A New Attack on Police: Police Violence is Gun Violence
By Steve Pomper
In an email update from Dr. John Lott, President of the Crime Prevention Research Center (CPRC), and author of More Guns, Less Crime, Dr. Lott illuminates yet another disturbing anti-police trend. Something lefties might call intersectionality. Gun control radicals are saying police violence equals so-called gun violence—because cops carry guns. I’m sure we can count on the Biden administration to exploit this absurdity. In the email, Dr. Lott provides a link to a January 2021 article he wrote titled, “The Gun Control Advocates Mantra: ‘Police Violence is Gun Violence’” (PVGV).
Dr. Lott notes a Bloomberg-supported PVGV organization, The Trace, “is probably at odds with police in part because officers are so overwhelmingly in favor of gun ownership.” This is because cops know that most times, they will not arrive in time to prevent an intruder from shooting or killing someone. The federal and several state and local governments are currently in an anti-cop/coddle criminals mode. So, people had better arm themselves. Remember, keeping and bearing firearms is inextricably linked to Americans’ God-given right to self-defense.
The Trace includes articles with cynical headlines such as, “The ‘Warrior Cop’ is a Toxic Mentality.” This comes from the false debate between the police as warriors vs. guardians, as if the concepts are mutually exclusive. Cops not only can but should be both.
Aside from Bloomberg, other gun control radicals are also jumping on board the PVGV wagon. During an interview with Variety, Gabby Giffords said, “Police violence is gun violence.” Then she spouted the usual litany of lies about “police brutality” and firearms. Giffords used to be a mainstream gun control advocate. When did she become an anti-police radical?
A page at The Brady Campaign’s (TBC) website reads, “PREVENTING POLICE VIOLENCE.” As usual, it’s followed by anti-gun rights tripe and also this brain-twisting statement. “The presence of a firearm heightens tensions and exacerbates confrontations. This is particularly relevant within police interactions, in which there is already an inherently unequal power dynamic.” What?
Isn’t that the point? When a law enforcer deals with a lawbreaker, there must be an unequal power dynamic in the law enforcer’s favor, right? Otherwise, should cops arm unarmed lawbreakers to equal the power dynamic? Maybe, conscript a bystander to serve as a referee while the officer and suspect battle? I never realized the power dynamic between cops and criminals was supposed to result in a fair fight.
TBC, another formerly mainstream anti-gun group, again dutifully, adds, “And because police violence, in all of its forms, is facilitated by the direct use, threat, or perceived threat of firearms, police violence is gun violence.” So, according to TBC, police officers are violent simply by virtue of carrying firearms. How can you have a reasonable discussion with people who hold such a malicious viewpoint?
And then there’s the anti-Second Amendment group, “Moms Demand Action.” Dr. Lott reports that during an interview with Fortune magazine, MDA founder, Shannon Watts also said, “Police violence is gun violence and that’s why our movement must be responsive as well. We’re partnering with leaders and organizations who are experts against policing [emphasis mine]. We’re committed to working with them to address white supremacy and racism [inferred against police] at its roots. We are seeing an appetite among lawmakers to push through anti-police brutality legislation.” True police brutality is already a crime; they want to push through anti-police legislation.
Did you catch her slip up? Or maybe it was intentional, perceiving no need to maintain a façade. Watts used the phrase, “partnering with… experts against policing.” Not against police brutality or police violence, but overtly against police.
In fact, there are now efforts not only to defund or abolish the police but also to disarm the police. This is not new. I recall, Seattle had a city councilperson in the 90s who wanted officers to leave their firearms in their lockers when they weren’t on duty. What is new is people in power are now listening to these irrational cop-haters.
There are online sources such as DisarmThePolice.com, AWorldWithoutPolice.org, and D.D. Guttenplan, writing for The Nation says, “It’s Time to Disarm the Police.” Many, of course, tout the example of unarmed cops in the U.K. However, in recent years, with the proliferation of armed terrorist attacks, the U.K. trend has been toward arming more of their cops ,as the U.K. already does in Northern Ireland.
Edwin Meese and John Malcolm disarm Guttenplan’s disarm the police arguments. At the Federalist, the pair added lucidity to the discussion, writing, “Oh, to be in England, where the bobbies patrol without guns, and peace and harmony rule. That’s the idea peddled by The Nation’s D.D. Guttenplan, who calls for not only defunding but also disarming American police.
“In one sense, you can’t deny the logic of his argument. If you reduce the number of police through defunding and then take away their guns, there are sure to be fewer police-involved shootings. But defunding and disarming police would also give you more of some things, not the least of them being more violent crime.” Correct, and now we’re seeing increased violent crime in cities across America.
The lie about the proliferation and, now, conflation of “police/gun violence” remains the same as it has throughout the history of modern policing. The truth is the vast majority of police officers never fire their weapons in the line of duty during their 20, 30, 40, and even 50+ year careers. That encompasses a massive number of police interactions with criminal suspects resulting in only a minuscule number of police shootings, which do not always result in a fatality or even an injury.
And the officer-involved shootings that do occur are not so-called gun violence. The vast majority are necessary, unavoidable police actions taken against violent criminals to protect themselves and society. Of course, these facts are also something else: inconvenient for anti-cop, anti-gun rights advocates. That’s why they’re never mentioned.