Should The Police Be Defunded?

If there’s anything that has come out of George Floyd’s unfortunate death at the hands of a rogue police officer, it has been the defund the police movement.

While the idea of defunding the police isn’t actually new and in fact predated George Floyd’s death by many years, it received public recognition through the death of Floyd and has become a rallying cry for not only anarchists but the Democrat Party. It actually became one of the common themes at the 2020 Democrat National Convention.

It’s important that we realize just who is calling for the defunding of the police. More than anything, it is ANTIFA (whose name belies their fascist efforts), followed by those who have hijacked the Black Lives Matter movement. In other words, it’s a bunch of anarchists; people who want to do away with law and order, so that they can get rid of organized government.

These are revolutionary groups, who are actively seeking in fomenting revolution. They want to bring down the government so that they can replace it with their ideas of a Marxist utopia. What’s sadly funny about this is that the Democrat Party supports them; the same party which thinks the solution to every problem is more government. But then, the Democrats have been becoming more and more Marxist through the years.

A number of city councils in some of our nation’s major cities have answered the mob’s cry to defund the police by taking actions to do just that, reducing the budgets of their city police departments by millions of dollars, sometimes by over 150 million. The city council of Minneapolis, the city where Floyd died, has passed a resolution to totally do away with their police department, replacing it with “social programs” of some sort.

To be honest, some of the ideas which have been floated as an alternative to the police answering every call seem worthy of study. Police are routinely required to answer calls that they are poorly equipped and trained to deal with, such as domestic dispute calls. If an alternative could be found for some of these situations, it might better serve the people, while taking that burden off the police.

But that doesn’t mean defund the police and put it in place now. Domestic dispute situations are some of the most dangerous that police are required to face. How long will it be before these social workers insist on police protection when they go on a call, totally negating any reduction in police workload?

It’s Not a Good Theory

If Minneapolis is any example, then defunding the police and using that money for social programs isn’t a good idea. There has already been a clear and measurable increase in violent crime in that city, due to the lower police presence. I’m not just talking about crime related to the rioting, but violent crime in general. They are currently 20 murders ahead of their average for the number of murders committed up to this time in an average year.

Violence in the Lake Street area, south of downtown Minneapolis has been so bad that business owners are closing their doors and moving away, including some nationwide chains. The lack of police protection, coupled with the looting and rioting has made doing business in that area too risky. When business owners can’t make more profits than what they lose to looters, there’s not much reason to stay in that location.

All this has led to citizens of Minneapolis suing the city over efforts to defund the police. Their claim, which makes a lot of sense, is that they are paying taxes for police protection. But that protection is being taken away from them for political expediency, to pacify the mob.

According to the Minneapolis City Charter, the number of police required for the current population is 743. But between budget cuts and a toxic work environment causing many officers to quit, that there aren’t enough officers available to meet that number and keep the city safe. Citizens who are behind the lawsuit are demanding that the City Council properly fund, staff, and support the city’s police.

As with many such situations, the problem here isn’t the police, it’s the politicians who are keeping the police from doing their job. Our police are doing the best they can, but when they are put under unrealistic restrictions that limit their ability to do their jobs, it’s not their fault.

What Can We Expect?

Up until now, the defund the police movement has only gained traction in Democrat-controlled cities. But that doesn’t mean that things will stay that way. The Democrat Party has taken the action of making the movement part of its 2020 platform, so if they gain control of both houses of Congress or the presidency, we can be sure that they will be pushing to expand the movement’s reach.

That’s not just true for the 2020 elections. With this becoming a part of the Democrat platform, they will most likely continue pushing it throughout the next four years and probably beyond. Unless the 2024 DNC repeals this part of their platform, we can expect this to be a continuous movement.

With that being the case, it is going to affect more and more cities, even cities with a Republican-controlled government, if the state government is Democrat or the city has a strong Democrat presence. If they can force some sort of a to defund law at the state level, it will end up forcing cities to adopt that change, whether they want to or not.

More Crime a Comin’

Considering the early results that they’re seeing in Minneapolis, it’s clear that defunding the police is going to have at least one major impact… an increase in crime. It may have other effects as well, but that’s one we can pretty much be sure of. Criminals aren’t going to all go on vacation, just because there is less police protection. If anything, they’re going to be seeing this as an opportunity to be taken advantage of.

Without proper police protection, it will fall upon us to defend ourselves and our families. While that has always been our responsibility, the frequency of incidents where people will have to actually do that is going to go up. Police reaction times will lengthen, even for emergency calls.

We’re already seeing some municipalities where the police are not being dispatched for lesser crimes, due to a combination of the rioting and lower police budgets. You can be sure that the criminal element has seen that too and is trying to figure out how to take advantage of it. They are clever enough to determine right where the line is so that they will know what they can get away with, without a police response.

Projecting this farther into the future, we will probably see a continuing increase in crime, with police being punished more and more for it. Democrats being who they are and with the political ideas they have, the increase in crime isn’t going to convince them that they are wrong, but rather that they need to double down on their ideology. So they’ll just defund the police more while blaming Republicans for the increase in crime.

What Can We Do?

With the potential that exists for this situation to continue deteriorating, we must all be ready to defend our homes and family, rather than depending on the police doing it for us. As preppers, we tend to be self-sufficient anyway, including in the area of self-defense. Nevertheless, it wouldn’t hurt to raise our situational awareness up a notch or two.

At the same time, we must be extremely careful about how we react to any potential crime. As a community, we are accustomed to thinking in terms of a post-apocalyptic time, when there is no law and order. That’s not what we’re referring to here. While there may be diminished law and order, you can be sure that if you shoot a criminal, it will be investigated. So if you’re forced to pull the trigger, or even to draw your gun, make sure that you are within the bounds of the law.

I’d even go a step farther than that; in that, I would recommend being sure that you have evidence to prove that your actions were reasonable. They now require police in many jurisdictions to wear bodycams for that purpose, why shouldn’t we? A 1080P bodycam with 32gb SD memory sells for as little as $30. That sounds like a good investment to me.

What About Vigilantes?

There is a strong possibility of vigilante groups forming, should the situation get out of hand. If that happens, it wouldn’t be the first time in American history for it. In the early days of our country, before organized police forces, vigilantism was commonplace. But it has become illegal in much of the country.

That’s not to say there isn’t a place for neighborhood watch groups. Most police departments appreciate citizens helping them by being their eyes in the community and letting them know when something is happening that they need to be aware of. Becoming part of a neighborhood watch group is not the same as being a vigilante, although it can sometimes cross over if you’re not careful.

Remember what happened with George Zimmerman? While he was eventually acquitted of the killing of Trayvon Martin, there are many who think he shouldn’t have been (and I’m not just talking about those who are seeing it through purely racial eyes). But even with winning his court case, Zimmerman has ended up having to move and has been plagued by negative press. His life after that shooting hasn’t been a bed of roses, but rather has been constant controversy.

This isn’t to say that you can’t defend yourself if you’re involved with neighborhood watch, just that you have to use extreme caution. But then, we have to do that anyway. The truth of the matter is that anyone who uses a firearm in self-defense comes under scrutiny. It has to be that way, to ensure that the law is not broken.

Then there are the McCloskeys

We’ve all seen the case of Mark and Patricia McCloskey, the St. Louis couple who stood outside their home, armed, defending it from a group of protesters. From everything I’ve been able to gather about the case, they were perfectly within their rights in what they did, with the exception of the pictures showing Patricia pointing her pistol at the crowd. That can be considered as either brandishing a weapon or threatening with a weapon.

But the McCloskey’s live in a state where the Castle Doctrine is the law. They were defending their home, in fear of their lives, and there were people in the crowd of demonstrators who were armed. So they could probably beat any such charge on those grounds.

Nevertheless, Circuit Attorney Kimberly Gardner has filed charges against them for “felony unlawful use of a weapon and fourth-degree assault” a couple of what sound like trumped-up charges that shouldn’t stand up in court. This attorney has also reportedly had the pistol Patricia was holding reassembled because it had been rendered inoperable by the McCloskey’s for use as a prop in a court hearing (they are both lawyers).

I guess this shouldn’t be surprising, considering that Gardner is a Democrat and the Democrat Party has declared war on the Second Amendment. What this tells us though, is that we can expect more of the same, anytime any of us come against one of their pet revolutionary groups. That’s just that much more reason why we should all use extreme caution.

Consider a Less Lethal Option

I’ve started looking at less-lethal options to protect myself and my family. I’m not talking about pepper spray and tasers, which only work at arm’s length, but other options that have been developed for police forces.

  • Taser Pistols – Many police forces are arming their officers with these, providing them with a less-lethal option they can use on an uncooperative suspect. The advantage over other tasers is that they work from about 20 feet away.
  • Rubber Bullets – Rubber bullets are being made for some of the most popular pistol cartridge sizes. While they can still penetrate, they don’t penetrate as far, but rather transfer their energy to the target. This gives them good stopping power, without a high risk of permanent injury or death.
  • Less Lethal Shotgun Shells – Not only are there shotgun shells available with rubber balls in them, but also koosh balls, beanbags, plastic BBs, and pepper. This makes the shotgun the best less-lethal firearm option out there, allowing you a choice of ways to defend your home, with minimal risk of killing someone.

Why should that matter to you? Besides the fact that killing someone is emotionally traumatizing to both the shooter and the family of the deceased, using a less-lethal option looks good in court. If you are called into court for using “lethal force” in self-defense, any lawyer should be able to make a good case that you used a less-lethal option, when you had regular rounds available to you. That does a pretty good job of showing that your intent wasn’t to kill, as the opposing attorney will most likely say, but rather to stop the assailant from doing you harm.

Looking at it that way, a less lethal option is a good idea in today’s political climate. I wouldn’t replace my EDC gun with a taser pistol or a shotgun with beanbag rounds in it, but I would definitely consider adding those to my options for defending my home.

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