Melissa Harris-Perry, a host of a weekend show on MSNBC, seems to believe that putting more firearms in the hands of law-abiding citizens has the potential to make policing for law enforcement more dangerous.
On March 28, during a segment on Stop-and-Frisk tactics, Harris-Perry referenced a Justice Department report that claimed the city of Philadelphia “averaged about one shooting a week from 2007 to 2013.”
During that same time period, “the percentage of unarmed suspects shot by the police increased from 6 percent to 20 percent,” said Harris-Perry.
She then asked the question, “Is it possible that our lack of national, common sense gun control laws leads to a situation where it is more dangerous to be a police officer and so police officers begin acting in ways that they expect everyone to be armed?”
That’s a very, very tenuous proposition. The reality is that most major cities already have draconian gun laws on the books that are on par with anything the federal government had, e.g. the Clinton-Era ban on so-called “assault weapons,” or had planned to enact, e.g. the 2013 background check bill and the renewal of the ban on so-called “assault weapons.”
Secondly, during those years crime has uniformly declined as gun rights have been expanded throughout the country, suggesting that it is actually safer now for police to do their job than it has been in previous decades which means putting more guns in the hands of law-abiding citizens arguably reduces crime, not increases.
Lastly, criminals have always had access to firearms. Therefore, police were always in a position to assume that an individual may in fact be armed.
In any event, those are my quick reaction thoughts to Harris-Perry’s proposition. What do you think?