Police Chief Commits Common Error

When he starts talking outside of his knowledge. But first, here is the context: Wisconsin recently joined the ranks of most of the rest of nation in admitting that its citizens have a constitutional right to carry arms for self-protection. Unsurprisingly, a number of the state’s citizens are doing what they need to to take advantage of the recognition of this right–and arming themselves.

Enter the chief of police for Madison, WI. He is not particularly happy with the state of affairs:

[Chief Wray] says his concern is that whenever you add guns to the community, legal or otherwise, the peril grows. He points to a homicide on Vera Courton the city’s north side in October in which quick access to a gun escalated a gang conflict.

Advocates of the law would say they are law-abiding and that the Vera Court homicide wasn’t about the weapon, but Wray is worried about more than just more guns in the hands of criminals. He says a situation involving a depressed person or someone under the influence who barricaded themselves from police could grow into an “officer-involved shooting” if there is access to a gun.

Regarding “the peril grow[ing]” based simply on the presence of guns, it would appear that the science is hardly settled on that topic.

On the larger point, Wray observes: “What I can’t understand is how come we have not evolved beyond the point that the best way to protect ourselves is a gun? How come we cannot come up with something that is less destructive and less permanent.”

The Chief believes, somehow, in the face of all the criminal activity which he has seen in his lifetime that we are somehow getting better and better (i.e. evolving beyond needing to protect ourselves with guns). I don’t think he is saying we should all have developed non-lethal psionic force projection abilities, but then again, maybe he is.

May I say, Chief Wray, that we have come up with things which are less destructive and less permanent (and the article goes on to list a few of them)? The problem is that some people are willing to continue in their destructive criminal ways unless and until their very lives are threatened or, in extremis, ended by a person using a gun in self-defense.