How often have we heard those that would deprive us of fundamental, unalienable rights–for our own good, of course–explain that such deprivation is necessary because we’re not smart enough to use those rights properly, we’re not qualified. This is all too common where firearms are concerned. Let the police have all the guns, they’re highly trained professionals. Citizens will just shoot themselves, their families, or worst of all, innocent criminals.
Like virtually everything anti-gun cracktivists have to say, that’s a lie. The police, by and large, are not highly skilled with firearms. Many are plainly frightening. Most are simply not gun girls and guys and don’t spend a penny in practice or training not offered by their agencies. Most rarely shoot for qualification, and qualification standards are weak indeed.
My weekly article at The Truth About Guns, titled “Leave Guns To The Police: They’re Professionals,” explores this issue.
I’d like to think that people, if they knew the truth about this, would be far less prone to want government to protect them, but of course, fact and logic don’t mean much to some people who have political or personal reasons to believe three impossible things before breakfast.
In any case, if you have a few minutes, the article may be worth your time, and as always, I appreciate your comments, there and here.
I’m always glad to see these articles, especially from current/former police. It’s really a dangerous myth, both for the public and the police. The myth makes the People rely too much on the police, and it makes the police too afraid to call on the People as posses, militia or even just backup.
The North Hollywood bank robbery gets pulled out as a boogeyman often, but I have to think that if that happened in Texas, where proficient shooters are more common along with more guns, that robbery would have gone much differently, if the police were smart enough to call on the local People as a posse.
Headshots were possible on those guys, and battle rifles (rather than AR-15s) would have gone through the armor those guys had. I’m not saying that I would take them down in one shot, but I think I could have gotten a headshot in with the 50 rounds or so that I carry all the time in the car — especially if there were other citizens there keeping them from putting suppression fire exclusively on me. (Headshots aren’t reliably lethal, either, but they are sure as hell distracting and demoralizing.)
Maybe they would have killed me instead. I accept that, and it won’t stop me from helping. The biggest issue is that I’m as likely to get killed by a cop in the process.
I suspect that Annie Oakley, Ed McGivern, and Wild Bill Hickok would have a hard time shooting accurately if they had to use handguns with a twelve-pound trigger pull.
And I know liability is a big problem, but there is a point of diminishing returns. A gunfight in which nine innocent bystanders are shot is just as much a magnet for lawsuits as a negligent discharge allegedly caused by a “hair trigger.”
And Progressive respect for the police seems to come and go. When the issue is “gun control” (i.e., gun prohibition), the cops are “the brave men and women who patrol our streets and protect us.” They are “trained professionals,” and are therefore the only ones who should be allowed to have weapons. And we have a moral obligation to ban the private possession of guns, so as to make law enforcement safer and easier.
But, the rest of the time (especially when a cop is forced to shoot a violent thug in self-defense), the cops are portrayed as trigger-happy, racist storm troopers who go around shooting innocent black children for fun.
James Crawford said:
Here is an example of police expertise with firearms from Vancouver Washington. Three SWAT officers fired 8 rounds from a range of 113 yards with .223 caliber rifles and scored only one marginal hit, on an innocent bystander who had called 911.
James Crawford said:
And of course there is the recent case of the equicidal maniac from the Clackamas County Sheriff’s Department.
James Crawford said:
And from our Only The Police Should Have Guns file,
At least his marksmanship was adequate.
All the victims eventually died.