“The police will protect you.”
“You don’t need a gun. Who do you think you are, the police?”
“Private citizens don’t need guns like that. Those are for the military and police.”
You’ve heard those arguments before, haven’t you? You’ve heard them and countless others, I’m sure. Anyone who follows the gun control debate has heard them all.
And yet, we’ve also heard many of these same people decrying the police. They’ve labeled them as hateful, corrupt, and dedicated to the eradication of black folks.
As Charles W. Cooke writes of at National Review, the two positions cannot co-exist.
Only the cops need guns” simply could not live forever alongside, “The cops are racist and will kill you.” And so, at long last, the two circles of the Venn Diagram have filed for an amicable divorce. In the end, the differences proved irreconcilable.
At least, they proved irreconcilable without descending into farce. I have been told more times that I can count that “if you want to own an AR-15, you should join the army or the police.” Oh, really. Why? So that I can be pulled back when the rioting starts, lest I inflame those wielding bricks and Molotov cocktails? So that I can be called a fascist, acting in the service of a dictator? So that I can be part of the problem? In light of the new fashions, these old injunctions look rather silly, don’t they? “You don’t need 15 rounds; you’re not a cop! Also, the police are corrupt from top to bottom, and should probably be abolished.”
Pick one, perhaps?
Cooke’s opinion piece is excellent and I recommend you go and read the rest for yourself.
His overall point is also excellent and one we need to see discussed more openly. After all, if the police are such a problem–and I’ll agree that there are serious problems with policing in this country–then why would you entrust them with all the power that comes from being the only ones who can lawfully have a firearm?
The two positions simply don’t make any sense. Either police are lawless and can’t be trusted with their current level of authority or they’re trustworthy souls to a man and there’s no reason to doubt they’ll rush to your rescue in your hour of need. There’s just no way the two can co-exist.
Even claims of nuance fall flat on their face in this case. No, not all police are bad, but if enough are that we need to revamp or, in some cases, even abolish the police, then there’s simply no way we can also believe that these same police should be the only ones trusted with firearms.
Of course, it’s not like this narrative will die. Consistency isn’t exactly a hallmark of the anti-gunners. They’re quite content to vilify the police while simultaneously lionizing them as our personal champions.
The thing is, a lot of other people will see the discrepancy and question the competing narratives. Not all will fall on the pro-gun side, but it should make for some interesting discussions.