I wouldn't draw attention to this dangerous idiocy if it were merely being pushed by some random woke activists. But this is from a sitting United States senator, who just won a contested primary in his re-election bid, and is considered a fairly mainstream member of Chuck Schumer's increasingly-leftist caucus. And it echoes the latest astounding dereliction in Portland, Oregon, where the city's impotent mayor has once again attempted to appease the Antifa goons who've plunged his city into three consecutive months of nightly riots and lawlessness:
Portland police routinely attack peaceful protestors with brute force. We must disarm these officers, and every other police department in America, of weapons of war, and enact a nationwide ban on tear gas, rubber and plastic bullets, and bean bag rounds. https://t.co/PDZcjhmSLB— Ed Markey (@SenMarkey) September 14, 2020
Where to begin with this blithering nonsense? Portland police do not "routinely attack peaceful protesters." Portland has been wracked by violent riots for more than 100 nights. The protesters who clash with police are anything but "peaceful." They assault officers, brutalize people in the streets, menace civilians, destroy property, and set fires. One of them -- who described himself as "100 percent Antifa," and who wasn't prosecuted after being arrested for rioting previously -- is accused of murdering a Trump supporter in cold blood. The agitators have repeatedly attempted to burn down a federal courthouse, police precincts, and the mayor's apartment building. To deliberately conflate all of this criminality and chaos with anything "peaceful" is willfully blind and profoundly irresponsible.
I'll also note that after these people committed attempted arson at the mayor's residence, putting many others at risk, Ted Wheeler moved out of the building. He fled. And rather than get tougher with the mob, he acquiesced further, announcing bans on non-lethal forms of riot control that they wanted eliminated. Placating the mob does not work, as we most recently learned after the "it's the feds' fault" fallacy was immediately disproven. Local police have been demonstrably unable to restore order to the streets, for months on end. And Portland's genius "leadership" has decided that stripping law enforcement of some of the only tools they have at their disposal is a good idea. Note that they're not doing this in a time of peace; they're doing it mid-rioting. It's unilateral surrender. It's appeasement. No wonder police departments from surrounding jurisdictions are refusing to play along with the left-wing governor's "plan" to deputize their officers for this task. What's the point of participating in a ritual humiliation?
Astoundingly, Sen. Markey -- who is no longer trying to out-leftist a primary opponent -- looks at Portland and sees a model for the country. "We must disarm" every police department in America, he declares, targeting "weapons of war" (a meaningless term that has generally been used in the context of pushing gun control for average citizens) and non-lethal riot control elements. It is an ascendant position on the Left that citizens must have their self-defense options limited or eliminated, and police should also be stripped of law enforcement tools and practices. How does that sound, America? And what would that mean for violent riots? Police would lose tried-and-true tactics to disperse crowds and protect life and property, which would give an upper hand to the criminals. Also, if non-lethal techniques are severely limited, and things spiral out of control, what are the chances lethal force ends up getting deployed? And what are the chances that said instances of lethal force, under extreme duress, would be exploited to justify more riots? This is the very definition of a vicious cycle.
It is mind-blowing that supposedly respectable elected Democrats are choosing to normalize rioting, as Markey is here. One of the obvious, textbook consequences of doing so is to foment more lawless conduct, which is becoming almost a default response to all police shootings -- even those that are clearly justified or even rumored. We saw this in Chicago. We saw this in Minneapolis. We've now seen it in Pennsylvania, where police shot a crazed butcher knife-wielding assailant with a history of stabbing people:
Police released this footage as soon as possible to head off riots in Lancaster. Unfortunately, it didn’t work.— Ed Morrissey (@EdMorrissey) September 14, 2020
BLM Riot Erupts In Lancaster After Police Shoot A Charging Knife-Wielding Domestic-Disturbance Suspecthttps://t.co/rKanCBnBEy pic.twitter.com/4ou7XHfQdI
What exactly should police do under these circumstances -- aside from allowing themselves to be attacked or killed, which some deranged activists actually want to see? This attacker with a large knife charged an officer who was responding to a domestic disturbance, the type of call some have demanded the police stay out of. What would have happened if an unarmed "counselor" had been the one to arrive on scene to confront this perpetrator?