Police shouldn’t have guns

Police could not shoot so many people if they didn’t have guns. As long as police do carry guns there will be a lot of shootings. It is rarely necessary to carry guns.

If you have a hammer everything looks like a nail. If you have a gun everything looks like something which calls for it. Those of us who are not carrying guns get by just fine. Police can do the same as anybody else.

There are not many situations which really demand guns. Among other reasons, suspects would be less inclined to reach for a gun if officers weren’t known to be carrying themselves. There is an arms race between suspects and law enforcement. If law enforcement stands down, suspects will too.

If a suspect has a gun, police don’t need to engage immediately. The suspect isn’t going to shoot them just for the hell of it. In the moment the police can put their hands up and hand over their wallets. They can get the suspect later.

There do exist rare situations which call for police with guns. When that happens the unarmed cop should call a specialist, like a SWAT team.

Outside of the US police don’t always wear guns. They get by fine using weapons with lower lethality.

In Manchester, England, where the number of deaths in the last 40 years is two. Sir Peter Fahy, the chief constable of the Greater Manchester Police, believes that the the number is the result of a radically different approach toward guns and mental health than we have in the United States. “The whole way that we train officers is that the absolute last resort is to use your firearm,” he says. “When you get into a situation, you assess the situation, you give yourself other options. And it starts from a position, always, that the best weapon is their mouth.” The vast majority have to use their mouths, or at least not firearms, because only 209 of the 6,700 officers in Manchester’s force are armed.

How British police officers keep the peace, without carrying guns

In a battle between a suspect who does not have a gun and a cop who does have a gun, the cop should never ever use their gun.

You can argue that guns are too common in the US for everybody to be armed but the police. But this is a problem created by 2nd amendment extremism. Guns should not be so common. We should not accept that broken situation. That police carry guns feeds into gun-nutism.

In that sense the reason there are so many police shootings is that gun nuts have put guns in so many hands. The cause of Breonna Taylor’s death and so many others is political obsequiousness towards guns. Which matters more, Black lives or plentiful guns?

The answer to that in American politics is clear: guns. We all know which way the scales will tilt. And this raises the question of whether that is by design. Do we have so many guns floating around out of fear of Black people? Are police carrying guns in the first place because of Blackophobia?

2 thoughts on “Police shouldn’t have guns

  1. Eliminating the absurd ‘qualified immunity’ mechanism is another vector towards reducing unnecessary civilian deaths by police. Removing this unyielding courtroom doctrine will take a generation, bc Roberts/Trump court certainly won’t assent to it.

    Good primer on qualified immunity by LegalEagle:

    1. Yeah, requiring police to show that violence was necessary is an absolute bare minimum of decency and common sense.

      That said, once somebody is killed there’s no going back. Getting rid of qualified immunity will cause police to think twice about killing, but as long as they have guns there will still be lots of shooting.

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