At the Simple Justice blog, Scott H. Greenfield explains why New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg is so very, very wrong to call for a national police strike:
There are some virtues that come with having a billionaire mayor. He’s not easy to bribe, for example, so you know whatever comes out of his mouth does so honestly. And therein lies the downside when he says something like this:
“I don’t understand why the police officers across this country don’t stand up collectively and say, ‘We’re going to go on strike. We’re not going to protect you. Unless you, the public, through your legislature, do what’s required to keep us safe,’” Bloomberg said on CNN Monday night.
Within this idiotic comment are two fallacious assumptions. The first is the “war on cops” tripe, that there is a trend against cops, putting them at increasing risk of harm from gun-toting criminals. Radley Balko has beaten that myth to death. Mike Riggs too. It’s a good myth to further a public agenda in favor of order at the expense of law, but it just doesn’t hold water.
The second, however, is the mayor’s encouragement to police to take the First Rule of Policing a step further than ever before, to use their singular authority to hold a nation hostage. This is perhaps the most dangerous idea Bloomberg could promote.
[. . .]
Ironically, the only means of staying this armed takeover, should the police ever come to recognize that they have the power if not the authority to seize control, would be guns in the hands of citizens. No rational person could want it to come to such a battle.
So while a billionaire mayor may be above the influences that drive mere mortals, they sometimes utter the most insanely foolish things that take us to a place we must never go. The day the police, as a whole, think they can use their posts to take our government hostage is the day every citizen will need to dust off his arms. The day a billionaire mayor suggests that the police should use their power to influence our government is a day he’s been in office too long.
Update: Walter Olson at the Cato@Liberty blog:
It’s enough to make you wonder whether Bloomberg is secretly a passionate admirer of the Second Amendment and keeps saying things this outrageous from a covert intent to sabotage the case for gun control.