Commentary on Police Officers Dying on Our Streets

In the Indianapolis Star’s moving editorial entitled “An officer down: a community grieves”, it was noted that “We also owe…our officers and ourselves to better confront the rampant violence that continues to plague this city.” However, the writer failed to point out that we will do nothing to ensure the safety of police officers until we finally do something about the sad reality that firearms infest our community.

Since 2004, 5 police officers in Indianapolis have been killed by gun fire, and all we offer are prayers, mourning and respect. Though a noble response, none of that means anything if we are not going to take steps to address the safety of police officers when they approach any citizen in the course of their sworn duty. Put another way, as long as a highway speeder has access to firearms, every officer approaches a car not knowing if this is his last day on Earth.

The only way to honor the legacy of Lt. Aaron Allan is to effectively adopt legislation that limits, not eliminates, the access to firearms. In that regard, we should adopt a policy that resembles our approach to automobiles. Every firearm should be registered, and a yearly renewable license should be required for those who seek to possess a lethal weapon. The NRA and right-wing demagogues like those who are heard daily on WIBC can scream and protest in opposition, but all they are doing is insuring that more police officers die in the service of our city.

Let me close by noting that more than 70 people have been murdered in this city this year, and that adds up to thousands of others on a national level. While we worry about terrorists threatening our security, we have become our own worst enemy.

The right to life does not end at birth. To ensure that we all have the opportunity to live a quality existence, then let’s do something meaningful so that Lt. Allan can be remembered as the last police officer gunned down on our streets.