Online users
???: Message   

Riots of 2020 have given the Second Amendment a boost -- Glenn Reynolds
Post Reply   Forum

Posted by: TEEBONE ®

10/08/2020, 15:06:08

Author Profile Mail author Edit
www.usatoday.com

Riots of 2020 have given the Second Amendment a boost

5-6 minutes

This year’s riots, sparked by the death of George Floyd and continued in the names of several others, have destroyed billions of dollars in property, cost numerous people their lives and businesses and jobs, and promoted what will probably be a decade or more of de-urbanization. But whatever else happens, they will have accomplished an important social change. Thanks to these riots, the case for the Second Amendment and the personal right to own weapons is growing steadily stronger, as is the legal case for private gun ownership.

That’s the thesis of a new paper by George Mason University law professor David E. Bernstein, who also serves as the director of GMU’s Liberty and Law Center. “The Right to Armed Self Defense in the Light of Law Enforcement Abdication,” notes that the experience of this year’s riots undercuts the classic argument against an individual right to arms. While gun-control proponents have for decades argued that individual gun ownership is unnecessary in the modern era, where we have police forces to control crime, that hasn’t worked out very well this year for people in numerous urban centers around America.

Violence spreading in cities in 2020

Bernstein offers an extensive review of happenings in cities ranging from Seattle to Louisville, Portland to Chicago and New York and Raleigh, and many other cities. In case after case, police were told to stand down, in order to avoid provoking violence. And in each case, the result was more violence, more property destruction, and more damage to businesses and jobs, while political leaders stood by.

In Seattle, city officials not only allowed the creation of a police-free zone, the city actually helped the creators by supplying things like traffic barriers and portable toilets. How did that work out? 

It was a debacle, despite Mayor Jenny Durkan’s initially comparing it to a “block party.” When it was finally ended, Bernstein notes, Durkan admitted that the rioting produced a 525% increase in “person-related crime,” including rape, robbery, assault and gang-related activity.

Justice and law reform:Why defunding police, upping social budgets alone won't work

Likewise, in Chicago, Mayor Lori Lightfoot and prosecutor Kim Foxx established an early policy of tolerating and even implicitly encouraging street violence through their lackadaisical response. Bernstein notes, “Even other Chicago officials who generally support criminal justice reform have criticized Foxx’s reluctance to pursue felony charges against those arrested for rioting or  looting.”

Meanwhile, “On a particularly violent weekend in early June, Lightfoot refused to deploy the National Guard beyond Chicago’s central business district, drawing condemnations from officials representing districts on the south and west side of the city, which were left unprotected during Chicago’s deadliest weekend in sixty years. Over that weekend, twenty-four people were killed and at least sixty-one injured by gun violence, and the city’s 911 dispatchers received 65,000 calls in a single   day — 50,000 more than normal. As chaos unfolded, one Democratic city councilwoman told the mayor on the phone, ‘My ward is a shit show .... [Rioters] are shooting at the police. I have never seen the likes of this. I’m scared.’”

When seconds count, police are minutes away 

Bernstein recounts, with heavy documentation, numerous cases along these lines from numerous cities around the nation. In addition, he notes other cities like Atlanta and Los Angeles, where police called in sick to protest the actions of city leaders, leaving citizens unprotected.

Reforming the police:Screams of 'defund police' misplaced. Instead, use military as example for progress.

Even in normal times, gun owners joke that “when seconds count, the police are only minutes away.” But, sometimes, they’re not coming at all. Sometimes they’re not even allowed to show up. (And, historically, political leaders have sometimes used the denial of police protection to opponents as a means of opening those opponents up to violent attacks.)

Bernstein notes that this is something that courts should take into account when Second Amendment cases are argued. But it’s also something that the rest of us should keep in mind. In 2020, “the police will protect you” seems particularly hollow.

Glenn Harlan Reynolds, a University of Tennessee law professor and the author of "The New School: How the Information Age Will Save American Education from Itself," is a member of USA TODAY's Board of Contributors.





LIBERTY HAS NO EXPIRATION DATE

Democrats wouldn't buy a clue if it was government subsidized.





Post Reply | Recommend | Alert View All   Previous | Next | Current page

Replies to this message