“Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck is proposing that the city require BB-gun replicas of actual firearms to be brightly colored so that police officers don’t mistake them for real weapons,” latimes.com dutifully, credulously reports. “The proposal, which the Los Angeles Police Commission will consider Tuesday, comes after two shootings involving officers and people with replica weapons, including one in which a teenager was wounded. Under the new rule, all such toys sold inLos Angeles would have the “entire exterior surface of the device white, bright red, bright orange, bright yellow, bright green, bright blue, bright pink or bright purple.” And here’s what will happen if the proposal becomes a city ordinance . . .
1. Criminals will spray-paint their gun white, bright red, bright orange, bright yellow, bright green, bright blue, bright pink or bright purple (the “Barney gun” is born). Guns will have gang colors. Gang bangers will paint their guns without any skill whatsoever, increasing the chances that their firearms will not function properly. On the negative side, cops will be fooled by the bright guns and not shoot when they should have shot and get shot.
2. The LA Council will also make it a crime to paint a functional firearm in white, bright red, bright orange, bright yellow, bright green, bright blue, bright pink and bright purple. The law will be challenged on First Amendment grounds, and struck down. The inanity of the law will be fully exposed. Meanwhile, the cops will shoot the wrong people, anyway.
Are cops really that stupid? Let’s go back and remind ourselves why this is happening, other than my suspicion that LA cops simply love bright colors!
On Dec. 16, three boys were playing with the guns on North Verdugo Road in Glassell Park when two LAPD officers stopped to investigate. An officer fired at one of the boys, believing the boy’s gun was a real weapon, according to an LAPD news release. The boy was shot in the torso and underwent surgery.
Did the officer feel threatened? Well, of course he did! Otherwise he wouldn’t have shot the lad, would he? Ipso facto. Shooter/Capt. David Lindsay:
“It’s a consistent issue for us. I saw the guns the kids had that night from a distance of 3 or 4 feet; when you first look at them, they look identical to a particular style of handgun, a Beretta 92F,” Lindsay said in an interview earlier this year. He has since been transferred to a different position.
And in case you think I’m besmirching the good name of the LA PD, characterizing them as trigger-happy LEOs, well . . .
[Los Angeles City Councilman Greig] Smith, who is also an LAPD reserve officer, said the guns pose a problem for police because officers typically have only seconds to react in a situation in which they believe a subject is armed. He considered a citywide ban of the replica weapons earlier this year.
“If you see something that just looks like a gun, you’re going to shoot,” Smith said after the Glassell Park shooting. “That’s what you’re trained to do. Your mind doesn’t have enough time to process whether it’s a real gun or a fake gun.”
But now, with brightly-colored airguns, they will! For a while. Maybe. I wonder how much money they’ll spend enforcing the law, and whether that money could have been better spent doing something more like policing and less like Jackass?