Cop Amber Guyger Is Why We Need Private Gun Ownership

By: Ryan McMaken

When gun-control advocates complain about “guns” and say “no one needs a gun for x” all they are really saying is “I want only cops and soldiers to have guns.”

That’s it. There’s really no more nuance to the argument than that. After all, no intelligent person claims that all guns ought to be eliminated. Who would enforce such an order? Only people with guns can take guns away from other people with guns.

So, the gun-control position is simply the position that only government employees should have guns.

And what a terrible position that is.

When a citizen needs the police to not shoot anyone, the cops show up and start shooting. This was the case when Richard Black killed a home intruder in self defense. Sometime later, the police showed up and shot Black dead in his own home .

When you do need the police to shoot the bad guys, the police run away and hide. This was the case at the Parkland School shooting where sheriff deputy Scot Peterson — who was specifically supposed to provide security at the school — did nothing to intervene when the shooting started.

And now we hear about the case of Amber Guyger. Guyger is the police officer who confused another man’s apartment for her own. She broke into the man’s home, saw his “silhouette” and then open fired. Her victims, Botham Shem Jean, died.

And yet we’re told that people like Guyger are the only ones who should have guns. Here’s a woman who can’t even figure out what apartment she lives in. And in the ensuing confusion her response is to just start shooting.

She has claimed in her defense that she “gave verbal commands” to her victim before she shot him.

That this should even be considered any sort of “defense” requires a special kind of deference to government. But this is how police officers and their defenders think. If a normal person is woken or surprised in the middle of the night by an intruder with a badge, the victim is supposed to — by magic, apparently — know that the intruder is a police officer and then response calmly to the commands.

In reality, the situation in Jean’s apartment was this likely one in which Guyger was screaming at her victim in a dark room. When Jean didn’t respond as Guyger wanted, she killed him.

For police of course, private citizens are always supposed to respond calmly and obediently when screamed at by multiple police officers. Often, the victims receive conflicting orders from police. If the “suspect” doesn’t do everything he’s told? When then, he deserved to get shot.

Similar rules do not apply to police. Police — we are told — “must make split-second decisions under extreme pressure.”In other words, if the police make a poor decision under pressure, they’re heroes who did what had to be done. If a private-sector taxpayer like Richard Black makes the “wrong” decision? He deserved to die.

The law reinforces this view as well. It is extremely rare for a police officer to be prosecuted for gunning down unarmed victims. In the Black case, the police chief has already blamed the 73-year old war veteran for his own killing. The chief’s reasoning? Black, who was hearing impaired, should have responded faster to police commands. Case closed.

Even when a trigger-happy police officer is brought up on charges, the law is written in such a way as to make it extremely hard to thread that needle. Members of the jury are easily browbeaten into coming down on the police officer’s side. We saw this in the case of Daniel Shaver, an unarmed man who was crawling and begging for his life when gunned down by police. Police officer Philip Brailsford was so fearful of this weeping, trembling man on the ground that Brailsford just couldn’t keep himself from opening fire. The jury’s verdict? Not guilty.

In the case of Guyger, the law favors her greatly, and it is unlikely she’ll get much more than a slap on the wrist. For one, we already see the state’s favoritism toward her in the prosecution. She’s only facing manslaughter charges, and defense attorneys are saying that, given the way the warrant for her arrest is written, it’s all just an accident and “the Texas Rangers were careful not to implicate Officer Guyger.”

But imagine if a private citizen did something similar. If a private citizen broke into someone’s house, screamed at the residents, and then opened fire? We all know what would happen. We’d all be told we need to have “a national conversation” about how there are “too many guns” in private hands. If the local DA wanted to look tough on the “crime epidemic,” the shooter would be arrested immediately, and would likely face second-degree murder charges.

But in Guyger’s case, she isn’t even arrested immediately. The Texas Rangers have handled her with kid gloves, allowing her to turn herself in at her convenience. All her statements to the police have been treated as facts — and not as the claims of a person who breaks into people’s homes and starts shooting. It’s the usual “professional courtesy” of the Thin Blue Line. There is one set of laws for government agents. And another set of laws for the taxpayers who pay all the bills.

And yet, gun control advocates would have us believe that only people like Guyger should have guns. They claim that private citizens can’t be trusted with weapons. The ordinary people are too likely to be mentally unstable, or too trigger-happy to be allowed access to guns.

But who is to defend us from the mentally unstable police officers? Or perhaps from the ones who are too stupid to figure out which apartment is hers?

It is precisely this sort of thing that led to the infamous Indiana law which explicitly states that it is not a crime to defend once self from an abusive police officer — even using deadly force if necessary. That law was a response to an Indiana Supreme Court decision which stated that “there is no right to reasonably resist unlawful entry by police officers.”

Amber Guyger will benefit form this sort of thinking if her case ever goes to trial. The deck in stacked in favor of the government and its law enforcement arm. It’s not a coincidence that government judges to often side with government police. They all work for the same organization — and they all live off the sweat of the taxpayers who have very little say in the matter. Moreover, courts have ruled that police have no obligation to protect the citizenry. Thus, “officer safety” is priority number one.

[RELATED: “Lack of Police Accountability Shows the “Social Contract” Isn’t Working” by Ryan McMaken]

The grim reality is, when it comes to cops like Amber Guyger, private gun ownership is the only practical defense in the heat of the moment. When a police officer is so blatantly incompetent as Guyger, what other defense is there? We can already see that the law is doing all it can to minimize her crimes. As far as the government is concerned, this is a non-problem.

This doesn’t mean, for sure, that if Guyger’s victim had had a gun, would he be alive today. But he would at least have had a fighting chance. For example, what if Guyger had missed at first? Botham Jean would have been perfectly rational to retreat, grab a gun, and then gun Guyger down. After all, what reason had he to believe she was a police officer beyond her uniform? It’s not as if imposters can’t buy those. And even if Jean had believed she was a police officer, he still would have been within his rights — morally speaking — to shoot her dead.

For gun-control advocates, however, this is all too messy. For them, it would all be much more neat and tidy to make sure that private citizens like Jean have no access to the tools of self defense, and that people like Guyger can act with the near-certainty that their victims are defenseless.

Only then, will we all be “safe.”

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