar Disthunder says:

    Emily, you look and seem like a nice girl. I hope you never have to.find out, but the world, Australia included, is full of people who do bad things to nice girls. Seeing as the left has basically given up on disarming crminals in favor of disarming civilians, that makes the odds a would-be bad-doer us probably going to be armed with at least something. And even if she isn’t, can’t outlaw muscle, and your average assailant will probably outweigh you by a hundred pounds.
    I only know of one equalizer for this equation. Might wanna thunk about, is all I’m sayin.

  4. avatar Pg2 says:

    I’ll buy that if you mean disarming the police. Or not.

  5. avatar mike oregon says:

    Does anyone else find it ridiculous that instead of trying to solve any problems, the anti-gun people simply change the”reason” for their long standing, pointless agenda? Nobody can guaranty my safety, but they can criminalize self-defense. Which is almost as good…….. somehow.

    1. avatar mk10108 says:

      Every legislator who writes a law denying citizens lawful self defense, every police officer who enforces that written law…both should be stripped gorilla glued and feathered.

      That is all, and Merry Christmas to everybody.

  6. avatar DPV says:

    Farago, your “Or not.” shit is getting real tired.

    1. avatar Defens says:

      +1 There must be a daily quota on those and the “Until it does.” and the “Because Guns” phrases in the TTAG style guide.

      1. avatar Ralph says:

        And yet, you keep on reading. Probably because you can’t write.

        1. avatar Pg2 says:

          Ralph, maybe he comes here for the entertainment value. Don’t be so bitter.

        2. avatar Defens says:

          The folks who pay my salary as a technical writer apparently see some merit in my skills in that area. Or not. Whatever – it’s still possible to like a website for its general content, but not like some of its annoying “features.” And a Merry Christmas to you, too!

  7. avatar aaronw says:

    One of my favorite firearm dealers is a Yonkers police officer. Why would he sell to non-LEO if he wanted to make his job harder/more dangerous? Or that of his brother officers from NYPD, New Rochelle, Mt Vernon, etc and put them in peril? Why would the cops who watched my transactions take place pat me on the back and tell me “cool gun, enjoy!” as I walked out the door if they were opposed to such a thing?

  8. avatar Grindstone says:

    That’s why I can’t get behind either the left or the right. It’s either “The government is racist and warmongering/only the government should have guns” or “freedom for all/gays shouldn’t be allowed to marry”.

    Screw both of them, I’m done with their shit.

    1. avatar JR_in_NC says:

      Does the term “false dichotomy” ring a bell with you?

      I’ve noticed some people go out of their way to look for stuff to be offended by, even if that means artificially pigeon-holing others to make them fit an offensive model….

    2. avatar Yellow Devil says:

      Well seeing is that by and large gays and lesbians can marry with or without government consent (with either the opposite sex or same sex), I fail to see the problems with that issue. Than again, why the government needs to have tax breaks or exemption based on certain voluntary status is a big mistake in my opinion.

      1. avatar LarryinTX says:

        The “marriage” sought by gays and lesbians is totally that sanctioned by government, so as to reap the legal benefits. Superstitious nonsense is not the goal. Likewise, the people opposing such on superstitious grounds should remember that any of the gods can change/punish any behavior he/she/it/they wish with no help from them (or so they, themselves, claim). IOW, who cares, let’s get busy on FREEDOM!

    3. avatar LarryinTX says:

      Are you certain that “freedom” and “marry” should be used in the same post?

  9. avatar RockOnHellChild says:

    Of course she thinks gun control is the answer… That’s always the answer, right.

    Climate change, gun control.
    Inflation, gun control.
    Ebola, gun control.
    Rising teen pregnancy, gun control.
    Menstrual cramps, gun control.
    Case of “the Mondays”, gun control.

  10. avatar Defens says:

    Careful, Emily – I see a couple of big rabbits sneaking up on that cabbage in the back. Better break out the harsh language (not one of those community distrusting .22s)

  11. avatar PubliusS says:

    Emily. I’m looking at your profile thinking, this young lady needs to find a husband and make babies. Your shelf life is limited, but you have a lot to offer.

    But not on guns, as you clearly have no idea what you are talking about, or law enforcement, and there are dozens of respected writers way ahead of you, there.

    I looked at your resume, and its no surprise your writing creds impress few outside the progtard collective, which is collapsing inward, nor are they are helped by this grab bag of discredited memes and the concern troll presentation, even at WAPO where the bar is low.

    Stick with something you know, or better, learn something well, with that Masters, or you are just going to be lost in the pack of aging, screeching, vaguely lumped together social justice warrior bitter spinsters with nothing left to emote about but ” her couch, in her rental unit” like that sad 50 something MotherJones groupie reduced to phoning it in at Raw Story.

    1. avatar Grindstone says:

      “Emily. I’m looking at your profile thinking, this young lady needs to find a husband and make babies. Your shelf life is limited, but you have a lot to offer.”

      And clean the house and make sammiches for hubby, all while wearing a dress, pearls and high heels, right?

      1. avatar JR_in_NC says:

        Something, something, concern troll, something, something…

        1. avatar Grindstone says:

          Yeah, we already have racists posting here. What’s a little sexism? Of course we have to label the guy calling it out a “troll”.

        2. avatar NEOWA says:

          Take your bag full of ______isms and go buy a pair Nancy.

      2. avatar PubliusS says:

        Grind, thanks for the feedback.

        I slipped there and fell into the ad hominem attack on the speaker that I decry as typical Alinsky-ite tactics, before making the also poorly written point about the jumbled collection of already disproven and overworked memes in Emily’s article. That can best be described as “oh no, oh no, because GUNS.”

        I also slipped thinking, maybe if I say it sharp enough, it will trigger a seed of doubt about what matters, for Emily, during this holiday season where the truth is much obscured by material things, and what imho matters are simple truths, like family. And, of course, in my own pomposity, believing one posters words might make a tiny difference.

        I read over some of Emily’s past writing before that last comment, and apologize for being too harsh. She seems like a good person, and a writer on a joourney, covering a lot of topics, and I should have said congrats for hitting the big time at WAPO. There is a need for simple emotive be part of the DC elites education of LIVs and junior apparatchiki for the Party Line, and I’m sure some of that was orders from the editor, on whatever this weeks Talking Point Memo said to spread the Narrative. And that is only part snark too, as I sense vulnerabilty and self doubt in her writing.

        So I’ll refrain from any more free advice, other than to note those single older women ahead, and some authors, who say there are a lot of unhappy, bitter women who have been misled by the Party Line of Progresivismm v2.0, not least on family choices.

        You cant have it all, not at once, and IMHO you aen’t going to find the truth at WAPO, sadly, nor be given a platform to write honestly about guns, or anything else, until you have the power of your own brand, for the intellectual value of your work. And guard that wisely. Look to Mr Volokh, for how to do it right.

        Don’t be another wannabe Vox drone, as those come and go like Wonkette, then are cast aside, once your words and rep is whored out, and lost in the dustbin of contempt for propagandists, like Duranty, Glass, Janet Cooke, et al, or the despicable Journolistas.

    2. avatar MamaLiberty says:

      PubliusS, why in the world would we _want_ her to have children? (Not that it’s anybody else’s business, of course.) Aren’t there enough gun grabbers already? The world is already filled with people who can’t think critically. But, somehow, I don’t see a lifetime of celibacy in her future.

      As for the “sexism” stuff, that’s just more manipulative nonsense on many sides. All this bogus angst over what some people say or expect is merely another way to attempt controlling others. The feminazis want to control everything, not just our guns.

      1. avatar PubliusS says:

        Mama, you are right, of course. I let my old idealism get the better of me, feeling sorry for Emily.

        Not my job to give advice, nor will I object to the well meant “white-knighting” by some, as it comes from the right place, if mis-directed.

        1. avatar JR_in_NC says:

          “nor will I object to the well meant “white-knighting” by some, as it comes from the right place, if mis-directed.”

          Not always…either well-meaning or from the right place. Sometimes, white knighting is just poorly hidden trolling.

  12. avatar ADC USN/Ret says:

    Idiots face mountain lions, bears, and criminals, etc unarmed. Are you one of them?

    If you are, get out there quick. I hear they are hungry.

  13. avatar C.Z. says:

    I love how we act like the event that just happened changed the world entirely and we have to jump and react because of it. Like preteens hearing a “bing” and frantically searching for our phone because “something just happened and we have to do something.” Looking at things as they actually are we have to say that police work is very hard, however in terms of danger it’s now where nearly as dangerous as construction work. Additionally, guns aren’t new and the idea that they are the reason police response has changed over time doesn’t match reality. In fact guns used much more legal and accessible than they are now.

    We have essentially just a few events and reactions to those events for much of what we are talking about here. The St Valentines day massacre (among other gang related crime) bought on the first wave of firearms legislation. The riots in the 60’s brought on another wave. As for the police there was the war on drugs which really changed the orientation of the police towards population it was policing, since you know it was a “war.” Finally, the North Hollywood Shootout February 28, 1997 pushed your average officer deep into paramilitary weapons and tactics. Now police are running around using tactics that are better suited for an invasion than for shoplifters. As things changed to get to this point they will change back.

    Police should have guns, so should my younger sister and anyone else who is responsible and wants one. That is all.

  14. avatar PubliusS says:

    Along the same lines as Emily’s lame retreaded sjw lament:
    but with original ideas, critical thinking….
    http://thefederalist.com/2014/12/23/confessions-of-a-reluctant-culture-warrior/

    h/t Instapundt…You may not be interested in the Culture War, but it is interested in you….

  15. avatar PubliusS says:

    One more example of courageous thinking based on facts, that doesnt pander to the victim agenda:

    Emily, you need a couple girlfriends like Heather.

    http://www.city-journal.org/2014/eon1222hm.html

  16. avatar fishydude says:

    Who was it that said those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it?”
    After the slavery was abolished, southern racist made it illegal for blacks to own or possess guns. This made it easier for racist police that were often part of the KKK (and democrats) to terrorize black neighborhoods.
    So naturally, the left wants to repeat history.

  17. avatar uncommon_sense says:

    “So the cops [in Australia] don’t have to worry [about people having firearms] the way our cops [in the United States] do.”

    Translation: we should all give up our guns to make police officers’ jobs easier.

    Police officers’ jobs would be easier if they could arrest and interrogate everyone without probably cause as well. Thus we should eliminate our Fourth Amendment right to be free of unreasonable searches and seizures, correct? Oh, and it would also make police officers’ jobs easier if we eliminated our Fifth Amendment right to remain silent, correct? Shall we chuck that, too?

    Or, our response could be “kiss off”!!!!!

    1. avatar LarryinTX says:

      Police officers’ jobs would get really simple if we just disposed of the justice system altogether and made every person who owned a metal disk able to be judge, jury, and executioner.

  18. avatar Gearmoe says:

    Her article functionally says: Our society would be far safer if we disarmed everyone, except the bad guys.

    What and idiot.

  19. avatar John M. says:

    “Selling that idea makes for some pretty tortuous logic.”

    You still think this is about logic? It’s not. The Left always and everywhere opposed property, family and tradition. If logic helps them do that, great. If not, find something different. Like a riot. Or an appeal to emotion. Whatever works.

    1. avatar Another Robert says:

      The leftists can never be about logic. To steal the Star trek reference cited in another thread, leftist concepts would blow android Norman’s fuses: The military are trigger-happy barbarians in the service of jingoistic imperialists, and the police are trigger-happy racists looking for people of color to gun down; so only the police and military should have guns. It’s only one of a host of completely inconsistent ideas that lefties hold.

      1. avatar Indiana Tom says:

        I like your post! Government really is a Catch-22.

  20. avatar DaveL says:

    Quick question: how many hunters get shot by game wardens? Personally, I can’t think of a single example. Yet they’re policing a population that is more or less universally armed.

  21. avatar Former Water Walker says:

    Good point Dave L. And I don’t give a rats a## if the PO-leece have it easier. MERRY CHRISTMAS TO EVERYONE AT TTAG.

  22. avatar engineear says:

    Believe it, orrrrrrrrrrrrrr NOT!

    Couldn’t help it. Keep up the good work, I like it, I like uh-lot!
    Hey, that rhymes..go ahead, you can use it.
    Merry Christmas y’all!

  23. avatar Stinkeye says:

    “There’s not always a gun in every encounter…They’re freer to retreat, to reassess, to leave their own weapons holstered.”

    Ah, so there is a gun in every encounter. It just happens to be in the hands of the state’s enforcer.

  24. avatar Hannibal says:

    “An armed society is a polite society. It’s true.”

    No it isn’t, it’s just truthy. There are plenty of nasty places where people are armed.

    1. avatar JohnF says:

      I am interested in your comment. What places are you thinking of? Are they places where people are legally armed, or illegally armed?

      1. avatar Indiana Tom says:

        Usually illegally armed according to the thug group in power.

        1. avatar Indiana Tom says:

          ISIL is actually a very good example of this in that only the ISIL thugs are legally allowed to be armed. See the humanitarian results?

        2. avatar LarryinTX says:

          Well, Tom, that IS a good example. Think about it; a few hundred little girls raped every day, if some of them were armed, there might be someone actually injured, even killed! See how much better it is to have ISIL the only ones armed?

  25. avatar Out_Fang_Thief says:

    Stuck on……being intentionally ignorant. This sort of ignorant liberalism is uninterested in our gun rights, or anything having to do with our personal security and safety…..our noble government will provide these things.
    Bah, humbug!

  26. avatar DerryM says:

    The consequences of what “Emily” is advocating are:
    1. Disarmed Civilians (Ordinary non-LEO people) are at the mercy of BOTH Police and Criminals.
    2. The process of disarming the Civilian populous would result in the creation of a HUGE Black Market in guns, making them MORE available to Criminals and forcing ordinary people to choose between becoming Criminals by retaining possession of “illegal” guns and ammunition, or becoming “Victim” fodder for overzealous Police and emboldened Criminals.
    3. Police and Federal Agencies would expend a large percentage of resources chasing down “illegal” guns and gun runners, thereby taking away from their capacity to Police communities, so more ordinary people would be victimized by crime (uh…probably including lots of people like “Emily” because her kind of pacifism makes her/them a prime target).
    4. The strain placed on Law Enforcement Resources would result in great expansion of Police and Federal/State Agencies who now need to field a lot more Officers/Agents to deal with the situation.
    5. Related Crime, like Drugs,. Rapes and Robbery would sky rocket.
    6. Other unanticipated consequences would, no doubt, appear. as well.

    I think the benefits of allowing universal Open Carry in the U.S. are obvious and well discussed here, so I will refrain from repeating except to say they are far more desirable than those resulting from “Emily’s” thoughts.

    I won’t claim I thought of everything, but I will say “Emily’s” remarks totally ignore and deny what should be obvious to any rational person, but, then, that’s what the Left, Progressive, Statist mentality does best…isn’t it?

  27. avatar Gerry says:

    Let’s just cut to the chase. No need to be wordy.
    Anti-gun writers and so-called ‘activists” make shit up as they go along. They don’t know a blessed thing about the subject, nor do they care to learn. Therefore, right-minded individuals that believe in self-protection and a person’s rights under the Constitution need to belittle and dismiss these morons publicly and constantly. No debates, no discussion. Simply tell them they’re fools and walk away.

    1. avatar teebonicus says:

      Gerry, you are a man after mine own heart.

      It is EXACTLY thus. They are so wedded to their proletarian role in the web of global communism, their views cannot be changed, so why bother?

      Bludgeon them with facts, judicial precedents and historical citations. Tell them to their faces that the facts prove that they are full of shit, and give them no quarter. Tell them that they are free to disagree, but they cannot do anything about it because WE WILL NOT LET THEM.

      The bottom line is that they are self-identified enemies of American individual liberty, and as such, can justly be so treated.

  28. avatar Gordon says:

    Since police officers ARE civilians, you cannot disarm civilians without disarming police officers. Just a small nit to pick.

  29. avatar teebonicus says:

    The premise is a moot point.

    It is not the responsibility of the people, other than not to engage in criminal behavior, to make the police’s job easier.

    It is the police’s responsibility to address criminal activity, carefully circumventing interfering with law-abiding people.

    In the United States, government is to serve the people, not the reverse.

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