It’ll be unpopular to say this, but you can’t have a police state without police
And while I know many here are pro-law enforcement without reservation, it’s stuff like this –misinformation from someone you’d expect to know better — that makes me less willing than ever to hand domestic security over to police alone. Speaking of the ex-con who set an elaborate ambush to kill two firefighters, the NYPost reports:
Cops believed [William Spengler Jr, who isn’t allowed to own a gun, being an ex-felon, convicted before on murder] used a .223 Bushmaster AR-15 assault rifle — the same military-style weapon used in the Newtown school slaughter and mass shootings this year in Aurora, Colo., and Portland, Ore.
Police also recovered a 12-gauge shotgun and a .38 revolver.
“He was equipped to go to war, kill a lot of innocent people,” said Webster Police Chief Gerald Pickering.
Police recovered several 30-round clips for the assault rifle, which they believed he used in the attack, along with four whiskey bottles holding gasoline.
Sorry, but somebody has to say this: when a police chief or the Fraternal Order of Police and other politically-conscious law enforcement organizations are engaging in anti-gun propaganda, it may be time to accept that while many law enforcement officers are staunch supporters of the second amendment and gun owners themselves, when it comes right down to it, some may be willing to trade some of your liberty for their perceived safety. And as a matter of practicality, who can blame them?
But the principle is the thing, and it is the principle — the natural right — that must be guarded.
Even though we know statistically that only a very small percentage, somewhere in the neighborhood of two percent, of gun violence occurs by way of “assault rifle” — that is, by way of an ordinary semi-automatic weapon with certain arbitrarily chosen comfort features — we’re being fed a constant stream of propaganda to ban from civilian non-law enforcement officer hands what will remain perfectly legal for law enforcement officers to carry. The rationale, naturally, will be that we want police to have the advantage over criminals — so yes, their guns should be superior to those who they may likely encounter in a gun fight scenario.
— The obvious problem with such a rationale being that, here again, a criminal who wasn’t allowed to own the weapon he used on the firefighters nevertheless ignored the law and got himself one anyway. Because that’s what criminals and killers do.
Those pushing for bans on assault weapons as a result of cases like this one are therefore compelled, whether they recognize it or not, to suggest that these murders didn’t happen. After all, how could they? Spengler couldn’t legally own a gun. Therefore, it follows that he didn’t have one. And consequently, no one was shot, “sniper-style” or otherwise.
Which of course is ridiculous.
But there’s a second problem with such a rationale: it presupposes that law-abiding, non law-enforcement civilians trust entirely in law-enforcement officers who by way of legislation will be granted superiority in firepower over their fellow citizens. And while many here trust blindly any and every police officer, my own experiences tell me that, while most police are perfectly professional and trustworthy, others are not. And as a matter of constitutional principle I don’t wish to live any less prepared to defend myself than a police officer.
Chief Pickering may perhaps be taken out of context here — the tenor of the story suggests that much of the specific anti-gun slant may be coming from the several authors looking to incorporate all the buzzwords and help readers reach the “correct” conclusions — but it is at the very least hyperbolic and disengenuous, or at the very least ignorant, to suggest that owning a 5.56 Bushmaster, a shotgun, and a pistol, along with gasoline, makes one “equipped to go to war.” Because the truth is, Spengler’s “military-style weapon” packs less punch than an ordinary hunting rifle — and it certainly can’t stand up to an actual military-ready AR-15, which only requires a single trigger pull to empty the magazine. Meanwhile, a shotgun and a .38 revolver don’t typically stack up well against automatic weapons and precision optics, including current generation night vision.
Hardly the tools you’d want to “got to war” with, then — unless, of course, you’re going to war against those you know or believed to be unarmed. In which case, any weapon is an advantage. Including, one can argue, gasoline, which Obama isn’t so much banning as he is trying to drive up the price.
Here is the truth that needs to be repeated: the size of the magazines and the configuration of the Bushmaster had no special impact on the ambush murder of two firefighters. Just as the configuration of the Bushmaster and the size of the magazines had no special impact on the killings in CT. Two semi-automatic pistols chambered in self-defense 9mm hollow point ammo would have held the same or more cartridges than the Bushmaster with a single magazine. And pistol magazines, because they take up less space, are much easier to carry around and just as quick to reload.
Meaning, the CT shooter, particularly given the range he was shooting from, would have killed just as many children with a semi-automatic hand gun as he would have with the Bushmaster and it’s adjustable stock and pistol grip. And because it’s one pull, one cartridge either way, he would have done it in the same amount of time, too, only with greater portability and maneuverability. The case holds for a revolver, as well — though that would have taken slightly more time on reloads. Still, with speed loaders and practice, he could have gone through thirty rounds quite rapidly with a revolver before police arrived on scene.
All of which is moot. Because he broke the law when he stole the guns from his mother, broke the law when he forced his way into the school, broke the law when he killed the children, and broke the law when he killed himself. Suggesting to me at least that the fear of breaking laws didn’t much matter here or on Spengler’s case.
It’s one thing when ditzy ex-CNN anchors or morons like Piers Morgan or David Gregory engage in a campaign of anti-gun propaganda and camouflage it as news. It’s quite another when the FOP and some local police chief aid in that campaign, either through ignorance or malice.
We expect police to protect our rights, not to agitate for their surrender. Which means we expect to much.
And that’s a habit some of us are going to have to break.