Skip to main content

The problem, you see, is that America is exceptional.
The police in and around Ferguson have shot and killed twice as many people in the past two weeks (Mr Brown plus one other) as the police in Japan, a nation of 127m, have shot and killed in the past six years. Nationwide, America’s police kill roughly one person a day (see chart).

This is not because they are trigger-happy but because they are nervous. The citizens they encounter have perhaps 300m guns between them, so a cop never knows whether the hand in a suspect’s pocket is gripping a Glock.

Now, now, an armed society is a polite society—by all rights, all those guns should be making American law enforcement less likely to shoot people, because the American population practically polices itself, right? If anything, it's the absence of guns that causes law enforcement to shoot people. In Nevada, a group of heavily armed militia members openly "took up sniper positions" against federal agents from bridges and hillsides, and the great wide swath of America decided that the law the officers were there to enforce, blocking the annexation of public-owned land by a freedom-loving rancher who considered himself the owner of whatever his cattle had crapped on that week, was too much bother. It's the jaywalkers who get shot, not the ragged-mustachioed wild-eyed trigger-happy freedom fighters who spend their nights wondering if tomorrow will bring the long-awaited revolution.

Where was I? Oh, right. First world countries seem to have an uncanny ability to not shoot people that we here in America just don't have. We don't have it because we'd rather have lots of guns and shoot lots of people than have slightly fewer guns and shoot slightly fewer people, and even suggesting that we shoot slightly fewer people is often enough to cause some of your fellow Americans to threaten to shoot you.

Originally posted to Hunter on Fri Aug 22, 2014 at 10:39 AM PDT.

Also republished by Police Accountability Group, Daily Kos Classics, and Daily Kos.

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

  •  Call for Statistics: Need Number of Officers Killd (9+ / 0-)

    by lone (single) individuals out in open public spaces.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Fri Aug 22, 2014 at 10:43:05 AM PDT

  •  Now someone (23+ / 0-)

    Should total the bullets used.  Amadou Diallo received 41 for the crime of reaching for his wallet.

    " My faith in the Constitution is whole; it is complete; it is total." Barbara Jordan, 1974

    by gchaucer2 on Fri Aug 22, 2014 at 10:45:02 AM PDT

  •  Good post. Saw that graphic (15+ / 0-)

    on Antonio French's twitter feed today.  Glad it is getting around and glad you front paged it.  We need an end to police crimes.

    Join us on the Black Kos front porch to review news and views written from a black pov—everyone is welcome.

    by TomP on Fri Aug 22, 2014 at 10:49:08 AM PDT

  •  Rewrite (11+ / 0-)

    Live free and die .
    Damn those Japanese and their anti gun rules !
    When will the Japanese revolt against their oppressive government !

    "please love deeply...openly and genuinely." A. M. H.

    by indycam on Fri Aug 22, 2014 at 10:50:12 AM PDT

  •  color (8+ / 0-)

    How many of the 409 were dark skinned?

    Actions speak louder than petitions.

    by melvynny on Fri Aug 22, 2014 at 10:52:24 AM PDT

  •  Trigger happy cops are part of the problem (28+ / 0-)

    Miami police kill 2 unarmed suspects by shooting disabled car 377 times

    MIAMI, FL — In perhaps the largest case of contagious fire on record, a suspect’s vehicle was riddled with hundreds of bullets in a chaotic and frenzied show of police force following a pursuit.  Witnesses emphatically said that the vehicle’s 2 occupants were trying to surrender, but that did not stop a total of 23 police officers from firing at least 377 shots at the vehicle.

    Daily Kos an oasis of truth. Truth that leads to action. UID: 9742

    by Shockwave on Fri Aug 22, 2014 at 10:54:58 AM PDT

  •  Need an outright gun ban (12+ / 0-)

    like the UK and Japan have before we can reduce the armament of police. Police need to have the weapons as long as this country insists on right-wing maniacs having the weapons.

    Ban guns and much of this problem is solved. Not that it will ever happen in a country where 68 senators automatically come from gun states and 5 gasbags on the Supreme Court only read the words in the Constitution that they like and ignore the ones they don't like, such as "well-regulated militia."

    •  Doesn't seem like the US (9+ / 0-)

      has any well-regulated militias!

      Americans, while occasionally willing to be serfs, have always been obstinate about being peasantry. F. Scott Fitzgerald, the Great Gatsby

      by riverlover on Fri Aug 22, 2014 at 11:01:06 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  They tried that answer in Mexico. (0+ / 0-)

      The problem wasn't solved.

    •  OK, a show of hands here... (2+ / 0-)

      You are 2000% right but..... How many of us, including yourself, really believe it is possible to root out three million guns from the hands of the population???

      Even if every politician in the land votes to disarm, How do we do it? We won't even go into getting them away from so-called "militias" or plain old gun nuts.  Hell, given the way we are headed, I probably wouldn't give up a gun either.  Actually don't own one but if.....

      "The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.” — William Arthur Ward

      by cowdab on Fri Aug 22, 2014 at 12:39:39 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  It's pretty easy (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        TKO333, kfunk937, vernonbc

        You make it illegal. You make it a 10-year mandatory minimum if you are found to possess a gun, and a 20-year mandatory minimum if you use a gun while committing a felony. Obviously cops won't be going house-to-house, but if say, there's a domestic violence call, and the cops show up and find a gun, you're under arrest.

        It's the same way we deal with anything that's illegal to own. Cops don't go house to house. It's dealt with in the normal course--if there was a reason for the cops to go to your house and they see illegal contraband (or if they pull your car over for speeding and see it in the backseat), then you're caught.

        The assault-weapons ban was enforced. It can be done.

        And yes, I know it's not going to happen. But that's because of the Senate forever being dominated by gun-loving states, not because it would be hard to enforce. All laws are somewhat hard to enforce.

        •  It would take awhile... (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          slipper, lissablack, kfunk937, vernonbc

          but if gun ownership, manufacture and importation were all banned, then it would get better every year. It might well take 20 - 30 years for the police to seize guns and for people to voluntarily turn them in, but at that time, there would be far fewer gun deaths. We would finally begin to look like the UK or Australia or some of the other sane societies.

          I have no problem with registered long guns for hunting or sport shooting and I have no problem with handguns for sport shooting if they are kept at a registered shooting range, but I really wish the 2nd could be reinterpreted to keep handguns out from under every pillowcase in America...

        •  You both have a good point (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          slipper, kfunk937

          OrganicChemist  feels somewhat the same.  Now, let's say you do just that.  It is a great idea on paper and, in decades past would have had a good chance of working.

          Imagine the open carry advocates challenged by such a law; also the so called "militias" that I spoke about.  It is just the impetus they would need to build a movement together.  

          I'm not saying we should not do just that (as you say, we won't).  It is the mine field that lies between here and there.  Does the hope lie with individual states?  Maybe.  I'm sure not knowledgeable enough to even know where to start.  Maybe not an impossible dream however.  

          So, there's two hands for yea... anymore?

          "The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.” — William Arthur Ward

          by cowdab on Fri Aug 22, 2014 at 03:02:22 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  The individual states (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            divineorder, vernonbc

            is the problem. Before the current idiots took over the Supreme Court, there were several gun bans in place, including in DC, Chicago, and San Francisco. A few states like New Jersey and Maryland have a virtual ban on taking a gun outside your house.

            But still, because gun laws are by individual states, it is way to easy to smuggle guns in from neighboring states.

            Maryland and DC have this with Virginia, New Jersey has it with Pennsylvania, etc. While gun-control states do mostly have firearm-death rates that are lower than the gun-loving states, the rates are still far too high. Gun control is working, but it's success is limited by the ability to easily transport guns across state lines.

            It needs to be a federal ban to be a complete success.

            •  By your own admission a federal gun ban didn't (0+ / 0-)

              work in Mexico.

              Gun bans haven't worked in Chicago, DC, or San Fran either.
              It's a tall order to suggest that because of the failures of gun control, we need more of it.

              Meanwhile, despite the repeal of gun ban policies recently San Fran is on pace to have their lowest murder rate in years.

            •  Just a little correction (0+ / 0-)
              there were several gun bans in place, including in DC, Chicago, and San Francisco.
              Not quite. In SF then mayor Feinstein wrote an intentionally unconstitutional gun ban, (CA state constitution) then didn't even sent a lawyer to defend it when it was challenged. It was a blatant publicity stunt.
              Personal note: I was parked in a cab stand across the street from 101 Cal that day. I will never vote for Feinstein.
        •  The attempted prohibitions on drugs & alcohol (0+ / 0-)

          suggests otherwise.

    •  the UK bans hand guns yes, but (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mrkvica, divineorder, Metric Only

      shotguns and rifles, these are fine - when you have a permit from the police.  

      I have what counts as a shotgun, but no ammunition....

  •  Maybe we should ask Vladimir Putin (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    to send in some police.  

    It is a sad day when the US police kill more people than the Russian police.

    There are only two kinds of Republicans: Millionaires and fools.

    by deh on Fri Aug 22, 2014 at 11:00:34 AM PDT

  •  ACLU petition (9+ / 0-)
    For far too long, we have had two criminal justice systems in this country: one that serves and protects white communities, and one that criminalizes and controls black and brown communities. Eric Holder can provide the moral leadership we need to end the siege on communities of color. He's in Ferguson today because he is ready to address these systemic problems. Let's make sure he follows through.
    Sign petition, Call on the Department of Justice and other federal agencies to stop funding the siege on communities of color.

    WA Gov. Jay Inslee imposed a moratorium on the death penalty.“Equal justice under the law is the state’s primary responsibility."

    by mrobinson on Fri Aug 22, 2014 at 11:02:01 AM PDT

  •  These are damning statistics (14+ / 0-)

    and I give credit to the Ferguson protestors for forcing people to look at this particularly violent aspect of our society.

    I think Hunter's tie in to the Bundy ranch situation is also appropriate and instructive. I keep seeing that image in my head every day....a bunch of older conservative white guys point guns at law enforcement and no arrests...innocent black males cross the street and get shot.  There is something very wrong and even absurd with that picture of events but that is America 2014.

    Global Shakedown - Alternative rock with something to say. Check out their latest release, "A Time to Recognize": Available on iTunes, Amazon, Google Play, Spotify and other major online music sites. Visit

    by khyber900 on Fri Aug 22, 2014 at 11:02:10 AM PDT

  •  The dangers of being a cop. (9+ / 0-)

    The homicide rate among the American populace in general is 4.8 per 100,000 citizens.

    The homicide rate among line of duty officers is 6.2. (officer deaths by homicide (46) in 2013 over the total number of active, arresting officers (765,000)).

    That means that police officers face a 29% greater chance of dying by homicide than the general public. That's a substantial risk, and certainly enough to make any officer leery.

    However, there's also this.

    Homicide is far and away the leading cause of death for young black men, more than car accidents, suicide and diseases combined, according to an article co-authored by a Florida Atlantic University physician.

    ... the national rate (77) ... while the New Orleans area had a whopping rate of 426 per 100,000.

    Young black males face a 16 times greater risk of death by homicide than the general public, and a 12x greater risk of being killed than a serving police officer.
  •  We're number one! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cany, Greenfinches

    ...the winner of the losers.

    What's the difference between the Federal government and organized crime? One's legally sanctioned.

    by FrankenPC on Fri Aug 22, 2014 at 11:05:54 AM PDT

  •  These numbers are terrible. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TheFern, lorikristynmattjulie

    But you cannot separate our problem with the police killing us from the overall problem we have of killing each other. The police are now operating in a society in which powerful guns are everywhere, and being used with impunity. Especially in our inner-city areas. Something like 100 black males are killed by cops each year (both justified and unjustified), but 5500 black males are murdered, period. The unjustified use of force by the police must be significantly reduced. But police violence is a tiny fraction (on the order of 1%) of the total problem whenever a young black man leaves the house.

    •  the community does try to deal with it (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      a2nite, Metric Only

      but they appear to be overwhelmed with socioeconomic issues that
      Essentially make it impossible to effectively control.

      •  Surely it is an incredibly complex problem. (3+ / 0-)

        But whatever the problems with poverty and joblessness and broken families, it seems to me that there is no reason that so many people have to be murdered. You don't see anything like this in other Western countries. My guess is that the War on Drugs and our permissive gun laws are the two main drivers of the high murder rate. Plenty of places in the world experience worse poverty than we have and the people don't kill each other in anything like the same proportions.

    •  Police should have powerful weapons... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      It is not the weapons in their hands that are the problem.  

      It is the content of their heads; and that all comes from first of all, selection of candidate and secondly, how well they are trained and/or; washed out when not having the required personal skills to handle police work.  

      "The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.” — William Arthur Ward

      by cowdab on Fri Aug 22, 2014 at 12:49:09 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  You are generalizing away a (0+ / 0-)

      problem. There is no evidence there has been much or even any gun play among Blacks in Ferguson.

      The killing of young Blacks is concentrated in some areas and isn't uniform. The problems in different areas are different. Lumping things together is a way of hiding problems and giving up on finding solutions.

      I'm asking you to believe. Not in my ability to bring about real change in Washington ... *I'm asking you to believe in yours.* Barack Obama

      by samddobermann on Sat Aug 23, 2014 at 05:02:53 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Our communities are not warzones (8+ / 0-)


    And yet the police, armed to the teeth, treat us like the enemy, especially if we're black, young, poor or homeless. Tanks are rolling through our towns. What will it take for police to start protecting communities of color, not waging war on them?

    The Departments of Defense, Homeland Security and Justice are funneling billions of dollars to state and local law enforcement agencies every year to help them purchase military weaponry and equipment. What business do DOD, DHS, and DOJ have funding a war here at home?

    WA Gov. Jay Inslee imposed a moratorium on the death penalty.“Equal justice under the law is the state’s primary responsibility."

    by mrobinson on Fri Aug 22, 2014 at 11:07:38 AM PDT

    •  Give them these toys.... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      and just like kids, they are going to play with them.

      Be the change you want to see in the world. -Gandhi

      by DRo on Fri Aug 22, 2014 at 11:10:20 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Are they not warzones? (6+ / 0-)

      The murder rate for whites is 3.9 (per 100,000), while for black males it is 31.7. There are more black men murdered in America every year than the total number of American casualties in Iraq over the 12 years since that war began. Police departments sporting machineguns and tanks makes no sense anyhow, but stating that our inner cities are not war zones is arguable at best.

    •  Yes, they are because the civil war never ended (2+ / 0-)

      there was a long armistice, followed by Jim Crow.

      Now we're at James Crow Esq with his cousin Jim Crow, the enforcer.

      I voted Tuesday, May 6, 2014 because it is my right, my responsibility and because my parents moved from Alabama to Ohio to vote. Unfortunately, the republicons want to turn Ohio into Alabama.

      by a2nite on Fri Aug 22, 2014 at 11:30:59 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Part of Maddow's report last night on the second (10+ / 0-)

    St. Louis shooting was that the department in question said that they do carry tasers but that they are not guaranteed to be 100% effective, so they shot the guy 9 (or was it 11?) times just to be safe.

    Now, one of the many problems in this particular incident (beyond the outright falsifications and trigger happy cops) is that it was a 2 officer car involved. They both got out with guns drawn and shot the guy down instead of one cop with a taser and the other with a gun in case the taser couldn't stop the guy that was standing 20 feet away allegedly holding a steak knife.

    If this is they way they're reacting, this is how they've been trained. All the tasers in the world won't help when your first instinct says shoot to kill.

    If Ferguson police would stop smoking dope they wouldn't be so damned violent.

    by here4tehbeer on Fri Aug 22, 2014 at 11:10:46 AM PDT

    •  I was wondering about that (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      here4tehbeer, Greenfinches

      I couldn't find confirmation that STPD carried tasers.

      Thanks for the info.

      Just because you can legally justify deadly force, doesn't mean you have to use it.  

      Arguing with idiots is like playing chess with a pigeon... No matter how good you are, the bird is going to shit on the board and strut around like it won anyway. -Unknown

      by dawgflyer13 on Fri Aug 22, 2014 at 11:32:00 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Maddow also reported that the dept in question* (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        dawgflyer13, Metric Only

        does have dash cams but that the unit responding apparently did not have one installed or it wasn't working. Can't recall about body cams.

        * (all I can remember is that is wasn't Ferguson PD)

        If Ferguson police would stop smoking dope they wouldn't be so damned violent.

        by here4tehbeer on Fri Aug 22, 2014 at 12:21:21 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  an armed society is a polite society (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Miggles, Overseas, Iberian, Metric Only

    well, science fiction is what Heinlein did best, and that quote qualifies as science fiction.

    Republicans - the party that wrecked America

    by ecologydoc on Fri Aug 22, 2014 at 11:10:53 AM PDT

  •  More somewhat-sloppy journalism? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    The Economist gives good graphic, agreed. But, what IS the "latest available year"?  One source would be nice, or did the Economist just make it up? Sorry, I just think good graphics should have some real explanations. I have no reason to doubt the #; another interesting graph might be one of LEO homicides/year for, let's say the last ten years. Is this problem getting worse or staying about the same?

    Americans, while occasionally willing to be serfs, have always been obstinate about being peasantry. F. Scott Fitzgerald, the Great Gatsby

    by riverlover on Fri Aug 22, 2014 at 11:11:04 AM PDT

  •  Everyone Thinks they are (0+ / 0-)

    Wyatt Erp and/or John Wayne.

  •  maybe this is why our cops resemble the military (7+ / 0-)

    ...because so does so much of our populace.

    But whenever anybody wants to fix the problem of too many guns, the people with too many guns get paranoid and want to shoot everything up.  You're-trying-to-take-away-my-capacity-to-get-violent-so-I-better-get-violent.  That seems to make sense to some, wrong-headed as it is.

    Nice little box our society's built for itself...

    "Glenn Beck ends up looking like a fat, stupid child. His face should be wearing a chef's hat on the side of a box of eclairs. " - Doug Stanhope

    by Front Toward Enemy on Fri Aug 22, 2014 at 11:12:25 AM PDT

  •  Their excuse is always "protecting themselves" (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    divineorder, cai, Metric Only

    If you blink the cops think you're about to attack with your imaginary gun.  I think if you're going to put on a uniform you should be doing more than just saving your own ass.  It's why cops are called "real heroes" because they put their lives on the line.  I guess many of them do.  Reality is so muddled by all the cop shows and movies where liberal judges and all that red tape keeps Dirty Larry or Harry or Moe from shooting "Mendoza" on sight (though he deserves it so much) that I forgot if there's such a thing as a good cop, or just propaganda about good cops.

    Now that so many citizens want to own guns and shoot anyone who blinks at them-- they can protect themselves on their own.  Apparently their level of expertise in handling a potential threat is about the same as the cops'.  Which is to react and shoot.

    I think of these awful wars-- we send Americans into Iraq and Afghanistan and their main unofficial mission is to get home alive.  It's a dehumanizing situation for everyone.

    The mission of the police shouldn't be to protect themselves from perceived threats and shoot at the first sign of it (real or not).  

    "There's a war on the black male" ~ Spike Lee

    by samantha in oregon on Fri Aug 22, 2014 at 11:13:30 AM PDT

  •  Self fulfilling prophecy.. It's gubnit tyranny ... (3+ / 0-)

    Self fulfilling prophecy.. It's gubnit tyranny so keep arming so there's more gubnit tyranny. The more tyranny the better. It's great for gun sales.

  •  And don't forget... (5+ / 0-)

    The statistics reported here don't include deaths, such as Eric Garner's in NYC, resulting from police brutality without a gun.

    "The highest patriotism is not blind acceptance of official policy, but a love of one's country deep enough to call her to a higher plain." --George McGovern

    by Progressive Pride on Fri Aug 22, 2014 at 11:19:55 AM PDT

  •  What can AG HOlder do? (8+ / 0-)


    In December 2011 the Seattle Police Department was subject to a Department of Justice investigation that found officers had violated the 14th Amendment and the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994. The DOJ found that SPD officers engaged in a pattern of excessive use of force that violated the Constitution as well as Federal law.
    What can a mayor do?
    "… the Seattle Police Department is under a federally-mandated court order, in part because of a disturbing pattern of unnecessary use of force and other forms of unconstitutional policing.

    "The police department will comply with that court order. The City of Seattle will not fight the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice. This is not the 1960s.

    "I have nominated a new police chief to start work in a few short weeks, and her top priority will be to meet the requirements of the federal court order and make Seattle's police force a national model for urban policing."

    WA Gov. Jay Inslee imposed a moratorium on the death penalty.“Equal justice under the law is the state’s primary responsibility."

    by mrobinson on Fri Aug 22, 2014 at 11:20:03 AM PDT

  •  Part of the proplem is US police procedure (10+ / 0-)

    which tells officers that when they open fire, they need damn well make sure sure they shoot until the target is totally, completely, utterly dead, dead, dead. That's how we had two St Louis police officers putting twelve slugs into a mentally ill man armed with a steak knife, who probably could have been stopped by just putting out a foot to trip him.

    As a contrast, Swedish police just the other day shot a man who allegedly attacked them with a knife (in Swedish--I could not find an article in English, sorry). Since their policy is to use the minimum force necessary to stop an attacker, they likely aimed for the legs. As a result, the attacker is in the hospital and expected to survive. Of course, the matter is currently under investigation by a prosecutor (as is always the case in Sweden when there is a police shooting), and the odds of police being charge and convicted if it turns out they used unreasonable force is actually quite high.

    "A government that robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend on the support of Paul." - George Bernard Shaw

    by Drobin on Fri Aug 22, 2014 at 11:22:44 AM PDT

  •  My sister volunteers in (6+ / 0-)

    the Dominican Republic, and Americans say to her, "How can you travel there?" There, she meets educated people from all over the world, and they say to her, "How can you live in America?"

    I'm living in America, and in America you're on your own. America's not a country. It's just a business.

    by CFAmick on Fri Aug 22, 2014 at 11:29:53 AM PDT

  •  We're not supposed to be talking about this... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    divineorder, vernonbc

    ...according to conservative pundits.  There are more black-on-black murders so we're all supposed to stop talking about police killing unarmed black men.

    On the other hand, there are AT LEAST a whole handful of in-person voter impersonation cases, and so we must pass as many laws as we can to stop it, no matter how many poor and minority people are disenfranchised!

  •  The problem isn't the danger to police (0+ / 0-)

    Nor is the problem too much gun violence.
      Neither of those things exist.

    "The oppressors most powerful weapon is the mind of the oppressed." - Stephen Biko

    by gjohnsit on Fri Aug 22, 2014 at 11:44:27 AM PDT

  •  Only surprise is that it is so low, but (0+ / 0-)

    I'd love to see the numbers for beatings, and woundings.

    That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

    by enhydra lutris on Fri Aug 22, 2014 at 11:50:33 AM PDT

  •  When the morans chant and shout..... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    "We're #1" and "U.....S......A" I guess this is the type of statistic they are raving about.  Jobs - No, Education - No, Health Care - No, Most guns of any country - Yes.

    They're a proud lot.....

    "A weed is a plant whose virtues have not yet been discovered." Ralph Waldo Emerson

    by Yo Bubba on Fri Aug 22, 2014 at 12:23:24 PM PDT

  •  Statistic discussions need statistics (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    We can't say here, based on a few random measurements, that police or citizens are the bad guys.  

    It must be put in perspective including number of people in US, number of police etc.   Breaking it down from there to why, who, when, and a hundred other specifics and then we can still say that, going on the report of the police involved, it is rarely ever clear.  It seems some lie when the truth would work better. Lies distort statistical outcomes.

    Yes, witnesses lie too.  If you have seen the tape of Kajieme Powell being shot   then you know he was not doing what he was said to have been doing.  If they found a knife on him, it was small.  He did NOT have his hands up or was NOT making a stabbing motion.  Rachel Maddow showed the video more clearly last night.  He was NOT just four feet from the officers.

    "The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.” — William Arthur Ward

    by cowdab on Fri Aug 22, 2014 at 12:26:07 PM PDT

    •  No matter how you play with the measurements, (0+ / 0-)

      zero deaths in both England and Japan statistically is still going to come out to zero.

      "When life kicks you, let it kick you forward." Kay Yow

      by vernonbc on Fri Aug 22, 2014 at 11:56:56 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  The cops lied their asses off (0+ / 0-)

      about that shooting. I watched the first press conference, where the chief said the cops did not draw their weapons until the victim threatened them with a knife, and he actually acted out a stabbing motion when he described what the victim was doing. All they needed was the music from Psycho.

      And it was all bullshit, as anyone watching that awful video can clearly see. He also lied about why they didn't use a taser- he actually said they couldn't because the victim was wearing a sweatshirt and tasers only work on bare skin. By the next day he changed his taser excuse to they're not 100%, you could miss. I guess somebody had called out his previous flat-out lie so he replaced it with more bullshit. Cause you know what else you could miss with? A freaking gun.

      •  Yes, they lie quite routinely these days (0+ / 0-)

        They probably always have.  At least many have.  When it is so blatant and so heavily supported on video, why should they not be held accountable and charged with murder 1?  It is clear they planned to kill him the minute they laid eyes on him as he was clearly unable to follow instructions.  They drew their guns as they emerged from the car.  Premeditated?

        "The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.” — William Arthur Ward

        by cowdab on Sun Aug 24, 2014 at 09:25:13 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  What does this say? (0+ / 0-)

    "Gun violence in this country is at the lowest levels since before Prohibition".

    Is it because of gun laws?  Or something else.

    That would be interesting to investigate.

  •  How does one conclude that disarming everyone (0+ / 0-)

    but the police is the answer for police shootings?

  •  What I'd really like to know (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cassandra spoke then loled

    is what's the breakdown for police slayings of persons (regardless of race) armed with a firearm or not.  If the US has comparable non-firearm violent crime rates with other OECD countries, then how do we explain the (expected) wide gulf in use of force fatalities?

  •  We can parse numbers and statistics... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Greenfinches, gramofsam1

    all we want, but can we not agree that America has a gun obsession, regardless which side of the argument one is on?
    Here are a few facts that really cannot be disputed...
    There are too many guns in the hands of individuals who should not have them, both legally as well as illegally.
    That there are too many loopholes in laws regarding gun purchases.
    Gun owners should be trained, licensed and insured, just like automobile drivers.
    Our [urban] police forces have become militarized as opposed to simply being armed, and...
    Blacks are far more likely to be shot by police officers than whites.

    "These 'Yet To Be' United States" --James Baldwin-- -6.75, -5.78

    by kevinbr38 on Fri Aug 22, 2014 at 01:14:14 PM PDT

  •  Police can claim any black man has a knife or (0+ / 0-)

    gun and is charging them, and shoot them and get away with it.  Probably get a commendation.

    See, for example, the White Plains PD and Kenneth Chamberlain, Sr.  They showed up on a false alarm medical call; he begged them to go away; they finally busted his door in and shot him.  All this was audio recorded by the emergency medical call company.

    Chamberlain said they were gonna kill him.  He was right.  But the cops said he charged them with a knife, and got off scot free.

    The problem isn't just too many guns.  It's a society that needs extraordinary evidence to consider a cop shooting a black man other than righteous and justified.  ("Sad, but necessary," if we're feeling sympathetic to the humanity of black people.)

    What would constitute such extraordinary evidence?  I'm not sure yet.  Audio hasn't done it.  Video after the fact hasn't done it.

    I'm thinking maybe high-def video of a black man sound asleep -- or praying -- and high fidelity audio of the cops saying, "Die, n######, die" before shooting him 252 times -- might come close.

    But even that... would probably depend on the location.

    © cai Visit to join the fight against global warming.

    by cai on Fri Aug 22, 2014 at 01:16:33 PM PDT

  •  Police Killings (0+ / 0-)

    The premise of the opening sentence is wrong.  Two is not twice as many as zero.  It is infinitely more.  There is no number big enough that you can multiply by zero to get to two.  It would be more correct to say that there were infinitely more police killings in Ferguson than Japan or Britain in the last year.

    Not your point, I know, but that way of looking at things speaks not just of magnitude, but of mindset.

  •  Militarization not just a look. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Militarization is not just a look it's an attitude it's an inappropriate attitude.  It is due to mission creep which began in the civil rights and Vietnam War protests and went on steroids after 9/11.  

    The military mission is to project US foreign policy though violent means either actual or implied, to blow up shit and kill people until they say 'uncle'. Ideally the police mission is to uphold the law and keep the peace.  

    Traditionally in policing, violence was regarded as a last resort and many police could go through a whole career and never shoot to kill anyone.   This of course is the ideal and has never been completely real however the balance has now shifted.   The police are far from being peace-keepers.  And the protection in "serve and protect" now seems to only be one of self-protection.

    Osama won more than he could have ever imagined going into 9/11.  

    A bad idea isn't responsible for those who believe it. ---Stephen Cannell

    by YellerDog on Fri Aug 22, 2014 at 03:11:31 PM PDT

  •  #1 (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    We're # 1 !!!!!!!
    Even adjusting for population it looks like the Japanese are behind by about 150 - SLACKERS just like Britain and Germany. The oligarchs still have plenty of work to do yet in creating the kind of chaos that lets them skim off all the wealth while they sit in their safe gated area protected by specially trained serfs and the wealth is handed to them by serf overseers that enforce the organized theft.

  •  This is what the GOP has been saying (0+ / 0-)

    The GOP has been trying to tell us the USofA is exceptional.  And so we are.

  •  Add another 310 to that (0+ / 0-)

    for non-law enforcment citizens who kill people every year and it's found to be "Justified".

  •  Shooting Suspects (0+ / 0-)

    And how many African Americans are killing other African Americans every day?

  •  The Wild West is what Amercans pine for and all (0+ / 0-)

    these guns create that atmosphere for many.  I hate to say it, but we have yet to get out of our rough teen years as a nation committed  to protect and serve instead of shoot first and ask questions later.

  •  Just some points (0+ / 0-)

    Someone suggested that it would take "20 or 30 years" to clear out guns if we banned them, presumably by age. Actually, the lifespan of a gun can be measured in decades - most of the Colt 1911 (WW1 standard handgun) still exist. We are more talking about the lifespan of the owner. Just a point that we should not necessarily accept the assumptions of non gun users.
    Someone suggested making a ban effective by mandatory sentencing - get caught holding a gun for any reason and go to jail - considering the amount of time police lie (uh, every time they say anything?) I really doubt the wisdom of turning "I saw him with a gun" into a new "I saw him with drugs".
    The same applies to insuring guns. In principle it sounds obvious, but insurance companies are probably the only institution in America that I trust less than the police - who are more harmful and more oppressively corrupt. Note the outright sabotage - frankly murder - that we're getting with the ACA.

    Looking back I can see that much of my observations are a comment on our general society, not the specific issue. Isn't that itself a point? Yes, "guns don't kill people…" is a copout, but it is also true - we would reduce the carnage, but not actually solve anything.

  •  Shot by the Police. (0+ / 0-)

    Well some crimes to catch the suspected criminal does not have to use deadly force.

    It is the i am in danger part of police and it works. Policemen judge shootings by the police.

    America is also gun happy The more guns that are in a specific place the more death are there.

    Fire arm death rate per 100,000
       Why is it that most of the states
    with the highest fire arm death rates are rural red states:
     1. Alaska 20.4
    2. Louisiana 19.2
    3. Alabama 16.2
    4. Mississippi 16.1
    5. Wyoming 15.6
    6. Montana 15.4
    7. New Mexico 14.9
    8. Arizona 14.6
    9. Nevada 14.5
    10. Arkansas 14.4
    11. Oklahoma 14.4
    12. Tennessee 14.4”

    “I always love it when people bring up the example
     of Switzerland. I take it you think we should follow

    Switzerland's example: 1. The have a large number of guns
     because the Swiss expects every able bodied males to join
     the militia at around age 20 and serve to age 30 and they
     are all issued guns. (There goes the all-volunteer Army.)
     2. Swiss males are required to under go extensive training
     before that are issued a gun.
     3. Since 2007, Swiss militia members are not allowed
    to keep ammunition at home.
     All ammunition is stored in government warehouses.
     Only 2,000 special militia members who guard airports
     and other high security areas are allowed to
     keep ammunition at home.
     4. Purchasing a gun requires a special permit issued by
     the government, even for a sale between two private parties.
     You are only allowed to purchase three firearms and people
     with a criminal background or mental illness
    are never allowed to buy a gun.
     5. All guns are "finger printed" and rifling patterns
     are registered so the bullets recovered from a crime scene
     can be traced by to the owner.
     6. Ammunition can only be purchased at firing ranges
     and can only be used there.
     7. All Ammunition purchased are registered.
     8. The fact that Switzerland has more guns,
    actually makes it less safe than other European countries.
     The US has twice as many guns per capita as Switzerland
     so if more guns made you safer, then the US should be twice
     as safe as Switzerland. Yet the US has 40% more
     gun related deaths than Switzerland.
     Guns per 100 people:

    1. United States 88.8
    2. Serbia 58.2
    3. Yemen 54.8

    Switzerland 6.4
     8. Switzerland doesn't have that good a record.
     It has more gun deaths any other country in Europe
     and lots of other countries around the World.
     For example, Switzerland has twice as many gun deaths
     as France. Switzerland has 29 TIMES more than
    England: Canada 4.78

    Finland 3.64
    Costa Rica 3.32
    France 3.00
    Austria 2.94
    New Zealand 2.66
    Belgium 2.43
    Peru 1.87
    Israel 1.86
    Norway 1.78
    Portugal 1.77
    Lithuania 1.61
    Greece 1.50
    Sweden 1.47
    Denmark 1.45
    Italy 1.28
    Germany 1.10
    Australia 1.04
    Ireland 1.03
    Spain 0.63
    Netherlands 0.46
    United Kingdom 0.22
    Poland 0.26
    Chile 0.06

    A synthesizer can create any instrument made and others that have not be created yet.

    by RSGmusic on Sat Aug 23, 2014 at 01:35:46 PM PDT

  •  trigger happy cops ending prison space` (0+ / 0-)

    these cop killers saving taxes on courts and over crouding prison is a thing of the past

  •  Cops are great at keeping stats.... (0+ / 0-)

    on themselves! Any visitor to the ODMP website will find the life of a cop is not particularly dangerous. They have heart attacks, crash their vehicles, shoot themselves, fall of things, get hit by trains, crash their planes and helicopters, and do all manner of things, but ALWAYS make out it was never their fault. It is ALWAYS someone else's fault.

    What they do is astonishing. They truly ARE above the law. We live in a violent society; one in which the worst perpetrators of violence seem to be growing out of a group of people who are supposed to "serve and protect." The irony here being the Supreme Court cases which have found they have no duty to protect.  

  •  Only 1 a day in some other country, not in the U.S (0+ / 0-)

    For each of these lists for those who lost their lives, you can go to a website and vet the sources for yourself and decide what you think should be counted. Of the 42 officers that died this year, I can only attribute 12 that are a direct result of criminal acts this year. There are others that it's up to you to decide how you feel.

    Of the 42 officers that died while on duty so far this year, 8 of them were killed by a suspect in the commission of a crime. And 2 while in pursuit of a suspect, and 2 while performing traffic enforcement.

    Line of Duty Deaths: 42

    9/11 related illness: 2
    Accidental: 1
    Assault: 1
    Automobile accident: 12
    Gunfire: 8
    Gunfire (Accidental): 2
    Heart attack: 11
    Motorcycle accident: 1
    Struck by vehicle: 2
    Vehicle pursuit: 2

    Of the U.S citizens that were killed by the police so far this year the total is at 412. When you compare the numbers of the death toll in the U.S versus other countries around the world and you can't see the insanity of this, then as they say in the south "well bless your heart."

  •  The obvious solution to the American (0+ / 0-)

    police homicide problem is to negotiate a trade agreement with Japan, in which we exchange police forces. This, of course, would soon render the island of Japan uninhabited (except for surviving American police forces), which would provide an interesting sociological study area, to determine the mores of an entire island nation populated by nothing other than American cops.

    Or, we can just wait while the US continues its descent to first world status, at which time, we can presume, the police and the rest of the populace will find another hobby to replace the current national pastime of 'Shoot 'Em Up'.

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site