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The Captain's Journal » The Progressive’s Problem With Guns, BLM and Police

6-8 minutes

The rate of gun background checks and purchases has skyrocketed.  Writers Phillip Levine and Robin McKnight explain the data, but the graph below show virtually everything you need to understand this.

But this doesn’t explain the real problem that the progressives have with all of this.

You see, the schedule got mixed up, and it’s causing no end to the hand-wringing among the social planners and elitist chattering class.

There are more guns than people in the United States (400 million are in circulation for a population of 330 million).  In just the first six months of 2020, approximately 19 million firearms have been sold, representing more than one firearm for every 20 Americans.

The presence of so many guns complicates discussions of public policy. Injustices committed by the police, and systemic racism in society more broadly need to end. It is concerning that the necessary national discussion regarding racial injustice is leading to even more firearms in the hands of Americans.

This concern is particularly relevant in the context of discussions regarding defunding the police. When public goods are not provided by the government, or are provided on a scale that some consider to be inadequate, individuals turn to private provision of these services.  For example, parents often turn to private schools when they perceive public education to be inadequate.

Similarly, it would not be surprising for some citizens to respond to perceived limitations on police services with private provision. This may include purchasing more firearms. In a society fraught with racial tension, it is not clear that dismantling the police and seeing more private citizens purchase guns will lead to a safer world. Increased firearm sales are a potential – if unintended – consequence that merits attention as we endeavor to create a more equitable society.

They said this with about as much adroit skill as can be managed, but the mask slipped down nonetheless.

To begin with, it’s always been a myth that the police were there for protection.  Regular readers, and most other educated men and women, already know about cases Warren versus D.C. and Castle Rock versus Gonzales.  There are more, but these two cases demonstrate that police are not duty bound to offer anyone protection.

But at least it’s a myth that many people have believed.  The riots, looting, pillaging, beatings and murders of late have convinced many uninformed folks that maybe they do need protection in lieu of police.  In short, that myth has been shattered.

Here is where schedule comes in.  The social planners want America to be disarmed, and see it as an impediment to their plans that men and women can defend themselves.  To these writers, this is all an obstacle to be overcome.  T. S. Furey at NRO explains a related problem.

June has been marked in recent years by a flurry of orange-clad marchers promoting National Gun Violence Awareness Month. This year’s planned gatherings, however, fell victim to the COVID-19 pandemic and were overshadowed by Black Lives Matter’s nationwide protests against institutional racism within policing. But the gun-control lobby’s reticence isn’t out of respect for the lives of George Floyd or Breonna Taylor but rather concern for its own preservation.

For decades, gun-control advocates promoted greater police power as well as known practices of institutional racism within police firearms-licensing divisions. Now that there are calls to “defund the police,” many leaders of the gun-control lobby, who are mostly white, should rightly fear that their history of siding with the police and promoting policies now deemed racist by progressives may make them the next casualty of cancel culture.

Progressives tend to eat their own.  The next most progressive manifestation uses the previous generation as food.  What is a good progressives to do?

On the one hand, they are pro-police, since that is the backstop for their gun control plans.  Pushing the myth of police protection has been their staple for decades.  On the other hand, siding with the police makes them anathema to the current manifestation of wokeness.  On the one hand, most progressives have sided with the rioters, looters, thieves and arsonists, and on the other hand, as that metastasized in America it has led to even more guns in the hands of men and women who now know that they have to defend themselves.

The good news for the progressives is that this is all just a fabricated problem.  Yes, many guns have been sold in the last few months, but hundreds of millions were already in the hands of men and women who already knew or are learning how to use them.  In addition to that, trillions of rounds of ammunition are in the hands of civilians in America.

It’s far too late for the progressives to worry over a few more guns.  That battle was lost years ago, and no law or social planning can turn it around.

Here is the real worry that should be keeping the progressives up at night.  I said earlier that police protection is a myth.  Yes, to some degree, at least in theory and law.  But not in practice.  In practice, most of the police protection in the last two or three months has been for the rioters, looters and arsonists.  The police are there to protect the criminals from the otherwise peaceable men and women, not the peaceable from the criminals.

The worry for progressives is that this abates one day soon, and the police turn their backs on the rioters.  That will be an awful day for the rioters, because they have subsisted on the backs of police protection these last months.  That’s the ultimate irony.  The police have worked thus far to protect the rioters and arsonists because of local politicians.  But local politics is a fickle thing.

The writers can actually take solace in the fact that their hand-wringing is to no avail, and they should just try to get some sleep rather than worrying over any of this.  These wheels were set in motion long ago, and more violence will only lead to bloodshed.  Violence can take many forms, from rioting and looting, to theft of property for so-called “reparations.”  More pressure by the social planners to change anything will eventually lead to more problems.



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