Monday, January 24, 2011

Jan. 24: Deaths of Officers Leave Questions, Realities

By Sylvia Gurinsky

More officers outgunned, and now dead. Two in Miami last week. Two in St. Petersburg this morning. And four officers injured in a police precinct in Detroit yesterday.

In all cases, there are plenty of questions to be asked about security (especially in Detroit, where the precinct has no bulletproof glass), procedure, and in the case of the Miami shootings, a decision to sentence the eventual shooter to administrative probation - the unsupervised kind.

There is also the reality that the increasing love affair between Americans and guns is leaving an extremely bloody trail. Police know they are in a dangerous profession. But they are still overpowered because of the weapons - many semi-automatic and automatic - flooding the streets.

The repeated complaints of both police and residents in inner cities have fallen upon deaf ears. Sadly, many of the deaf are nationally elected officials who don't want to stop the financial gravy train from the National Rifle Association and others with a Wild West mentality. Even the tragedy in Tucson hasn't changed many minds.

Better security and improved decisions by judges on defendants are necessary - but they go only so far. Safer streets with less access to high-powered weapons are a must.

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