Disarm the Police?


A Newhouse News Service story cites the lack of agitation for gun control in the wake of the recent high school massacre in Red Lake, Minnesota, as evidence of the anti-gun movement's weakness. Another explanation is that it's hard to think of a feasible gun restriction that could even arguably have prevented the shooting rampage by 16-year-old Jeff Weise, who stole the weapons he used from his grandfather, a longtime police officer. The obvious answer, I guess, is to disarm the police, but I haven't heard anyone suggest that. Then again, plausibility (or even basic logic) has never been a requirement for gun control proposals.

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  1. nope, only sensible idea i’ve heard was to arm the security guard that got shot from the get-go. grandpa shoulda kept a piece on his hip, too.

  2. “when guns are outlawed in schools, only outlaw students will have guns.”

  3. Remember the old western movies where there’d be a guy in his farm house who was accused of some crime. And the sherriff would walk up to ask him to go downtown to answer some questions. And the guy would come to his door with his gun and say

    “you got a warrant?”

    And the sherriff would say “Well, Jake, I was hoping we could avoid that.”

    And the guy would shoulder his gun and say,

    “Sherriff, until you come back with a warrant for my arrest, stay the hell off my land!”

    And then he’d spit for effect. And the shrriff would tip his hat, and say

    “Alright, Jake, if that’s the way you want it,” and he’d mount his horse and ride back to town.

    Remember that kind of scene?

    Nowadays, if I walk to the door with a gun and tell the sherriff to get off my land, there’ll be a sweat team riddling my house with bullets in 30 seconds flat.

    Everyone needs to be armed, all the time. Then maybe the police would remember their manners. And the constitution.

    mr strauss
    pop goes lethal

    1. I agree the cops are too powerful, we need to disarm them, once and for all.

  4. Mr. Strauss, it would still be one against 50, with the police having better positions.

  5. Yes, disarm the police.

    And arm everyone else.

  6. Gun control groups could argue that police should turn their guns in at the end of the shift instead of taking them home. Of course, gun control appears to be a loosing agenda, and such an argument would not exactly build bridges between the police and gun banners. And police could point out the usefulness of off-duty concealed carry.

  7. Let’s explore that option. In an ideal world, we’d all be armed. But since that is not likely, how about disarming the police?

    First off, they’d be much more polite. They’d probably hear more often, “No, you can’t search my car.”

    Second, we’d see an end to the dynamic entry. Picture this scenario.

    Police: Mr. Lewis, we want to break your neighbor’s door down, but we don’t have guns. Will you work with us and use your gun?

    Lewis: How about we just ring the bell, instead?

    There is a statistic out there that citizens are much more likely to shoot the correct bad guy than the cop. Between citizen and bad guy, they each know their role. When the cop happens on the scene, he has to guess.

    I vote for disarming the cops.

  8. The anti-gun organizations like to pick the weaklings out of the herd, so they go after “Saturday Night Specials” and “Assault Weapons” and “Plastic Guns” because they know those are easy to attack and tricky to defend. If you really want to go after cops’ guns, start with cops who have desk jobs, especially high-ranking commanders and their assistants. After all, they don’t place themselves in dangerous situations any more. If they stumble on some random street crime, they can do what the rest of us do. They can call the cops.

    Actually, fear of a “disarm-the-cops” movement is one of the reasons so many rank-and-file cops oppose gun control.

  9. This one guy I know who is extremely pro-gun control is also absolutely convinced that the U.S. will be an entirely Fascist dictatorship by the end of the decade. So I asked him, “If you think the government’s going to get THAT bad, why do you want THEM to be the only ones who have guns?”

    No answer.

  10. While Jeff used his grandfather’s service guns at the school, the .22 he used to shoot his grandfather and his companion appears to have been a family hunting rifle, according to the boy’s cousin.

    Most gun-control advocates around these parts are interested in further restricting hunting.

  11. In his platform for Sheriff of Aspen County in 1970 Hunter S. Thomspon proposes that “The Sheriff and his Deputies should never be armed in public,” and that “Under ordinary circumstances a pistol-grip Mace-bomb, such as the MK-V made by Gen. Ordnance, is more than enough to quickly wilt any violence problem in Aspen. And anything the MK-V can’t handle would require reinforcements anyway…in which case the response would be geared at all times to Massive Retaliation: a brutal attack with guns, bombs, pepper-foggers, wolverines and all other weapons deemed necessary to restore the civic peace. The whole notion of disarming the police is to lower the level of violence – while guaranteeing at the same time, a terrible punishment to anyone stupid enough to attempt violence on an un-armed cop.”

    Of course, the Massive Realiation option would need to be used by police in major cities a lot more often than in small towns. I like the idea of disarming the police in part because you can never hold an office responsible for killing anybody with a gun, even when the suspect is unarmed and was shot in back. I think our constitutional order demanding a strict seperation of civilian policing in the community from any military involvement, plus private gun ownership, are good things. Unfortunately, our local police departments have been moving in a more militaristic direction over the past 30 years, both in the methods of enforcement and weaponry. Thanks to the Crime Bill back in 1994, we’ve got small town police departments all over the country with heavily armed SWAT teams they don’t need. The kind of weaponry police departments have now is the last thing we would want many trigger happy and poorly trained cops to have under most routine circumstances they run into in the line of duty.

    I think having unarmed cops would go a long way towards forcing them to remember certain laws while in the line of duty, like the Bill of Rights, and court rulings, like Miranda, Ayatollah Usoe argue above.

    How much more likely are both children and adults to engage in this kind of violence if they have either received police and/or military training, or grew up in a family with a member who has received either military and/or police training? It’s not a question often asked and the fact that the Minnesota school shooter had a parental guardian who was a police office shouldn’t excuse him for what he did. If anything, we should want to hold him doulby responsible for using his knowledge of how to carry out a lethal assualt with police weaponry in a malicious manner. Jeffrey Weise willfully and malicious went to war with his family and school on Monday. After he killed his grandfather and his girlfriend, Weise put on bullet proof vest to protect himself from anybody else who might shoot at him and drove his grandfather’s car to his former school and went to war. Don’t listen to all the excuse makers trying to excuse Weise for what he did because he had a bad childhood, was taking Prozac or lived in a community with a 40 percent unemployment rate, or whatever. When Weise killed himself on Monday he was suffering from the consequences of having willfully choosen to behave very badly, very evilly, towards his family and school.

  12. Trying to understand is different from excusing. I haven’t seen anyone making excuses for what Jeff Weise did but examining the factors that led to his abhorrent actions that day.

  13. Unfortunately, all of these attempts at “understanding” what Weise did invariably leads to a posthumous insanity defense and the conclusion that somebody or something else must be responsible for what he did. Weise wasn’t an innocent 4-year-old, but a 250 lb. 16-year-old with a long history of disciplinary problems, and I have yet to see a bottle of Prozac kill a police officer, put on a bullet proof vest and drive to a school in search of more victims. Unfortunately, a lot of people really believe this kind of nonsense about the drugs. They’re called trial lawyers, judges and the parents of child psychiatric patients looking for a way to excuse their children for their really bad behavior and hold somebody or something else responsible for it. -Rick

    “Trying to understand is different from excusing. I haven’t seen anyone making excuses for what Jeff Weise did but examining the factors that led to his abhorrent actions that day.”

  14. “There is a statistic out there that citizens are much more likely to shoot the correct bad guy than the cop. Between citizen and bad guy, they each know their role. When the cop happens on the scene, he has to guess.”

    It’s that a cop is five and a half times more likely to shoot the wrong person when he uses his gun than a civilian. That’s how it’s usually stated anyway. What it’s really based on, is defense shootings in California overa number of years, my memory on this is a bit rusty, but I think it was: 2% of civilian self-defense shootings that went to court resulted in a conviction for the shooting. 11% of police shootings resulted that went to court resulted in a conviction. Thus 5.5 times more likely.

    Really though, this ignores the fact that police enter more ambiguous situations. If they show up at an emergency, they don’t immediately know who the criminal is. A citizen being attacked generally has a good idea of who to shoot.

  15. As I said, I don’t hear one person saying Weise wasn’t responsible. There’s a distinction between looking at what might have motivated a person to commit a reprehensible crime. I’m no trial lawyer, psychologist, judge, or anguished parent. But I don’t think that monstrous acts like this come out of a vaccuum.

  16. First off, they’d be much more polite. They’d probably hear more often, “No, you can’t search my car.”

    Probably not. I don’t think most people consent to a search because of guns, but more out of undue respect for authority and ignorance of their rights.

  17. Eh, why not just use all those metal detectors at the schools to make sure that every kid who doesn’t bring a gun to school is issued one for the day.

  18. Serafina,

    In the absence of testimony from Weise, how can anyone guess why he felt compelled to do it?

  19. “Disarm the Police?”

    The Soccer/Security Moms would never have it.

    Without an armed police force, there’s no way for Soccer/Security Moms to enforce their reign of nanny terror. You can’t force people to do what’s good for them if you aren’t packin’ any heat.

    …No, take the guns away from everybody except for the police, that’s the Nanny Way.

  20. “…it’s hard to think of a feasible gun restriction that could even arguably have prevented the shooting rampage by 16-year-old Jeff Weise…”

    That didn’t stop Courtney Love at the Million Mom March, where she seized on Cobain’s suicide to call for draconian gun laws. But he killed himself with a shotgun, which is legal even in the UK, for cryin’ out loud! Too bad the gun rights people didn’t put her on the spot at the time about whether “sensible regulations” meant a total ban on hunting weapons.

  21. By the way, I can’t think of anybody else professional enough to carry this Glock…

  22. I believe that in the UK, the famous bobbies are still unarmed, though they do have weapons locked in their trunks of their patrol cars. And they seem to manage fairly well. Criminals there seem to prefer using knives instead of handguns, perhaps due to their severe gun control Of course, the fact that they live in an Orwellian total surveillance society is a drawback.

  23. The fact that the security guard was unarmed is a straw-man as far as I’m concerned. A powerful assailant could have overpowered him and taken his weapon, as what happened in Atlanta. It’s the training and experience of the guard that matters, not his weapon.

  24. Are we absolutely _required_ to acknowledge that police officers are also self-owning human beings entitled to defend their lives, property, and liberty with deadly force if necessary?

    I _really_ want to say “disarm the cops…ONLY the cops!”.


  25. [In the wake of another spate of gun mayhem — this time in Red Lake, Minn., just nine days after a mass shooting in Brookfield, Wis. — the question resurfaces: Why can’t a gun-control compromise be found to prevent such incidents?]

    One clue might be that all of the recent shootings took place in or near places where civilian concealed carry is prohibited, and the obvious solution isn’t popular with the anti-gun crowd.

  26. I don’t think anyone has tried to excuse Weise’s behavior. Plenty of us have asked the question that everyone wonders about in the wake of this sort of thing — “Why???”

    There’s never a good answer, really.

    There’s no good gun control compromises because the laws are only capable of affecting those of us who try to live within the law. Those of us living within the law aren’t a threat to others, law or no law.

    Those who decide to conduct violent attacks will always have the upper hand in “gun-free” zones until “gun-free” means that you are free to carry and use a firearm in self-defense no matter where you are.

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