This is a particularly brutal column coming in the wake of yesterday’s big piece on the NYPD: eight black New York city college students reported being stopped and frisked 92 times all told. Meanwhile, also in the Times today, but over on the front page, it’s this: killing of police officers is at a four-year-high. The Times plays this really big and really wrong, and calls this “a disturbing trend,” but it’s actually not. (It is disturbing, of course.) But 2008 was the ten-year low for police officers being killed, and 2012 is, so far, year-to-date, down 49% from last year. So it’s actually the opposite of a trend: last year was a terrible anomaly.
Here’s what is a “trend”: Zero police officers have been killed this year in New York and California, but there’s been two each in Florida, Michigan, Texas, Alabama and Georgia. Last year, Georgia had five; Florida had three; Michigan had three; Texas and Alabama had just one. Those are all “shall-issue” concealed carry states. That means you need a permit, but to get one, you just have to meet the requirements, not get approved.
Here’s another and completely related “trend”: zero officers were kiled in 2010 with knives. Zero were killed by bombs. One was killed with a car. All of the rest of the officers killed in 2010 were killed with guns: 38 with handguns, 15 with rifles, 2 with shotguns.