Update: William Norman Grigg writes at LewRockwell.com about police abuse within the Minneapolis police department, including officers who have attacked and assaulted citizens while off-duty. These people shouldn’t be allowed to handle a firearm as a civilian, let alone as a uniformed officer.
Two Minnesota police organizations are suing the NFL due to rules that do not allow guns in stadiums.
Actually, their problem with it is that it applies to off-duty police officers, as well. They claim that it deprives officers of their right to carry firearms. Notice we’re not talking about on-duty cops, just off-duty officers not wearing a uniform and not there as part of their job or during a work shift.
This begs the question: Why do off-duty officers have rights that ordinary citizens do not?
Also, if they have a right, but citizens do not, then it is not a right. It is a privilege bestowed to only a select group of individuals.
Much like politicians who support government surveillance programs – as long as they are not the ones being spied on – there is a subset of police officials who believe, for some reason, that law enforcement officers are not bound to the very laws they have sworn to uphold, even when they are not on-duty. There is a mystical, unwritten law that states they are immune and unbound to those rules at all times. The term “on the line of duty” does not make sense for them, because they are always “on duty.”
Their logic is very Orwellian in nature. They need firearms to protect the public, but the public should not be allowed to carry firearms in the same area. But really, what they’re saying is that they have a privilege of protecting themselves.
In other words, normal Americans do not have the right to defend themselves in certain areas. Disarming Americans somehow makes them safer.
It reminds me of a story I wrote for MSN News about how the New York gun control law put restrictions on “high-capacity” magazines for citizens and – by accident – on police officers as well. Needless to say, the police departments were less than thrilled.
It’s telling that they think private citizens don’t need those magazines, but they do.
Again, these people see self-defense as a privilege, not a right. If an officer is shot at in a stadium, they have the right to shoot back at their attacker. Regular people, however, are not granted this privilege.
This, of course, is the opposite stance taken by Detroit Police Chief James Craig, who recently said that good Americans are armed.
The issue is complicated because normally, on private property, the owner should be allowed to make whatever rules they want and enforce them as they please. But sports stadiums are often financed through taxation and bonds – and it is not clear whether or not how these stadiums were financed.
According to libertarian philosophy, stadiums should not be financed by governments via taxes, which forces innocent people to pay for something without their consent, and threatens violence against them if they do not comply. Instead, stadiums should be built through private funds by private organizations who are free to set the rules. They can also hire their own private security to ensure the safety of the premise.
Lastly, let us suppose that an incident occurs in which an off-duty officer feels compelled to defend himself by drawing his firearm. He is not wearing a uniform and thus looks just like ordinary citizens. How is an on-duty officer supposed to know he is an off-duty officer and not a thug or criminal violating the NFL’s gun policy?