CQ…Clark Here

Thoughts and opinions. LOTS of opinions.

Gun Control

Up to now, I have written little regarding politics, but recently comments have moved me to this post.  Michael Bloomberg, mayor of New York City, and uber-millionaire, has made some comments about gun control.  In case you missed it, here it is:

http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/mayor-bloomberg-comment-police-strike-congress-attention-gun-control-debate-level-drew-mixed-reactions-article-1.1120980

In brief (and I’m paraphrasing), he said that he just doesn’t understand why cops don’t go on strike until gun control laws are enacted, and guns taken away from, well, everybody.

First, it is completely reprehensible that Bloomberg, or anyone else, will politicize events like the Colorado theater shooting (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/21/james-holmes-colorado-shooting_n_1692381.html).  Disgusting.  Let it alone for a bit, let the victims’ families have some time, and get Holmes in jail in preparation for his execution.  At least give it a couple of weeks, then if you must, bring politics into it.  But no.  About ten point five seconds after the last victim hit the ground, Bloomberg comes out with his crap.

A bit of background, here.  I have been a career policeman for over thirty years, first in a small town, then as a cop in a larger city, and now I proudly serve as the Chief of Police at a small University in north western Pennsylvania.  While with the City of Erie, PA, I served as a street patrolman and as a detective.  I also was on the SWAT team and Honor Guard.  In detectives, I was promoted to Detective Sergeant and founded the Homicide division, was co-head of the Burglary division, and ended up working white-collar crimes (forgeries, frauds, bad checks).  I have worked with the FBI, with the U.S. Treasury, and with the Secret Service.  I realize this is not New York City, but I have seen and done a lot.  I have had friends die in the line of duty.  I have had friends shot and their careers shortened by gunmen who I am ashamed to say lived to see prison.  I have faced guns, knives, and angry women (just which is more deadly, I will not speculate).  I have investigated homicides by guns, knives, strangulation.  I have investigated sex crimes, child abuse, bank robberies, and granny’s lawnmower being taken from her garage.  I have seen children murdered by their parents, teens shot by boyfriends, and kids hit by trains.  And I have done what I can to help the families of those victims.  I once held the sister of a boy killed by a train.  Three young kids were on their way to their home in the projects when they decided to run across the tracks ahead of an oncoming train.  She and their friend made it.  Her brother did not, and she watched the train smack him and fling him to the side like so much tissue paper.  She clung to me, and would not let me go for over an hour.  In a hot, cramped little apartment I was her life-preserver, keeping her afloat.

I am a life-long hunter, from the earliest legal age, hunting small game, big game, whatever.  I have held guns, I own guns, and I know how to use guns.  Guns are pieces of steel and alloy engineered to accurately propel a small piece of metal for a distance.  In that regard, they are not much different from a piece of steel engineered and formed to strike a small piece of metal and accurately drive it into wood.  It is not the instrument that matters, it is the person wielding it, and what they do with it that makes the difference.  If a person utilizes an instrument, any instrument, in an improper way, it becomes a tool for evil.  It is not the instrument, it is the person using the instrument.  The differences are that a gun is much less personal (in that it can harm or kill from a distance), and it can harm or kill multiple victims with very little effort.

So, would “banning” guns, or even eliminating them, prevent homicide?  Clearly not, and I doubt that any thinking gun control advocate would say that.  What they would say, I believe, is that it would make such actions more difficult, and require a different dynamic to accomplish such a crime.  Perhaps that is a point.  But assume the banning of all guns for a moment.  Do you really think that will make it all that difficult to commit such an atrocity?  Consider the same type of movie theater as the recent atrocity in Aurora, Colorado.  People enjoying a movie, eating popcorn, relaxing.  Suddenly, multiple bombs go off, killing or maiming dozens of people, with not one gunshot heard.  Fantasy?  Consider:  while sitting here at my laptop, eating a sandwich, I timed myself.  It took less than a minute and a half to find over a million websites on making pipe bombs, and over one-hundred thousand websites on homemade explosives. Guns? We ain’t got no guns. We don’t need no guns! I don’t have to show you any stinkin’ guns!  I can make a bunch of pipe bombs with fuses of various burning times, filled with explosive substances, and every piece of this killing machine purchased at my local hardware store.  So, should we ban household cleaners?  Iron pipe?  Nails?  Because with just a bit of planning and time, I can make enough material to kill a multitude of people.

It is a problem of human will and evil intent, not one of “bad” objects.  It is neutral objects being used for evil purposes, and it can be a ball bat, a car, a chainsaw, a knife, or a ball point pen.  Or a gun.

However, it isn’t just gun control that cranked me up about Bloomberg.  There are several things he said that made me want to vomit.  First, his comments were disgusting just on the face.  Cops on strike?  I have been a cop for thirty years, and I have never seen an issue that I thought would justify a general strike by cops.  When I pinned on the badge, I did so as a calling, with a sense of purpose.  Strike?  That is not even in my vocabulary.  Second, even if cops did think an issue worth going on strike, it is illegal in most states for police to do so.  I know this is so in Pennsylvania where I serve, and in New York where Bloomberg lives.  So Bloomberg was kind of showing support for an illegal action.

But you know what really offends me about Bloomberg’s statements?  It is something that as far as I know no one has touched on.  His statement was that he doesn’t understand why cops don’t just go on strike until gun control laws are enacted to protect them.  One of his problems is that the only cops he apparently knows are sycophants and libs who share his views.  I would be willing to bet that most cops, in fact the vast majority of cops, are rather conservative and thoroughly not in favor of gun control.  But this is not the offensive part.  The offensive part is that essentially he is saying, “The issue of gun control is so obvious.  Guns kill cops, and if we ban guns, cops won’t get killed.  Why are they so stupid that they can’t see this or act on this?”  And this ticks me off.  This falls under what I would characterize as “typical liberal thought.”  Now a disclaimer.  I have several liberal friends with whom I have had multiple challenging and enjoyable conversations.  With them there is mutual respect and room for disagreement, as well as passion and commitment.  So when I am discussing “typical liberal thought,” please do not confuse my “debate partners” with my statements.

Bloomberg, I think, likely believes cops to be basically brain-dead thugs, without the capability of deep thought.  Why, they can’t even understand simple issues like gun control!  Clearly they are unlikely to understand more complex issues.  And isn’t that what the liberal elite think of most of us?  African-Americans, Israel, guns, wealth, taxes, the role of government, fill in the blank.  I believe people like Bloomberg think most people simply too intellectually challenged to really understand what is best.

And I believe he shows that with his latest comments about cops.

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8 thoughts on “Gun Control

  1. Absolutely right on my friend. Excellent post! I am sharing it on facebook….

  2. Thank you, Steve, much appreciated!

  3. Clark, you regularly surprise me with your depth of thought and well-reasoned musings. After all, I simply thought you were a brain-dead Dallas fan…

    Seriously, I could not agree with you more. The flaws in Bloomberg’s thinking are astounding and one wonders how he managed to become a billionaire. I wonder if his proposal would include those NYC police assigned to his security detail?

    • Garrett, first I think we need to clarify that the Dallas Cowboys draw true intellectuals, as opposed to, say the Redskins. Of course, many leave the ‘Skins for OTHER inferior teams, but there it is.

      You are absolutely correct, I sincerely doubt he could have held these views BEFORE he made his money. Unfortunately, I wonder if some make their fortunes and then get the “guilts” about it, so become rabidly liberal. And you’re correct, I wonder if he would request his security detail disarm. Or his home. I would bet a great deal of money that he has guns stashed all over the place.

  4. Richard McKeown on said:

    I agree with your assessment of the Mayor’s comments. I am not a hunter, but certainly have no objection to it. In fact, one could argue that it is Biblically-mandated. You shoot ’em and I’ll eat ’em I always say.

    One of the issues I have with gun control is where does it stop? Do I think that citizens have a compelling need for automatic weapons, or semi-automatic for that matter? I am inclined to think not. However, I would not favor letting the government seize these weapons or ban them because I do not trust the government to stop there. It never has stopped at its original “intent” in regulating anything that I am aware of. That makes the government as much…no, more…complicit in the situation in Aurora than anyone else who might own a weapon used in a particular crime. Does owning a .38 — which I have — make me a potential armed robber since someone used a .38 in Memphis over the weekend to hold up someone stumbling around Beale Street? Oh it does? Oops.

    Now here is the real question…and it is almost too easy to ask it since it uses the good Mayor’s “logic” to make the point. The Real Question (TRQ) is does the fact that the shooter in Colorado thought he was the Joker make anyone involved in the concepting, directing, producing and acting of Batman/Dark Knight Rises complicit in the shooting in Colorado? Hmmm. Actually, and at the risk of sounding too much like the Mayor in employing this “logic”, I think it makes them more culpable than the weapons used in the Midnight Movie Massacre (Gotta love FoxNews and its preference for drama).

    The issue here as you well stated is one of the human heart…of good and evil…of one’s “moral” foundation…and being guided by a value system (good or evil). THIS is the real story that needs to be explored in this discussion rather than exploiting a tragedy projected on innocents from the depths of a depraved heart and soul of one person.

    Further…and this is fodder for a rant on my part…this whole idea of taking cartoon characters and making them off kids’ comic book pages and projecting them onto screens of R-rated movies has always disturbed me. Just as has the rather recent phenomena of adults dressing up for Halloween. There is something just “icky” and weird about it all. And perhaps what happened in Colorado is something of a manifestation of all of this. Yeah…I am one of those freaks that thinks Twilight and Harry Potter and all such stuff has satanic roots. Which usually makes me a subject of derision and ridicule.

    I know this is a “Comments” section and not a “Stream of Unconciousness” section, but your entries prompt reflection and response. Someday I will offer my comments regarding what I have heard way too often from some people…and that is the “arrogance” of cops. Please. Rest easy; I generally blow this perception away…uh, let me rephrase that…I generally gently and with exact erudition and incisive rhetorical skills learnt in a state college disabuse them of such a notion.

    Good stuff my man!

    • Richard, once again, you show yourself to be thoughtful and deep. Good comments. Yeah, Hollywood is (in my opinion) MORE complicit in such shootings than gun manufacturers. They can’t have it both ways. Either they can and do influence behavior (how many gazillion dollars have been spent in advertising, just for that purpose?), orthey do not (in which case they should give those gazillion dollars back).

      That having been said, I do not blame them for the shooting(s), I blame the guy that did the shootings. He, and he alone, is responsible.

  5. Wow, you were once with the SWAT and the FBI?!! Man, if there was a time machine and we could both be in it, I’d have love to trade places. But anyhow, great post, I have to say it was well worth the read! I came across your post while looking for commentaries about the Colorado theatre shooting.

  6. Dan, point of clarification. I have worked WITH the FBI, but I was never a “Fibbie.” Yeah, I was SWAT in Erie, Pa. for well over a decade. Thanks for reading and for commenting. Glad you found it!

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