Bang Bang Shoot Shoot

I don’t know if I’ve ever gone political on this blog before, but man, there’s so much ridiculous stuff being said about the potential concealed weapons ban in Lincoln that I’ve just got to put some pieces together.

First off, I think the concealed weapons bill passed by the Legislature this year is ridiculous. It was completely sold on fear; first we were told we need to protect ourselves from thieves, and then it devolved to needing to protect ourselves from prostitutes. While I won’t attribute it to Senator Combs, some of the discussion was also referencing a need to protect ourselves from terrorists and foreigners as well.

Their pro-gun rhetoric was also completely contradictory. They were saying that there won’t be more shootings or any vigilante attacks…but then they’d rally the troops by telling tales of scenarios in which things sure would have different if someone only would have had a gun…

So the Legislature passed it, but apparently there was a loophole allowing cities to pass their own bans before the state law is enacted. Mayor Seng is for it. Chief Tom Casady wrote an excellent editorial in the Journal Star about his and his officers’ concerns about allowing concealed weapons in town.

Here are a few of the points worth mentioning:

“Police officers not only deal with the very worst people, they also deal with good people at their very worst moments, when judgment and clarity are overwhelmed by emotion. We’ve all handled the personal crises of fundamentally decent citizens who were momentarily acting poorly. Concealed carry in Texas is the perfect example: the Department of Public Safety reports 5,319 arrests of concealed carry permit holders in the first 5½ years.”

“Many studies refute Lott’s findings, pointing to a falling crime rate nationwide. Between 1999 and 2004, violent crime in Nebraska fell from 7,172 offenses to 5,302, a 35 percent decrease over five years without a concealed carry law.”

“The Legislature’s ironic action in prohibiting concealed carry in their own chamber is a tacit acknowledgement that there are a few people who will have concealed carry permits that are downright frightening at times, despite clean criminal records.”

“While it prohibits felons and those convicted of drug crimes or violent crimes from getting permits, there are many serious misdemeanors that are not cause for denial: stalking, violating a protection order, indecent exposure and impersonating a police officer, to name a few. If you’ve been convicted of rolling back an odometer (a felony) you can’t get a permit, but on my desk is the criminal history of a 29-year-old Lincoln man we have arrested for trespassing and exposure on 12 occasions. He will be quite eligible for a concealed-carry permit.”

So the man writes an eloquent and intelligent piece on why the police oppose it. The reaction, while ridiculous, shouldn’t have been surprising.

Larry F. Graham of Lincoln said “If the 85 percent number is true (referring to the percentage of police who oppose concealed weapons), which considering the source is suspect, we need to recruit clearer thinking police officers to Lincoln.”

That’s right – if the police disagree with Larry on how best to handle the law and fight crime, the problem is obviously that we need new police.

Now I’ve had a few interactions with dishonest police, and I’ve heard of and witnessed some of my friends have been really roughed up by cops with attitudes who weren’t listening to reason – just bullies with badges. But in spite of that, I do not believe for a second that Casady and the 85% of police who oppose concealed weapons responded that way because they secretly and devilishly want the people of Lincoln to be mugged and/or gunned down by crooks in a dark alley.

The gun lovers continue to assert that in areas where gun control is enacted, crime rises. In response, Marcus Tooze wrote a detailed letter to the paper outlining how the often-cited UK statistics are misleading and out of context, mentioning that “…the U.S.A. would need a population of 23 billion people to get to the same gun death rate as the U.K.”

But the pro-gun absurdity doesn’t stop. Tim Matthews of Platte Center is either a subtle satirist or unintentionally hilarious when he worries that alcohol restrictions are next. He says:

“’About 1 million violent crimes occurred in 2002 in which victims perceived the offender to have been drinking at the time of the offense. Among those victims who provided information about the offender’s use of alcohol, about 30 percent of the victimizations involved an offender who had been drinking.’

Isn’t it about time for alcohol control? Wouldn’t less alcohol on the streets make our society safer? Wouldn’t those in law enforcement be safer with less alcohol on the streets?”

as if there aren’t laws restricting the use and consumption of alcohol. Thanks for proving your opposition’s point, Tim.

And today’s paper includes a stunning local editorial from Vietnam vet Terrance Reis, who really summed up the views of the pro-concealed weapons gang.

They can’t argue for it based upon the logic the opponents are using. So the only thing they can figure out how to do is just deny what they’re hearing. The cops are wrong. Reis says “(Casady’s) lack of support is very typical of a chief of police found anywhere in our country who has a politician for a boss.” Okay, I get it. Chief Casady wants to endanger the lives of all of Lincolnites because Mayor Seng controls everything he says.

Reis adds, “Concerning the survey performed by one of Casady’s officers, I believe those results are flawed. It has been found that surveys given by law enforcement agencies to law enforcement personnel are biased. Why? Possible retribution.” I would assume then that the 15% who weren’t against the ban have been duly punished.

Reis tries to explain that concealed weapons are needed as a deterrant from the common stranger-based street crime, promoting the power of simply brandishing a weapon in front of a would-be criminal…and then he says “For those citizens who are against concealed carry, remember this: You are more likely to be killed by an acquaintance or family member than by a stranger. In fact, everyone is.”

And then he defends himself further by pointing out

“…the U.S. Supreme Court ruled years ago, that it is not the responsibility of law enforcement to protect you. Nor do they have to.

This ruling has stood fast and has been supported by state supreme courts throughout the country. The police are not a proactive force; rather, they are a reactionary force, reacting to crimes committed.”

which gets back to the point the pro-gun folks were attempting not to make from the beginning. Oh, we won’t be shooting criminals at all…but watch out criminals, because here we come!

Reis closes his column with some proper hateful fear tactics, stupidly telling his readers that the police and Chief Casady actually want you to be in danger.

Strangely enough, I don’t think carrying a concealed weapon would make me any less afraid of these people.

Leave a Reply