Earlier this month, David Magnusson examined the problem of so-called "gun violence" from a police perspective. He made an important observation, and asked for feedback.
Have people gotten smug enough to carry concealed guns on them with impunity, believing that they will not be challenged by police? If so, it is equally important to learn why they would feel that way? What are we doing wrong? Or perhaps more importantly, what are we not doing? Without casting my own theories, it is probably imperative that we collectively, as law enforcement professionals, look carefully and wisely into why a new comfort zone exists for the illegal gun-toting populace. Once we can define that, we need to quickly find a way to change that perception.
It is not going to get better on its own.
What do YOU think?
We would love to hear your ideas, theories and opinions on how law enforcement should approach the issue of gun violence committed by criminals carrying illegal guns…seemingly without fear of being caught by police.
There's more at the link.
In response to his request, a number of police officers gave their views on the roots of the problem, and how to deal with it. Some have been published in a follow-up article. Here are a few selected quotes.
In my opinion, one of the major differences between now and 2003 is the attitude of the prosecutors offices across the country. We arrest the armed individual and the prosecutors drop the charges ... felons have no fear of the police any longer. They have told me they used to respect us but they do not any longer as they know we can’t do anything to them. This causes officers to feel helpless and hopeless in protecting their community. It is a sad time for the good people in our country.
. . .
This is a multi-variable problem ... just fill out a chart of all the issues with society and then throw a dart at it, and it’s still only a small part of the problem: the courts and justice system are not properly prosecuting the offenders, a degradation of societal values and morals through various pillars of influence (such as media, politics, etc.), tone deaf politics/government policies from both sides of the aisle adversely affecting law enforcement, the continuing and escalating fatherless rate/break down of the nuclear family in our communities, negative influence from celebrity/professional athletes, the growing welfare state, and other variables…
These are hard and unpopular reasons that are now too controversial to even discuss, but it’s the truth and reality. Not to sound like a pessimist, but it will continue to get worse.
. . .
My suggestion would be to push for firearms safety training in schools, along with age restrictions on violent video games that glorify senseless murder for fun.
Teach kids that guns need to be used responsibly and should NEVER be pointed at another person.
As a former firearms instructor, I have seen the hardest thing to train out of a person is lifelong training that you never point a gun at another person.
Again, more at the link.
The rest of the responses make interesting reading, and illustrate the diversity of opinions among law enforcement about this fundamental topic of discussion. Recommended reading to gain insight into the frustrations of the "thin blue line" about a very real threat to their safety.