By Rick Manning — Dec. 28, 1976, graveyard shift, 7-11 store on La Sierra Boulevard in Riverside, California.
That’s when I had a rifle stuck in my face by four thugs who wanted the $40 in the register. They took me to the back of the store where the cigarettes were stored, directed me to lie face down on the concrete floor, tied my hands behind my back, and told me to not move.
When the guy with the .22 calibre rifle was loading a bag with boxes of cigarettes in front of me, I shifted on the floor, only to find the gun barrel squarely placed to my forehead with a more stern warning not to move. I didn’t move, they left, I called the police, the police arrived ten minutes later, and the perpetrators had an extra $10 a piece each, and I had a story to tell.
All of which brings me to our nation’s current Vice President, Joe Biden, who has been railing incoherently around the nation about the need for our country to go an additional $35 billion in debt — $30 billion of which is actually to bail out public school teacher unions — so people won’t have guns put in their faces.
Joe Biden has been a Senator or Vice President since Jan. 3, 1973, just shy of three years before my gun in the face experience. In that time, he has had personal security, and has worked in buildings patrolled by armed police specifically assigned to protect him. So, his sense of what law enforcement actually does may be somewhat askew.
My experience is more typical. A crime gets committed and the police arrive after the fact. Fortunately for me, they weren’t accompanied by the coroner, because unlike Joe, I did not have a cop assigned to me in the event that someone wanted to rob the 7-11 that night.
What makes Biden’s sudden concern for public safety so ironic is that he has been at the forefront of the movement to deny law-abiding men and women the ability to have firearms to defend themselves for much of his career.
A waitress leaving a restaurant with her pockets full of cash from tips is not going to have a taxpayer funded escort to her car, or from her car to her home. However, no thanks to Biden, in many states she does have the ability to protect herself with a legally carried firearm should an attacker approach.
A small businessman typically doesn’t have a taxpayer funded armed escort to provide accompaniment to make the night deposit at the bank, yet Biden has been consistently against him having the means to defend himself.
What professional politicians and pontificators like Joe Biden don’t appear to realize is that while police are important, they have not advanced to the pre-cognition state from the futuristic Tom Cruise movie, Minority Report. Police are largely clean-up crews, who then take the pieces of the crime that are left behind to identify who was responsible and attempt to bring them to justice after the fact.
Yet, to hear the Vice President tell the story, failure to plunge our nation even further into debt is going to devastate local police departments.
This leads to the second bit of nonsense by the Vice President.
Local governments fund police departments.
Local governments decide how to spend taxpayer dollars based upon competing priorities for schools, fire, parks, roads and other services, how much money they are going to allocate to law enforcement services. An increase in federal funding to localities merely allows them to continue funding the least valuable services rather than making cuts to keep the vital services, police and fire, operating at peak efficiency.
The truth is that this scare tactic sound bite, coming from a guy who looks like his dentures got lost in a Crest whitening strip, is nothing but a cheap Halloween trick designed to drum up support for increasing our national debt.
If the Vice President really cared about protecting people from crime, he would support allowing law-abiding individuals the ability to make the legal choice of whether they want to have the means to protect themselves.
Unfortunately, Joe Biden would rather just try to scare people for brazen political purposes.
Rick Manning is the Communications Director of Americans for Limited Government – @rmanning957.