The New York Times said the problem was not enough government spending on courthouse security ("Budgets Can Affect Safety Inside Many Courthouses"). Yes, it was tax-cuts-for-the-rich that somehow enabled a 200-pound former linebacker to take a gun from a 5-foot-tall grandmother.
Atlanta court officials dispensed with any spending issues the next time Nichols entered the courtroom when he was escorted by 17 guards and two police helicopters. He looked like P. Diddy showing up for a casual dinner party.
I think I have an idea that would save money and lives: Have large men escort violent criminals. Admittedly, this approach would risk another wave of nausea and vomiting by female professors at Harvard. But there are also advantages to not pretending women are as strong as men, such as fewer dead people. Even a female math professor at Harvard should be able to run the numbers on this one.
Of course, it's suspiciously difficult to find any hard data about the performance of female cops. Not as hard as finding the study showing New Jersey state troopers aren't racist, but still pretty hard to find.
Mostly what you find on Lexis-Nexis are news stories quoting police chiefs who have been browbeaten into submission, all uttering the identical mantra after every public-safety disaster involving a girl cop. It seems that female officers compensate for a lack of strength with "other" abilities, such as cooperation, empathy and intuition.
There are lots of passing references to "studies" of uncertain provenance, but which always sound uncannily like a press release from the Feminist Majority Foundation. (Or maybe it was The Pew Research Center for the People and the Press, which recently released a study claiming that despite Memogate, "Fahrenheit 9/11," the Richard Clarke show and the jihad against the Swift Boat Veterans, the press is being soft on Bush.)
The anonymous "studies" about female officers invariably demonstrate that women make excellent cops ? even better cops than men! One such study cited an episode of "She's the Sheriff," starring Suzanne Somers.
A 1993 news article in the Los Angeles Times, for example, referred to a "study" ? cited by an ACLU attorney ? allegedly proving that "female officers are more effective at making arrests without employing force because they are better at de-escalating confrontations with suspects."
There are roughly 118 million men in this country who would take exception to that notion. I wonder if women officers "de-escalate" by mentioning how much more money their last suspect made.
These aren't unascertainable facts, like Pinch Sulzberger's SAT scores. The U.S. Department of Justice regularly performs comprehensive surveys of state and local law enforcement agencies, collected in volumes called "Law Enforcement Management and Administrative Statistics."
The inestimable economist John Lott has looked at the actual data. (And I'll give you the citation! John R. Lott Jr., "Does a Helping Hand Put Others at Risk? Affirmative Action, Police Departments and Crime," Economic Inquiry, April 1, 2000.)
It turns out that, far from "de-escalating force" through their superior listening skills, female law enforcement officers vastly are more likely to shoot civilians than their male counterparts. (Especially when perps won't reveal where they bought a particularly darling pair of shoes.)
Unable to use intermediate force, like a bop on the nose, female officers quickly go to fatal force. According to Lott's analysis, each 1 percent increase in the number of white female officers in a police force increases the number of shootings of civilians by 2.7 percent.
Adding males to a police force decreases the number of civilians accidentally shot by police. Adding black males decreases civilian shootings by police even more. By contrast, adding white female officers increases accidental shootings. (And for my Handgun Control Inc. readers: Private citizens are much less likely to accidentally shoot someone than are the police, presumably because they do not have to approach the suspect and make an arrest.)
In addition to accidentally shooting people, female law enforcement officers are also more likely to be assaulted than male officers ? as the whole country saw in Atlanta last week. Lott says: "Increasing the number of female officers by 1 percentage point appears to increase the number of assaults on police by 15 percent to 19 percent."
In addition to the obvious explanations for why female cops are more likely to be assaulted and to accidentally shoot people ? such as that our society encourages girls to play with dolls ? there is also the fact that women are smaller and weaker than men.
In a study of public-safety officers ? not even the general population ? female officers were found to have 32 percent to 56 percent less upper body strength and 18 percent to 45 percent less lower body strength than male officers ? although their outfits were 43 percent more coordinated. (Here's the cite! Frank J. Landy, "Alternatives to Chronological Age in Determining Standards of Suitability for Public Safety Jobs," Technical Report, Vol. 1, Jan. 31, 1992.)
Another study I've devised involves asking a woman to open a jar of pickles.
There is also the telling fact that feminists demand that strength tests be watered down so that women can pass them. Feminists simultaneously demand that no one suggest women are not as strong as men and then turn around and demand that all the strength tests be changed. It's one thing to waste everyone's time by allowing women to try out for police and fire departments under the same tests given to men. It's quite another to demand that the tests be brawned-down so no one ever has to tell female Harvard professors that women aren't as strong as men.
Acknowledging reality wouldn't be all bad for women. For one thing, they won't have to confront violent felons on methamphetamine. So that's good. Also, while a sane world would not employ 5-foot-tall grandmothers as law enforcement officers, a sane world would also not give full body-cavity searches to 5-foot-tall grandmothers at airports.