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Sunday, May 10, 2015

I hope civil libertarians aren't counting on the gun activists...

by digby

GOP ex-congressman and right wing talk show host Joe Walsh has been conducting an ongoing dialog about the alleged war on cops:

But this is where it gets interesting. Liberals and libertarians keep deluding themselves that the right's "anti-government" fervor translates to police tactics. It does not. They are against the federal government making people pay federal taxes and fees, sure. They don't like that. But they have no problem with authorities using repressive tactics against people they don't like. In fact, they would like to help them do it.

Molon labe (Greek: μολὼν λαβέ), meaning "come and take them", is a classical expression of defiance. When the Persian armies demanded that the Greeks surrender their weapons at the Battle of Thermopylae, King Leonidas I responded with this phrase. 
They all saw that stupid 300 movie and think they're ancient Greek warriors now ...

Any civil libertarian who counts on gun nuts to stand with them against government authority is a fool.

Needless to say, shooting anyone is a terrible thing and shooting police officers is no exception.  That should be obvious. Maybe if we didn't have so many guns all over the place there would be fewer shootings of innocent citizens and police officers.

In case you were wondering:

In urging law enforcement leaders to back new gun control efforts, President Barack Obama is asking police chiefs and county sheriffs to unite behind a cause they don't even agree about among themselves.

Obama said Monday that he was seeking a "basic consensus" among law enforcement executives to pressure Congress for legislation to ban assault-style weapons and restrict high-capacity ammunition magazines, among a score of other measures.

But it turns out the two national groups representing police and sheriffs at a meeting of law enforcement officials Monday at the White House — the Major Cities Chiefs Association and the Major County Sheriffs Association — disagree on the initiative. The chiefs back it, while the sheriffs oppose it.

Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey, president of the police chiefs group, said the deaths of 20 students and six teachers and staff members at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., last month had settled the issue.

"If the slaughter of 20 babies does not capture and hold your attention, then I give up, because I don't know what else will," Ramsey said last week. "We have to pass legislation."

But in a letter to Vice President Joe Biden (.pdf), who is leading the White House lobbying effort, the sheriffs group argued that "a ban on assault weapons alone will not address the issues of gun violence we are facing in our country today."

Nor would limiting magazine capacity, it said: "The problem is not the law-abiding citizen that will follow the restrictions; the problem again is one of access. ... (E)ven if you can’t buy in bulk, you can still buy multiple boxes of smaller quantities."

Similarly, the International Association of Chiefs of Police said in a position paper (.pdf) that it was "a strong supporter of the assault weapons ban" and measures to limit ammunition capacity. But the Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association applauded what it called efforts to "uphold and defend the Constitution against Obama's unlawful gun control measures."

Chiefs vs. sheriffs
The divide reflects a cultural and political gulf between police chiefs and sheriffs in a number of areas, criminal justice experts told NBC News.

Police chiefs run departments in cities where most gun crimes take place, according to FBI crime statistics over the past decade. Sheriffs run departments in counties, some or all of their jurisdictions covering rural areas where hunting and sport shooting are cherished rights. As a result, "you have these wildly different views of guns," said Gary Kleck, a professor of criminology and criminal justice at Florida State University in Tallahassee.

In counties, particularly heavily rural ones, "guns equal hunting, fishing, father-and-son-bonding-type things," he said, while in cities, "guns equal crime."

Those community views have real political effects, according to Kleck and another expert, Scott H. Decker, a professor of criminology at Arizona State University in Tempe.

"The big difference is a sheriff is elected and has to face the voters every four years," Decker said, but police chiefs are almost always appointed.

"If you're a police chief, you're not responsible to an electorate," Kleck said, and are therefore more free to advocate for politically unpopular policies like bans on certain kinds of weapons.

Oh, and in case you googled police polling on this question and came up with dozens of hit for some survey by a group called "Police One" check this fact check:

(The) March survey by a group called PoliceOne.com, a news and resource site for law enforcement officers. The survey wasn’t a scientific poll that aimed to gather responses from a random sample of the nation’s police officers. Rather, it was a self-selected Internet poll, in which more than 15,000 of PoliceOne.com’s 400,000 registered members chose to respond, either because of email solicitation or a link to the survey on the PoliceOne.com website.

In other words, it's completely useless.