You Can’t Demonize Guns without Demonizing Cops

“With all this open disdain for firearms, people should not forget that guns are the most conspicuous tools police officers carry every day at work in defense of themselves and society.”

The leftist nation, ignorant of anything to do with firearms except for banning them, is shrieking about guns again in the wake of the horrific massacre of 58 innocent people and wounding of hundreds of others, attending an open-air country music concert in Las Vegas, Nevada. And guns, those inanimate objects that elicit such vitriol, are once again the subject of scorn and derision. To ask anti-gun nuts, the gun has agency and not only decides how it will be used but, apparently, can kill at will. As someone who owns firearms and carried a gun at work for many years, I’d like to know how can you demonize guns without demonizing all the people who own them?

If someone uses a car, knife, or hatchet to commit criminal violence, no one blames those items. But whether a criminal commits an armed robbery, a citizen exercises self-defense, or a cop shoots an armed suspect in the line of duty, critics vilify the gun regardless of the circumstances.

With all this open disdain for firearms, people should not forget that guns are the most conspicuous tools police officers carry every day at work in defense of themselves and society. When the left demonizes guns rather than the criminal use of guns, by extension don’t they also demonize all those who carry them, including cops? If you believe the gun is evil, then anyone who owns one, and especially those who carry them, must be evil too, right?

I detected something a bit different following the horror in Las Vegas. An extra bite in the public rhetoric spewed by the left in the aftermath of this dreadful incident. This time, they attacked gun owners more directly and viciously as “having blood on their hands” than I’ve seen before. Even a Republican, former George W. Bush speechwriter, Canadian-born David Frum, said, “you’re a bad parent if you have a gun in the house.” As if simply owning a gun can make people irresponsible and somehow complicit in the carnage perpetrated by evil madmen.

Some leftist politicians, entertainers, and news media declared they have no sympathy for the victims because, being country music fans, they probably voted for president Trump. Therefore, they must be white supremacists. One CBS legal executive was fired for making such a statement. Shamefully, two members of the U.S. House of Representatives refused to join fellow house members in honoring those killed in Las Vegas, in a moment of silence.

These Democrats blamed Republican Second Amendment supporters for the victim’s deaths because those despicable Republicans don’t believe the same way as the oh-so-virtuous gun control Democrats do about firearms. Think about these two representatives of the people: their political ideology is so religiously entrenched, they cannot conceive of a viewpoint other than their own as valid. Discussion? What for? We are right; you are wrong—no, you are evil.

As if simply owning a gun can make people irresponsible and somehow complicit in the carnage perpetrated by evil madmen.

It’s an apt example for me that the two representatives, Seth Moulton and Katherine Clark, represent districts in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, my home state. It also shows just how far the birthplace of the American Revolution has fallen from its perch as an icon of individual liberty. But, we don’t have to go back to 1776 to see how twisted the anti-gun nuts have become. As recently as the mid-70s, in the liberal bastion of western Massachusetts, it was not unusual to see young teenagers walking along the street with .22 cal. rifles headed to some cornfield, the woods, or a dirt pit to shoot cans. My friends and I did it. I wouldn’t try it today.

No one called the police on us, and if police drove by, they might tell us to be careful but normally just paid us no mind. Oh, and none of us ever considered using our guns against a person. Just like we wouldn’t have considered running someone over with a car—if we’d been old enough to drive.

Today, like Frum, there are even more people on the left who would think nothing of removing children from the home of parents who own firearms. The NRA reported in its magazine, America’s 1st Freedom, that Michigan doesn’t allow gun owners to be foster parents.

Recently, a Michigan Judge was willing to deny grandparents the ability to foster their own grandchild unless they agreed to a list of requirements abridging their Second Amendment rights. The judge said, “We know we are violating numerous constitutional rights here, but if you do not comply, we will remove the boy [grandson] from your home.” A pair of Michigan legislators are attempting to find a legislative solution to this social injustice.

The left has found many ways to demonize guns. One way is the pernicious brainwashing school children with those ubiquitous but ineffectual Gun-Free Zone signs. Well, ineffectual against bad guys with guns (except for letting them know the people inside are proverbial sitting ducks), but they work pretty well against good guys with guns because good guys obey the law. Nevertheless, these same gun-hating school administrators still enjoy the protection of those police officers. The good guys whose work tools, guns, they disparage.

Imagine how it feels to be a cop whose primary tool for self-defense and the defense of others is branded as evil to the children with whom they are trying to form long-lasting, positive relationships. What are the children to think of anyone who carries a gun, even police officers, if schools consistently teach kids that guns are bad?

And what about the school administrators who advocate cops remove their guns when in the presence of children? Why do some otherwise responsible adults feel no compunction in insulting police officers this way? In Arizona, in 2013, a school administrator took issue with a cop in uniform, including sidearm, who came to pick up his daughter from school. The school’s principal asked the officer not to wear his uniform and gun when on school property.

Recently, a Michigan Judge was willing to deny grandparents the ability to foster their own grandchild unless they agreed to a list of requirements abridging their Second Amendment rights.

Like a salesperson’s car, a carpenter’s hammer, or a chef’s knife, all of these items are practical, useful, and have the potential to be used to kill. However, as with firearms, these objects are not endowed with some mystical will of their own. In fact, people normally consider those items in a positive light no matter how many times criminals use them to kill people. Society do not universally demonize these tools. When villains use them for evil, the blame goes where it belongs, to the individual misusing the item.

Across the country, some firearmophobic [hey, if the left can make up words like homophobic and islamophobic, why can’t I make up words too?], leftist politicians not only call for the disarming of civilians but also of cops. Politicians in some jurisdictions have called for restrictions on certain types of firearms and magazines, even for police officers. Just how out-gunned were the cops in Las Vegas during that mad man’s rampage? Many years ago, in Seattle, a candidate running for city council wanted police officers to store their guns in lockers after work. Because cops never run into criminals or violent crime when off-duty, right?

The left went crazy when former Seattle police chief Norm Stamper announced he would upgrade his officers’ guns from revolvers to the semi-automatic, .40 Cal. Glock 22. Leftist anti-gun nuts hurled the usual insults at “trigger-happy cops” and predicted weekly, if not daily, Wild West shootouts. Of course, none of that happened.

Stamper’s decision was not arbitrary. It was partly in response to the 1997 North Hollywood Shooting, during which the suspects wore body armor and used automatic rifles against out-gunned police officers armed only with handguns. Fortunately, police finally killed the two suspects, and no innocents lost their lives, but the shooters wounded 10 police officers and 5 civilians.

Not to be drowned out by the anti-Second Amendment cacophony, Hillary Clinton, who can’t seem to help herself, emitted leftist, anti-gun clichés before the echoes from the gunshots of the Vegas massacre had gone silent. Odd because she’s been strangely silent on the monthly massacres going on for years in Chicago. Wasn’t Mrs. Clinton born in Chicago? While vomiting nonsense words, she mentioned something she called a “gun epidemic.” What the heck does that mean? Is that similar to a hammer or butcher knife epidemic?

This gibberish is meant to elicit emotional responses from sycophants who continue to cling to a former presidential candidate who refuses to believe she lost the election. And even if you try to extrapolate her comments into something coherent, any attempt at an explanation gets slapped down by facts. During this so-called gun epidemic, despite increased shootings in cities such as Hillary’s hometown, federal statistics show that, overall, violent crime across America is down.

Though my training and decision-making skills were the most important tools I used at work, my gun was the most important tangible tool I carried.

Mass shootings may be up, but with Islamic terrorism [Orlando, San Bernardino, etc.], and evil people responding violently to the left’s constant condemning of law-abiding gun owners and pro-Second Amendment Republican legislators as “killers,” and, of course, with the left’s routine demonization of police officers “hunting young black men in the streets,” anyone else think these may be contributing factors to the increase? After all, an armed madman didn’t target Black Lives Matter at a protest of law enforcement in Dallas or Democrats at a congressional baseball practice in Alexandria. These madmen targeted police officers and Republican congresspersons.

And then you have the left reporting fake news stories such as asserting there have been more people killed by guns in America, inferring homicides, than all those killed in all of America’s wars dating back to the Revolution. But if you conduct a little research and engage your critical thinking, you find out that two-thirds of those gun deaths, 63 percent, were suicides. Now, suicide is tragic in its own right, but it is not a homicide—one person intentionally and illegally killing another person. Homicides accounted for only one-third, 33 percent of total gun deaths, far short of “all Americans killed in war”—ever. The remaining four percent were justified, self-defense, accidents, and undetermined causes.

As I said, I carried a gun for a living for many years. Though my training and decision-making skills were the most important tools I used at work, my gun was the most important tangible tool I carried. It was there for me to protect the innocent and myself. I was proud that society vested in me an extraordinary responsibility to act as a guardian of liberty, protector of the people, and trusted me to use sound judgement if, God forbid, I ever had to fire my gun in the line of duty. I shouldn’t have to say it, but I was not evil and neither was my gun.

The opinions expressed here by contributors are their own and are not the view of OpsLens which seeks to provide a platform for experience-driven commentary on today's trending headlines in the U.S. and around the world. Have a different opinion or something more to add on this topic? Contact us for guidelines on submitting your own experience-driven commentary.
Steve Pomper

Steve Pomper is an OpsLens contributor, a retired Seattle police officer, and the author of four non-fiction books, including De-Policing America: A Street Cop’s View of the Anti-Police State. You can read a review of this new book in Front Page Magazine and listen to an interview with Steve on the Joe Pags Show. Steve was a field-training officer, on the East Precinct Community Police Team, and served his entire career on the streets. He has a BA in English Language and Literature. He enjoys spending time with his kids and grand-kids. He loves to ride his Harley, hike, and cycle with his wife, Jody, a retired firefighter. You can find out more about Steve and send him comments and questions at www.stevepomper.com.

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