Right now there’s overwhelming criticism of the police response to the mass shooting at Robb Elementary in Uvalde, Texas and there’s no question that the police response was a failure.
What is overlooked in the discussion of the police response, however, is that increasingly Republican lawmakers, in a rush to relax any remaining gun control measures, have ignored the concerns of police, who often find themselves outgunned (most patrol officers carry a 9mm pistol or at most a semi-automatic pistol) and unable to determine the potential criminal background of an armed individual until a crime is committed.
Ultimately what people are saying when they say that police should have stormed the classroom in Uvalde earlier is that the lead officers should have stormed into a classroom where a shooter was armed with an assault rifle and body armor, placing multiple officers in the line of fire until the shooter himself was killed. People emphasize that this level of risk and placing other’s lives above your own comes with the job of being a law enforcement officer.
Yes, true. But many officers feel that we should also be doing something as a society to prevent just anyone from owning any kind of gun or ammunition, or body armor, regardless of mental state or likelihood to commit a crime.
NRA Gets In The Way
A common refrain from conservatives is that those seeking common sense gun control are anti-gun leftists who want to take everyone’s guns away. This NRA talking point is the quickest and safest way for Republican politicians to get out of the uncomfortable fact that gun deaths have risen sharply in the U.S. in the last decade and they’ve only made the problem worse.
The 45,222 total gun deaths in 2020 were by far the most on record, representing a 14% increase from the year before, a 25% increase from five years earlier and a 43% increase from a decade prior. – Pew Research Center
The NRA talking point is meant only to shut down discussion and to frame any attempt at common sense gun control measures (many of which have very strong support in both parties) as extreme, unpractical, unconstitutional, and unpopular.
So as Congress reconvenes from a Memorial Day recess punctuated by a rash of deadly mass shootings, we thought it would be good to take a look at just what common sense gun control laws could look like.
With that in mind, we’re going to look to a national organization comprised of people who carry guns nearly everyday -police.
IACP Firearms Policy Position Statement
In 2018, the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) put out a Firearms Policy Position Statement, that is the definition of common sense gun control legislation. The paper is 4.5 pages long and has thirteen policy recommendations:
- Prohibit the mail order sale of bulletproof vests and body armor to all individuals except sworn or certified law enforcement officers.
- Oppose any federal legislative proposals that would either pre-empt and/or mandate the liberalization of individual states’ concealed-carry weapons (CCW) laws.
- Prohibit concealed carry weapons upon U.S. college and university campuses.
- Ban Semi-Automatic assault weapons -“routinely the weapons of choice for gang members and drug dealers.“
- Calls on Congress to increase resources to better allow state, local and tribal law enforcement agencies and the Department of Justice to enable greater prosecution of individuals for Brady Act violations.
- Creation of a federal registry, similar to the sexual offender registry, for offenders who have been previously convicted of a felony firearm violation or a misdemeanor that involved violent or threatening acts with firearms.
- A waiting period for the purchase of a handgun.
- Close the “gun show loophole.”
- Oppose any legislation that would limit or reduce the ability of our nation’s law enforcement agencies to combat the sale of illegal guns.
- Juvenile Crime Firearms Disability
- Creation of a law that prohibits the possession, import, manufacture, transfer and sale of trigger cranks, bump-fire devices, and similar attachments/accessories designed to increase or modify semi-automatic firearms to automatic weapons.
- Prohibit the sale or transfer of armor piercing ammunition.
- Oppose any efforts to remove silencers (suppressors) from the purview of the National Firearms Act.
A Leftist Organization in Disguise? Umm No.
Following the adoption of this Firearms Policy Position Statement was the IACP shunned by Republicans and revealed to be simply a leftist Democratic front? Well, no, the following year they welcomed then President Trump to address their national conference.
Don’t let anyone tell you these are radical proposals, or that nothing can be done… that’s what the NRA wants you to believe. It’s time for Republican lawmakers to listen to many of their gun owning constituents and enact some common sense controls on gun ownership. A great place to start would be to listen to the IACP and Back the Blue when it comes to common sense gun reform laws.