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Latest Dumb Idea: Makes Cops Ask Permission Before Drawing Their Weapon

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I’ve said before that cops have a tough job. I know that as well as anyone who hasn’t done the job could possibly know. I grew up around it and still keep tabs on it as best as I can.

Unfortunately, a lot of people don’t really know it. They think they do because they watch police shows on TV, but they don’t really understand the challenges or hazards of the job.

Now, that’s true of every job. Everyone thinks they know the job but doesn’t. However, when someone tries to tell me how my career works, they’re usually not proposing things that will get me killed. That’s precisely what some are suggesting for police officers, though.

A year has passed since the most notorious police murder of a Black man this century, and so little has changed. With each week, the public learns that yet another unarmed Black man has been killed by the police, more often by gun than by knee. Some will find my characterization too reductive; the circumstances of a police encounter matter, they will say. But it is the simple truth. About one Black man in 1,000 will be killed by a police officer, and nearly 1 in 5 of those men will be unarmed.

Police chiefs who wish to serve and protect—or, short of that, to keep their jobs—must be open to significant operational changes. Here’s one: Make it harder for officers to access firearms.

In the field, a loaded handgun is rarely more than inches away from a police officer’s fingertips. This is true even when the officer is responding to a cat stuck in a tree, a car that has stalled in an intersection, or a teen with a spray can. Yet most of the tasks that officers perform pose little to no danger to them. While granular data can be hard to come by, three police departments, all covering urban areas, have granted public access to statistics breaking down officer activity.  These data reveal that officers spend only about 4 percent of their time responding to crimes of violence.

We must face up to the possibility that the near-constant presence of firearms is doing more harm than good. Not only to the countless people who have lost loved ones to a police bullet, but also to those who love the officer who shot it. Police who are involved in shootings frequently experience trauma and post-traumatic stress disorder, and the emotional consequences can be far worse when the shooting is accidental or based upon a mistake.

There are undoubtedly moments that police officers rightfully need firearms, and the hard question is how to limit access to those moments. Technology provides a means: Guns could be kept in smart lockboxes.

Using this mainstream and relatively inexpensive device, police dispatchers or qualified police personnel could remotely grant in-the-field officers immediate access to the contents of a lockbox. Under a new policy, remote access could be granted only when officers are responding to suspected crimes of violence or other similar dangers. For ordinary encounters, like routine traffic stops, the box would remain locked. As a fail-safe, officers could immediately override locks to respond to unforeseen and dangerous emergencies, but doing so would trigger mandatory review by an independent body. Under those circumstances, officers would face sanction if they failed to satisfy the body that the override was justified. Simply put, this policy could change the default setting of policing from lethally armed to unarmed.

Now, here’s how you know the writer doesn’t really know what the hell they’re talking about. Take this bit: “For ordinary encounters, like routine traffic stops, the box would remain locked.”

Right. Because traffic encounters never turn deadly and we don’t have any videos of these deadly traffic stops, now do we?

Oh, wait…





There are just a few I snatched off the front page of a simple YouTube search. There are many, many others.

See, the problem with this boneheaded idea is that while only four percent of all calls the police respond to may be violent, they don’t really know which four percent are going to end up that way. A routine traffic stop may have an armed felon who figures he has a better chance of getting away if he kills the cops than if he simply tries to run. It could be someone who just hates police officers.

The truth is, the cops often don’t know what they’re rolling up into when they get the call.

In fact, traffic stops are one of the most dangerous things police officers do on a daily basis. That’s because they don’t know who they’re pulling over. While most will go through their entire career and never have to fire their weapon, no one knows who will and who won’t decide killing cops is a winning strategy.

And this turdnugget wants to make it more dangerous by securing their weapons in a lockbox they can’t even access without permission.

Watch those videos and tell me just how many of these cops had enough warning to get permission before things went south? None of them, really.

This is what happens when people who don’t really understand the job try to reform the job. This isn’t any different than the gun control crowd who wants us to be forced to store our guns away when we’re not at the range. They don’t understand how quickly this kind of thing happens.

And they still think they have the answers.


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Holy cow!!!!

What a manipulation of statistics to support an indefensible position all while purporting to report facts.

One in one thousand black men die at the hands of cops, who killed the other 999? With a majority of crime against blacks being perpetrated by other blacks it would seem they are in considerably more danger from their fellows than any encounter with a LEO.

One in 5 will be unarmed, does that mean the other 4 are armed? It would be an incredibly foolish strategy as an LEO if I knew that 80% of those I am involved with are armed, for me to believe the best course of action is to be unarmed myself.

Circumstances matter. Regardless of the call the officer is going to be meeting with someone who is under a great deal of stress, possibly under the influence of some substance, upset over the situation, at first contact an unknown as to who they are or their role in the situation, possibly more. The officer has to evaluate all of that and decide their response in a short period all while observing for their report, keeping an eye on bystanders, traffic, animals and tons of other duties.

To say that disarming the police is a viable means of protecting their mental health in the event of accident/mistake completely ignores the the very real mental anquish of the family/friends who are forced to pay to their final respects to a fallen officer who died as the consequence of being unprepared for a violent encounter with some garden variety thug.

To say that using a "mainstream/inexpensive" lock box so that a "remote" authority could grant the use of deadly force is beyond stupid. Has the author never experienced radio failure? Have they ever been forced to use fine motor skills in an incredibly stressful situation? Has the author ever tried to call their boss at 1:30 in the morning and gotten an immediate response? Having used several models of lock box myself and trying to manipulate the keypad or even simply touch the correct spot so they open at 2AM is hard to say the least. And that was only practice in my home! Implying they can correctly override the box in an "unforeseen or dangerous situation" is asking the officers to believe that in every encounter they will be with someone who believes in rainbows and unicorns without an evil bone in their body and they are under absolutely no stress.

I agree the article leaves a lot unexplained and I am certain that was the authors intent.

I personally consider this an insult and a cheap shot as to the ability of our officers to make the correct decision under incredible circumstances. Nothing is 100% but I suspect they get it right more often than not.


:FlagAm:  :FlagAm:  :FlagAm:

Gateway Kid


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There is NO limit to the high levels of stupid some of these IDIOTS can attain!!


These same jerks would crap their diaper if you told them that they had to do that job!!  If they had to ask for a weapon to complete the task, they’d ask for a air strike!!

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Probably taking the lead from some of their socialist bretheren in Europe.  I watch a lot of European cop shows on Netflix and it is not unusual for the cops to have their handguns in a lock box bolted to the floor of the trunk of their car.  They have to call in, explain the situation and get permission from someone that is not on the scene and cannot know what is going on before they can open the box.

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I submit that Mister Brian Sheppard of "Slate Online Magazine" is somewhat out of touch with reality, and is basically something of a nincompoop.  -_-

  • Haha 2
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