On December 22, The Washington Post (WaPo) claimed private gun ownership makes police less safe.
With this assertion, the WaPo joined other reactionaries–like the NAACP and Everytown for Gun Safety–who have politicized the heinous attack on two NYPD officers for their own gun control purposes.
According to the WaPo, “Today we should be talking about … guns not simply because one was used Saturday in the shooting deaths of two police officers, but because guns underlie the very tension between police and communities in America that voices saner than Brinsley [the gunman] have been trying to resolve.”
The WaPo expounded:
Guns change the equation in so many ways. They make it harder for police to retreat, and more likely that a stand-off that might have been resolved peacefully will escalate. They make it harder for police to give suspects the benefit of the doubt, and more likely that a suspected criminal may not deserve it. They make it easier for a mentally ill man to forever alter two families’ lives in the name of “revenge.”
Note that there was no mention of the fact that in U.S. cities with the highest levels of gun control–Chicago, for instance–guns are used criminally every day. That is because gun control ensures that criminals are the only ones with access to firearms. Gun control literally empowers criminals.
The WaPo wants readers to believe the NYPD executions were not a reflection on Mayor Bill de Blasio’s abandonment of his own police department, nor were they the result of the recent marches held by social agitators bent on keeping tensions alive in the wake of the Ferguson and Eric Garner grand jury decisions. No, the problem is that Americans have owned guns for 225 years. (The Second Amendment was ratified in 1791).
The WaPo explained:
After the killing of New York police officers Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos over the weekend, it feels perhaps more satisfying to place the blame elsewhere: like protesters who’ve cried for better police policing … [or] public officials who’ve acknowledged that the protesters’ grievances are valid. But both claims deflect attention toward a vague culprit–“anti-police rhetoric”–and away from a more concrete and systematic one: the ever-presence and easy availability of guns.
Follow AWR Hawkins on Twitter @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.