Why do people in authority want the populace to be disarmed? Why do they want us to be completely reliant on the police to protect us?
The fiasco in Los Angeles is providing some possible insight into that question. All the evidence indicates that the LAPD has decided to eliminate the murdering criminal Christopher Dorner on sight. In fact, they have opened fire on people who don’t even look like Dorner, but made the mistake of driving a truck that slightly resembled the one that he was driving (before he disposed of it). Thankfully, their aim has not been very good, and their victims have survived, though in one case with bullet wounds.
But as we watch this scenario play out, it might be productive to ask the question:
If I planned to shoot to kill a criminal, but was unwilling to check identification first, what kind of people would I want to live in the area—armed or unarmed?
I have to admit, I wouldn’t be sorry at all if Dorner was shot to death in a gunfight with cops. He is a murderer; he deserves the death penalty. I also realize that members of the LAPD have a difficult task in finding him without getting killed by him.
But I still have to insist that, when people volunteer to serve in law enforcement, they are signing up for this kind of risky job. It is simply wrong to try to reduce their risk by opening fire in such a way that the people whom they are supposed to protect are, instead, attacked by them. Nothing justifies opening fire on a vehicle when you don’t know who is driving it. Nothing justifies lying about it afterward.
But, if you decide to behave that way, you have to feel a certain kind of safety in public. I don’t think police would ever have that confidence in their own invulnerability if they thought most people in the area were armed. Think about it. If you were armed and riding in a truck with your wife and someone started shooting holes in your cab so that they wounded her, without identifying themselves or giving orders to halt, would you hesitate to start shooting back?
What if several bystanders were all armed and all were self-confident law-abiding citizens? What would they do if they saw a cop start shooting at two women in a truck? What if the cop actually killed a woman? I suspect that the result would be a concerted effort to place the police officer under “citizen’s arrest.” They would try to hold him until other police could show up.
I’m not saying that every cop in LA, or that any of them, is consciously thinking all this. But I do think that they would not take such liberties in public if they were patrolling a city in which most law-abiding persons were carrying concealed handguns. They would find the power to restrain themselves and be more careful.
According to reports, African American males in L.A. are wearing T-shirts that say “Not Chris Dorner; please do not shoot.” Are people in L.A. all scared of the psychopathic killer, or are they more afraid that the LAPD will shoot them?
People should not fear violence from their own police. Police should not feel free to give them reason to fear.