In light of the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent decision in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen, police in America should rise as one and say, “Enough is enough! You are making our jobs impossible and causing us to approach every citizen as potentially being armed and dangerous!”
In a free and democratic society, individual rights must be balanced with those of society. This is one of those instances. I cannot believe that the framers of our system of government visualized the Second Amendmentgiving every citizen, without regulation, the right to carry a firearm. I am not a constitutional lawyer but the amendment seems to clearly give the states the right to organize a militia rather than give an individual right to each citizen to carry a firearm – in their day, single shot muskets and pistols.
Nevertheless, the decision rests with a strong 6-3 conservative majority. While the Court recently overturned Roe v. Wade, will it ever do the same to Bruen? It is highly unlikely.
In the meantime, a police service greatly in need of building trust and support has been dealt a major blow in the effort to improve the nature and effectiveness of policing in America.
Here’s the question: how do leaders teach their officers the importance of community relations in many communities which appear to them as war zones consisting of one group of citizens arming themselves to do mayhem and the remainder arming themselves for self defense? It is a question that has no easy answer.
My heart goes out to my sisters and brothers in blue. Unfortunately, many police leaders chose to remain silent when the gun arguments begin as to whether or not to license, how best to control, types of armament permitted, magazine capacity, and other deadly variations like “bump stocks.”
Few fellow police chiefs supported me and others in the mid-1980s when we said the NRA had gone too far in failing to support our call to ban handguns along with Teflon-coated bullets which could pierce the body armor of our officers. The NRA continued to lobby for “no regulation” regarding guns and ammunition year after year. Now they’ve won — again.
A sad day for Community-Oriented Policing.