For some insane reason, the idea of defunding the police is being taken as a serious suggestion. I get that, for some, the phrase really means reprioritizing where spending goes. They want to take some of the police budget and refocus it on preventative measures. However, for many others, defund the police means exactly what it says, and that’s a huge problem.
Perhaps more troubling is that many are trying to tie that in with the notion that ordinary Americans need to be disarmed.
In some progressive police departments, new recruits hear a version of this story emphasized during training:
“Always be aware that whenever you answer a call, someone is armed and possibly already leveraged to fire their weapon,” goes the admonishment, often delivered by an experienced firearms instructor.
And who is that person?
Wait for it. “It’s you, the police officer,” cadets are told.
The reminder is the type of introspective analysis the nation demands of law enforcement; to be more aware of their own potential for violence. To ingrain that it is the uniformed officer who could lose control of a situation and end a civilian’s life.Had police heeded this warning, the lives of so many Black Americans the nation now chants in protest: Tamir Rice, Philando Castile, Breonna Taylor and so many more, some known only to the victims’ family and friends, might have been spared.
But there is another narrative, and many times, it’s an even louder one in an officer’s head.
It spins from this undeniable fact: The U.S. owns more than 40% of the world’s firearms compared to the top 25 countries, according to the Small Arms Survey.
So when police interact with the public via traffic stops, domestic violence calls or entering someone’s home, they’re highly attuned to the possibility that they’re not the only armed individuals.
The author goes on to suggest that in addition to defunding police departments, we should also disarm the American public. She finds it troubling that it’s not part of the conversation.
However, there’s a reason why it’s generally not part of the discussion, at least among any but the hardcore anti-gunners.
First, let’s understand that while police do encounter armed individuals far more often than anyone is comfortable with, these are typically not your law-abiding armed citizen. No, these are criminals, often with illegally obtained firearms.
That distinction matters. It’s not just important, it’s vital.
While we’d love to disarm criminals, that’s not likely to happen. Criminals, by their very nature, ignore any law that gets in the way of what they want to do. There are already tons of firearms on the black market and those dealers aren’t exactly running background checks.
Criminals won’t be disarmed no matter what laws you try to push. You might reduce the supply a bit, but that’s about the best you can really accomplish.
Instead, any effort to disarm America will focus on disarming law-abiding citizens. They’re the ones who will comply with laws, after all. They’re the ones you will disarm, the ones who rarely have an encounter with the police except as a victim and even more rarely have a violent encounter with law enforcement.
So now you have an environment where the police department is greatly reduced and Americans aren’t as well-armed as they were, yet the criminals have as many guns as they did before.
Hmmmm…what in the world could happen now.
That’s right. Pandemonium.
And these departments haven’t been disbanded or even slashed at this point. Do you really think reducing police forces will make it better? More to the point, though, do you think that ordinary, law-abiding Americans aren’t going to be victims of this insanity?
No, we don’t need to disarm any law-abiding citizen just to make someone feel a bit better. Especially if you’re least-radical suggestion is to gut law enforcement and put the funding into things that no one knows will work or not.