My dad is a retired police officer, having served on the force for some 22 years. Growing up, I was constantly surrounded by badges. They were sitting with me at my parent’s dinner table, they were standing on my parent’s deck during hurricane cleanups, hanging out with us during the island’s various festivals, and even helping me pull off a prank or two.
I tell you this because I want you to understand that when it comes to the police, I have a massive respect. I firmly believe that law enforcement is the line between us and societal breakdown. I tell you this because I want you to understand my anger when it comes to bad law enforcement agencies and men who don’t deserve their badges.
A couple days ago, NRA representative Dana Loesch sat on stage in front of an entirely hostile crowd with the Sheriff Scott Israel of the Broward County Sheriff’s Dept., the law enforcement agency responsible for dealing with the investigation into the atrocious shooting that took the lives of 17 at a Parkland High School. While they were up on that stage, Israel looked Loesch square in the eye as he pushed gun control talking points against her, chastising her and her organization for defending the freedom to have and use semi-auto rifles.
Loesch tried to push him on why he and his department, having visited the shooter some 39 times before the incident occurred, didn’t do a thing to make sure this kid couldn’t buy the rifle in the first place as is perfectly within their power. Israel did what he could to dodge, duck, dip, dive and dodge Loesch’s onslaught, but the world saw Israel and his department’s failure laid naked. They could have stopped the shooting before it even happened, but neglected to do what it was their job to do.
Dana Loesch rips Sheriff Scott Israel during the CNN Town Hall for missing tons of red flags on the school shooter, including 39 calls to his home.
Isreal said she was wrong and asked where she got her facts.
— Ryan Saavedra (@RealSaavedra) February 22, 2018
Then as more information came out, it got even worse. It turns out that Sheriff’s Deputy Scot Peterson, who was stationed at the school to guard it, never encountered the shooter because the coward literally waited outside in safety while he heard gunshots going off, every bullet fired potentially being an innocent life snuffed out.
Israel knew about his cowardly deputy who could have saved so many lives while he berated Loesch for slamming his department for their failure. He knew that while his department tweeted this, which has aged like milk.
I want to pause to say this is NOT representative of the law enforcement community as a whole. This department is led by an incompetent liar who needs to resign immediately, who is overseeing officers who do not do the jobs they swore to do.
But these failures highlight the very thing gun rights advocates have been shouting from mountaintops for ages. This bumbling law enforcement agency is the EXACT reason why we the people need to be armed with firearms.
Even the best police department in America can’t be everywhere at once and can’t know everything. There is no agency like the one in Minority Report that can predict the future precognitively. The average time for an officer to arrive at the scene of a crime is somewhere around eight minutes. Many crimes are committed in under three. In other words, law enforcement might be the line between us and societal breakdown, but it’s not the only one.
We are too.
Legally armed Americans create safe places to live. Those with training even more so, as the concealed carry license holders of Texas have a lower murder rate than the UK. Florida and Texas CCL holders commit crimes 1/7 the rate the police themselves do.
Furthermore, armed Americans are consistently stopping harm from befalling themselves and others. The website Bearing Arms actually has an entire page of their site dedicated to these stories in particular. Guns stop crime far more than they create it, and the numbers agree.
Where law enforcement fails, as the FBI and Broward County police did miserably here, Americans can succeed. If they can’t prevent the killer from killing, or outright refuse to dispatch him like Peterson did, then armed citizens will do so with gusto.
But taking away our firearms, be they semi-auto rifles or handguns, will only make us more vulnerable to violence of evil and the mistakes of the cowardly and inept. Where authority falls short, Americans will succeed. As we always do, and as we always have done.