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When the Denver Public School Board voted to remove police from their campuses many in the Black Lives Matter movement applauded saying it would help end the “school-to-prison pipeline” for young black men. The argument being that cops unfairly arrest black students.
To fight the racial abuse in the justice system, the Colorado legislature went on a sentencing-reform screed. Steal a car, don’t go to jail, get a ticket. Fentanyl was nearly decriminalized.
After the high-profile police shootings of African Americans, and the death of George Floyd, the Black Lives Matter crusade engulfed the nation. The message was very clear — the police treat minorities very differently than whites, particularly black men
The police are so systematically racist they have been basically free to hunt the black man with immunity.
The Black Lives Matter and Defund the Police movements goals were clear — to get cops to stop discriminating, intimidating and killing black citizens.
I would think the last thing people who support Black Lives Matter would do is to make it easier for police to shoot more black men, at the same time disempowering black men. Yet we are witnessing just that at the State Capitol and cities all around Colorado.
Lawmakers are allowing “racist” police, former, retired, and off-duty cops to have military-grade weapons of war and high-capacity magazines, all while disarming black citizens.
It’s worth remembering America’s first-ever gun control laws were passed in the post-Civil War south to disarm newly freed black citizens. Many didn’t like the idea of black men protecting themselves from the Klan, which included more than a few lawmen.
In 2013 the Colorado Legislature mandated we civilians only have 15-round ammunition magazines. An exception was made for those in uniform, like law enforcement, including for their personal use. Those “racist” cops, can have magazines that hold any amount.
When the legislature and Gov. Jared Polis struck down the state’s preemption law it freed municipalities to pass their own inconsistent and bigoted anti-gun ordinances, unleashing a patchwork of hateful, discriminatory anti-minority laws, mostly written by the anti-gun zealots funded by Michael Bloomberg.
What passed in Boulder for their “tolerant” lily-white city was pretty standard for most cities that followed: They capped magazines to 10 rounds, outlawed what they called “assault weapons,” required a three-day waiting period to buy a gun and severely restricted where a trained and licensed citizen with a concealed weapons permit may carry his or her gun.
However, it was written so NONE of these restrictions apply to police officers, on or off duty: “Any regular or ex officio police officer” is exempt.
We don’t yet know what the final wording of anti-gun bills being slung around the legislature will be before they reach the governor’s desk. But you can guess they won’t apply to cops, both on and off duty. Odd coming from people who don’t trust cops.
I want to be clear, I am not calling firearms like AR-15s “assault weapons” or military grade weapons, because they are not. They are single-fire, semi-automatic rifles, no different than most hunting riffles in function. But those who are banning them are labeling them “military weapons.” Okay. Let’s see it through those fearful eyes.
Also, to be clear, I do not at all believe the police to be systematically racist. But again, let’s see it through those eyes.
As the years go by, as the generations pass, we will have a bifurcated society. A police society made of racist cops, former racist cops, armed to the teeth with military-grade weaponry which gets better and more technologically advanced with time and high-capacity magazines.
And we will have civilian society, including black society, largely disarmed or, at best, armed with old-style, limited-capacity weapons by which they might have to defend themselves from criminals with weapons like the cops have — and maybe the racist cops themselves?
Quick side story: A black friend of mine is rather anti-gun but very anti-police. One day I conceded and said, “Fine, you win. Let’s take all the guns away from the white people, all the guns away from the black people. But you know what? The MAN is still going to have all the guns.”
Two weeks later I went with him to help him buy his first Glock pistol.
Jon Caldara is president of the Independence Institute, a free market think tank in Denver.
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