Thursday, May 06, 2021

Is There a Possible Compromise Here?

Not all murders committed by police involve firearms -- see, for example, George Floyd and Eric Garner. But firearms seem to be a big part of the police murder toolkit, and after the latest incident of cops gunning down a four-month-old, it seems to me that a de-escalation compromise is in order.

Yes, I understand that some people would prefer to eliminate police entirely, or at least "de-fund" them (I'm down with that). But assuming that's a bridge too far in terms of realpolitik, how about this:

We still have cops. Maybe even as many cops as now.

But they don't get, as a matter of course, to carry guns on duty. Firing offense if detected, death penalty offense if used.

Maybe allow an on-call reaction/response team with firearms that can swing into action only after a specific request and a judge issueing a warrant specifically authorizing it and setting out the limits, but regular patrol officers get to carry, at most, a nightstick and a can of pepper spray. 

Tasers? Temporarily off the table, but maybe a bargaining chip.

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