Thursday, May 28, 2015

The Unreasonable Reason magazine by Michael P. Tremoglie

Once again Reason magazine turns out to be anything but reasonable -its logic anything but logical. The libertarian magazine  propounds many of the same cop bashing theories - and indeed has some of the same writers - as the Cato Institute. 

A December 2007 article titled Just How Dangerous is Police Work  ( states: "So just how dangerous is police work? ... police are about three times as likely to be killed on the job as the average American. ... falling well behind logging, fishing, driving a cab, trash collecting .... Moreover, about half of police killed on the job are killed in traffic accidents, and most of those are not while in pursuit of a criminal or rushing to the scene of a crime. ... the number ... doesn't justify giving cops bigger guns, military equipment, and allowing them to use more aggressive and increasingly militaristic tactics. A military-issue weapon isn't going to prevent traffic accidents. .... take out traffic accidents and other non-violent deaths, and you're left (with)...about 8 deaths per 100,000 officers, or less than twice the national average of on-the-job fatalities."

But the fallacy of this argument is that it omits how many of the fatalities of jobs like logging, fishing, etc., are caused by homicides or accidents pursuing criminals, rushing to crime scenes, or trying to save lives? 

Remove the accidents and other nonviolent deaths from logging and fishing and what remains? Not much, which is why the safety equipment of loggers and fishermen do not include weapons.

Police do use weapons to protect the lives of innocent people and themselves. They use certain types of equipment that Cato/Reason calls "militarized" - a risible term. 

A better statistic to use to compare the dangers of police work with other occupations is to use workplace violence victimization. The Bureau of Justice statistics reports, "From 2005 through 2009, of the occupational groups examined, law enforcement occupations had the highest average annual rate of workplace violence."

Police work is very dangerous. I know I did it. More than that I have studied it. Do not be fooled by callow sciolistic journalists.


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