Law Enforcement, Gun Control, and How to Help Others

Originally posted at Rhinehold's Blog.

Listening to many proponents of more gun control often suggest that law enforcement officers would like to see stricter gun control laws in place to combat the violence in our country caused, as they think, by people owning guns.  Or that they support actions to limit magazine sizes.  Since proponents think that it will make law enforcement easier and promote less violence, they are sure that most law enforcement officers agree with their position.  However, as we now see, that is decidedly not the case. took the question to law enforcement personnel in a recent survey and asked them several questions.  The results of this poll may surprise anyone who thinks that they are acting in the best interests of law enforcement by supporting increased gun control laws.

They surveyed “more than 15,000 verified law enforcement professionals”.  Some of their results are:

1.) Virtually all respondents (95 percent) say that a federal ban on manufacture and sale of ammunition magazines that hold more than 10 rounds would not reduce violent crime.

2.) The majority of respondents — 71 percent — say a federal ban on the manufacture and sale of some semi-automatics would have no effect on reducing violent crime. However, more than 20 percent say any ban would actually have a negative effect on reducing violent crime. Just over 7 percent took the opposite stance, saying they believe a ban would have a moderate to significant effect.

3.) About 85 percent of officers say the passage of the White House’s currently proposed legislation would have a zero or negative effect on their safety, with just over 10 percent saying it would have a moderate or significantly positive effect.

4.) Seventy percent of respondents say they have a favorable or very favorable opinion of some law enforcement leaders’ public statements that they would not enforce more restrictive gun laws in their jurisdictions. Similarly, more than 61 percent said they would refuse to enforce such laws if they themselves were Chief or Sheriff.

5.) More than 28 percent of officers say having more permissive concealed carry policies for civilians would help most in preventing large scale shootings in public, followed by more aggressive institutionalization for mentally ill persons (about 19 percent) and more armed guards/paid security personnel (about 15 percent).

6.) The overwhelming majority (almost 90 percent) of officers believe that casualties would be decreased if armed citizens were present at the onset of an active-shooter incident.

7.) More than 80 percent of respondents support arming school teachers and administrators who willingly volunteer to train with firearms and carry one in the course of the job.

8.) More than four in five respondents (81 percent) say that gun-buyback programs are ineffective in reducing gun violence.

As Doug Wyllie, the editor of, states:

Quite clearly, the majority of officers polled oppose the theories brought forth by gun-control advocates who claim that proposed restrictions on weapon capabilities and production would reduce crime.

In fact, many officers responding to this survey seem to feel that those controls will negatively affect their ability to fight violent criminals.

Contrary to what the mainstream media and certain politicians would have us believe, police overwhelmingly favor an armed citizenry, would like to see more guns in the hands of responsible people, and are skeptical of any greater restrictions placed on gun purchase, ownership, or accessibility.

The officers patrolling America’s streets have a deeply-vested interest — and perhaps the most relevant interest — in making sure that decisions related to controlling, monitoring, restricting, as well as supporting and/or prohibiting an armed populace are wise and effective. With this survey, their voice has been heard.

The sad thing is that the efforts in place now are obviously attempts by people who have longed for more gun control and are trying to exploit the country’s revulsion of Sandy Hook as a means to an end.  This can be shown in the following ways:

1) The main effort is to limit magazine capacity to 10 shells.  This limitation would have played NO part at Sandy Hook.  The shooter had been training for such an event for several years and reloaded his weapon several times while going through the school.

2) Limiting cosmetic changes on weapons does not make them less lethal or a potential tool of someone intent on causing bodily harm to others.  For example, the gun used by the Sandy Hook shooter was legal under the old federal weapons ban and was legal under the Connecticut ban.  It has been called out specifically in the proposed federal gun ban, but others that are identical to the gun are in the approved category.

3) In order to push their agenda, they bring out emotionally distraught victims.  This is the most heinous of actions, IMO, to use these people to push your proposed changes.  If you can’t sell the law on logical or factual means, making people cry is the most manipulative method.  The parent’s sorrow is being used.

4) Purposefully trying to state that the gun that was used at Sandy Hook was a ‘fully automatic’ weapon, even when knowing better.  President Obama himself is guilty of this, stating the following in a speech:

I just came from Denver, where the issue of gun violence is something that has haunted families for way too long, and it is possible for us to create common-sense gun safety measures that respect the traditions of gun ownership in this country and hunters and sportsmen, but also make sure that we don’t have another 20 children in a classroom gunned down by a semiautomatic weapon—by a fully automatic weapon in that case, sadly.

You can tell by the speech that it was not a ‘slip of the tongue’, he originally called it a semiautomatic weapon, and then changed it to fully.  Not only was it NOT a fully automatic weapon since those are illegal to own, this purposeful use of the term is meant to evoke an emotional response.

5) There is then, of course, the obvious complete misunderstandings of how guns operate, why they are a necessary tool for self-defense by the weaker in our society to even the playing field, and the true feelings of our founding fathers on the issue.  For some examples:

a) Lawmakers who sponsor legislation on gun control now knowing how they work.

Dianna DeGette, Congresswoman from Colorado, made the stunningly ignorant statement that once the bullets are fired from a high-capacity magazine, the magazine becomes useless, and is discarded.  What’s really amazing is that DeGette is the primary sponsor of the House bill proposing outlawing high capacity magazines, so one would assume she would have an authoritative knowledge on the topic.  After all, if your job is to write legislation on a specific subject, legislation all…

b) Necessary tool of self defense

According to the National Self Defense Survey conducted by Florida State University criminologists in 1994, the rate of Defensive Gun Uses can be projected nationwide to approximately 2.5 million per year — one Defensive Gun Use every 13 seconds.
Among 15.7% of gun defenders interviewed nationwide during The National Self Defense Survey, the defender believed that someone “almost certainly” would have died had the gun not been used for protection — a life saved by a privately held gun about once every 1.3 minutes. (In another 14.2% cases, the defender believed someone “probably” would have died if the gun hadn’t been used in defense.)
In 83.5% of these successful gun defenses, the attacker either threatened or used force first — disproving the myth that having a gun available for defense wouldn’t make any difference.
In 91.7% of these incidents the defensive use of a gun did not wound or kill the criminal attacker (and the gun defense wouldn’t be called “newsworthy” by newspaper or TV news editors). In 64.2% of these gun-defense cases, the police learned of the defense, which means that the media could also find out and report on them if they chose to.
In 73.4% of these gun-defense incidents, the attacker was a stranger to the intended victim. (Defenses against a family member or intimate were rare — well under 10%.) This disproves the myth that a gun kept for defense will most likely be used against a family member or someone you love.
In over half of these gun defense incidents, the defender was facing two or more attackers — and three or more attackers in over a quarter of these cases. (No means of defense other than a firearm — martial arts, pepper spray, or stun guns — gives a potential victim a decent chance of getting away uninjured when facing multiple attackers.)
In 79.7% of these gun defenses, the defender used a concealable handgun. A quarter of the gun defenses occured in places away from the defender’s home.

c) Understanding the true feelings of the founding fathers

For years, we are told that ‘single shot weapons like the type our founding fathers had’ makes the 2nd amendment outdated or that the term ‘well regulated militia’ means something other than what the founders meant it to mean.  However, the facts show a different mindset.  First, the idea was that the weapons kept by the citizens would be those of military grade.  We were supposed to be able to be called upon to defend the country against outside forces AND be able to defend ourselves against aggression from evildoers and our own government when necessary.  Further, had they thought it was just small hand weapons that we were allowed to keep, why did they not ban the ownership of cannons?  These objects are designed to kill multiple people from range, yet private citizens were free to (and did) own these weapons.  Because the government trusted us to use our common sense and be responsible with the means in which we chose to defend ourselves.

Some quotes for reference:

“No Free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms.” (Thomas Jefferson, Proposal Virginia Constitution, 1 T. Jefferson Papers, 334,[C.J.Boyd, Ed., 1950])

“The right of the people to keep and bear…arms shall not be infringed. A well regulated militia, composed of the body of the people, trained to arms, is the best and most natural defense of a free country…” (James Madison, I Annals of Congress 434 [June 8, 1789])

“A militia, when properly formed, are in fact the people themselves…and include all men capable of bearing arms.” (Richard Henry Lee, Additional Letters from the Federal Farmer (1788) at 169)

“What, Sir, is the use of a militia? It is to prevent the establishment of a standing army, the bane of liberty…. Whenever Governments mean to invade the rights and liberties of the people, they always attempt to destroy the militia, in order to raise an army upon their ruins.” (Rep. Elbridge Gerry of Massachusetts, spoken during floor debate over the Second Amendment [ I Annals of Congress at 750 {August 17, 1789}])

“…to disarm the people – that was the best and most effectual way to enslave them.” (George Mason, 3 Elliot, Debates at 380)

“Americans have the right and advantage of being armed – unlike the citizens of other countries whose governments are afraid to trust the people with arms.” (James Madison, The Federalist Papers #46 at 243-244)

“the ultimate authority … resides in the people alone,” (James Madison, author of the Bill of Rights, in Federalist Paper #46.)

“Before a standing army can rule, the people must be disarmed; as they are in almost every kingdom of Europe. The supreme power in America cannot enforce unjust laws by the sword; because the whole body of the people are armed, and constitute a force superior to any bands of regular troops that can be, on any pretense, raised in the United States” (Noah Webster in ‘An Examination into the Leading Principles of the Federal Constitution’, 1787, a pamphlet aimed at swaying Pennsylvania toward ratification, in Paul Ford, ed., Pamphlets on the Constitution of the United States, at 56(New York, 1888))

“…if raised, whether they could subdue a Nation of freemen, who know how to prize liberty, and who have arms in their hands?” (Delegate Sedgwick, during the Massachusetts Convention, rhetorically asking if an oppressive standing army could prevail, Johnathan Elliot, ed., Debates in the Several State Conventions on the Adoption of the Federal Constitution, Vol.2 at 97 (2d ed., 1888))

“…but if circumstances should at any time oblige the government to form an army of any magnitude, that army can never be formidable to the liberties of the people, while there is a large body of citizens, little if at all inferior to them in discipline and use of arms, who stand ready to defend their rights…” (Alexander Hamilton speaking of standing armies in Federalist 29.)

“Besides the advantage of being armed, which the Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation. . . Notwithstanding the military establishments in the several kingdoms of Europe, which are carried as far as the public resources will bear, the governments are afraid to trust the people with arms.” (James Madison, author of the Bill of Rights, in Federalist Paper No. 46.)

“As civil rulers, not having their duty to the people before them, may attempt to tyrannize, and as the military forces which must be occasionally raised to defend our country, might pervert their power to the injury of their fellow citizens, the people are confirmed by the article in their right to keep and bear their private arms.” (Tench Coxe in ‘Remarks on the First Part of the Amendments to the Federal Constitution’ under the Pseudonym ‘A Pennsylvanian’ in the Philadelphia Federal Gazette, June 18, 1789 at 2 col. 1)

“Congress have no power to disarm the militia. Their swords, and every other terrible implement of the soldier, are the birthright of an American… The unlimited power of the sword is not in the hands of either the federal or state government, but, where I trust in God it will ever remain, in the hands of the people” (Tench Coxe, Pennsylvania Gazette, Feb. 20, 1788)

“The prohibition is general. No clause in the Constitution could by any rule of construction be conceived to give to Congress a power to disarm the people. Such a flagitious attempt could only be made under some general pretense by a state legislature. But if in any blind pursuit of inordinate power, either should attempt it, this amendment may be appealed to as a restraint on both.” [William Rawle, A View of the Constitution 125-6 (2nd ed. 1829)

“I ask, sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people, except for few public officials.” (George Mason, 3 Elliot, Debates at 425-426)

“The Constitution shall never be construed….to prevent the people of the United States who are peaceable citizens from keeping their own arms” (Samuel Adams, Debates and Proceedings in the Convention of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, 86-87)

“To preserve liberty, it is essential that the whole body of people always possess arms, and be taught alike especially when young, how to use them.” (Richard Henry Lee, 1788, Initiator of the Declaration of Independence, and member of the first Senate, which passed the Bill of Rights, Walter Bennett, ed., Letters from the Federal Farmer to the Republican, at 21,22,124 (Univ. of Alabama Press,1975)..)

“The great object is that every man be armed” and “everyone who is able may have a gun.” (Patrick Henry, in the Virginia Convention on the ratification of the Constitution. Debates and other Proceedings of the Convention of Virginia,…taken in shorthand by David Robertson of Petersburg, at 271, 275 2d ed. Richmond, 1805. Also 3 Elliot, Debates at 386)

“The people are not to be disarmed of their weapons. They are left in full possession of them.” (Zachariah Johnson, 3 Elliot, Debates at 646)

“Are we at last brought to such humiliating and debasing degradation, that we cannot be trusted with arms for our defense? Where is the difference between having our arms in possession and under our direction, and having them under the management of Congress? If our defense be the real object of having those arms, in whose hands can they be trusted with more propriety, or equal safety to us, as in our own hands?” (Patrick Henry, 3 J. Elliot, Debates in the Several State Conventions 45, 2d ed. Philadelphia, 1836)

“The best we can hope for concerning the people at large is that they be properly armed.” (Alexander Hamilton, The Federalist Papers at 184-8)

“That the said Constitution shall never be construed to authorize Congress to infringe the just liberty of the press or the rights of conscience; or to prevent the people of The United States who are peaceable citizens from keeping their own arms…” (Samuel Adams, Debates and Proceedings in the Convention of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, at 86-87 (Peirce & Hale, eds., Boston, 1850))

“The supposed quietude of a good mans allures the ruffian; while on the other hand, arms like laws discourage and keep the invader and the plunderer in awe, and preserve order in the world as well as property. The same balance would be preserved were all the world destitute of arms, for all would be alike; but since some will not, others dare not lay them aside…Horrid mischief would ensue were one half the world deprived of the use of them...” (Thomas Paine, I Writings of Thomas Paine at 56 [1894])

“No kingdom can be secured otherwise than by arming the people. The possession of arms is the distinction between a freeman and a slave. He, who has nothing, and who himself belongs to another, must be defended by him, whose property he is, and needs no arms. But he, who thinks he is his own master, and has what he can call his own, ought to have arms to defend himself, and what he possesses; else he lives precariously, and at discretion.” (James Burgh, Political Disquisitions: Or, an Enquiry into Public Errors, Defects, and Abuses [London, 1774-1775])

“Men that are above all Fear, soon grow above all Shame.” (John Trenchard and Thomas Gordon, Cato’s Letters: Or, Essays on Liberty, Civil and Religious, and Other Important Subjects [London, 1755])

“To prohibit a citizen from wearing or carrying a war arm . . . is an unwarranted restriction upon the constitutional right to keep and bear arms. If cowardly and dishonorable men sometimes shoot unarmed men with army pistols or guns, the evil must be prevented by the penitentiary and gallows, and not by a general deprivation of constitutional privilege.” [Wilson v. State, 33 Ark. 557, at 560, 34 Am. Rep. 52, at 54 (1878)]

What gun control proponents don’t realize is that the problem is not that guns exist or are accessible, it is that there are people who feel, for some reason, that it is decidedly ok to use these weapons in an offensive manner.

If they really wanted to end violence, they would do what would actually make a difference.

1) End prohibition.  Prohibition laws, like those against marijuana, are directly responsible for creating a powerful incentive for gangs and organized crime to violate laws and have to defend themselves against the police, as well as establish ‘territories’ of power.  This was seen during the original prohibition era as gangs and organized crime violence increased to an alarming level during this time.  Once the experiment of prohibition was ended, the violence subsided as well.

2) Rebuild the expectation of responsible action in the citizenry.  Policies for the past several generations have caused society to try to blame other people, usually political opponents, when citizens are no longer acting responsibly.  Instead of holding them responsible for their actions, we try to find other reasons why they committed the actions that they did.  We give a sense of entitlement to many who should be held in less regard, not because we dislike them as human beings or because we see them as less than humans, but because only by expecting more of people do you see them rise to that occasion.  Be compassionate, but be vocal in your expectations.

3) Mentoring.  As a society, we are too free to throw other people’s money at situations that we see instead of getting personally involved ourselves.  If every person who was doing well would mentor one single person who was not, we would have at least one mentor for everyone who needed the help.  Giving people the tools that they need for them individually, instead of trying to fit everyone into a single one size fits all education.  Our education system should be just the bare basics of what people need.  It would be ideal for each parent to mentor their own children AND a child that is unfortunately without a similar mentor, but we should also be mentoring adults who have fallen through that educational crack and our floundering in our society today because they didn’t get that support when they were children.

The answer is in our hands, we can do this without force or law or government.  We can take back our liberty and our society by expecting more and taking less.  Every single person who is helped by these efforts is one less potential frustrated, angry, desperate human being that could choose to take up arms in the future as a outlet for that rage.

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