“Part of what’s creating tensions between communities and the police is the fact that police are having a really difficult time in communities where they know guns are everywhere,” Obama said during a NATO press conference in Warsaw, Poland. “They have a right to come home, and now they have very little margin for error in terms of making decisions. So if you care about the safety of our police officers, then you can’t set aside the gun issue and pretend that that’s irrelevant.”
Obama introduced that idea after mentioning “routine” violence in Chicago, Ill., a city with tight gun restrictions, but he made clear that legally-owned guns also pose a problem for law enforcement by citing the violence of the last week.
“At the protest in Dallas, one of the challenges for the Dallas Police Department as they’re being shot at is because this is an open-carry state there are a bunch of people who are participating in a protest who have weapons on them,” he said. “In Minneapolis, we don’t know yet what happened, but we do know that there was a gun in the car that apparently was licensed, but it caused in some fashion those tragic events. So, no, we can’t just ignore that and pretend that’s somehow political or the president pushing his policy agenda.”
Ya know, it’s amazing to me. I live in a southern town. It is well known that there are a lot of guns around here. When a cop runs a license plate, a concealed carry permit shows up during that time. And I’ve been pulled over. Somehow, I didn’t get shot, either. Actually… I’ve made a lot of friends in the police department by chatting about guns either in gun stores or on the side of the road. And I had one cop question me on why I wasn’t carrying my gun (I had actually just left a government building five minutes before I ran into him; I’d left the gun home because I didn’t want to leave it in the car). Said cop admonished me for not being armed 100% of the time.
Do you know where the cops are the most fearful? In those “bad neighborhoods” that everyone knows. 99% of the guns there are not legally purchased and can’t be traced back to the guy carrying it. And a good deal of those people are using some kind of drug or alcohol. Those are the areas where the cops go in and have no idea how many guns are actually in that area or what the intent of the holder is. They aren’t afraid in areas like mine where they know people own guns and the intent of a concealed or open carrier are pretty much known. And the gender, race, sexual orientation, whatever of those carriers is of no concern. My town is vastly mixed in race, with the great majority being Indian.
And so far, I haven’t seen any gun control solutions that would do anything about the guns in the “bad neighborhoods.” It isn’t going to stop the guy who is selling stuff out of his trunk to anyone who has cash. It isn’t going to calm the fears of the cop going in there, because he is still not going to know what he needs to know. It isn’t going to stop the guy who thinks it is his right to break into homes and businesses to take whatever he wants because he’s special.
I know from experience that those “bad neighborhoods” contain an awful lot of good people. But they are scared to death. How about, instead of gun control, we try plans for working with ministries and businesses to help those good people get out there and clean the criminal element out of their communities so those “bad neighborhoods” can become “neighborhoods?” Don’t those good people deserve it? Don’t they need and deserve our help? How is making sure those people have even less ways of defending themselves and then just leaving them there to fend for themselves alone doing them any good?