The Knox Report
From the Firearms Coalition
Brady Bunch, Chiefs Call for More Firepower
By Jeff Knox
(November 7, 2007) The Brady Campaign Against Gun Ownership has renewed its old partnership with the virulently anti-gun International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) advocating increased police firepower and a renewal of the Clinton “Assault Weapons” ban. Of course they blame regular gun owners and the politicians who allowed the 1994 ban to sunset for the need for more heavily armed officers.
The Brady Bunch and their police allies are effectively generating fear and concern in the general population by exaggerating and distorting police death statistics and suggesting that these numbers are the reason police departments have been trending toward more military-style weapons and tactics. Of course the claim by police that they are, “outgunned by criminals,” is nothing new; that has been an effective mantra for prying tax dollars out of reluctant civic bean-counters since police forces were invented. The claims are traditionally supported by anecdotal evidence such as the “Valentine’s Day Massacre” of the 1930’s, or the truly incredible “North Hollywood Bank Shootout” of 1997. The current efforts even include reference to the Virginia Tech and Columbine tragedies, neither of which would have been affected in the least by more heavily armed officers.
The Brady Bunch and IACP are very effective at getting their message out through their friends in the major media. The current blitz started in October and garnered feature stories on the major news networks. A CBS story claimed that due to budget restraints, many police officers were being forced to purchase their own rifles for prices over $1000, while “assault rifles” sell for as little as $200 “on the street” (I’d like to find that street). They then interviewed a 25-year old in Florida who claimed to have both a full-auto AK-47 and an Uzi. He said that in his neighborhood, he needed to be able to “pull the trigger and spray.”
FOX News did a live interview with Miami Police Chief John Timoney (a New York transplant in a uniform that would have made Idi Amin envious). Chief Timoney followed the Brady/IACP talking points exactly, repeating the inflated “60 officers killed by guns so far this year” statistic, referencing the recent incident in which a deranged criminal with an AK-47 killed a police officer and wounded several others during a traffic stop, and blaming lawmakers and the NRA for facilitating these tragedies by allowing the “Assault Weapons” ban to expire in 2004. Timoney claimed that there has been a marked upsurge in the use of “assault weapons” since the ban expired and that the officer down statistics force him to increase his officers’ firepower – even though he doesn’t want to do that. CNN followed up with an even more wildly inaccurate story with Chief Timoney and with even more lurid claims that the land is awash in full-auto AK‑47’s
What Timoney, the Brady Bunch, and IACP fail to mention – and the news services haven’t so far bothered to investigate – is that few rifles, and even fewer of those characterized as “assault weapons,” are ever used in attacks against officers or in any other crimes. In fact, according to the Officer Down Memorial web site, more police were killed with their own guns this year than were killed with “assault weapons” and more officers committed suicide with their service weapons than were killed with “assault rifles.” The Justice Department reports that – as has bee true for over 50 years – the primary firearm employed against police is the .38 caliber revolver, though the 9mm is slowly encroaching on that lead position.
The fact is that the number of officers killed in the line of duty has remained fairly stable for many years. An unusual spike occurred in 2001, possibly due to 9/11, with some 241 officers killed with 65 of those deaths involving firearms compared to this year where about 100 fewer officers were killed with a firearm total of 57 thus far. That number, while we would all love to see it lower, has held rather steady for the past decade at between about 50 and 60. It is worth mentioning that there is absolutely no indication of any correlation between officer deaths by gunfire and either the enactment of the Clinton “assault weapon ban” in 1994 or its sunset in 2004.
The latest push is just another example of the Brady Bunch taking advantage of a natural tendency of police departments to want newer, bigger, more impressive weaponry, and of a media that fails its duty to check facts that might get in the way of a good story. The only way to fight such propaganda is to raise hell with the media every time they allow such drivel to be expounded under their banner.
Don’t leave this up to me or the NRA to detect and respond to. You are the front line of the gun fight and it is up to you to voice your objection directly to the media outlet involved and then notify me or our allies in other pro-rights organizations so we can follow-up and try to bring some reason to the debate.
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