Let’s Talk: The ‘Only Military & Police’ Opinion
If you’ve listened to anyone discuss the pro-gun/anti-gun debate you have undoubtedly heard someone make the statement “Only the military and police should have guns – it’s their job to protect us”. It’s an interesting anti-gun opinion and one I believe needs to be addressed because of how popular it seems to be. So, let’s talk.
When it comes to the first part of this statement – the military is prohibited by the Posse Comitatus Act which limits the federal government in using federal military personnel to enforce domestic policies within the United States. While there are limitations, there are exceptions derived from the Enforcement Acts that allow the President to call up military forces when state authorities are unable or unwilling to stop violence that is in opposition to constitutional rights in their states. So, it would seem the military being used on U.S. soil to protect every citizen from harm has some legal limitations.
The second group mentioned here is law enforcement – which is under constant scrutiny by the same people saying the statement above. From the pro-gun perspective, this is probably the craziest part of the statement above. If the police are corrupt and cannot be trusted, why on earth would you give away your ability to rise up (per the constitution) and protect yourself from that corruption?
On one hand, it seems like a perfectly sane argument to say that the police should be the only ones to have guns. I mean, their oath is to “protect and serve”, right? But if you look at the statistics here, it just doesn’t work. There are little more than 900,000 sworn officers in law enforcement, which is some of the highest numbers reported in recent years, but the notion that 900,000 officers can protect the entire populous from the bad things that happen before they happen is ludicrous and statistically impossible. The current US population (2018) is 327,612,767 people (at the time of this writing) according to the U.S. Census Bureau. That means, evenly distributed, each police officer would be responsible for protecting roughly 364 citizens. One “good guy with a gun” to protect 364 unarmed civilians… that’s just too much. The only possible way for them to be able to protect us would be if the number of police matched the U.S. population count and everyone had a police officer with them at all times – but we all know that that’s impossible who would want that anyway?
The response time of law enforcement is a real issue as well because they can’t be everywhere at once. The average response time for verified (Audio or Video) alarm police dispatches is around 7 minutes, nationwide. According to Chelsea Mitchell from Secure Pacific Corp., many departments have 4 tiers of response. The highest priority (priority 1) goes to a burglary alarm verified by audio or video; usually a government or business installation. Everything else can take several minutes longer to respond to.
Now I want to get back to the point about police corruption because, just a month ago we were told of another incident where the police officers that muted their mics after shooting Stephon Clark 8 times, mostly in his back, in Sacremento, California. It’s not the first and certainly won’t be the last such “breaking news” by any means – so, if police corruption and mistrust is a popular belief amongst civilians, then why should we willing to put our lives in the “corrupt cops” hands? I genuinely don’t understand this position. I mean, I would think that if a person believed that an officer of the law, or anyone for that matter, were corrupt then that means they can’t be trusted with this level of responsibility. The bottom line is that the only person who has your best interest at heart is yourself and is up to you to protect yourself from harm. If you have some defense for this position – I’d love to hear it in the comments below, because it just doesn’t make sense to my logical brain.
To be clear, I love this country and understand that it’s not perfect. I respect those who don a uniform and travel to foreign lands in order to protect the freedoms that I have, enjoy, and use daily. I respect the officers that uphold the law and prevent others from infringing on my rights and the rights of those around me. But, I also understand that the responsibility of my protection is my own. I hope the people who state that others will protect them will never find out that they are wrong but I do hope that they truly rethink their position when it comes to our second amendment rights.
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