Our resident anti, Mikeb302000, raised some points regarding RF’s recent piece, U.S. Cop Fatalities Rise 13 Percent. DOJ Jefe Holder Blames Guns. I’d like to say they were valid points, but I just can’t. Not with points like this:
You’ve got to have brass balls to take that table and spin it to your liking. A 15% increase is BAD, and it’s directly related to the gun availability you believe in and that you fight so hard for.
While I will agree with Mike that a 15% increase in gunfire deaths is BAD, I must completely disagree that it’s in any way related to your gun availability boogeyman. Consider the following…
- Three of those officers were killed by “friendly” fire
- Three died from gunshot wounds received decades ago.
- Two were killed with their own weapons, and
- One died from a ND of his own shotgun.
- One (Jaime Zapata) died in Mexico from an ATF-walked gun
Those ten can hardly be counted as arguments against liberalized gun laws. In addition, five out of nineteen officers (not counting any of those ten) were killed by gunfire in California and New York, hardly bastions of liberal gun laws. And in New Jersey, two out of five of the line-of-duty deaths were from firearms. So 29% of the officers killed by “easily available guns” were killed in states where guns aren’t easily available.
As for those states where guns are easily available, Texas had just 2 (out of 13 deaths total) killed by gunfire. And one of the Texas killings was a straight up assassination; the officer was at a light, another car pulled up next to him and the passenger opened fire. I submit that if a gun weren’t “available,” a Molotov cocktail would have done the job, just more horrifically. Another of the top five, Georgia, (with their “notoriously lax” gun laws) had 3 non-accidental gunfire deaths out of 10 officer fatalities.
Mikeb also fails to take into account the fact that overall police deaths were up 13%, with 39.3% of that total being from gunfire. And when you look at the last decade (not counting 2001 because 9/11 skews the numbers), 36.3% of total deaths were gunfire related, so as a percentage of the whole, gunfire related deaths were only up 8.3%, meaning that the “easy availability” of guns has reduced the proportion of officers killed by gunfire. Not that availability or lack thereof bears any relation to criminal violence, but Mikeb claims that it’s that simplistic.
But wait, Mike had more:
Your patronizing remark that “While every human life is precious” doesn’t work here any better than it does when we talk about kids getting shot with daddy’s gun. The point is not how small a percentage these tragedies are but that they are largely preventable.
If I were a lawyer I’d be objecting for his assuming facts that are not in evidence because there is no evidence that these tragedies (cop killings) are largely preventable using the methods Mike supports. As for the kids getting shot with daddy’s gun, yes those are largely preventable. Unfortunately the anti-gunners use every resource they have to block the measures (safety training in schools) which would most effectively prevent these tragedies.
I say you could use simple common sense and agree that making guns less available to bad guys would directly impact on whatever gun violence we’re looking at.
And the cost to your precious rights is minimal.
Okay Mike, how would you go about making guns “less available to bad guys?” Keep in mind what Mafia underboss Sammy “The Bull” Gravano said on the subject:
Gun control? It’s the best thing you can do for crooks and gangsters. I want you to have nothing. If I’m a bad guy, I’m always gonna have a gun.
And remember too, that in order to keep the cost to my precious rights minimal, your proposal must:
- Serve a compelling government interest like national security or protecting the lives of multiple people. Oh, yeah, and that does not violate an explicit Constitutional provision (you know, like freedom of speech, or the right to keep and bear arms).
- Be narrowly tailored, i.e. must make guns less available to bad guys without making them less available to good guys.
- Be the least restrictive means to achieve your end.
But a little further on, Mikeb lets the cat out of the bag when he says:
Isn’t it a little shortsighted, not to mention convenient, for you to say one criminal buys a gun from another and leave it at that.
Think just a step or two further, man. Where did the criminal gun seller get it? If you go back enough steps, you’ll find a point at which one of you legal gun owners handed the gun over to a criminal, in one way or another.
Riiiight. Because the hoods in the U.K. get their weapons from legal gun owners who are required to keep them under lock and key. In fact a friend of my parents lost his permit because his wife knew where he kept the key to his safe and she didn’t have a permit.
Or how about those Mexican drug lords, arming themselves from “legal gun owners” which, in Mexico, means the cops and the military who are constantly leaking guns (and people) to the narcotrafficantes? That’s when they don’t bring them in by the shipload from China, past corrupt port officials, or by the truckload from Central America past corrupt border guards.
No, the idea that crooks can only get their guns originally from legitimate gun owners is hogwash and is used to bolster Mike’s and his ilk’s laws targeting the law-abiding. Laws like:
Of course there are laws against stealing. But what’s lacking are the safe storage laws that most gun owners don’t have the common sense to do on their own.
Ahhh, safe-storage laws – also known as burglar protection laws. The way things are now, about 75% of burglars report they avoid occupied homes because they are worried about getting shot. But with burglar protection laws in place, they don’t have to worry about that, so they can wait for people to get home, break in and force them to open the gun safe.
This is an excellent example of the counterintuitive nature of complex systems, and we already have a great test case in South Africa. South Africans are required by law to keep their weapons locked up. But most S.A. criminals get their guns from burglaries. See? It’s counterintuitive, but that’s because here in the U.S. we associate burglary with empty homes (see above about fear of being shot).
In South Africa, since guns are required to be locked up, thieves can break into a gun-owner’s home with impunity then threaten (or torture) the residents into opening up their safe and, voilà . . . bad guys with guns.
No, Mike, despite your fervent denial of reality and wishes to the contrary, “reasonable, common-sense” gun laws won’t save cops’ lives and will cost plenty of civilian lives.