Sunday, March 12, 2006


This piece by T.R. Fehrenbach is spot on.
First off, let's face a salient fact: If you allow cops to carry, somebody is going to be shot. (If you don't allow them to carry, it will invariably be the cop.) There are a lot of crooks and crazies with guns out there. Most policemen are courageous (if not, they shouldn't take the shield), and faced with run or fight, they'll fight. When in doubt, it is usually safer to shoot than be sorry. Any lawman worth his salt will obey the dictum: Better to be judged by 12 than carried by six.

I think the emphasis upon cop shootings (that is, shootings by cops) is all wrong. It should not be on the shooter but the guys getting shot. Usually a little investigation shows that these are felonious, intemperate, stupid or impolite, even when not armed. Most are not really worth the powder and lead to blow them up....

.... Lawyers have fixed it so that it's hazardous for police to shoot anyone, especially on the run. The argument is that shooting inflicts the death penalty for lesser crimes. I agree that this argument is valid. The solution would be to make fleeing from law officers a capital crime.


Blogger littleboxes said...

All we do is make empty, generic comments, but isn't "lawyers made it..." also a bit over-cooked? What lawyers and where? Don't cops have lawyers?

Is it really true that cops are afraid to shoot people? What are the implications? Millions of criminals roam streets because cops afraid to shoot them dead?

Does this imply a shoot first and ask questions later policy? So if someone is not armed, but is stupid and impolite, they deserve to be killed?

That's a long list and you can start it right here in our office.

Blogger Roy said...

I see now that the way I excerpted the piece it sounds like cops can shoot anybody. The point of the piece is that criminals who flee should be held responsible for the ensuing chase and possible aftermath. Not the police.

The policy implication is explicit: make fleeing from the police a more serious offense.

Oh, and I added a correction. The author is T.R. Fehrenbach.


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