Saturday, July 4, 2020

No, The U.S. Shouldn’t Disarm Police Like In The U.K.

To ask police to do their jobs in extremely dangerous environments without adequate means of protection defies logic.
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 the 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.
Calls to disarm the police ignore this, just as they ignore the fact that police shootings have declined dramatically over the last 50 years. As Manhattan Institute scholar Rafael A. Mangual recently noted in the Wall Street Journal: “In 1971 the New York City Police Department reported 810 firearms discharges by officers, which wounded 220 people and killed 93. In 2016 those numbers were down to 72 shootings, 23 wounded and nine killed.”
Mangual also cited a 2018 study analyzing more than 100,000 arrests. More than 99 percent of those arrests were made without the use of physical force, and when force was used, 98 percent of the suspects sustained only mild or no injury.
It is safe to say that many of those arrested would have been far more tempted to use physical force to resist arrest, had the arresting officers not been armed. The mere presence of police firearms can be a powerful deterrent to violence.
Calls to adopt “the British model” ignore another salient fact: We don’t live in Great Britain. The U.K. does not recognize a right to keep and bear arms—a right that existed in our country even before it was enshrined in the Second Amendment in 1789—and has spent the last century systematically disarming its civilian population. Today, fewer than 4 percent of the British population own any sort of firearm.
America is far different. More than 40 percent of our citizens live in a household with guns. Indeed, there are more firearms in America than there are Americans. Millions of them are on the streets illegally, and not all of them are in the hands of good guys.
With remarkably few exceptions, the police are the good guys. And it’s a good thing they are armed. The ability of armed law enforcement to respond quickly to violent threats has saved countless lives.
Read the rest from Edwin Meese and John Malcolm HERE.

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