Two thumbs down on police armed with assault rifles at Musikfest

(The latest in a series of posts on City government)

It would be hard to disagree with Chief DiLuzio’s thought that he “will ever err on the AK47side of caution,” but I’m not sure having police officers armed with assault rifles is the way to do that.

There are at least two major problems with this misguided approach:

1. If there’s a threat in a crowd of Musikfest patrons, the assault rifle is not a useful response tool. If officers think their superior firepower will solve the problem, it is likely to delay a more constructive response.

2. It normalizes the ideas that guns make people safer and that having officers with military weapons is the best way to be safe.

“Two thumbs down.”

Peter Crownfield

One thought on “Two thumbs down on police armed with assault rifles at Musikfest

  1. Responding to your 2 points above:

    The generic term “Assault Rifle”, as defined by Merriam-Webster, includes many different types of firearms that make it difficult to begin an intelligent conversation. A big reason why law-abiding gun owners are critical of giving up or ceding any ground regarding our 2nd amendment rights is because of miscommunication and misinformation like this. By “Assault Rifle”, are you referring to fully-automatic, semiautomatic, AR-style, AK-style, FAL-style, M14-style, Garand-style, pistol-caliber semiautomatics, or just “scary” looking black rifles? Depending on which specifically you are referring to would help to evaluate whether it would lead to a more constructive response. The main takeaway here is that many of these mass shooters covered in the media recently use rifles and wear body armor which, at a minimum, protect against smaller-caliber bullets fired from handguns. With this in mind, any large-caliber rifle would provide a distinct advantage to our police officers to effectively neutralize any threat…which is essential to Protect and Serve.

    Thank God for our Bethlehem Police Department…keep up the good work Chief!

    A 2013 study ordered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and conducted by The National Academies’ Institute of Medicine and National Research Council reported that, “Defensive use of guns by crime victims is a common occurrence”: Almost all national survey estimates indicate that defensive gun uses by victims are at least as common as offensive uses by criminals, with estimates of annual uses ranging from about 500,000 to more than 3 million, in the context of about 300,000 violent crimes involving firearms in 2008.

    The best way to stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun…especially if the good guy’s gun is just as capable or more capable than the bad guy’s.

    Two thumbs up for the Bethlehem Police Department.

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