A commenter shared this with me. Please check it out.
I don't know yet if I agree with T that police officers shouldn't carry guns, but I'll admit that it really changes my own perspective to think about what it would feel like to know that I myself might be likely to be killed by a police officer. I don't walk or drive down the street living in that reality. I know of a female college student who was beaten up at a protest by a cop who was known for violent behavior. I had a student who was raped by a police officer at gunpoint. A friend of mine watched a cop shoot and kill a puppy during a power struggle because he wanted to show he was in control. So I have a healthy fear of the police, but at the same time, I also live in a white body and I am the person that cops are supposed to be protecting and I know this subconsciously. And to protect me, don't they need to have guns? This is what is going on, almost below the radar, in my head when I think about taking the guns away. And that is a hard thing to admit.
But Black men are at tremendous risk from the justice system, and at some point we have to ask ourselves as a society, at whose sacrifice are some of us being protected by cops having guns? And then it becomes pretty obvious that that's exactly what's going on - we are sacrificing people of color so that whites can have an illusion of safety. (Not unlike our foreign policy, actually.)
I'm also thinking about what happened here this past fall with the RNC and how quick people are to use weapons when they have them. This certainly isn't unique to police officers, but it does give me pause.
Thanks, T, for making me think about this in a different way.