Thursday, January 31, 2013

No, Mr. Vice President. Cops Today Are Not ‘Outgunned.’

I suppose it’s no surprise that Vice President Joe Biden was put in charge of President Obama’s gun control initiative. Biden has always been an innovator when it comes to finding new reasons to put people in prison, and for longer periods of time.

He’s also long been a law-and-order guy. Back in 2009, he assured a gather of prosecutors and police officers that Obama Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor “has got your back” — a stunningly tone-deaf thing to say, given that a Supreme Court justice is supposed to protect and uphold the Constitution, even if that means occasionally ruling to limit the power of law enforcement. (Fortunately, he was wrong. Since her confirmation, Sotomayor has arguably been the Court’s most reliable defender of the rights of the accused.)

Biden has also long been a champion of the federal COPS and Byrne grant programs that have contributed to the massive rise in SWAT teams across the country — and have given rise to drug war debacles like those in Hearne and Tulia, Texas. Obama and Biden campaigned on refunding both programs and indeed, under the Obama administration both programs have been funded at record levels.

Last week, Biden again invoked the law-and-order theme in calling for a federal ban on assault weapons. From USA Today:

Participating in what was billed by the White House as a “Fireside Hangout” on the website Google+, Biden acknowledged that assault weapons account for a small fraction of gun deaths in America. But, he said, law enforcement organizations overwhelmingly support the ban for good reason.

“There were fewer police being murdered, fewer police being outgunned when the assault weapons ban, in fact, was in existence,” Biden said.

That last sentence simply false, on both counts. So is Biden’s general premise.

Full article: http://www.huffingto … 8497.html?1359482449

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