Guns

"'Only the Cops Need Guns' Simply Could Not Live Forever Alongside, 'The Cops Are Racist and Will Kill You'"

|The Volokh Conspiracy |

An interesting short article by Charles C.W. Cooke, editor of the National Review (though of course, as he notes, there are plenty of good arguments for being able to effectively defend yourself even if the cops aren't racist and will kill you).

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  1. Only the cops, who should be defunded, should have guns to kill you with after we take your guns. Yay.

    1. Do you really think this post is a good look?

  2. An effective demonstration, yet again, that conservatives are dishonest debaters.

    1. You win the debate with your detailed exposition!

    2. I think we’re all indebted to Snorkle Johnson for clearly stating what needed to be said. I’m particularly glad that these lovely children were here today to hear that speech. Not only was it authentic frontier gibberish, it expressed a courage little seen in this day and age.

      1. Hrrughbmr!

    3. Spoken like a true master debater.

  3. and also, some would say we have reached the proverbial cartridge box with police brutality. Another reason for the 2A.

    People should be thankful that the law allows them to be their own first responder… Unless you think that the police unions are giving up their cushy no-accountability contracts without a fight. (Maybe not a direct fight, but one where they let crime spiral perhaps).

  4. Pick 1:
    * The police are racist and oppressive and will kill you.
    * Only the police should have guns.

    Also:
    * Trump and his government are authoritarian dictators who will unleash government aggression upon peaceful citizens.
    * Only the government should have guns.

    1. *The police are not racist but they are still oppressive and will kill you, your dog, and your neighbor.

  5. Some key statistics on racism in the United States.

    1. In 2016, there were 776 inter-racial (White-black) homicides. Of these…
    a. Blacks committed 533 of them
    b. Whites committed 243 of them.

    2. Excluding homicide, between 2012 and 2015, African Americans were responsible for 85% of inter-racial (White-black) violent crimes.

    3. In terms of police, a cop is 1750% more likely to be killed by an African American, than an unarmed African American is to be killed by a cop

    1. When 10% of the population is black and 50% is white, in round numbers, it only makes sense that 80% of black perpetrators have white victims, or that 80% of inter-racial crime is black on white. 50:50 would imply one heck of a lot of white racists.

      Your third point is meaningless. The two are unrelated.

      1. You fail to account for absolute numbers, see my response below.

    2. Heck, let’s put some actual numbers at work. Assume 80 whites and 20 blacks. I’m ignoring other races because you did, even though you also specified “inter-racial”, which makes your data suspect right from the start, but let’s ignore the impication that Asians, Hispanics, and all other races have no involvement in crime whatsoever.

      Black criminal picks a random victim. He’s got 80 whites and 19 blacks to choose from. Guess which statistic he bumps up?

      White criminal picks a random victim. He’s got 79 whites and 20 blacks to choose from. Guess which statistic he bumps up?

      You really need to cherry pick a lot better if you want to make blacks look the uber criminals you imply.

      1. So a few points.

        1) I put inter-racial, but then specified just the two races above, for the purpose of this argument.

        2) What you’re critically missing in your analysis here is that since there are more white people overall, there should be more white criminals overall. So, let’s use your 80/20 example. And assume a 4% criminal rate for each population.

        Black criminal 1 has a has an 80 whites and 19 blacks to choose from. (0.8 whites killed, 0.19 blacks killed)

        White criminal 1 has 79 whites and 20 blacks to choose from
        White criminal 2 has 79 whites and 20 blacks to choose from
        White criminal 3 has 79 whites and 20 blacks to choose from
        White criminal 4 has 79 whites and 20 blacks to choose from

        Total killed: 2.36 whites, 0.8 blacks.

        See where you made your error? Of course, if for whatever reason, whites had a murdering criminal population that was much lower as a percentage than the black murdering criminal population. Would you like to make that argument?

        Point 3: If we’re worried about racism, then perhaps the number of people actually killed by people of the other race is going to play a role.

        1. You have contradicted your own claims 1 and 2; blacks have not killed more whites than whites killed blacks.

          You haven’t explained claim 3 at all.

          1. So, I presented the statistics if everything was equal. You would expect equal numbers on both sides.

            The statistics in truth are not equal. The truth is, more white people have been killed by black people, than the other way around. That’s just facts. White people are disproportionatly the victims of African Americans, compared to the opposite.

            It is the reverse of what you would expect if there was widespread racism by white people against blacks.

  6. “The Nixon campaign in 1968, and the Nixon White House after that, had two enemies: the antiwar left and black people. You understand what I’m saying? We knew we couldn’t make it illegal to be either against the war or black, but by getting the public to associate the hippies with marijuana and blacks with heroin, and then criminalizing both heavily, we could disrupt those communities. We could arrest their leaders, raid their homes, break up their meetings, and vilify them night after night on the evening news. Did we know we were lying about the drugs? Of course we did.”

    John Ehrlichmann, explaining the war on drugs.

    I mean, in a fantasy world, this point is correct.

    But this isn’t a fantasy world. This is the real world. In the real world, white people with guns occupy government buildings and intimidate politicians and the police let them be. Black people with guns? Well, they defend their homes when the police bust into the wrong address without announcing themselves and get lit up.

    What BS. The system protects itself.

    1. You comment reads like a Homey the Clown mad at “the man” skit.

      If you think that whites are in charge of “the system” and “the system” give whites a free pass when it comes to guns, well, that’s just not the reality today, especially when you look at the localities and states with the highest level of gun control, and which take the opportunity to punish gun owners (like having a delayed flight in NY with a gun in your luggage).

      I won’t deny the racist roots of much of this country’s history of gun control though. Nothing like some gun control to keep the black man down.

      1. The Congress on Racial Equality’s amicus in the Heller case on the racist roots of gun control is a good read on the subject.

    2. Well this statement is pure racism. I can show you black people at 2a protests at court houses. I can link you stories of white people killed by cops.

      You’re a racist.

  7. Do people end up successfully using their gun on cops, even as a deterrent?

    1. Well, the police are certainly deterred from something. That’s why they execute search warrants as if they’re doing it in Sadr City. (With similar success in terms of bodycount and popularity.)

    2. In the first 4 months of 2020, 16 law officers were feloniously with firearms.

      So, yes, people do end up “successfully” using their guns on cops.

      1. Sorry, I guess it should be did anyone successfully *defend themselves* from police brutality with a gun?

        That wouldn’t work, seems to me.

        Which makes the quote in the OP not a contradiction at all.

        1. “That wouldn’t work, seems to me.”

          It might work. Depends if the “brutality” was legally justified.

          If you have police abusing their authority on (and off) the clock, and trusting in their firearms to keep them safe… Well, a few people who are willing to take the consequences for their actions might make police think twice about abusing their authority.

          1. It hasn’t worked, is my point.

            Your scenario is just incorrect at to human nature; a few good guys with guns willing to kill cops are not going to be presented as such, and are not going to make cops thing twice.
            Just like shooting a member of a street gang doesn’t make that street game think twice.

        2. Yes. Usually by the cop seeing the gun and backing down before it escalates to brutality. The Black Panther’s started with Cop Watching in the 1960s. This also directly led to California adopting it’s “gun control” measures, further supporting the argument that gun control laws are for disarming people, not protecting them.

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_Panther_Party

          1. I am aware of the Black Panthers and the racial component to early gun control.

            I’m also not at all clear that the movement ever really successfully defended itself.
            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fred_Hampton

            1. Uh… Ever heard of Tupac?

              He famously saw two grown white men beating up a black kid in Atlanta. So he jumped out of his vehicle and confronted them with a gun. After they drew guns on him, he shot them.

              They were police. Two off duty police officers.

              He was charged.

              And the charges were dropped.

              You could make the point that successfully using force against the police is exceedingly rare.. but you certainly can’t run around claiming “never”. In this day and age, with cameras everywhere, the likelihood of success has increased significantly. (although I’ll still argue that it is quite small)

              1. I mean, sure. I do not mean the superlative, because that’s never true.

                But that changes nothing of my thesis.

                Tupac story is cool.

            2. “I’m also not at all clear that the movement ever really successfully defended itself.”

              Did you read any of these when they were discussed here?

              “Negroes With Guns” Robert F Williams, Wayne Staue Univ Press, 1998
              “A Man Called White” Walter White, Arno Press and the NYT, 1969
              “Negroes and the Gun”, Nicholas Johnson, Prometheus, 2014
              “The Deacons of Defense”, Lance Hill, UNC Press, 2004

    3. Isn’t a better measure of whether we have a problem with white cops and black men the number of unarmed black men killed by white cops? And we have that number, do we not?

      At least, the WaPo claimed they did. They reported a total of fourteen (yes 14) unarmed black men killed by white cops in 2019. A total of 14. Try male, black, unarmed as filters at the link below. Replicate my number.

      https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/2019/national/police-shootings-2019/

      Whatever our societal problems with race are (and we have them), the problem is not white cops just killing unarmed black men at a high number. The data simply don’t show that problem.

      1. More blacks have been killed during the riots–excuse me, peaceful protests–in 2020 than were killed by police in all of 2019.

      2. I mean, the issue is more with cops killing people in general. The racial disparity is just icing on the cake.

        1. As people keep pointing out, once you adjust for racial disparities in crime rates, the racial disparity in being shot by cops is the opposite of what’s claimed: They’re actually more likely to shoot whites.

          1. 1) So what? The issue is the police, not their victims

            2) Stats about crime rates misses out on the potential for disparate enforcement.

            3) Your analogy between crime prevalence and police brutality is required for your conclusion, but not supported by any evidence other than your own logic.
            What about the seriousness of the crime? The proportionality of response?

            4) Not to mention profiling.

            1. You’ve missed the point.

              “Because racism” is the distraction. It is the canard that they use every single time this comes up. This is how they get everyone diverted away from actually fixing the problem with the criminal justice system.

              If you say “we must fix institutionalized racism and racist police!”… what happens?

              A whole lot of nothing, that’s what. Police, prosecutors and judges are going to argue “I’m not a racist!”. You are going to shout “Yes you are!”. Sensitivity training all around. Hire more people who have dark skin. Yada-yada.

              Now, what if you frame the problem thus:

              Police are abusing their power and harming people. How can we fix that?

              Now you have a real problem that can actually be addressed. It doesn’t matter if they are doing it for the reason of racism, or because they are sociopaths, or for no particular reason at all. You just address the actual problem… the conduct that is harming people.

              How?

              Well, welcome to libertarian mainstreet.

              Unions are a problem. Can’t fire bad cops. Can’t demote them.

              The war on drugs is huge. Bad missions lead to bad outcomes.

              Tactics designed for stopping a shooter from harming people are being used to serve routine warrants. Reining this in would make a massive difference in the level of violence visited upon people.

              Prosecutors protect the police when they do the wrong thing. That needs to stop.

              Judges do even more to protect the police than prosecutors do.

              Beyond those basics of accountability and mission: There’s loads to be done in criminal justice reform. Forensics is completely corrupt because the incentives for the crime lab are all wrong. Prosecutors using mandatory minimum sentences and massive overcharging to get guilty pleas is wrong. Judges allowing this is wrong. Legislators allowing draconian sentences to continue is wrong.

              Every single one of those very libertarian ideas would disproportionately benefit the black community – yet not one of those ideas has any directive about race or racism.

              In fact, if properly implemented, those types of reforms would completely solve the “racist cops are killing us” problem, without any need of ever designing a program around preventing people from being racist.

              But not only are we not going to follow that path – one that has been laid out for decades – we are not going to be allowed to even discuss that path. Because it is racist to discuss anything other than institutionalized racism.

              So congratulations, folks. We’ll take another bite at this apple and come away with some fired up voters for the fall…. .and not much else.

              1. I’m defiantly not a libertarian, but I and most on the left agree about reforming police unions and stopping the war on drugs. So then who is in favor of these things?
                I have discussed the issues of bad forensic science in previous threads.

                Do you think BLM would disagree if these reforms were put into place in a widespread way?

                Methinks your allies are not who you think they are.

              2. Cyto….This was a great post, thank you.

            2. “1) So what? The issue is the police, not their victims”

              Right, too many of the police being unnecessarily violent, NOT the police being “racist”.

              “2) Stats about crime rates misses out on the potential for disparate enforcement.”

              Disparate enforcement can’t be messing with victimization surveys. And those agree with the crime rate numbers. So unless blacks themselves are conspiring to report that they’re being victimized by their fellow blacks in line with the crime statistics, you just have to admit the crime statistics are real.

              “3) Your analogy between crime prevalence and police brutality is required for your conclusion, but not supported by any evidence other than your own logic.
              What about the seriousness of the crime? The proportionality of response?”

              See point 2.

              “4) Not to mention profiling.”

              See point 2. Any response that starts from the premise that the crime statistics aren’t real is starting off wrong.

              1. First, I continue to challenge the statistics, because it’s pretty easy to see where a sample bias can easily come in with victim surveys that have a racial component.

                Second, neither my point 3 nor my point 4 have anything to do with the numbers being wrong, they have to do with the results of such surveys not capturing aspects of disparate enforcement.

    4. Although not common, there are some cases where private citizens fired upon police officers thinking they were being attacked by criminals. Here in Central Texas, there was once such case where a homeowner killed a cop in no-knock raid and the jury acquitted him.

      In the ongoing Breonna Taylor no-knock case, her boyfriend fired on the police, and charges have been dropped.

      1. But, how’d that turn out in terms of having a gun being helpful?

        I am quite unconvinced concerns about police have any kind of connection with buying a gun.

        Arsenal-type militiamen excepted.

        1. As a general rule, firing on cops is not terribly prudential even if legally justified, because the cops will do their damnedest to see to it you don’t survive to have the case legally reviewed.

          In cases where the cops are trying to extra-judicially execute you, you still have a better chance of survival if you resist.

          1. But there’s a lot of police malfeasance that’s not quite judicial execution (even if the outcome is often the same). Having a gun will actively hurt in that case.

            And you don’t know which is which.

            Thus, I do not think it follows that police will kill you implies anything about gun ownership to address it.

            Generalized unrest seems more the driver of gun sales. That and the left getting into guns.

            And no, I don’t mean Antifa.

            1. I don’t generally recommend responding to police malfeasance by shooting at police. Like I said, it’s not prudential even when it’s justified, unless they’re trying to kill you on the spot.

              But “having a gun” and “using a gun” are two different things. And, no, “having a gun” does not make the situation worse for you, unless you’re having it illegally.

  8. 1. Like I said the other day: if cops don’t know how to use their guns, or are prone to abusing them, they should have their guns taken away too.

    2. It takes a special kind of crazy person to think that the solution to the problem of “The Cops Are Racist and Will Kill You” is to shoot at the police.

    3. The reverse is also true. If all those conservatives really believe that everything is fine and dandy, why are they buying guns? And, more revealingly perhaps, why were they buying guns when Obama was elected?

    1. 1) You can’t pass a law to un-invent something.

      2) Talk to the Black Panthers, Weather Underground, Branch Davidians, etc. etc.

      3) Reports are that guns are being bought mostly by first time buyers, somewhat panicked over the state of things.
      3a) People buying guns during the Obama gun sales surge were
      buying guns that he wanted to ban, presuming that they
      would, like previous bans, be grandfathered in.

    2. “more revealingly”

      Do they teach mindreading in law school in the Netherlands? Or just stereotyping?

  9. Edit. Feloniuously killed.

  10. Arm yourself against the police? Are you serious?

    As bad as things are now, a black person is about 786 times more likely to be killed if the police see he has a gun.

    1. I would like to see a source for that statistic.

      1. Good point. If that 786 times figure was true, a black person with a gun would have a 212% probability of getting killed, and that can’t be right.

    2. re: “Arm yourself against the police?”

      That’s not what the article says at all. It’s not even anything the article implies.

  11. Will the law and order/”come and take it” people finally figure out who is going to be coming and taking it? I wonder….

    1. Yes, we have.

      1. So you better be demanding law enforcement officers scrupulously uphold civil rights.

        1. We have been. Strenuously. Read all of the posts from conservatives on use decrying qualified immunity. But what we won’t sign on to is making it a BLM issue, as though inappropriate police action against whites is okay.

          1. I actually agree a little on BLM. If George Floyd was white, would BLM care about his death at all? But they’re right when they’re right, despite the selectivity. Whenever BLM starts demanding more than what every individual deserves, the answer should change.

            Similarly, why wasn’t the NRA out there making a big issue on the Philando Castile killing? They should have been.

            1. Regarding Floyd, that’s fine, but it’s clearly being presented as a problem only for blacks. Until that changes, I won’t support it.

              The NRA doesn’t take a side in ANY shooting, whether police involved, concealed carrier involved, or anything else. Whether or not they should have is up for debate, but there is no racial angle that the race-baiters like to claim there is.

              1. George floyd

    2. Likewise, I wonder if the gun law people will ever learn that it’s not middle- aged rural white guys who generally serve time on a gun charge. If you want more young minority men in prison, gun laws will make that happen

      1. Because otherwise the police would let them walk around unmolested? How is that working out for you?

        1. Police are mean so imprisoning young minority men on gun charges is irrelevant?

          1. Right on, Ben.

        2. Most gun ban and gun control advocates don’t care that they will end up putting more minorities behind bars. The best way to imprison more minorities? Pass more gun laws!

          Washington Post: Shaneen Allen, race and gun control

          Quote:
          The nation’s top gun-enforcement agency overwhelmingly targeted racial and ethnic minorities as it expanded its use of controversial drug sting operations, a USA TODAY investigation shows.

          The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives has more than quadrupled its use of those stings during the past decade, quietly making them a central part of its attempts to combat gun crime. The operations are designed to produce long prison sentences for suspects enticed by the promise of pocketing as much as $100,000 for robbing a drug stash house that does not actually exist.

          At least 91% of the people agents have locked up using those stings were racial or ethnic minorities, USA TODAY found after reviewing court files and prison records from across the United States. Nearly all were either black or Hispanic. That rate is far higher than among people arrested for big-city violent crimes, or for other federal robbery, drug and gun offenses.

  12. Because shootouts with the police always go well for everyone, including innocent bystanders!

  13. What makes you think it is only conservatives buying guns?

    1. “What makes you think it is only conservatives buying guns?”

      Usually people turn conservative after buying a gun and discovering their new found self sufficiency.

      1. You have an extensive well designed survey to prove that I suppose.

      2. And because their liberal acquaintances will go all Church Lady and rebuke them for their sinful gun possession the next time CNN has a dramatic shooting story and the Dems spot an opportunity to divide Americans.

        “You don’t want to be like them do you? You need to donate to keep the NRA from giving every kindergartener in America a machine gun! Send the money now or all the children will die!”

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