Police One, perhaps one of the largest website communities for law enforcement professionals (they vet all members), has released the findings of their survey of more than 15,000 members on the subject of gun control. What they had to say is an interesting take on the 'national conversation' and are markedly different from what some left-leaning politicians and activists state that the law enforcement community wants on gun control.
The survey was conducted in March 2013, at the height of the current gun control movement. Some 76% of those who completed the survey self-identified themselves as active law enforcement personnel, with most of the remainder being former or retired members of the thin blue line. About half of the survey identified themselves as field grade officers (sergeant and below) with the rest being detectives, senior officers, chiefs, etc. These volunteers completed a 30-question survey.
(Law enforcement officers in the US have long been seen as the bluecoated protectors of the community. What is often forgotten is that they come from the community as well. )
Do buybacks help?
It's long been argued whether gun buybacks reduce crime on the streets. The left has continually voiced the opinion that these media events, where private groups trade small amounts of cash or donated gift cards for your guns (no questions asked) which are turned over to the local law enforcement agency for destruction. As any firearms savvy reader will find out from looking at the pictures of such events, the firearms turned in are usually broken and neglected pieces from the bottom barrel of the gun world.
Well in the Police One survey, four out of five voiced the opinion that these current programs are ineffective at reducing crime.
What they do see as helping (some 80% of respondents) would be an legally armed citizen at
the scene of a future active shooter scenario like Columbine or Newtown or trained and armed school personnel.
On Bans, hi-cap magazines, and armed citizens
In one of the most stark signs against any sort of ban on standard capacity magazines (incorrectly classified by the gun control advocates as 'high-capacity') that hold more than 10-rounds, 95% of the law enforcement surveyed answered that any such federal ban would reduce violent crime. Yes, 95%. In any survey there is a usual error rate of about +/- 3% which means that this is a statistical slam dunk that is not up to conjecture.
In related questions, survey answers showed a similar opinion of the prospect of any ban on semi-auto firearms sales having an effect on crime.
Read the full 17-page survey here in PDF format.
Thank you Police One for the heavy lifting on this issue and can someone please forward this to Washington?