Police In Arms Race Against The Public. Really?

Just as you think statists have run out of arguments for increasing the government and shrinking the individual, they get creative, offering up a reason and an excuse for “the militarization of the police in the first place.”

Liberals are tying police militarization to … an overarmed citizenry.

According the this circular “reasoning,” the police, essentially, are forced into an arms race with an overarmed public.

Via The New Republic:

Because there are so many guns out there, police officers are trained to live in fear of the very people they are supposed to protect and serve. Anytime a police officer pulls over a car, he or she must worry that the person inside that car will have a gun that could be turned on them …

David Kopel offers an impassioned refutation:

“Complete bullshit,”  said … Kopel, an associate policy analyst at the Cato Institute and research director of the Independence Institute in Colorado. Elaborating, Kopel noted that back in the 1960s, before police forces became militarized in the war on drugs and war on terror, there was also very little gun control. He noted that as the country has proceeded to pass what few gun control laws are on the books (the 1993 Brady Law requiring background checks at licensed firearms dealers, the since-lapsed assault weapons ban, etc.) the militarization of police departments has only proceeded apace. He noted that the light hand of policing in England (where few beat cops even carry guns) long predates the country’s strict gun control laws. He granted one point often cited by the pro-militarization side: that a notorious 1997 police shootout in North Hollywood with bank robbers who were armed with machine guns had further spurred police to obtain heavy weaponry, but he said incidents like that did not justify the broader use of heavy weaponry in police operations such as, say, raiding a basement where someone’s suspected of growing marijuana. … Simply put, Kopel said, gun control regulations are a “separate issue” from police militarization, no more directly relevant than arguing that “it would be better to improve the public schools to have fewer 17-year-old gangsters.”

Radley Balko, “who wrote the definitive book on police militarization, The Rise of the Warrior Cop,” ventured that he was “wary of ‘the idea that government is abusing its power and authority and thereby we should put more restrictions on what citizens should have.'”

Jews For The Preservation of Firearms Ownership would never dignify such a notion.  Inalienable rights don’t become alienable or get watered down because those entrusted with safeguarding these rights encounter occupational hazards.




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