Wouldn’t Cops Support Gun Laws?

Peter Moskos explains gun legislation is meaningless for cops:

So then we just delve into the gun control debate with all the usual and predictable sides and lack of progress. Cops see danger coming from a small subset of criminals with guns, and not guns in general. Remember: police officers and all their friends are (for the most part) legal responsible gun owners. Cops want laws to focus on criminals and crimes, rather than guns. Collectively, most cops are incredibly pro-gun and equate the 2nd Amendment with freedom (just as you and I might do with the 1st Amendment). Inasmuch as gun laws are seen to infringe their rights while doing nothing to prevent criminals from shooting each other and shooting cops, cops aren’t going to support it.

Consider this: there are (almost) no shootings in Chicago or New York or Baltimore that involves a legally possessed handgun. We’ve already “controlled” these guns and made them illegal. So what would passing *more* restrictive gun laws do to stop this violence? Are we going to double-dog-dare make them illegal? They’re already illegal. We don’t prioritize the laws we do have.

How can we take guns out of the hands of criminals? (Or get criminals to use them less?) That’s the $64,000 question. Most gun-control laws are close to irrelevant here. Perhaps the only way to get guns out of the hands of criminals is to confiscate guns with strong gun control, Australian style. Many people, myself included, like this idea. But the majority of Americans and the current Supreme Court would not agree.

The basic ideological divide is that liberals see guns as the problem and conservatives see criminals as the problem. And nobody on either side has a good plan to keep guns out of the hands of criminals.

There are three-hundred million guns in America; ten-million guns are manufactured every year! And yet only about 10,000 of these gun are used to murder somebody (plus suicides, of course). How many millions of guns would we have to confiscate before we prevented a single gun homicide? And how would we go about doing this?

Most proposed gun-control is pretty useless in actually preventing crime (as opposed to preventing a small number of gun sales.) And gun people see this as an ideological battle on gun-owners, so they won’t give in (even on so-called “common-sense” issues). The political reality is that there’s no way right now we could enact gun control so restrictive it would actually do any substantial good.

8 thoughts on “Wouldn’t Cops Support Gun Laws?

  1. Here we go again with getting rid of the guns in order to solve a problem that confiscation will never solve. Let’s take all the verbiage that Moskos uses above and substitute the word “drugs” instead. Would that work to solve the rampant national drug abuse problem? Apparently the Cook County (IL) board president didn’t think so a few years ago when she declared an end to the “War On Drugs,” proclaiming that there is a special place in hell for Ronald Reagan since he started the program.

    Fine, so we agree agree that there are other social factors in place that create the illegal drug problem. What about guns? Sure, there are a myriad of problems that lead to the shootings, but is a War On Guns going to solve it? People like the out of control renegade Chicago Priest, Fr. Pfleger seem to to think so, to the point where he publicly advocated the murder of a gun store owner a few years back, and so do many of these so-called “community activists” that going around stirring up trouble. But I doubt it – as Moskos implies, it would simply take guns away from some people may actually need to defend themselves.


  2. Just take the things off your hip. I don’t need you acting out your untrained self in a crowded area where I can’t give consent or get out of the way in time. I don’t need saving. Now, in rural and/or border areas where the LE coverage is weak or non-existent, deputize those old boys and wish them Godspeed.


  3. @ George: And an interesting connection between the two. Turns out gun violence in the US is high in locales where … drugs are trafficked: Philly, Baltimore, Chicago, and New Awlins.


  4. CW,
    Your comment shows ignorance.

    Another point to be made is this, there are no demographics about the police regarding factors like ideology and political party affiliation.


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