The police and Black Lives Matter may seem like strange bedfellows, but that’s not the case, claims longtime journalist Steven Waldman. In fact, Waldman thinks the two should join forces against “the most anti-police organization in America”: the National Rifle Association.
“Both police and African Americans feel under siege,” wrote Waldman in a Monday article for The Washington Monthly. “The issue that can best unite these communities is one of the most divisive: gun control…For years, the NRA has fought restrictions on ‘cop killer’ bullets…They’ve opposed most gun control measures requested by police…The widespread availability of guns also invariably will put police more on edge…A world where more people carry guns is a world with more hair-trigger police decisions and more accidental killings.”
Waldman suggested that the NRA also has repeatedly and systematically belittled the men and women in blue: “They peddle the lie that America’s police are so ineffective…that regular people must arm themselves. That’s at the heart of the increasingly dominant notion…that the only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is a good civilian guy with a gun. Think about it: the answer used to be that the only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is a policeman with a gun. No more. The NRA’s big message: the police are not the answer.”
According to Waldman, the alliance he’s proposing would require cops to understand who’s really on their side:
While the NRA is substantively anti-police, they seem culturally in sync. Some progressives are the reverse — culturally alienated from police but actually supportive of the policies that will save lives of law enforcement. The National Law Enforcement Partnerships to Prevent Gun Violence, which includes the International Association of Chiefs of Police and other law enforcement groups, has a strong gun control agenda…
What a statement it would make if the leadership of Black Lives Matter stood side by side with the heads of the Law Enforcement Partnership to push this agenda.
Waldman has been, among other things, a Washington correspondent for Newsweek; the co-founder of the religion-themed web site Beliefnet; and a senior adviser to the Federal Communications Commission for two years during President Obama’s first term.