Tuesday, April 28, 2009

The thing I feared

I predicted this. Well, at least this is the first step to what I said here. The police want to look like they're doing something. And in turn, gun rights advocates are going to escalate their rhetoric about government being corrupt and oppressive.


Schultz said...

I don't see how the police having these rifles would have stopped that nut from killing three police offices that day. This does not address the two things that allowed this to happen - one being that a nut like that guy was able to "stockpile" weapons and ammo, and an AK47 no less. The second thing is the 911 operator's mistake.

EdHeath said...

I think what the Pittsburgh police would like you to see is this scenario: Officer Mayhie, as I understand it, retreated initially and then turned around and tried to help Officer Sciullo and was fatally wounded. If the officers were equipped with a “patrol rifle” and additional body armor, Officer Mayhie could have instead retreated to his car, put on the armor and taken the rifle and then approached the house, perhaps firing as he did.

Is that a realistic scenario? Well, first of all I don’t believe the police intend to put additional body armor and helmets in patrol cars, although I would not blame them if they did. I don’t even know if body armor designed to fit over regular bullet proof vests exists, or if it is effective in stopping 7.62 x 39mm rounds (it would be nice if both things were true). So right now the best we can say is that the po-lice are making a sem-ball-ick gesture in putting the rifles in the cars. And I agree that this gesture does not address Poplawski being able to stockpile weapons, or the 911 operator’s mistake. Hopefully the second is being addressed by additional training. I don’t see any way of addressing your first concern, at least, no currently feasible way.

As I have said previously, I really hope the Pittsburgh police do not end up looking like our troops in Iraq, wearing a high level of body armor, helmets and carrying assault rifles everywhere. That would likely inflame the gun rights community, and possibly provoke more Poplawski-type incidents.