Readers React

Why the police fear the people

To the editor: As justifiably upset as people are about police shootings of unarmed citizens, the elephant in the room is that thanks to the National Rifle Assn. and politicians who suck up to it, our general citizenry is too heavily armed and every encounter that police have carries a strong possibility that the person the police are dealing with is armed. ("Setting rules on L.A. police stops," editorial, June 10)

We've traded “home of the brave” for “home of the gun-toting insecure.”

If we want to reverse the trend, then we need to overcome the cynical machinations of the NRA that boost business for gun manufacturers regardless of human cost, and override recent Supreme Court decisions that have undermined the common-sense intent of the 2nd Amendment.

It's about time we as a nation were a little more brave and a little less armed.

Linda Kranen, Carlsbad

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To the editor: Common sense is not so common. The L.A. Police Commission ruling in the Ezell Ford case goes further: It defies common sense.

Recent police shootings have damaged law enforcement's image, perhaps irreparably. Take away an officer's right to approach an individual and you impair his ability to do his job. The Ford tragedy is the signature case of why this is so. It's not complicated.

When an individual goes for an officer's gun and in the confrontation is shot, how can the officer be held accountable? The commission's rationale is that the two Los Angeles Police Department officers involved had no valid reason to question Ford, and that what happened subsequently never should have transpired. How does that make any sense?

The Police Commission's finding likely will create a scenario in which police may be reluctant to approach people based on their training, intuition and judgment. The result of such a finding is easily predictable — just ask the citizens of Baltimore.

Don Broder, Laguna Niguel

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