Thursday, June 01, 2006

Why gun control will never work.

"Good people do not need laws to tell them to act responsibly, while bad people will find ways around the laws." - Plato

I particularly like this quote because it doesn't end with "will break the laws" because, in reality, criminals really just find their way around laws and punishment.

Everybody likes to think that the Police will save everyone all the time, instantly. They can't. They'll be the first to admit that. I think that most people really need to have a sit-down discussion with a cop of more than 15 years.
Ask them three simple questions;

1. Can the Police protect me?
2. Does the Criminal Justice System work?
3. Do gun laws keep guns out of criminals' hands?

Three easy questions. Questions I was told to ask any police officer I met by my Dad, a LA County Sheriff.

Here's the overwhelming response to these three simple questions. While I will not recount every single word uttered by every cop I asked, I will note inconsistencies between them, and emphasize things they emphasized.

1. The response from all but one was a "Yes" which they quickly changed to a "No." The other simply answered "No." The police rarely catch and stop crimes in progress, much less prevent. Ask any cop how they spend most of their time, and they will tell you gathering information on crimes that have already been comitted, and writing reports on those crimes. When I raise the question of 911, they were all quick to note that a call to 911 (that doesn't get a busy signal) almost never stops a crime from taking place. They talked about response times being from 5 minutes to several hours depending on the severity of the crime. Were you to call to report some suspicious characters hanging around your house, that's given a low priority. Were those people to force their way in, and prevent you from calling again with the escalated situation, know you may have to wait hours for help to arrive. This isn't the fault of the Police, they are often behind the 8-ball, and doing their best to do their job. A few even related not being able to properly "handle" dangerous people for fear they would file complaints or cause legal trouble which, no matter how unfounded, remain on their record permanently.

2. Everyone I asked expressed dismay with the current state of the criminal justice system, but some were optimistic that it was making a positive difference. Two answered simply; "We need a victim justice system, because right now only the criminals are getting justice." You don't have to search the internet very long to find cases like this, so I won't bore you. It is my contention that the criminal justice system doesn't work well enough.

3. Everyone I asked answered "No." When pressed they told me that we can make all the laws we want, but since criminals don't respect our laws we're only making it harder on law-abiding citizens.

The police are not a protection company. Have no illusions.

I was at a sporting goods store recently, and saw "Bear Mace," a form a pepper spray to be used on bears. I couldn't help but laugh. A bear is charging you with the firm intent of mauling you, so you spray it with something that will inflict minor pain, and expect it to stop in it's tracks? Lunacy. Idiocy. Ignorance. Peper Spray doesn't stop determined humans from doing what they're trying to do. It may slow them down, which may give you time to escape, but to a 1,500 pound that can run faster than you, and is hundreds of times stronger than you, you're just making it more likely to kill you. For a situation like this, Yogi would be much more receptive to multiple shots from a rifle or .45 pistol.

I would say that dialing 911 is about as effective as that bear mace will be on an angry bear, but I'd be lying. In the choice between 911 and bear mace, I pick bear mace. At least the bear mace has a remote chance of protecting my life. All 911 will do, is give you false hope.

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