More Irresponsible Cops

Most advocates of gun control that I’ve encountered aren’t gun control advocates, they’re advocates of a two class society. The two classes they’re interested in creating are the armed and the unarmed. In their fantasy world the armed class, made up exclusively of government agents such as police officers, would exist to rule over the unarmed class, made up of everybody else. For some reason these gun control advocates believe that a badge and costume are the only things that can prevent an otherwise rational and peaceful human being from turning into a bloodthirsty murderer when given possession of a firearm. Those of us who keep tabs on how the police handle firearms known the truth: most police officers are woefully inadequate when it comes to handling firearm. This, couple with the near immunity from responsibility, make incidents like this alarmingly common:

Officers fired three shots at 35-year-old Glenn Broadnax in the Saturday night confrontation a block west of the famous tourist district, hitting two women on a nearby corner in the process, a police statement said Sunday. Broadnax was walking into traffic in front of the Port Authority bus terminal, apparently trying to be hit by cars, Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said.

He dodged police who tried to take him into custody, then mimicked shooting a gun at officers, prompting the officers to return fire with real bullets, Kelly said.

“At some time he reached into his pocket, took out his hand and simulated as if he was shooting at them,” Kelly told reporters late Saturday.

Two officers fired three shots before the unarmed Broadnax was brought down with a Taser, the NYPD said. He has been charged with menacing, obstructing governmental administration, riot, criminal possession of a controlled substance, resisting arrest and disorderly conduct, the NYPD said in a statement issued Sunday morning. Those charges may change once he goes to court, however.

A 54-year-old woman was shot in the knee and a 37-year-old was grazed in the buttocks, police said. Earlier, they had said the younger victim was 35.

Let’s consider this story for a second. First, the police officers claim that the suspect mimicked firing a gun at them is quite likely spurious. Unless the officers involved can show some concrete proof of their claim I’m apt to believe their story is a fabrication meant to absolve them of responsibility for shooting two innocent bystanders. Second, the involved police officers have an odd continuum of force. They deployed lethal force before deploying less-likely-to-be-lethal force, which brought down the suspect. Third, the officers had a hit percentage of zero. They fired three rounds, all of which missed the target and two of which hit innocent bystanders. Had I, or any other non-state agent who legally carries a firearm, done such an act I would be facing prison time.

That brings us to the biggest problem with a two class society. In a society where one class is armed and the other unarmed the former cannot be held accountable for their misdeeds. Today non-state agents who legally carry firearms are held legally responsible for any rounds they discharge, which is the way it should be. State agents enjoy legal protects from being held responsible. When you are not held responsible for your actions you become much more willing to act recklessly. If gun control advocates actually wanted to reduce violent crime they would be focusing their efforts on disarming legally privileged police officers instead of non-state agents who are held legally responsible for their actions.