In spite of the frequent pleas from national Democrat leaders for increased gun control, the United States is no closer to implementing such laws, in spite of constant headlines pointing to mass killings and calling for more government action. This was certainly true with the rise of Donald Trump and his very pro-gun Attorney General. However, I think this would have remained the same, even if Hillary Clinton were elected. Americans want their guns. This reality becomes all the more clear as many in law enforcement openly push against the call for more gun laws and average Americans treating the situation like a call to arms.
Following the attacks by terrorists in Paris, the Police Chief in Detroit, Michigan surprised the media by announcing that armed citizens are making Detroit decidedly unattractive to terrorists. According to CBS Detroit, because “more guns, fewer problems. That, at least, is Detroit Police Chief’s James Craig’s view of Detroit and fears about a possible terrorist attack.” The article goes on to state, “Detroit’s police chief says he believes the fear that armed citizens would return fire serves as a deterrent for a potential terrorist attack in the rust belt city.”
This is a theme Chief Craig has promoted for quite a while. In 2014 it was reported in the Washington Times that “Detroit has experienced 37 percent fewer robberies than it did last year, and Police Chief James Craig is crediting armed citizens for the drop. ‘Criminals are getting the message that good Detroiters are armed and will use that weapon,’ Chief Craig, who has been an open advocate for private gun ownership, told The Detroit News in an interview. ‘I don’t want to take away from the good work our investigators are doing, but I think part of the drop in crime, and robberies in particular, is because criminals are thinking twice that citizens could be armed.’”
Craig is not the only law enforcement official pushing against the gun control narrative. Ulster County New York Sheriff Paul Van Blarcum has gone even further, advocating for all people with carry permits to keep their guns on them. The Sheriff, who is a Democrat, wrote on his office’s Facebook page: “In light of recent events that have occurred in the United States and around the world I want to encourage citizens of Ulster County who are licensed to carry a firearm to PLEASE DO SO.”
Although it is new to see those in law enforcement be vocal in maintaining such positions, it has long been known that the consensus of most police is a desire to see more responsibly and legally armed citizens. The website, PoliceOne, did an extensive survey of 15,000 officers to determine law enforcement attitudes about gun ownership, and the results will likely surprise most consumers of the news today. According to the survey, “More than 91 percent of respondents support the concealed carry of firearms by civilians who have not been convicted of a felony and/or not been deemed psychologically/medically incapable.” Furthermore, a “full 86 percent feel that casualties would have been reduced or avoided in tragedies like Newtown and Aurora if a legally-armed citizen was present (casualties reduced: 80 percent; avoided altogether: 60 percent).” Even more surprising is law enforcement’s view of what should happen in public schools when it comes to protecting young people, with “more than 81 percent of respondents were in favor of arming teachers and school administrators if they were properly trained and vetted or at least proficient.”
Law enforcement is not the only one resisting the anti-gun rhetoric. Average Americans are responding to mass shootings by purchasing more guns. For many, the obvious fact that all of these events are happening in “gun free zones,” makes it very logical that they want to assure their own protection wherever possible. Furthermore, we are seeing contrarian attitudes about gun free zones, as the President of the largest Christian University in the US has urged his students to carry guns on campus and the Texas Legislature passed a law requiring the state’s public institutions of higher learning to allow those who are properly licensed to carry guns.
Rhetoric by politicians and the media are at an all time high when it comes to anti-gun rhetoric, but the trend is actually very much against more gun control laws. That is certainly the case under Trump, but clearly would have remained the case, even if Hillary had won. America’s love of guns continues.