The holidays have kept me so busy I never got to write what Voxdotcom just did for me, in the post below. Surprisingly, no one else seems to be talking about the most important reason we're seeing so many innocent people shot dead by law enforcement. It's no coincidence this is happening, now that everyone is a possible gun carrying killer, even kids. Remember, it wasn't always like this.
I have a 12 year old who just happens to be playing around with air soft guns around the house, acting out what he's seen in movies and video games. Not much different that something I did when I was a kid...but with a cap gun. The thing is, he doesn't know better. He might make the wrong decision and go off on his own and repeat what we're seeing all over the country.
Here's a silent video I edited together of Tamir Rice playing around, that's all, until it all came to an unexpectedly tragic end:
Voxdotcom: The death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, reveals many things about America. One of them that has not yet received adequate attention is that there is a strong case for a form of gun control that is much stricter than anything that's remotely plausible in the context of American politics. In this case, the drawback is a straightforward consequence of America's approach to firearms. A well-armed citizenry required an even-better-armed constabulary.
Widespread gun ownership creates a systematic climate of fear on the part of the police. The result is a quantity of police shootings that, regardless of the facts of any particular case, is just staggeringly high. Young black men, in particular, are paying the price for America's gun culture.
A well-armed population leads to police shootings of the unarmed in two ways. One is that police officers have to be constantly vigilant about the possibility that they are facing a gun-wielding suspect. Cleveland police officers shot and killed a 12 year-old boy recently, because they not-entirely-unreasonably thought his toy gun was a real gun. The other, more relevant to the Michael Brown case, is that when civilians are well-armed, police have to be as well. That turns every encounter into a potentially lethal situation.
The officer always has to worry that if he doesn't reach for and use his own gun, the suspect will. The basic reason American police departments are so much better-armed than their British counterparts is that Americans civilians are much better armed. There is about one gun per person in the United States, and the police legitimately need to be able to wield more force than the citizens they are policing.
In America there are lots of guns, so the cops need lots of guns. Consequently, people get shot. Gun ownership is the huge, obvious difference between the United States and countries with drastically lower rates of police killing and nobody is talking about it. That's very unlikely to change any time soon. But it ought to.