Uvalde's worst blunder was trust on the police to 'keep us safe'

Gun control supporters benefit from knee-jerk support for the police because it undermines the most fundamental argument for gun ownership: the government's armed enforcers will not keep us secure and are likely to abuse their authority.

The Uvalde police have helped to establish what has long been obvious: don't expect on the government's uniformed officials with badges to help you when you're confronting a psychopath with a pistol. As we discovered this week, not even a toddler pleading for help on a 911 call will compel cops to face a shooter.

Furthermore, given the consistently demonstrated lack of competence and effort by police in cases where they face real danger—as at Columbine, Parkland, and Uvalde—clearly it's a matter of chance whether the local police in whatever town are willing to risk "officer safety" for the sake of public safety.

Contrary to what gun control advocates believe, this reality sends a strong message against gun control: we cannot trust the government's armed enforcers to provide any measure of safety, and we must have the right to private self-defense, private security, and accountable trained professionals who are not the bloated, overpaid branch of the government bureaucracy known as "law enforcement."

Gun Control Advocates Benefit from "Back the Blue"

When it comes to assessing the disastrous police cowardice and incompetence at Uvalde's Robb Elementary last week, those who blindly defend the police are essentially making the same argument as those who want to eliminate the right to private self-defense: "The police did everything they could, but a single untrained teenager with a gun is just too much to handle for twenty or more trained police officers who are armed to the teeth."

The lesson for gun control advocates is "Have you noticed? Because these guns are so lethal, Uvalde cops have been rendered ineffective."

The defenders of the police force can only shrug and concede the same thing: "Our valiant men and women did everything they could! That guy was simply too tough, swift, and intelligent for us!"

This conveys a message to the majority of the population, who are casual spectators of the gun discussion. It implies that the "assault rifles" that the Left is continually referring to are actually "weapons of war," allowing a single person to outgun a whole police force. Many people will wonder, "Why would someone need such a thing?"

But what can the police defenders say in response? They appear to be able to say simply that our heroic heroes are above reproach and that we should continue to rely on the government, its police, and its schools to "keep us secure."

Meanwhile, proponents of gun control are mocking the old conservative adage that "a good guy with a gun stops a bad guy with a gun." It's difficult to mount an effective response if one believes the Uvalde police were even remotely competent or conscientious in their work. If Uvalde police were doing their best, then an entire department of "good guys with firearms" would be powerless to stop one person with an AR-15.

The reality, however, is that the Uvalde cops were far from "nice people with firearms." They were cowards dressed in impressive-looking taxpayer-funded gear who exacerbated the issue. According to their own supervisors, they hung around waiting for help because if they had moved to stop the shooter, the officers "could've been shot."

The police in Uvalde were not just ineffective in terms of public safety. They aggressively obstructed public safety. When a number of parents, some of whom were presumably armed, attempted to interfere in the school, the police assaulted them. Witnesses allege officers assaulting ladies, pepper spraying males, and drawing tasers to further scare the parents. This was done while the killer was still inside the school. The cops, swaggering around in their cowboy hats and body armor, didn't enjoy being shown up by the town's uppity private inhabitants.

Enforcing Gun Laws Necessitates "Good Guys with Guns"

Police agencies' repeated displays of incompetence put into question the notion that these same bureaucrats could efficiently enforce gun restriction laws.

A long-standing issue with prohibition—whether it's about firearms, drugs, or alcohol—is that it only works to keep prohibited goods out of the hands of generally law-abiding persons. When it comes to actual criminals, though, the story is rather different.

This has occurred numerous times in the context of medications. Ordinary individuals frequently avoid drugs because they do not want to get into legal trouble. Professional criminals are a different problem, and law enforcement has never been able to deter devoted drug runners from operating.

Similarly, when it comes to gun control, it is easy for authorities to target regular law-abiding citizens. These individuals are unlikely to acquire or sell guns on the black market or to use relationships with illegal gun runners to obtain the firearms they desire. Thus, it's a safe bet that new gun laws will disempower peaceful individuals, but it's far from certain that violent convicts will be similarly disarmed.

Confronting deranged and dangerous criminals necessitates both hard effort and risk. Enforcing rules against those individuals ultimately necessitates "a decent person with a pistol." When it comes to government police, though, we've seen the level of work we should expect in Uvalde and Parkland. We've found that officers are often uninterested in conducting dangerous work.

Gun control proponents are now emphasizing police inactivity in cases like Uvalde. They believe it will help their case. Nonetheless, the same people continue to believe that police are competent enforcement of gun regulations. In both circumstances, we have every reason to believe that cops will be untrustworthy.

The Right to Keep and Bear Arms is founded on opposition to regime power

It's always a weird combination when proponents of the right to self-defense also warmly embrace government police. Historically, the idea underlying private gun ownership has been one of mistrust of a government's ability or desire to "keep us safe."

Indeed, in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, legislative safeguards for gun ownership were based on the premise that the governments' "public safety" staff were unable to keep the peace or guarantee safety. Local police departments were considered as corrupt and politicized, serving only elected officials and party machines. Professional military men were perceived as being too lethargic to earn a living through honest labour. There was concern that giving the state more military or policing power might lead to abuse of that power.

This is why, prior to the twentieth century, Americans relied heavily on private protection and decentralized militias.

Much of the discussion centered on the balance between private and state coercive power. It was understood that delegating more of this power to government officials inevitably reduced the relative strength of private persons. That instance, if the police are better funded and armed than private persons, the latter is at a disadvantage.

After all, the state is basically based on securing a monopoly on the instruments of force. The more power the police are granted, the more total their monopoly grows.

Gun control gives felons and the regime more relative power

Fearing private-sector criminals, ordinary law-abiding citizens have consistently granted governments a stronger and stronger monopoly on coercion over time. Police budgets are now enormous. Law enforcement agencies have a lot of money and like to buy military-style equipment to use against the population. Adopting new gun control measures would shift the scales even farther in favor of larger government monopolies on coercion. But, based on what we've seen from Uvalde police, we have no reason to expect that the state's growing power will result in increased public safety.

Nonetheless, in the aftermath of the Uvalde slaughter, National Rifle Association President Wayne LaPierre continued to beat the same old, stale drum, claiming—contrary to all evidence—that the nation's police forces require even more tax money. It comes as no surprise that this is their only "concept." When one's ostensible dedication to private gun ownership is combined with unqualified support for government police, it's difficult to deny the obvious: that private self-defense is necessary since the government has consistently demonstrated a lack of interest in maintaining public safety.

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