More On Gun Control

Diane Fienstein, President Obama, and various other politicians have been giving us their politically driven views on gun control. They have been calling for more restrictions, more control, more power, in order to prevent these crimes. I have sited historic evidence, data, and countless facts to disprove the fundamental concepts behind these well intention, but misguided ideas. Predictably the progressive method of restrict and control, went down in flames in the Senate. President Obama called it a shameful day in America. The progressives did not get what they want, so now they will do nothing more to solve the problem, except blame the GOP and try to use this defeat to ensure that Nancy Pelosi is the next speaker of the house.  However, the problem has not gone away, and politicizing this issue further will not resolve the issue. There still is an issue rotting away out the core of country.

I believe we can agree upon the fact that there is a problem in this nation. But it is not our gun rights. The problem is our culture. A man went on a rampage in Texas with an Exacto knife hurting 14 people before someone was able to stop him. Some monster set off bombs made out of pressure cookers at the Boston Marathon.  We can restrict gun rights, we can restrict access to knives, we can restrict access to pressure cookers, but bad people will still find a way to do bad things.  We must find a way to fix our culture, to actively protect ourselves, rather than hide behind new limitations. We must stop looking at this as an issue of “gun violence” and start looking at it for what it really is, violence. It doesn’t matter if it was done with a gun, it doesn’t matter if it was done with a knife, car, pressure cooker, or baseball bat it is all senseless violence. This violence is not brought about by guns, but by our crumbling society. 

I realize that you have no reason to believe me, I realize that to many out there I am just a conservative blogger who must be destroyed at all costs. I have made my arguments, you have made your counter arguments, and we have all listened to the mindless ramblings of countless progressive politicians trying to convince us to give up our liberty for security. Perhaps now it is time to stop listening to those fed off the silver spoon, to stop arguing among ourselves and to start listening to those who who have to deal with these crimes on a daily bases. Perhaps it is time to listen to those who have to help the victims put the pieces of their lives back together after these atrocities  Perhaps it is time to start listening to what the law enforcement personal of this nation have to say on the issue of gun control. I have just finished reading a PoliceOne’s Gun Policy and Law Enforcement survey and it has some interesting results.  

Back Ground:
The survey was conducted from March 4th to March 13th, 2013. 
15,595 verified Police Professionals responded to the survey

What the Survey Said:

Question 1: Are you either  Current, Former/Retired Law Enforcement?
                 76.2%  responded current
                 18.7%  responded as former/retired 

Question 4: What effect do you think the passage of the White House’s currently proposed legislation would have in improving police officer safety?

3% responded Significant

8.6% responded Moderate

24.6% responded Negative

60.6% responded None

3.2% responded Unsure

Question 5: “What effect do you think a federal ban on manufacture and sale of some semi-automatic firearms, termed by some as “assault weapons,” would have on reducing violent crime?

1.6% responded Significant

6.0% responded Moderate

20.5% responded Negative

71% responded None

0.9% responded Unsure

 Question 6: Do you think that a federal ban on manufacture and sale of ammunition magazines that hold more than 10 rounds would reduce violent crime?

2.7% responded Yes

95.7% responded No

1.6% Responded Unsure

Question 7: Do you think that a federal law prohibiting private, non-dealer transfers of firearms between individuals would reduce violent crime?

11.5% responded Yes

79.7% responded No

8.8% responded Unsure

Question 8: Do you think increasing the severity of punishments for gun trafficking, particularly by unlicensed dealers or “straw purchasers” who buy arms for persons ineligible to own them, would reduce instances of gun crime?

58.8% responded Yes

28.7% responded No

12.5% responded Unsure

Question 10: Would requiring mental health background checks on prospective buyers in all gun sales from federally licensed dealers reduce instances of mass shooting incidents?

                31.3% responded Yes

                44.8% responded No

                23.9% responded Unsure

Question 11: Do you support the concept of a national database tracking all legal gun sales?

                23.0% responded Yes

                70.0% responded No

                7.1% responded Unsure

Question 12: How big a problem do you feel gun crime is in your jurisdiction?

                16.1% responded Significant

                44.1% responded Average

                39.8% responded Small

Question 13: Do you believe that use of a firearm while perpetrating a crime should result in stiff, mandatory sentences with no plea bargains?

                91.4% responded Yes

                5.4% responded No

                3.2% responded Unsure

Question 16: do you believe gun buyback or turn-in programs can beor have been effective in reducing the level of gun violence?

                11.2% responded Yes

                81.5% responded No

                7.3% responded Unsure

Question 19: Do you support the concealed carry of firearms by civilians who have not been convicted of a felony and/or not been deemed psychologically/medically incapable?

                91.3% responded Yes, without question and without further restrictions

                4.1% responded No, only law enforcement officers should carry firearms

                4.5% responded Unsure/Neutral

Question 20: On a scale of one to five- one being low and five being high – how important do ou think legally-armed citizens are to reducing crime rates overall:

                4.7% responded 1

                4.9% responded 2

                14.0% responded 3

                21.7% responded 4

                54.7% responded 5

Question 21: What would help most in preventing large scale shootings in public? Choose the selection you feel would have the most impact: (I only listed the top four)

                14.0% responded, Improved background screening to determine mental wellness of gun purchasers

                15.8% responded, More armed guards/pad security personnel

                19.6% responded, More aggressive institutionalization for mentally ill persons

                28.8% responded More permissive concealed carry policies for civilians

Question 22: Considering the particulars of recent tragedies like Newtown and Aurora, what level of impact do you think a legally-armed citizen could have made? Choose the statement that you feel is most accurate:

                6.2% responded Innocent casualties would likely have been avoided altogether

                80% responded Casualties would likely have been reduced

                4.1% responded There would have been no difference in outcome

                5.5% responded An active gunfight might have resulted in greater loss of innocent lives

                4.3% responded Unsure or prefer not to answer

Question 23: Do you support arming teachers and/or school administrators who volunteer to carry at their school? Choose the statement you most agree with:

76.6% responded Yes, if they are vetted trained, and qualified annually

                4.7% responded Yes if they pass a one-time police-level proficiency check

                15.8% responded No, only sworn school resource officers should be armed

                1.5% responded No, our schools should be considered gun free zones

                1.3% responded Unsure/no

Question 24: do you think proposed new legislation setting a limit on magazine capacity would negatively affect you?

                67.6% responded Yes

                27.2% responded No

                5.2% responded Unsure

The police are the people who risk their lives day in and day out defending peace and justice in this country, and should be the first people we turn to when we are trying to learn how to prevent crimes. Politicians live in marble palaces removed from the hardships of the world. Their kids are protected by armed guards; they are escorted by burly men, armed with guns. The police live in the world of filth that has allowed the creation of these monsters.” The police officers of this world wake up every day, strap a gun to their hip, and put a bullet proof vest on.  They hug and kiss their family good bye, knowing full well that it is an all to real chance that they might never come home, that this might be the last time they see their family. The actions that politicians make from their marble palaces directly affect the likely hood of whether or not these brave men and women get to hold their kids again. Two of my uncles are police officers, and have told me of some of the things that they have had to deal with. It is for these reasons that I for one value their input above all others into this mater. The wrong action now directly affects their lives.  They have seen the world that the criminal lives in, who better to ask about how to bring it down, than someone who has lived in it. 

What the police officers have said directly contradicts what President Obama, Diane Fienstein, and countless other progressives have been pushing for sense the first shot rang out in the halls of the Newtown Elementary School.

The progressives call for fewer guns, the Police call for more guns.

The progressives call for limits on magazine sizes, the Police say that it would have no affect on the crime rates.

The progressives call for background checks, The Police say that it would have no affect on mass shootings

The progressives call for restricting the sale of firearms, The Police say that it would have no affect on crime rates

The progressives call for banning scary looking semi-automatic rifles, the Police say that it would have no affect on crime rates

The Police say that arming and training teachers would reduce casualties in mass shootings, the progressives say that such an idea would only lead to massive fire fights and more dead.

The Police say that legally armed citizens reduce violent crime, the progressive paint pictures of wild west shoot outs in the street

The question now comes, do we ignore what the experience of these brave individuals, and pout because the progressives didn’t get what they want? Or do we use their knowledge along with the wisdom of history, and work on finding a way to actually reduce violence in this country? How you respond will say a lot about where you stand.

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11 comments
  1. If only this argument were about facts instead of getting power and using guilt and tantrum throwing to coerce it out of the citizens.

  2. I don’t have a strong opinion on gun control, but the idea that we should rely on police officers for policy advice is a bit silly. Yes, the opinions of police officers might provide a useful data point, especially for some of these questions. But questions like #13 show that police officers can be clueless on what makes for the best laws in a criminal justice system.

  3. I agree with your post! Anger to do violence I would think comes from very frustrated people; taking away rights will only cause more frustration.

  4. @whataboutbahb – Police officers have no particular expertise in law in many instances.  However, they do have considerable expertise in the area of armed confrontations and resistance by civilians to crime.  I see no reason why the use of a firearm should engender greater penalties than the use of a bomb, bat, or knife in the commission of a crime.Police also often have expertise in home defense and which guns/ammunition to use in home defense.  But that’s probably true for most gun nuts like me.@blonde_apocalypse – Isn’t the main emotional force sympathy for the parents of the murdered children?

  5. @soccerdadforlife – I’m not quite sure what you’re saying. Are you saying you agree with me that the officers’ answers on #13 seem misguided? If so, the reason you gave is a bit different from my reasoning for critiquing their response to #13. A sparknotes version of why I think their response to #13 makes very little sense: It actually would probably harm law and order efforts by trying to handcuff prosecutors intro trying cases where a gun is involved. First, that effort is just a bad idea in a system where something like 95% of criminal cases end with a plea bargain. The justice system would grind to a half if prosecutors tried to take every case they had involving a gun to trial. Federal and state governments don’t have the manpower or money to try to do that. Second, the effort could just simply be worked around by the prosecutor choosing not to charge the defendant with possessing a gun (if they tried to build the “no plea bargain” requirement into a statute–if it was the prosecutor’s office internal policy, then that would be harder to work around). There’s more to say on it, but I’ll stop myself.

  6. @whataboutbahb – I’m agreeing with you questioning officers’ expertise on question 13.  I don’t know whether the idea of plea bargaining is really any good.  I suspect that a lot of injustice occurs with plea bargaining.

  7. I do not have an intelligent argument to your post.

  8. @whataboutbahb – I get what you are saying. Relying on any one group of people for policy decisions is never a great idea.   However, I believe we should listen to the police officers more so than community organizers, professors, or politicians. This survey has provided the view points of one aspect of this nation’s law enforcement. That does not mean that this should be the law, but this is information that should be looked into when trying to figure out how to resolve the issue of violent crime in this nation. Onto question 13, and this hits somewhat on what you and @soccerdadforlife – where saying, the police are coming from the viewpoint of the street, and have far to often captured a violent criminal, only to see they let off “easy” due to a plea bargain. When I first found this survey I read it with my Father, when we got to 13 we both made comments about how question 13 could have been about the use of tater tots in a crime, and most police officers would have said mandatory sentencing would help reduce crime.  Whataboutbahb you did bring up a good point, a very practical point, could we afford to prosecute every criminal to the full extent of the law? At the current rate, probably not. However, on the other side of that coin, if violent crimes where met more often with the full force of the law, would we have fewer of them? You probably wouldn’t stop the most extreme cases, but it might dissuade some of the lesser would be criminals from picking up the life of crime. I do not like question 13 because it perpetuates this idea of gun crime, or gun violence. There is no gun crime, there is not gun violence, there is only crime, and violence.  Yes guns are used in crimes, and yes guns are used in acts of violence, but I do not believe that these acts are different than any other act of crime or violence. A crime committed with a gun is no more illegal than a crime committed with a knife. Thus they should not be treated any differently.  The tag line of gun violence was created by the progressive movement to try and drum up hysteria, chaos that they could feed upon to convince people to give up their rights. The progressives call out the dogs when an violent crime with a gun is committed, and call for changes in the law, more restrictions, more government control. However if a violent crime is committed with a knife, a baseball bat, car, or a bomb they remain oddly silent. This concept that the gun is the problem, is blinding our nation to the greater overall problem of violence in our country.  A problem perpetuated by crumbling culture, and struggling economy. Question 13 is why we need to have true honest debate about the facts surrounding the issues facing this nation. A discussion of ideas, rather than a tar and feathering of anyone who dares to challenge the legislation in question. Something that we have not seen in this country for a very long time.  The stimulus bill, the healthcare bill, the fiscal cliff debate, sequestration, and the most recent gun control legislation are all perfect examples of the failing of our system.  When the stimulus bill and healthcare bill met with resistance, President Obama blamed the Republicans in congress, despite the fact that neither of these bills needed a single GOP vote for them to pass.  In the fiscal cliff debate, the GOP offered revenues in a manner that President Obama had proposed earlier in the year, and this compromise was met with ridicule and disdain. In the Sequestration battle, the compromise the GOP made to raise tax rates, was met not with cuts in spending but rather with demands for more tax hikes. The debate after the recent rampages in this country, the Aurora Movie Theater, the New Town shootings, and the stabbing in Texas should have been a debate about how to deal with the violence in our culture, and how to protect ourselves and our loved ones from this violence.  Instead it was decided by the progressives that the answer is gun control, and the debate would be about whether or not you hate babies. Yes it is true that not every question in this survey points the way to reducing violent crime in this country. However questions like #16, #19, and #20 grant us incite into the real world, a world that progressive politicians seem to ignore.  These three questions show us how the police see the effectiveness of the various reactions to the problem of violence in the country.  We can discern from these questions that the police officers of this nation feel that disarming the citizenry would not lead to a safer community. If you link that information with the data from passed gun control efforts in this country, we can conclude that restriction is not the proper direction to take. Questions #22 and #23 show us that the police do believe that actively defending our schools would reduce the likelihood of these mass shootings being successful. Now link the information from this survey 80% of respondents saying that a legally armed citizen would have reduced casualties, and 76.6% of respondents supporting vetting, training and arming teachers; with the fact that we protect our politicians with armed guards, the children of our politicians with armed guards (both of which are done at a great expense), and the picture becomes clear.  Perhaps instead of passively protecting our schools with a laughable “gun free zone”, we should protect them with trained armed personal. Be that a teacher, administrator, or police officer.  We could help returning veterans find new jobs, and ease back into civilian life by assigning them to schools (just an idea)So in conclusion yes not ever question here points the way to ending violent crime in this country, however this survey provides information that is critical to finding the path to reducing violent crime. Ignoring the opinions of these officers, such as the progressives continually do, will only result in more failed attempts at protecting that which is most dear to us. 

  9. @obamawatch – There’s this myth that plea bargains result in a defendant getting a punishment a lot less than what he “deserves.” I say myth because that’s usually not how it works. The U.S. has per capita the most people in prison and one of the main reasons for this is the length of sentences (keep in mind that most people in prisons were put there via plea bargains). U.S. defendants aren’t getting sweetheart deals in plea bargains. And going from ridiculous high sentences (at least in comparison to the rest of the world) to really ridiculous high sentences is unlikely to give that much of a boost in terms of general deterrence.(Just to note: Federal criminal law and I believe most states’ laws already have mandatory sentencing minimums for use of a gun in a felony. I don’t know of any laws that prevent plea bargaining for certain offenses, though.)

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