By Nathan Barton
I find that the constant drumbeat about how dangerous it is to be a cop, especially in states with high gun ownership, and high levels of “domestic violence” is getting really tedious. A lot of news items about violence, cops, and guns came across the news desk this week.
Thank a cop for his willingness to face danger on the job? Please, give me a break. The WaPo, far from a libertarian or even conservative journal, points out in a “wonkblog” article that data indicates that cops (sheriff’s officers and police officers) don’t even rank in the top ten deadly occupations in the Fifty States; indeed, they rank FIFTEENTH in fatalities (in 2013), just ahead of construction and commercial painters and just behind grounds maintenance workers; neither recognized as exactly “dangerous” jobs. The civilian profession with the most job-related fatalities per year? Logging workers, followed by fishing and aircrews. Even trash haulers and recycling workers face a greater risk of being killed on the job than cops do. Yes, Virginia, cops ARE civilians. Legally and should be morally. And yeah, I know that a cop faces a risk of being wounded or killed on every traffic stop they make, but a logger faces that on every tree they cut, and the average logger probably cuts down a lot more trees than a cop makes stops. But this ties in with two other news items this week.
Mama’s Note: And, since most of the “stops” or other cop interactions with people are bogus – “enforcement” of bogus prohibitions and useless traffic rules – the danger to cops would drop to almost zero if they were actually peace officers instead. And no community would need more than a few, if any – especially if most people were able and willing to defend themselves. The “crime” rate would drop to nearly nothing if so many things were not foolishly, and dangerously criminalized.
First, speaking of statistics, the website Instant Checkmate has an interactive map showing crime rates by state. The one item in particular that I noticed is tied to the second item. Claims (heard on the news as recently as yesterday on a national news broadcast from NBC that police deaths are higher in states with more guns don’t match with the data about overall murders, armed robberies, and assaults. It is also interesting to note other crime statistics, all based on incidents per 100,000 people. For example, New York has a very low auto theft rate: no doubt in part because although there are eight million or so people in NYC, only about 1 in 4 has a car (I’m guestimating) whereas in places like South Dakota or Wyoming, a family of four might have five or six vehicles…
Back to the news about cop deaths: the study finds that guns are NOT the leading cause of cop deaths: vehicle accidents are. And – get this – that most cop gun deaths involve privately-owned guns: in other words, cops are not shooting each other very much (at least not with their issue weapon) and the military isn’t shooting many cops with issue weapons, either. This is, of course, an excuse to demand that we civilians be disarmed (or as a recent JFPO article notes, “underarmed”) to let cops go home after work “like other workers.”
When you look at all this put together, the propaganda about the dangers of cops and the correlation (over twenty years, mind you, as crime rates have dropped) between guns and cop deaths is just that: propaganda. Guns save lives, guns save people’s property, and gun ownership and carry is a God-given right that government has no justification (except that of power and lust for control) to take away. It is the rest of the world that is out of step, not the Fifty States (or at least, not about forty of them).
Mama’s Note: Not only no “justification,” but no legitimate authority to even look for any justification. The world will have a chance to live in peace and prosperity only when most people understand that and stop allowing governments to keep them enslaved. It is their belief in that bogus authority that keeps them in chains.
The secessionist movement in California draws rural support according to Personal Liberty. The long-brewing secessionist movement in Northern California got another momentary boost this week when a crowd of secessionists turned out at a meeting to win local government support for the plan. The plan to take up to 20 California counties (and maybe a few from Oregon) has been around since before WW2, but has seen more support in recent years. Still, I am not holding my breath. But we NEED secession movements in virtually every state – even Delaware and Rhode Island. (Actually, we need about 300 million secession movements: one for each of us, at least one for each family.)
Is marijuana to be another factor in a second war between the states? Most of the states that have significantly reduced the criminal status of cannabis are western states. DC being DC, and weird, Personal Liberty points out that Ohio is set to vote on a constitutional amendment to legalize the stuff. It would be the fifth state to do so, but the first Midwestern one. Most are Western states. Together with attitudes on weapons, abortion, and many other issues, the divide between regions of the Fifty States is almost as great as between inner city cores and the rest of the people. Of course, the idea that a constitutional amendment is needed to LEGALIZE something that is a natural product (a “gift from God”) is so bizarre from a free-market, anarchist point of view as to be surreal, but hey? Whatever works to start rolling back the war on some drugs. I do not think it has too much chance in the state. Ohio’s police state tactics on gunners and others for years has soured me on the place.