Police chiefs call for ban on assault weapons
The International Association of Chiefs of Police urged Congress to pass `an effective assault weapons ban.'
The International Association of Chiefs of Police issued a report Wednesday calling for a ban on assault weapons, arguing it will make officers safer by reducing the ``firepower available to criminals.''
The report hits home this week in South Florida, where law enforcement officials are still reeling from the murder of one of their own. Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Alvarez, a former police officer and police director, gets angry when he talks about the fact that the gun used to kill Officer Jose Somohano was legal.
''There's absolutely no reason I can see having these weapons out on the street,'' he said.
His voice rising, he brings up Shawn LaBeet, the man who killed Somohano and shot three other officers: ``This guy just went to a gun store with a fake ID and bought one.''
Somohano was killed with a Mak-90, a modified assault rifle that was not covered by the assault weapons ban that expired three years ago. A bill in Congress now would ban it, but that legislation hasn't made it out of committee.
Police say LaBeet bought nine guns in the past year, including six assault rifles.
Local police say the number of murders committed with assault weapons has been steadily rising since the ban expired in 2004. They've become popular on the street, Miami Police Chief John Timoney said.
''It's become fashionable, if you will,'' he said. ``It's almost the gun of choice.''
In Miami, four people were killed with assault weapons in 2003. Last year, 15 murders were committed with assault weapons. So far this year, 12 people have been killed with high-powered guns.
Dr. David Shatz, a University of Miami trauma surgeon at Jackson Memorial Hospital, sees the trend in the emergency room.
''The appearance of violent crime has dropped in half in the last six or seven years,'' he said. ``But assault weapon injuries seem to be increasing.''
Without an assault weapon ban, local law enforcement officers say they're forced to ramp up their own arsenals.
Miami police recently decided to allow officers to carry assault rifles. Last year, the Broward Sheriff's Office allowed deputies to carry them. Fort Lauderdale police have been allowed to for six years.
Miami-Dade police have plans to do the same, Alvarez said. But he doesn't think that will solve the problem, because officers can't carry them on every call.
''They're not going to get out of their cars on a traffic stop with an assault rifle slung over their shoulder,'' he said. ``They're not going to approach a house with an assault rifle in their hands.''
Local law enforcement officials say they're looking to Congress for an answer.
''This is not a local issue. It has local implications, obviously. A police officer was just killed here,'' said Timoney, an ardent gun control advocate.
``The resolution of this is in the nation's capital. But there's no appetite to address that.''
U.S. Reps. Ron Klein, D-Boca Raton; Alcee Hastings, D-Miramar, and Kendrick Meek, D-Miami, all said Wednesday they support a new assault weapon ban.
''That officer was killed by an assault weapon that shouldn't have been in anybody's hands, at all,'' Hastings said angrily Wednesday.
The National Rifle Association was provided with a copy of the IACP report, but did not return phone calls for comment. Several Republican lawmakers also did not return phone calls.
Another example of thugs that kill ,the high power rifles didn't kill,the thugs did,there may come a may day and the police may need as many law abiding citizens with high power rifle to defend our homes!
It's sad but the general public will probably agree. I don't think people read History books anymore. I guess they feel all safe and secure that the Government will never do wrong.
The IACP is just another mouthpiece for the left. They are not the police. They claim to be Chiefs of Police. Chiefs are so far removed from the streets they no longer have any concept of common sense. IMO Chiefs, Sheriffs and other agency heads generally are politicians just trying to keep their fat jobs by appeasing what ever group put them there or can keep them there.
DO NOT confuse IACP with police officers in general. The IACP does not and will not let common sense interfere with their agenda.
I am on with 10mm. The former chief of my last departmnet was the president of the IACP prior to the current one. He had lost the concept of being a "cop", and was acting more like a politician and paving his road to a 6 figure second career after retirement. Most cops I know don't think this way, and the IACP is NOT representative of even officer's best interests on the job, much less their opinions.
It just proves...the difference between the Boy Scouts and Police Departments....
The Boy Scouts have RESPONSIBLE adult leadership !
IACP = International Association of Chief Politico's
sucking up to the Democrats Gun Grabbers just for face time on TV !:eek:
You notice the only ones that are adamant about this "Assault rifle ban" are the Democrats?
I have to agree with all stated....a military axiom I heard once covers this [might have been a movie]
This is my rifle,my rifle is my life,without my rifle,I am useless,without me,my rifle is useless,this is my rifle...
In short,a gun cannot simply stand up,point at somone and fire itself unless somehow provoked or it's alien technology. PEOPLE use guns to kill people. it was the same before guns,when we used swords to kill one another with...can they still say that the sword killed the man? and not the person wielding it?
And as for the bogus garbage that the media likes to throw around. I'm sure those bleeding heart groups of 70 year old sweater kniting grandmothers everywhere are raising their arthretic arms everywhere in revolt against what the media feeds them as "High powered assault rifles" When in all actuality it's something akin to a derranger or a 22LR...
I also agree with the Sheriff comment... I never see our Sheriff out of his office other than at the scene of a MAJOR incident in which he had to speak before an audience or to the media. I don't think he even remembers how to be a cop anymore. Other than pushing pencils and looking through his e-mail from his various wives,girlfriends,and other mistresses ,while shoving doughnuts into his 300 IB mouth,I've never seen him do very much else.. MAYBE the occasional patrol here and there,or kissing the mayor's rear end to get that fat bonus so he can take care of his various woman.
Instead of weapon bans how about people bans. For instance,in Louisville,many shoot-outs in the west end anymore are "Taken notes of" rather than any real action attempted. Metros excuse is the lack of manpower,Hire more officers,train them better with their weapons and make them more adept at spotting a potential situation. Personal opinion,instead of police carrying pistols or assault rifles,they should be Issued MP-5s,MAC-10s or the like. Something small enough to holster,but capable of a higher penetration and rate of fire than their service pistols.
If you're inclined to write a letter explaining his error, the email address for his office is email@example.com.
Robocop and jeepcreep are spot on! Chiefs of police are appointed to their jobs by politicians. They are not elected. If they want to keep their jobs, they have to do as they are told by the mayors, city council, city manager, whatever. Once an officer gets above the rank of sergeant, he/she no longer practices law enforcement, but they become seat polishing administrators. By the time they reach the rank of chief, they are so far removed from the streets they no longer think as a cop, but as a politician. It was for that very reason, I never sought promotion above detective. I liked working with bad guys & gals too much to give it up.
It was not too long ago, that the IACP voted that the Second Amendment actually means what it says, that the people have the right to keep and bear arms. Now they do a 180 on so-called assault weapons. They are letting emotion dictate their vote.
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