With Joe Biden arguing that you can’t claim to support police unless you also support banning so-called assault weapons, I figured it would be a good idea to get a law enforcement officer’s take on his ridiculous claim on today’s Bearing Arms’ Cam & Co, so I reached out to Ohio police officer, firearms instructor, talk show host, and gun store/range owner Eric Delbert.
Thankfully Eric was available and had plenty to say about the Democrats’ push for a ban on “assault weapons,” starting with his assertion that no officer he knows is in favor of one.
“I hope you own many,” Delbert told me, saying that the renewed push for a gun ban is based on the “same old rhetoric” we’ve been hearing for years.
“We’re not beyond saying ‘maybe we should look at certain things in the firearms industry to help the violence on the streets’, but jeez, when you pull it all back and look at the facts, they just don’t support the rhetoric that is coming from the other side. That’s why we as firearm owners, law enforcement officers, as gun store owners we look at it and we say ‘you know this is another emotion-based political move that has no impact [on public safety].”
Delbert says that over the past ten years there have been approximately 1,700 police officers killed in the line of duty. Of those individuals, 500 were murdered by an assailant armed with a gun. Of those deaths, about 100 can be attributed to a suspect armed with a rifle. Delbert points out that, according to FBI crime statistics, rifles of any kind are used in fewer homicides every year than fists and feet or knives.
Instead of trying to ban an inanimate object that’s commonly owned by millions of law-abiding Americans, Delbert says we need to be looking at policies that can actually effect changes in criminal behavior.
“You know, right here in Columbus [Ohio] we’ve seen a horrific spike in crime the last couple years, and the city leaders just throw their hands up and say ‘we don’t know why, and we need more rec centers’ and stuff that has no impact when we stand back and say ‘look guys, why don’t you recognize that the overwhelming majority of gun owners are safe, responsible gun owners.’ And right now, and I think this is the case in many cities, the proliferation of firearms being put in the bad guys’ hands because they’re stolen is off the charts. So why not as a city come out and say ‘hey look, we recognize there are good, lawful gun owners and let us help you secure those. Let’s do a campaign.’”
As I told Delbert, I think the problem stems from the fact that most politicians on the left are completely uninterested in anything that legitimizes gun ownership. Even their response to the rise of thefts from guns in cars is to try to criminalize being the victim of a burglary if you fail to report the theft of your gun promptly to a police department that doesn’t have the manpower or staffing to do anything other than make a report of their own and file it away to be forgotten unless or until the gun is recovered. They’re not out there pushing for public safety campaigns or offering incentives for gun owners to securely store their firearms in their vehicles, and they’re damn sure not going to start getting rid of their “gun-free zones” so that gun owners don’t have to lock their gun in their car instead of being able to lawfully carry it while they’re going about their business.
That’s not who they are, and frankly, that’s not what the current gun control push is all about. This is an exercise in saving Democrats’ seats, not saving American lives. Democrats are convinced that by going all in on gun control, even though their gun ban has no chance in the Senate, they can motivate enough suburban swing district voters to turn out for their candidates that they can blunt the effects of what’s shaping up to be a terrible midterm cycle for House Democrats. If this wasn’t a purely performative exercise then why is Nancy Pelosi now moving at lightning speed on a bill that’s been sitting around without so much as a committee hearing since it was introduced last March? If this bill is going to save lives, then why didn’t Democrats bring it up for a vote at any point before now?
Delbert says he’d like to see Congress focus on two things instead of gun control; keeping those accused of repeat, violent offenses behind bars until their trial and improving the efficacy of the NICS system, which failed to process nearly 750,000 background checks within 90 days last year. Those items aren’t nearly punitive enough towards legal gun owners for Democrats’ liking, however, and as long as they’re in charge of the House the focus will continue to be on the empty promise of safer communities once we’ve criminalized the exercise of a constitutional right.