Quote of the day—Richard Beary

Talking about firearms now is like talking about race. These are difficult conversations, and people get very polarized on each side of it.

Richard Beary
Chief of police for the University of Central Florida
President of the International Association of Chiefs of Police
October 9, 2015
Gun Debate Divides Nation’s Police Officers, Too
[Also of interest from the same article:

Jennifer Carlson, an American sociologist at the University of Toronto who studies police attitudes toward gun laws, says this divide has grown since the 1990s. A generation ago, she says, police chiefs made a common cause of legislation such as the Assault Weapons Ban and the Brady bill.

“And now you’ve really seen police not taking as much as a unified stance, at least publicly,” she says. “That’s been a major shift.”

She thinks this may have something to do with the expansion of concealed handgun permits, which gun rights groups pushed for especially hard starting in the late 1990s. Police chiefs initially resisted the expansion of the gun permits, but Carlson says many of them changed their minds when they saw that increased permits didn’t cause a big increase in shootings.

Back in the 90s there were discussions about whether the concealed carry permits were something we should push for or not. The argument boiled down to “The 2nd Amendment is my carry permit”. If we concede that we have to ask permission to carry a gun they can, at some later time, deny us that permission. The only principled thing to do is to push for “Vermont carry”.

Had we gone the “principled” versus practical route my guess is we would be in a much worse situation than now. Now we have concealed carry in all states and are making progress toward constitutional carry in a significant number of states. We made progress because we were able to change the culture. We were able to change the culture at the national level because we were able to show we could be trusted with guns in public in states that were gun friendly.

I despise politics because principals and rules (such as the constitution) simply don’t matter. But politics is how laws are changed and politics are the art of the practical and the possible. And that is the path to victory. You do whatever works to get closer to your goal. You get acceptance from the culture. Then you do it again to get another step closer to your goal.—Joe]


8 thoughts on “Quote of the day—Richard Beary

  1. It’s worth noting that the split this is talking about is among police chiefs. Chiefs are much more politicians than policemen, especially in larger towns. From what I understand, there is very much less of a split (far less gun ban sentiment) among real policemen, the ones who are actually on the street dealing with crime as opposed to dealing with the mayor.

  2. sirs:

    it comes down to this. as the police are being targeted more and more, they’d appreciate a little help, and the best help could/would come from citizens who are legitimately armed.

    the police realize, that though they appear to be a formidable force, they are actually a very vulnerable & small group as they come under increasing attack. they need the help of the community, and the help of an armed community is the best help they could get.

    john jay
    milton freewater, oregon

  3. “And that is the path to victory. You do whatever works to get closer to your goal. You get acceptance from the culture. Then you do it again to get another step closer to your goal.”

    A form of progressivism, or incrementalism. I actually agree, in a way, though I’m constantly harping about principles. The problems come in when some of the tacticians forget about the principles altogether, come to think of the “middle ground” as superior to all other positions, begin to see principled arguments as poison to the cause, and then turn on those who remind them of principles. I.e. some people actually believe that seeking the middle ground is the principle and goal in and of itself, and that anyone who strays from the middle ground is an extremist to be opposed. The Republican Party for example, has come to symbolize this condition of moral death.

    “Compromise” after all, has been the tool used to separate us from principles in the first place. Therefore, even while I see that some occasional incrementalism may be effective as a tactic, I will always be reminding people of where the goal posts are standing.

    Which side sets the rules for the contest?

    Also it is debatable whether incrementalism is the actual benefit superior to the pure, simple truth and principles, being that the latter is seldom if ever applied in politics or in the court room. When for example have you ever once seen the NRA, JPFO, SAF and leading Republicans agree to take a purely principled stand and then make the case for it?

    Not only have I never seen such a thing, I don’t believe they’d know how. Even if they knew how, which they don’t, I believe they’d be too afraid to use it. And so, who exactly are we trying to convince with this clever tactic of incrementalism? The leftists, or the low information voters, or ourselves? For sure it is some combination of all three.

    I recently heard it said that if we had half of the audacity, half the determination, and half the unified stance of the left (which isn’t saying a lot) we could crush the left in this country easily. I believe it.

    • VT had Vermont Carry due to a century old state supreme court ruling based on their state constitution. VT has -zero- to tell us about actually expanding the right to carry.

      Alaska illustrates how incrementalism works. No legal concealed carry in municipalities at all, for anyone, not even “may-issue” prior to the Shall-Issue law of 1994. That law included $125 fee, mandatory 12 hr classes, and mandatory shooting test. You were tested and your permit was labeled by action type you tested with and caliber, you could only carry those calibers and lower in the actions types tested. IIRC renewal was $75. Signage had force of law, violation was a misdemeanor. IIRC there was no restaurant carry initially. There was no “parking lot carry.” Initially it was discussed to let municipalities “opt out”.

      Incremental improvements were made: signage lost force of law, restaurant carry enacted, parking lot carry, removal of caliber/action restrictions, NICs waiver, lower renewal fee, etc. culminating in 2004’s “permitless carry” and state preemption. About all we don’t have is “campus carry” on the state university campuses and true “bar carry”, drinking or not.

      There is no way in hell, even in Alaska, that we could have gone from no carry to Con Carry overnight. Yet Alaska’s example has led to “Alaska Carry” (permitless, with permit available for reciprocity) in, what, 5 more states in the past decade.

      Incrementalism wins.

      • When the first case, Heller, came down, many were disappointed that it did not go further. I said then that an appropriate court decision decides only the facts of the case and no further, and incrementalism would win, as it did for the NAACP against the blight of Plessey v Ferguson, culminating 57 years later with the combination of cases known as Brown vs Board of Education. Heller, followed by the Illinois case and others demonstrate this sequence, and Matthew Carberry shows how this worked in Alaska. It isn’t a done deal, and if it does get to the point that “Constitutional Carry” is the law in all 50 states, we will still have to be vigilant, the forces of slavery never rest.

  4. I can’t tell which side (if any) of the issue the person who said that is on, so it’s not clear what message he was trying to get across with that analogy.

    One possible answer is that he’s a bad guy, and he’s trying to push the bigoted lie that gun owners are dumb white beer-swilling racist rednecks.

    The other possibility is that he’s a good guy with a knowledge of history, and he’s referring (rather obliquely) to the historical fact that the main motivation of many gun laws is racist and/or elitist. Early gun bans were specifically aimed at blacks; the same goes for the Saturday Night Special bans (as is obvious from the name). Others were aimed at other despised minorities of the era, such as Italians. If that was his point, I fully agree, but that point should be made much more plainly rather than only being hinted at.

  5. Pingback: Quote of the day—Windy Wilson | The View From North Central Idaho

  6. We have concealed carry in various parts of California, not because of police chiefs but because of elected County Sheriffs who have more jurisdictional authority than Chiefs. We moved out of the Coastal Region and I was able to get one because of the traditions of this particular region, and a Sheriff who believes in the Constitution and 2nd Amendment. Mainly practical too: because he has to police a very-very rugged area of 1,786 sq miles, with only two major highways (and a population of roughly 181k) – and there are only two townships with actual “Police” forces (with their attendant high operating costs and retirement benefits), so the Sheriff welcomes the citizens’ support that a functioning 2nd Amendment provides. So, besides having a local history and traditional culture that supports guns, it’s a net benefit.
    Other CA counties are held in the grip of Political Machines or the financial sway of Sacramento politics, and just don’t have the mental independence or mindset.

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