I’ve recently changed my opinion (a little) on gun confiscation by police in light of the COVID-19 crisis. While I still believe that local police won’t go door-to-door rounding up guns and confiscation/enforcement will be far less draconian than the media will hype it to be, I’m concerned that things have shifted.
I still think there will be three groups; those that enforce the law zealously, those that only enforce it when they have to, and those that quit/ignore it/actively work to subvert it from the inside.
The first “third” will compose true-believers, cops who righteously (and some what blindly) believe it is for the best, and those who don’t care and like kicking doors.
The middle group, the blindly righteous are good people who are the kinds of cops who are dedicated to keeping streets safe. They do a good job and always play by the rules. That dedication and rule-abiding will be what bites us in the butt. These guys believe that the regulations are in our best interest and for the common good, so the public must obey and the officers must enforce.
During this current crisis where religious services and public assemblies are being disrupted, these Dudley Do-Rights were the cops taking people away and passing out flyers. In normal times, you might get a speeding ticket from these folks, but they’ll never, ever frame you. In a Biblical sense, I’d compare them to Saul, the persecutor of Christians who encountered Jesus and scales fell from his eyes.
Yes, these people can be “saved.” A lot of them will get shot though, and that will polarize many of them to the gun control true-believer camp as armed resistance to gun confiscation “confirms” the lies they’ve been told about gun owners. The rest will rally around their deceased brethren and kick doors, shoot dogs, and blow off wives’ heads because we’re fighting back. You hurt me, I hurt you.
True-believers are usually deluded leftists. You can’t fix them, but few are in law enforcement compared to the rest. The middle-ground ones are cops who grew up in foreign countries or immigrant communities and regard guns and people who carry them as bad. Or they have little experience with people other than cops carrying them and believe the lies that an armed citizen is dangerous. They can learn or be terrorized, sorta like the Iraqi police.
In the second “third” you find most human beings, except these are cops. Most of us aren’t quite sheep, but we do what we are told. Usually, doing what we are told isn’t bad. Who here follows the rules at work, even if it’s a PITA, and does a decent job even though they can cut corners? Do you stop and wait patiently at a red light, even though no one is around and it’s 3 AM? That’s most people.
The middle of the road folks will go along to get along. They’ll tell people to “move along” on the beach or reluctantly pass out flyers at the local church, but the sergeant will have to be breathing down their neck if they are going to book or cite anyone for daring to leave home while a disease is out there. We all get upset at these cops when they’re busting us for speeding, but most of the time, if you’re cool and it wasn’t that bad, there’s a good chance they’ll let you off.
Most cops will leave people alone if they don’t draw attention to themselves. Think of the guy going 80 on the freeway versus the dude blowing past the state trooper at over 100. These are the cops that’ll enforce gun laws in a really half-assed manner and only when someone is looking. I worked with plenty of guys who would write the bare minimum traffic citations to stay off the sergeant’s radar. But woe betide you if you were a jerk and doing something really stupid on the road.
These guys are like “cool” California cops now. There’s lots of stories of normal people committing minor gun infractions or outright breaking magazine laws, etc. and a cool cop doesn’t care. Heck, this used to happen with marijuana too, but you know who I’m talking about. Many of these guys brag that they hate gun control, but admit they would use it against a true dirtbag who needed to sink under the weight of any and all charges.
The problem is that when you’re sitting on the fence, you have to fall one way or the other. Cops getting shot and police brass pushing for arrests will make the half-assed guys go one way or the other. Some will go to the first “third” and enforce the law, either out of revenge or fear for their jobs.
I fear the group that will follow orders is larger than assumed because of the COVID crisis. Now the current crisis is nothing to shoot over and a lot of cops can rationalize it as “for your own good.” Even gun owning, staunch patriots are disagreeing vehemently over the shutdown orders and restrictions.
But let’s say things in the gun control world slowly ratchet up. With no door-to-door confiscation, there is no catalyst to kick off an instant boogaloo. It’s individuals going after cops when they raid the house or in revenge. The event looks like a guerilla war and the mass media will be against the “gun nuts” shooting police and politicians.
This isn’t quite the world where a cops who is reasonably safe is going to quit over refusing to assist in a warrant service or do something to a gun owner. As long as the cop is reasonably safe and getting fed/paid, he’s going to do his job over fear of not being fed/paid.
That being said, everyone has their limit. When stuff hits the fan, whether it be retaliation against police or law enforcement going Waco-style on somebody, sides will be polarized. How long is that going to take? I can foresee a long grind where one by one, gun owners are targeted in a way to reduce the boogaloo chances and make those that do boogaloo be the outliers.
Using the COVID crisis as an example, you can bet deputies would outright refuse to enforce beach closures or even drive-by a church or protest if the FBI was arresting cops for deprivation of civil rights under color of law. Would the governors and mayors be closing businesses if a federal court deprived the elected officials of sovereign immunity? The US DOJ going full-bore in favor of liberty would put a stop to the most odious of our COVID restrictions.
Yet we are told the restrictions are temporary and to save lives. They’ll go away eventually and they really aren’t that bad. For a cop who just wants to get paid and not make waves, they aren’t going to tell their chief to pound sand for giving that officer park shutdown duty. It’ll take an embarrassing arrest, news exposure, and a lawsuit to get the department brass to back off and allow the cops not to be stepping on necks.
It’s not just police; look at all the people on Facebook who truly think that going to the beach will kill some grandmother hiding at home. “Just follow orders” is a delusion that affects everyone to some degree or another. Ordinary people rat on each other in oppressive regimes to save their own skins, so if you think you’re immune because you’re not a cop, wait until you have to choose between dueling with the SWAT team or diming out your shooting buddies to avoid a felony.
The final group, the ones that would up-and-quit, ignore it and be normal cops, or actively work to subvert the law (resistance) don’t bear mention here.
What changed was my observation of how authorities (police) are reacting to the COVID restrictions. They’re doing what they’re told because it isn’t odious, the public isn’t that mad (lots of Karens still support them for making going outside illegal), and it’s to save lives. It’s not like they’re herding Chinese people into boxcars or anything.
The idea that most cops won’t support gun confiscation has been predicated on the idea the boogaloo will be so nasty and large that you have to choose on side or the other. Unwilling to kill people over a civil right and probably other leftist ideas, cops in the middle wouldn’t risk dying and defect.
So if there is “soft” gun confiscation and repression, I fear we do have to worry. Officer Half-Ass might suddenly care that you’re shooting way out in the desert with a semi-auto “assault rifle” and “high capacity” magazines. On one hand, gun control that goes too far, too fast, and gets enforced immediately with a heavy hand is in our favor. If not, I worry.
All that being said, there are still more cops that are on our side. This is highly geographical, of course. Look at all the rural sheriffs supporting Second Amendment Sanctuaries. LAPD might kick down your door, rural CA cops might bust you if they find out, but cops in Vegas might just look the other way, while some Montana undersheriff helps you modify your AR-15 into full-auto.
Time will tell.
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