Guns, Cops, and the Posse Comitatus Act

Herschel Smith has a good post over at Captain’s Journal that examines the question of “When did the Left fall out of love with guns?” His answer is that the Left still loves gun–their guns.

Yes, the left still loves guns. There is no other reason for the fawning acceptance of the vulgar SWAT raid tactics in which innocent men like Mr. Eurie Stamps get shot and killed. These tactics are repeated all across America every day.

The left just doesn’t love guns in the wrong hands, and anyone who isn’t an agent of the state is the wrong hands. Listen to Representative Jim Himes (D – CT) tell you why high capacity magazines are still necessary in government hands.

There is absolutely no justification for weapons that were made for the explicit purpose of killing lots of people quickly to be in the hands of civilians.

Let that wash over you again. “Killing lots of people quickly” and “civilian hands.” The two don’t go together.

The police are civilians. If the arms the Progressives want to ban don’t belong in civilian hands, then the cops shouldn’t have them. After all, as was asked by a gun owner in New York, “Who are the police at war with?”

THOUGHT EXPERIMENT: OK, let’s say that civilians shouldn’t have these arms, but that the police need them. One solution would be to make the police part of the military, but that would require repeal (or severe amendment) of the Posse Comitatus Act. Well, if we’re going to let the military do policing, the current civilian police forces are redundant. Some of the cops could be rolled into the Army and the rest laid off. Think of the budget savings!

Also, think about what happened the last time we used a military force for law enforcement. Reconstruction. How did that turn out?

As long as we’re looking at history, what has been the outcomes of trying to restrict the possession of things rather than outlawing criminal behavior. Prohibition. Did That result in more or fewer societal problems? The War on Drugs. What has that done for crime?

Given that neither a bottle of booze nor a joint can shoot back, how much violence could we expect as a result of creating a black market in firearms?

UPDATE–Prof. Reynolds writes:

Why are you afraid of the Constitution? The answer, of course, is that the political class doesn’t want citizens. It wants subjects.

UPDATE 2–Or as Hubert Humphrey said:

Certainly one of the chief guarantees of freedom under any government, no matter how popular and respected, is the right of citizens to keep and bear arms. … [T]he right of citizens to bear arms is just one more guarantee against arbitrary government, and one more safeguard against a tyranny which now appears remote in America, but which historically has proved to be always possible.

You Keep Using That Word …

… I don’t think it means what you think it means. Civilians. Cops keep calling people who aren’t employed in law enforcement “civilians.” Well, yes, most of us are–as are all the cops. Unless they have been made a part of the Army or Marine Corps Military Police, Navy Masters-at-Arms, Air Force Security Police, or the Coast Guard, they are civilian police.

The paramilitary, Us v. Them, mindset that has infected law enforcement is not a good thing. I blame Daryl Gates and the LAPD for starting the paramilitarization of policing by inventing the SWAT team.