California Lutheran University's Student Newspaper Since 1961

The Echo

California Lutheran University's Student Newspaper Since 1961

The Echo

California Lutheran University's Student Newspaper Since 1961

The Echo

    Police Need Guns For Protection

    If you think stripping guns away from police officers is a solution to the problems we face in society, you are delusional. Now, more than ever, police are targets and they need guns to protect themselves.

    “Fatal shootings of police officers are up more than 50 percent from last year,” according to a Washington Post headline. In 2016, 135 U.S. police officers died while on the job. According to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial, this is the greatest amount of on-duty fatalities the U.S. has seen within the last five years.

    Of these 135 officers, almost half were fatally shot. According to a CBS article titled, “2016 saw increase in number of police killed in line of duty,” 64 of the 135 police officers shot were killed and 21 were killed in ambush attacks. These ambush attacks were often in response to the misuse of force by police against minorities.

    “These officers were killed simply because of the uniform they wear and the job they do,” said Craig Floyd, president and chief executive of the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund in Time Magazine.
    These officers were killed doing the job they were required to do. Police officers put their lives on the line everyday to protect the lives of others and they deserve to be protected.

    “We never feel safe,” said Fernando Estrella who is an adjunct of Criminal Justice at California Lutheran University and former narcotics officer and police chief for Port Hueneme.

    Speculations against police have risen due to officers using excessive force in situations where it may have not been justified. However, there are two sides to every story. People are ignorant and unaware of the dangers police face on a day-to-day basis as well as who they come across.

    “Using deadly force is not our first thought, it’s our last,” said Estrella. “Guns are a tool we have and hope we never have to use.”

    According to Estrella, law enforcement goes through extensive training about how and when police should use weapons and in what circumstances it is necessary. The decision, in almost all cases, must be made within seconds or it is the police officer who ends up shot and killed.

    Police officers are humans and humans are not perfect. Sometimes they do pull the trigger when they shouldn’t have. But, put yourself in their shoes. If you thought someone was going to shoot you, would you waste time?

    According to the accurate shooter’s website, it only takes 1/1500th of a second for a bullet to leave a gun.

    “Cops need safety, they need protection and the argument that we shouldn’t have guns is illogical,” said Bob Meadows, professor of criminal justice at Cal Lutheran and a former officer for LAPD.
    Meadows said that if we were to strip guns from police, both law enforcement and civilians would suffer the consequences.

    In addition, the safety of citizens would be at a greater risk as criminals would be the ones left carrying weapons.  Some of the new laws being passed are harming law enforcement and citizens more than anyone else.

    “They have outlawed high capacity magazines [that are] over ten rounds. Officers carry magazines that are ten rounds because of the law, but the people who violate these laws have drums of ammunition that are maybe 200 or 500 rounds,” Estrella said. “These laws are handcuffing law enforcement and the people who are enacting these laws are not taking these kinds of things into consideration.”

    Guns serve as protection. Without them, officers are left vulnerable. It can be the difference between an officer coming home to their families at the end of a shift or the end of an officer’s life.

    “Due to the second amendment and privileges we have in this country, there are many weapons out there,” Estrella said. “I rather have it and not need it then to need it and not have it. If you’re going into a dangerous situation unarmed, it’s like you’re committing suicide.”

    Christie Kurdys