Police chiefs in larger cities are often political creatures who mirror the politics of the city leaders. While they’re often held up as an example of what police think, the truth is they’re more indicative of what their bosses thing more than anything else. That’s probably true of police chiefs anyway, to some degree. Those that don’t end up having a bad time of things.
That said, while addressing an officer-involved shooting, the San Jose Police Chief said something I think many of us can agree with.
The incident in question looks like a fairly open and shut case. A bad guy was wrestling with a police officer over a firearm, trying to potentially kill the officer, and another officer shot the bad guy.
There’s more to the story, obviously, but that’s not what I wanted to talk about with this. Instead, I want to talk about Chief Eddie Garcia’s statement to the media. In particular, this part:
“I understand with regards to criminal-justice reform and I understand how our system isn’t perfect. But I think we can all agree that individuals, particularly those who have been convicted felons, that are driving around possessing loaded firearms in our city is not a good thing,” he said. “As we talk about gun control, and there are a lot of different issues, but let’s start with enforcing those laws and holding those people accountable to the fullest extent that we can.”
Now, let’s be fair, that’s something a lot of people in the pro-gun crowd have been chirping about for a while now, and for good reason. Why keep infringing on the rights of law-abiding Americans when so many criminals face no repercussions for trying to break gun laws? Enforce the laws on the books and leave us the hell alone. While it won’t stop criminals from getting guns completely, it’s an important first step.
Of course, there will be those who point out that all gun control laws are unconstitutional. That’s a point I’m not about to disagree on. However, I also don’t see lawmakers suddenly repealing those gun laws currently on the books, either, then never trying to infringe on our constitutional rights ever again. Do you?
Chief Garcia, as a police officer, sees just how few people are prosecuted for violating existing gun laws and he also hears lawmakers in his state prattle on for the need to pass additional gun laws his men and women will see fail to actually stop anyone from doing anything. While he may support additional laws being passed to some degree or another, his comment here is something that many of us can get behind as being far more productive than the efforts we currently see in California.
Start with enforcing the laws you have on the books. If a law isn’t working as intended, consider repealing it and addressing the issue from another direction, preferably without interfering with good people’s rights.
I know, it’s a novel concept and I’m not sure California is ready to hear it, but someone has to get real with them. Chief Garcia laid the groundwork, but will anyone in his state listen?