Lives Matter Not

Gun violence and the toll on cops, minorities, and society
Opinion • Views: 51,851

What else is left to say on a day like this? Plenty. Cops were murdered just as surely as black men were murdered by cops. You can protest and demand justice in both without being cynical or hypocritical.

Justice. Only justice shall thou pursue.

Cops do dangerous work, and they fall in the line of duty every year. It also happens that far fewer have died in the line of duty in recent years than during the 1970s-1990s. Less crime has something to do with it, as does tactics and training. Events in Texas were the deadliest day for law enforcement since 9/11. Who, what, and why are still unknown here, but it wont stop people from speculating as to why.

Cops also engage in racial profiling and some take those behaviors to extremes that lead to excessive force and deadly force use against suspects, or just folks pulled over for a broken taillight - or no particular reason at all, and are gunned down. That’s a gross miscarriage of justice that requires a holistic approach to fixing because it means not only better training for cops, but rolling back profiling, addressing the way cops investigate themselves, how prosecutors wink and nod in favor of law enforcement, and how even juries are reluctant to return verdicts against cops. The deck is stacked against justice when a black person is killed by a cop for no reason - even when there’s video of the incident.

The Founders would weep over the state of the nation. The cultural/political failures to address gun violence would shock them to the core, as would the fallout from the 2A, which was written for a completely different era to address completely different failings of governments at the time.

They would weep over the cultural rot of the GOP and their know-nothing anti-science rheotric that leads the GOP down a dark path.

I think they’d be horrified at the NRA, and their inability to see the extremism that they instill.

I think they’d scratch their heads over the open carry nonsense, especially since Americans are generally less likely to be victims of crime than ever, and that your chances of being shot go up the more you are in contact with guns (self-inflicted, accidental, domestic violence, etc).

The events of the past 48 hours should shock the conscience, but it won’t change a damn thing. That’s the most infuriating thing of all.

Cops were killed in Dallas and have been killed elsewhere, and it didn’t spur changes in the gun laws.

Rep. Gabby Giffords was nearly assassinated. No change.

Columbine. VA Tech. Binghamton. Arby’s. Sandy Hook. Everywhere you look, mass shootings, spree killings, serial killings, and the random everyday gun violence isn’t sufficient to force change. The GOP/NRA feels it too soon to act, but when is the right time to act? For the GOP/NRA, it is never. They let the butcher’s bill grow through their obstructionism/absolutist positions.

Reagan was nearly assassinated, and for a brief moment, gun laws were changed, but the pushback has been even stronger - with the NRA moving to an absolutist position.

It is past time to act, and the proposed changes to gun laws individually won’t prevent this incident or that incident, but it could reduce future shootings. As a whole, the gun laws need to be strengthened, and the AWB should be restored, because there are just some kinds of guns that don’t belong in hands of civilians. They serve no purpose other than to kill people.

Other nations have banned guns and imposed strict gun control and don’t have nearly the per capita firearms violence we have here in the US. I’m talking about OECD countries - peer nations. I’m talking Japan. I’m talking Australia. I’m talking Germany and France and Israel.

It doesn’t prevent all mass shootings or terrorism, but none of those countries has the level of gun violence on a daily basis as we have here.

That gun violence has a cost - in law enforcement, in criminal justice/incarceration, and in health care costs. That’s a societal burden that is unsustainable.

And it’s heartbreaking for anyone directly touched by the gun violence.

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