You know the meme that many/most cops support gun control? Try googling it – despite claims to the contrary, actual articles showing this support seem fewer than anticipated.
So, you decide whether cops want more gun control or more crime control:
WASHINGTON — Despite the tough political climate for federal gun control legislation, a coalition of law enforcement groups on Thursday called for background checks on all gun buyers and a ban on high-capacity ammunition magazines after the Colorado shooting rampage.
“After looking at what happened in Aurora, Colo., who could be in favor of these high-capacity magazines?” asked Hubert Williams, president of the Police Foundation and chairman of the National Law Enforcement Partnership to Prevent Gun Violence.
“Some naysayers assert that there isn’t the will among lawmakers to strengthen federal gun laws,” Williams said. “We heard that repeated back in the late ’80s and early ’90s, but we prevailed then and we can prevail again.”
James Johnson, the Baltimore County, Md., police chief, joined other law enforcement officers at the National Press Club to declare that a high-capacity magazine like one used in the Aurora shooting “simply has no place in civilian hands.”
“It is ridiculous to argue that hunters or civilians who own weapons for self-defense need a 100-round drum magazine,” he said. “As we have seen, people don’t stand a chance against this kind of firepower.”
And then, there’s this:
PoliceOne.com Releases Survey of 15,000 Law Enforcement Professionals about U.S. Gun Control Policies
SAN FRANCISCO – PoliceOne.com, the leading online resource for law enforcement, today released findings from a national survey of police professionals that provide insight into the opinions of American law enforcement regarding gun control policies and the root causes of and potential solutions to gun crime in the United States.
The survey, which was conducted in early March 2013, received 15,000 responses from law enforcement professionals. It found that the overall attitude of law enforcement is strongly anti-gun legislation and pro-gun rights, with the belief that an armed citizenry is effective in stopping crime. Response percentages varied only slightly when analyzed by rank and department size. Among the results:
- 86 percent feel the currently proposed legislation would have no effect or a negative effect on improving officer safety
- Similarly, 92 percent feel that banning semi-automatic firearms, or “assault weapons,” would have no effect or a negative effect on reducing violent crime
- Demonstrating the opinion that the best way to combat gun crime is through harsher punishment, 91 percent said the use of a firearm while perpetrating a crime should lead to a stiff, mandatory sentence with no plea bargains. Likewise, 59 percent believe increasing punishment severity for unlicensed dealers would reduce crime
- Respondents were more split on background checks, with 31 percent agreeing that mental health background checks in all gun sales would help reduce mass shootings, while 45 percent disagreed
- 71 percent support law enforcement leaders who have publicly refused to enforce more restrictive gun laws within their jurisdictions
- 82 percent believe gun buyback or turn-in programs are ineffective in reducing the level of gun violence
- 91 percent support the concealed carry of firearms by civilians who have not been convicted of a felony and/or have not been deemed psychologically incapable
- Likewise, 80 percent feel that legally-armed citizens would likely have reduced the number of casualties in recent mass shooting incidents
- 38 percent believe the biggest cause of gun violence in the United States is the “decline in parenting and family values”. This was trailed by “overly lax parole and short sentencing standards” at 15 percent and “pop culture influence” (eg. violent movies and video games) at 14 percent
These men and women — most of whom actually work the street — have a front row seat to see gun violence in America. They put their lives at risk when they do their jobs, actually coming face-to-face with violent encounters involving firearms.
And when it comes to finding ways to reduce gun violence and large scale shootings, most cops say a federal ban on so-called “assault weapons” isn’t the answer.
More than 91 percent of respondents say it would either have no effect or a negative effect in reducing violent crime. This is an overwhelming response by those whose job it is to actually deal with this issue on the front lines.
Instead, it is interesting to note that armed citizens show up frequently as a deciding factor in reducing the carnage from a mass murder situation; proactive choices dominate over gun and magazine restrictions and bans.
More than 91 percent of respondents support the concealed carry of firearms by civilians who have not been convicted of a felony and/or not been deemed psychologically/medically incapable.
A full 86 percent feel that casualties would have been reduced or avoided in recent tragedies like Newtown and Aurora if a legally-armed citizen was present (casualties reduced: 80 percent; avoided altogether: 60 percent).
For those who chose the option of casualties being avoided altogether, I took this to mean the deterrent effect of a show of force prior to an event would stop a potential predator from carrying out his murderous intent in the first place.
What checks the sociopath from completing his act is fear. Fear of the unknown or known gun carrier who is going to punch his ticket to hell right then and right there. This has an immediate effect on reducing violent criminal activity.
Cops on the street know the value of officer presence and being ready to go. Criminals see it too, and stay in check. I know from my own street experience how being in shape, being well prepared along with a sharp uniform appearance kept things from escalating time and time again.
More than 81 percent of respondents were in favor of arming teachers and school administrators if they were properly trained and vetted or at least proficient.
Yet, with a few notable exceptions, most teachers and school officials are opposed to this measure. Overcoming this kind of resistance will be a major roadblock to making our schools safer.
Another thing this poll proves: law enforcement administration is completely divorced from the reality of cops working the streets.
In general, cops don’t want people to be victims. A main part of avoiding victimization is being able to protect oneself.
Victims and subjects, or independence and citizens? This is a simple question, yet so many fail to understand it.