In a current NRA video promoting its Back Our Blue–Cars for Freedom donation campaign, Wayne LaPierre says, “Our country’s law enforcement officers represent the best of American courage. Yet today, a deceitful media has put their courage under fire—making the job more dangerous for our police.”
No, actually it is the NRA that makes the job of police officers “more dangerous.”
Thanks to the open carry laws the NRA has successfully gotten on the books in many states, no one stopped police killer Gavin Eugene Long in Baton Rouge in 2016 even though police received a call about a suspicious person carrying a rifle. Open carrying was not unusual so law officers did not have “probable cause” to question Long. Long went on to shoot six police officers and three died. Backing Our Blue?
Thanks to open carry laws, a week earlier in Dallas, Micah Xavier Johnson drew no suspicion from authorities despite being clad in tactical clothing and armed with a rifle. He went on to kill five officers and injure seven others. Backing Our Blue?
(The NRA says such armed citizens have the right to “defend” themselves and others against “bad guys.” Why did none of the Dallas and Baton Rouge open carriers near the police shooter stop the murders? Weren’t they the “good guys with guns” who will stop crime that we always hear about?)
After the Dallas massacre, Police Chief David Brown said, “It’s increasingly challenging when people have AR-15s slung over their shoulder and they’re in a crowd. We don’t know who the good guy is versus the bad guy when everyone starts shooting.”
Norm Stamper, former chief of the Seattle police department, agrees. When multiple people on a scene are openly carrying weapons, it is almost impossible to distinguish a law-abiding gun owner from someone who is about to commit a violent crime. It’s “extremely jarring and jolting” for cops to see a gun on open display, even if the law condones it, said Stamper.
“I wish more of our legislators could see past the ideology,” says Milwaukee Police Chief Edward Flynn. “They have no concern about the impact [of open carry] in urban environments that are already plagued by too many guns and too much violence.”
The NRA has no remorse about how open carry laws facilitate police shootings. After the Dallas massacre of police officers, the NRA actually wrote that it would be “the greatest dishonor to their memory” to allow “the Democratic establishment” to pass stronger gun safety laws. Bereaved families would likely not have minded stronger gun safety laws.
A quick look at NRA history shows similar disregard for “Our Blue.” In 1980 and again in 2015, the NRA vigorously opposed a ban on “cop killer” bullets which are capable of piercing the light body armor typically worn by police; many types are readily available today. Now, the NRA is lobbying for lifting restrictions on silencers an unabashed pro-criminal action that will disable law enforcement gunshot detection and location systems.
No, it is not a “deceitful media” making the job more dangerous for our police––it is a deceitful NRA that does not “Back Our Blue” at all.