President Joe Biden‘s recent remarks about crime and gun control show that the debate about guns is getting more precise and clear, while the conversation about crime remains clouded.
Biden‘s remarks that those resisting government will need F-15 fighters and nuclear weapons more than AR-15 rifles show that the debate is now about whether guns and the Second Amendment are to provide citizens with a means to resist the government.
While the president was wrong as his interpretation of Jefferson’s famous “blood of patriots” (sacrifices will have to continue to be made to keep the republic on track), gun rights’ proponents should be happy that they don’t have to pretend the right to hunt deer is what is on the line, but rather that they lack trust in the fairness and infallibly of any iteration of government that might be formed in the future.
After all, threats to the system could rise from blue or red camps (or even orange ones).
Biden’s attempt to scapegoat the dramatic increase in crime and murder on guns and gun owners misses the mark.
Inequities in the legal system based on race and class must be addressed. Drug laws — above and beyond marijuana — need to be changed. Mental health — a driving force in many mass shootings and violence — must finally become a priority both locally and nationally.
One of the obvious causes for the dramatic jump and violence last year, and an even higher rate this year, is the changing nature of the relationship between society and law enforcement.
The relationship between communities and members of the law enforcement needs immediate and comprehensive attention.
Police policies, oversight, training and recruiting deserve our focus, as do the complex situations in communities across the country.
Good people everywhere want and deserve to be safe in their homes, workplaces and streets. That includes Eastern Shore communities such as Cambridge and big cities such as Baltimore and New York.
Good people everywhere want the top quality law-enforcement. The late Cpl. Keith Heacook’s uncle received a standing ovation from thousands of men and women in uniforms at the slain officer’s funeral when he said, “No one hates bad cops more than good cops.”
The terms of the gun control debate should be exactly how the president framed the debate: Whether citizens should be expected to trust any and all government going forward, and whether citizens have the right to defend themselves.
The gun control debate is a sticky wicket and can have the feeling of partisan fundraising effort (from both sides) rather than finding common sense solutions. Second Amendment advocates do need to be pressed on their solutions for too many neighbors perishing on the streets of Cambridge, Salisbury, the Bronx or west Baltimore.
The terms of the crime debate must become more honest and accurate and focused on balance and solutions, rather than partisan politics.