That’s how the headline would read if I was in charge. When I read an article where police assume that weapons ownership is associated with drug dealing it infuriates me. This quote is the perfect example of why our culture is slowly but surely beginning to treat all gun owners like criminals.
Sheriff’s Capt. Chris Nanos, who heads the criminal investigations division and oversaw the Guerena case, said that high-powered rifles and bulletproof vests that were found in Guerena’s home after the shooting back up investigators’ belief that Guerena was involved in drug trafficking. A shotgun found in the home was reported stolen in Tucson in 2008.
If the police and other authorities assume that anyone who owns “high-powered” rifles and body armor are criminals then they should be busy investigating their own units. Of course, that’s not how it works when you see the world as as an authorities against everyone else place. Therein lies the root problem. Our culture wants us to assume the best about our government employees and the worst about our citizens. Creating an atmosphere where citizens who own guns are to be feared and suspected is counterproductive and has a long term effect on the overall stability of the society (by creating instability). If you treat the people you are supposed to serve as servants you end up losing. If you build a climate of fear and loathing you end up losing. If you shoot people to death in their own homes on flimsy pretexts you end up losing.
A man who has been trained to kill for his government and repeatedly placed in harm’s way is very, very likely to own “high-powered” rifles and body armor. Once you have been shot at or been involved in a firefight you tend to want to be able to defend yourself at all times after the fact. Coming back to a place where people don’t carry weapons every waking moment doesn’t change that. People who have “seen the elephant” often want to be prepared for any circumstances. Legally, most of them are allowed to do so. Morally, they all have the right to do so.
Who was a worse threat to the peace and prosperity of Tucson – its SWAT team or a murdered guy named Jose Guerena Ortiz? That’s quite debatable. If a SWAT team ever tries to invade my home I hope I take a few of them out on the way down into darkness. There have to be better ways to handle such things than the one currently in use. I’m tired of hearing police spokespeople denigrating private weapons ownership and I’m tired of reading about Americans being murdered by men and women who are supposed to serve and protect them. Higher standards of policing are in order. Isn’t it time to re-examine our whole approach to this so called War on Drugs? Whatever Jose Ortiz might have been he deserved better from his government.
Guess I’ll go back to counting my stockpile of high-powered rifles in my arsenal room now. I’m going to start wearing my body armor to bed just in case. After all, when the SWAT team breaks in to kill me they’ll be wearing body armor and carrying high-powered rifles too.