Saturday, March 14, 2015

"Officer Safety" and the Second Amendment


"A well-regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."

These words have meaning and purpose for the citizens of the United States. They also are vital to the continuity of our nation as a bastion of personal freedom in a world fraught with danger. The “security of a free State” by allowing the citizens to possess firearms seems counterintuitive to many people. These people believe that only the State should possess the implements that can make one person or a few people powerful enough to exert their will and desires over a much larger group of individuals.

There are many people that assume that the State behaves in an altruistic manner and gladly compromise their own personal freedom for guarantees of security provided by the State. The framers of the Constitution and Bill of Rights were conscious of the fact the State is comprised of a small number of people, governing a massive number of citizens with rules and regulations written by people. The framers understood that human behavior has remained very much the same for thousands of years and would continue on into the future. Their primary concern was that worst of human flaws: hubris. When given the power to rule over their fellow citizens, many politicians fall into the trap of hubris. This leads to a belief that one’s own ideas and agendas are so valid that they should supersede the rights and freedoms of the individuals they are purported to represent.

The Constitution and Bill of Rights are meant to protect the citizens of the United States from a government comprised of normal humans that are no more immune from the temptations of power than their constituents.

Today, government officials relish talking about “security” in regards to the security of the State, both the bureaucracy that has been created and those in its employ. To this end, not only does the military, National Guard, and Department of Justice have arms and armament, so do most of the large regulatory agencies. The IRS, FDA, DoE, NOAA and almost 70 other agencies now have armed agents. Yet, when these same officials speak of the Second Amendment, which clearly uses the word “security” preceding the use of the word “people”, those officials reference hunting and “sporting purposes”. These elected and appointed people are suffering from the human condition that many would term ego or pride; that somehow they and their political constructs are the only people in our nation worthy of the right to armed protection. The mere citizens they govern over should only be allowed protection from danger as provided by the state. They are infringing upon the right of the people (or individual citizen) to the same security they give themselves.

District of Columbia v. Heller, 554 U.S. 570 (2008) affirmed the individual’s right to lawful purposes, including the right to self-defense. This was also the decision of the Supreme court in McDonald v. Chicago, 561 U.S. 742 (2010). These decisions make some restitution to the eroded rights of the citizens of the United States. However, they do not address the current situation in regards to ammunition, armor, “sporting purposes” and the right of citizens to own specific variations of ammunition.

The term “officer safety” is being heavily used to provoke emotional responses and make any opposition to ammunition restrictions seem to be arguments against the health and well-being of sworn police officers. This is not the case. People that care about police officer’s actual safety are not the ones that would injure a police officer with a bullet of any kind, regardless of how effective the round is against armor. These people also follow laws and regulations already in place; ones that are in place against bodily harm of any sort towards their fellow citizens, of which police are a part of.

Those who would harm police and choose that course will use whatever implement is handy to accomplish their vile task. There have been officers killed in the line of duty with everything from fists, to pipes, to their own guns or even run over with vehicles. The decisions and actions of the individuals committing those heinous acts are the reason those officers perished. Regardless of the implement, criminals like that need to be punished and kept apart from law-abiding society.

Restricting specific ammunition because of a perceived danger to one subgroup of citizens, important as they are to the function of society, is a logical fallacy. Using the same reasoning, with everything from fists to cars having killed officers, the use and possession of those items should be restricted also.

The biggest danger to “officer safety” is criminals who will ignore not only the laws in place, but also common human decency towards others.

This raises the question as to why government officials are so driven to restrict those who pose the least risk to society in general and police officers specifically.

No one likes to mention the ultimate reason the framers of the Constitution and Bill of Rights wrote the Second Amendment. The framers were people who had lived under the tyrannical rule of a despot and his minions. Minions who controlled armed groups of people who regulated the lives of the citizens. When the citizens finally could no longer stand the oppression enforced by the arms of a government that was only interested in its own preservation, the citizens took up the only tool that could cut the metaphorical chains that bound them. Firearms and ammunition were used to release a nation from political bondage. The framers understood that people being people would lead government to evolve to tyranny again and only by giving citizens the same power as the government, could freedom be retained in this country.

So ask yourself, why would government officials want to limit the ability of law-abiding citizens to exercise their Second Amendment rights?

Originally posted on March 13, 2015 by "phatmax" on at

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