The New York Times is a pale shadow of the tome of journalism it once was, and jackwagons like Matthew Desmond and Andrew V. Papachristos are why; they recently penned an article for that paper entitled “Why Don’t You Just Call the Cops?” Guns.com recently debunked their article here. Excerpt:
This is the kind of settled, suburban question that can be asked by people who do not face frequent violence and who regard law enforcement – agencies as a whole and officers in particular – as trustworthy. What isn’t so often brought into the discussion is the truth of human psychology that when in a moment of emergency – such as what a violent crime creates – we will reach out to anyone available, even strangers and rivals.
And this is what makes the reluctance of many in our nation to call the police all the more poignant. The research of Desmond and Papachristos, along with David S. Kirk, found that in the case of a Milwaukee man, Frank Jude, who was beaten by off-duty police officers who accused him of stealing one of their badges, though eyewitnesses rejected that claim, in a period of over a year following, calls to 911 saw a decline of more than 22,000 from what was expected. This specific result fits in with a general pattern the researchers have seen among the poor in this nation to have a distrust of law enforcement.
It’s an article of faith among many in the gun community, particularly we who carry firearms for self-defense, that the choice to go armed is one that reduces overall violence, and while that is the subject of contention, the best estimates of defensive gun uses each year are in the hundreds of thousands. But we have to go beyond this statement to a recognition that a stable society creates the context in which self-defense has the best chance of succeeding.
Personally, my favored response to a petulant demand like that offered by Desmond and Papachristos would be “because fuck you, that’s why,”
But that’s not very amenable to a discussion of policy.
The sad and sorry truth is the police, no matter how good intentioned any individual cop may be, just can’t protect every individual citizen. There are too few cops and too many millions of miles of streets, highways and byways, alleys and walkways, too many houses, buildings, empty lots, meadows and barns. There’s no way a cop can be everywhere.
Let’s say a pair of thugs is kicking in your front door. By all means call the cops – but what happens in the ten or twenty minutes it takes them to get there? Do you trust your wood-panel door to hold off the attackers until the police arrive? Or would you rather trust a .357 Magnum or a 12-gauge pumpgun?
Too many pols of all stripes talk a lot about freedom of choice – unless the choice is one they disapprove of. Then your choice must be restricted, regulated, outlawed, or (at least) taxed.
The Guns.com article concludes: We in the gun community have our own reasons for doubting the intentions of government agencies when it comes to our rights, and in that, we have common cause with others who raise the same issue. We’ll do a better job of protecting rights – the ones we exercise personally as well as others – when we work together with any group whose rights are being endangered.
Too bad that most of the elected officials in our Imperial City can’t learn that lesson as well as many of the voters have; maybe we wouldn’t feel the need to protect our liberties so vigorously.