It happened again. With the prosecution wrapping up its arguments in the Derek Chauvin/George Floyd case, a mere 14 miles away, Brooklyn Center, Minn., police officers pulled over a 20-year-old black man named Daunte Wright for driving a car with an expired registration. Apparently the cops also took umbrage with the fact that the young man had air fresheners dangling from his rearview mirror. Things escalated from there.
Contemporary Laws, Movements Failed Daunte Wright
I type these words less than 36 hours after the shooting. The details are still sketchy. However, according to the narrative pushed by the mainstream media, police officers then attempted to arrest Wright because he had an outstanding “gross misdemeanor warrant.”
Wright resisted and a scuffle ensued. A 20-year veteran police officer named Kimberly Potter then apparently mistook her service pistol for her Taser. She then accidentally fired a single round. Wright subsequently bled out. Now Minneapolis and several other American cities are in flames.
The Devil Is Always in the Details
Conservative Americans are coming at issues of law enforcement and gun control from all the wrong angles. An Assault Weapons Ban will never prevent criminals from accessing dangerous weapons; it will just make the guns that we will inevitably possess more difficult to operate safely. Outlawing such commonsense features as pistol grips and magazine releases simply means more awkward fumbling and a greater chance of an accidental discharge or degradation in accuracy. Defunding the police accomplishes the same goal on a macro scale.
Taking money away from law enforcement organizations will never remove bad cops from the streets and it will never address minority disproportionality in policing. Police departments are like any other administrative organization. Faced with budget cuts, administrators make hard decisions concerning how limited resources are allocated. One of the easiest things to cut is training.
Law enforcement training is a translucent thing. Responding appropriately in a high-stress environment requires realistic repetitious training. That training can be expensive. It also isn’t obvious.
Officers Require Constant Training
The number of police cruisers lined up outside the precinct is a clear metric to the casual observer. How many hours an individual officer has logged on the range in the previous 12 months, however, not so much. What the Left utterly fails to appreciate is that their efforts to defund the police will continue to precipitate horrible situations like this one. How could we also accurately describe defunding police? How about as “Lowering the Quality and Proficiency of Law Enforcement Officers on an Institutional Basis”?
Lack of community and political support pushes the best officers to seek employment elsewhere. Remaining officers face stress ever greater, while taking on a literally impossible job with inadequate resources. The inevitable end result is a cop who has every intention of using a less-than-lethal tool to defuse a non-critical situation and then inadvertently kills a 20-year-old who was pulled over for air fresheners hanging from his rearview mirror.
By all preliminary accounts, Potter was an experienced law enforcement officer who made a crucial, horrible mistake. Details will undoubtedly be forthcoming that will flesh out that narrative. However, the Left’s insensate preoccupation with defunding police will establish the perfect breeding ground for more and more ghastly accidents of this sort.
Gun Control Is Ultimately to Blame in the Shooting of Daunte Wright
What has thus far at least been conveniently whitewashed by the mainstream media is exactly what inspired the “gross misdemeanor warrant” that drove this escalation in the first place. Had Daunte Wright been pulled over for an expired registration and dangling air fresheners alone, he would likely have gone home with a warning. Worst case, he gets a ticket and then grouses around until he reluctantly pays it. We’ve most all of us been there. However, what ultimately got Wright killed was that warrant.
The outstanding warrant is what transitioned a routine traffic stop into a violent arrest. Daunte Wright’s gross misdemeanor warrant dated April 2, 2021, can be found here. It spawned from a previous encounter with law enforcement. Wright allegedly possessed a pistol without a government permit and ran from a police officer.
America remains slathered in handguns. In a nation of 328 million people we have more than 400 million firearms. If each of those weapons was a handgun stacked end-to-end,they would stretch from the surface of the Earth to the International Space Station and back 120 times. Americans will always have guns, no matter what ill-considered bilge spews out of the halls of government.
Carrying a Crime?
When you create laws governing the mere possession of firearms (in stark contrast to laws concerning actual criminal usage), you produce a whole fresh crop of unnecessary nonviolent offenders; and at this early stage at least, that’s what it appears Daunte Wright was. In my own constitutional carry state, most everybody carries a gun, and crime rates are low. Simple possession of a gun in America today is just not that big a deal.
In the summer of 1992, federal agents murdered Randy Weaver’s wife and teenaged son over such banal stuff at Ruby Ridge. So were another 82 American citizens at Waco in 1993, a large number of whom were children. The subsequent Oklahoma City terrorist bombing in 1995 claimed at least 168 innocent lives and the inspiration came from these events. All of these repugnant episodes spawned either directly or indirectly from law enforcement officers trying to enforce ill-considered administrative firearms laws.
Daunte Wright died from a gunshot wound to the chest. However, this young man was actually killed by a police training failure of the sort that will be exacerbated by current anti-police trends in government. The entire sordid episode arose from draconian Minnesota gun control. They made this kid into a criminal unnecessarily. How many more innocent Americans of all races need die to satisfy the Left’s insatiable thirst for ineffective gun control laws?
Make no mistake. Oppressive racist police officers did not murder Daunte Wright — unfettered progressive ideology did.
I wrote the above op-ed as soon as news broke about the Duante Wright shooting. There have since been credible allegations that Wright might have previously engaged in armed robbery. Criminal usage of firearms needs to be aggressively prosecuted and punished. Non-violent possession of firearms by otherwise law-abiding Americans should not. During such emotionally-charged times as these the facts can often be twisted to push a narrative. The point here is simply that defunding police will inevitably make things worse, and that criminalizing the mere peaceful possession of firearms or certain types of firearms will create more opportunities for tragedies such as these. – Will Dabbs, MD