“At a time of rising concern over attacks on officers, a Justice Department study released Friday urged police departments to take a number of steps to ensure officers’ safety, such as using body armor, waiting for backups on dangerous calls and correcting ‘dangerous behaviors’ that leave them at risk,” nytimes.com reports. The study — Deadly Calls and Fatal Encounters — offers plenty of common sense steps to protect the police.
Inside the report, we learn that 29.3 percent (the Department of Justice needs some help with basic math skills) of officers shot and killed in the line of duty died at the hands of a murderer equipped with a rifle.
Although the use of handguns is the clear majority in cases where an officer was killed with a firearm, it should be noted that more than 20 percent of the officers were killed by suspects with rifles. The majority of those rifles were semiautomatic, magazine fed weapons, such as an AR-15 or AK-47 style weapon, not a hunting rifle or bolt action rifle. Most officers are not equipped with body armor that can defend against rifle rounds. Although many cases involved officers shot in the head, where having body armor would not have prevented their death, there are several cases where data provided to us specifically calls out that that a rifle round penetrated the officer’s vest.
No doubt those lobbying for civilian disarmament will use this stat to bolster their calls for banning “assault weapons.”
This despite the fact that the Second Amendment prohibits government infringement on Americans’ gun rights without regard to gun type or caliber. Or that millions of Americans own AR-style rifles without incident. Unless you count defensive gun uses as incidents.