John R. Lott, award winning economist penned an article just published in the Wall Street Journal:
“What Mayor Bloomberg doesn’t know about police and guns.”
What does the majority of rank and file law enforcement officer’s across our nation believe with regards to “law abiding” citizens ownership of firearms (including self loading, magazine fed rifles)?
Police chiefs and Sheriffs, typically the highest ranking law enforcement officers in most jurisdictions took surveys in 2010:
Take the annual survey by the National Association of Chiefs of Police of more than 20,000 chiefs of police and sheriffs. In 2010 it found that 95% believed “any law-abiding citizen [should] be able to purchase a firearm for sport or self-defense.” Seventy-seven percent [77 %] believed that concealed-handgun permits issued in one state should be honored by other states “in the way that drivers’ licenses are recognized through the country”—and that making citizens’ permits portable would “facilitate the violent crime-fighting potential of the professional law enforcement community.”
What have national surveys of “street” or “rank and file” officers shown?
National surveys of street officers are rare, but they show officers to be overwhelmingly in favor of law-abiding civilians owning and carrying guns. A 2007 national survey of sworn police officers by Police Magazine found that 88% disagreed that “tighter restrictions on handgun ownership would increase or enhance public safety.” In the same survey, 67% opposed tighter gun control because the “law would only be obeyed by law-abiding citizens.”
What do regional or local surveys show local law enforcement officers believe?
Regional or local surveys show similar patterns. For example, a 1997 survey conducted by the San Diego Police Officers Association found that 82% of its officers opposed an “assault weapons” ban, 82% opposed a limitation on magazine capacity, and 85% supported letting law-abiding private citizens carry concealed handguns.
Note, California has all banned “new” possession of “self loading, magazine fed rifles”. California banned these types of arms years ago in opposition to professional officer’s experience and knowledge. Law enforcement professionals UNDERSTAND officers cannot be everywhere at once, AND
law abiding citizens help officers “keep the peace”:
Police generally understand that too often the laws disarm law-abiding citizens, not criminals, and thus make it easier for criminals to commit crime. Police are extremely important for reducing crime, but they know that virtually always they arrive at the crime scene after the crime has been committed. When victims face a criminal by themselves, guns are critical for self-defense.
Will the majority of law enforcement officers in our country, follow illegal orders by a federal government, in the wake of “hurricane Katrina” disaster ?
A MINORITY will follow illegal orders; let us hope the MAJORITY will follow their conscience and what they know to be true.
Read the full article at the Wall Street Journal linked at the top.
Mr. Lott is a former chief economist at the United States Sentencing Commission and the author of the expanded third edition of “More Guns, Less Crime” (University of Chicago Press, 2010).