Gun rights are amazing things, apparently. It seems that while most of us use them for protection because we all know that the police are unable to protect us, even if they wanted to, some argue something very different. You see, gun rights are why we have so much awful police violence in this country.
No, really. That’s what we’re being told.
In fact, Breonna Taylor’s murder? That’s only because of gun rights.
More than three months after Louisville police forcefully entered the home of Breonna Taylor and fired multiple shots, striking her at least eight times, the officers involved still have not faced charges. Without video evidence, like there was for the deaths of George Floyd and Rayshard Brooks, there’s no “indisputable proof of wrongdoing,” the city’s deputy general counsel said (though one officer is being fired, Louisville Mayor Greg Fisher recently announced.) The police have continued to defend their use of force in the case, asserting that they only fired their guns after Taylor’s boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, initially shot at them.
Taylor’s killing has played a large part in spurring calls for police reform, but unfortunately, police shootings are not an uncommon event: nationally, police have consistently shot and killed about 1,000 people every year since 2015. And multiple studies have shown that a higher prevalence of guns owned by citizens leads to a higher local rate of shooting deaths by police, suggesting that America’s gun violence epidemic is a large part of police killings, and vice versa. While systemic racism is at the heart of police violence, experts say the role of guns—and the police’s fear of guns—is not to be ignored. A holistic solution to police violence, they say, must include the tightening gun laws.
“It’s a mixed issue,” says Kris Brown, president of Brady: United Against Gun Violence, a nonprofit that advocates for gun control and against gun violence. “But there’s no question that the role of more guns in our society has had, and will continue, to have a real impact [on police violence].”
MORE GUNS, AND MORE POLICE SHOOTINGS
Crime is more likely to be lethal in the U.S. than in other developed countries because of the high presence of guns here, and that plays into interactions with police, as well. It’s a recurrent story that a police officer reaches for their firearm because of the fear that the civilian might have a gun.The Washington Post has been tracking police shootings since 2015, and found that more than half the people shot and killed by police in the past five years were armed. That fear is more likely in places where guns ownership rates are higher.
Now, here’s the problem with this whole line of crap: Criminals don’t obey gun laws.
Our supposedly lax gun laws already prohibit those with criminal histories from obtaining firearms. We have a plethora of rules already in place designed to prevent them from getting guns. We have rules in place to punish them if they get them anyway.
We’ve done what we can to keep criminals from getting guns, and yet, they continue to do so.
The problem has nothing to do with lax gun laws, but with a criminal culture that continues to expand and is perpetually painted as the victim when they do get shot by police.
While I mourn Breonna Taylor and George Floyd and people like that, people who are killed by police who shouldn’t have, I don’t mourn one iota for those who pull guns on law enforcement and get a dirt nap for their troubles. I just don’t. Neither should anyone else.
If anything should be troubling, it’s the number of people trying to shoot it out with the police.
What the author here wants is to use a movement that’s getting a lot of positive press to advance his own personal agenda. He wants to use the anti-police brutality bias permeating the country right now to push gun control, despite millions starting to recognize just how stupid gun control is in light of numerous pushes to defund police departments throughout the nation.
No matter what gun laws we put in place, criminals will continue to obtain firearms because those are what they want to carry out their criminal activity.
Yet, something the author forgets, is that even if guns were to vanish from all non-police or military hands is that lethal force would still be needed. Knives, clubs, tire irons, and a whole host of other weapons would still require lethal force to stop, meaning police are still going to have to kill people.
Honestly, this is the dumbest argument I’ve yet seen, and in this line of work, that’s saying something.
That’s especially true when so many people want to defund police departments and outright abolish them. At that point, we’d not only not have police, but no guns with which to defend ourselves from the criminal who, I assure you, will still be quite armed.
Again, an idiotic argument.