Relationship between gun control and more police

There is a direct relationship between gun control and the calls for more police. It naturally follows that when the government restricts the populace from obtaining arms, the populace is deprived of the means for self-defense against aggression. This means that individuals who have violent crimes perpetrated against them are less likely to fend off this act of aggression, particularly against armed aggressors. Certainly a disarmed populace is preferable to criminals who may commit acts of aggression more frequently, as they have a higher likelihood of success. The citizen at this point can either seek to protect themselves by illegally obtaining arms from the black market, or they may call for a more extensive police force to protect them against criminals. Most honest citizens will not seek to choose the former, as this action will often carry a heavy penalty that they would not be willing to bear in the event they were caught. As such, most citizens will call for more (heavily armed) police, which will now bear more and more resemblance to the military as this is supposed to be ‘necessary’ to fend off the greater criminal threat. Not only this, but police will often be given more power to invade individuals privacy for the same reasons.  

This may seem natural, and in many respects is; a tradeoff between individual means to defense and state means to defend you, and one which certain individuals may be keen to make. However, many of these individuals who would make such a choice think that this tradeoff will lead to a safer state of affairs, and, indeed, seek to make this transfer of power to the government to achieve that particular end.

But, as with most decisions made in politics these days, the means ends framework is in serious disconnect. Lest we should decide to station a police officer in every citizens home, few crimes can be stopped in the act of committing the crime. A police force, even an extensive, heavily armed one, will not be there to stop the crime, as they cannot be everywhere at once and cannot know a crime is being committed unless someone calls it in. Police only become useful after the fact, in apprehending and jailing criminals who have already committed the crime. Here we see the disconnect: disarming the population deprives individuals of the ability to stop a crime while it is being committed, as a government police force is inept in this area. By its very nature, police are helpless to stop crimes in progress. The most important and harmful effect of gun control is that it almost completely eliminates the ability to defend oneself and stop a crime in progress; this ability cannot be transferred to police. It is impossible, save stationing an officer in every home.

One must realize that this is a general defect in government control of anything; unintended consequences. We thank we are making ourselves safer by trying to control or ban guns, something we consider dangerous, but in reality we make ourselves less safe because any criminal wanting to use a weapon will obtain it regardless of its legal status. The people who obtain weapons legally, those using it as a last resort should their life be threatened by an armed individual, are the ones who are hurt the most because these people must go through hoops to obtain or, in the case of bans, not to obtain them at all.


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