The Corner

Law & the Courts

‘Shoot ’Em in the Leg’

Rep. Karen Bass (D., Calif.) speaks on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., June 17, 2020. (Kevin Dietsch/Reuters)

Representative Karen Bass (D., Calif.) trotted out a well-worn platitude while discussing police reform on Fox News Sunday.

Channeling President Joe Biden, Bass seemed to suggest that police shouldn’t be trained to shoot to kill, and asked why officers confronting a potentially life threatening situation don’t just “shoot him in the leg.”

She stressed that police should receive more “de-escalation” training, which is fair enough, but once a police officer feels he needs to fire his weapon, the opportunity to de-escalate has probably passed.

While Bass was speaking in general terms, the question about police reform was put to her in the context of the Ma’Khia Bryant shooting. Had the Columbus officer who fatally shot Bryant opted to shoot her in the leg instead, there’s a decent chance that the knife she had drawn back would have found its target.

As Dan McLaughlin has explained, Bass’s advice is terrible for reasons not worth repeating here. I’ll only note that it should concern everyone that the woman put forward by Democrats to help lead police-reform negotiations seems to believe that “shoot ’em in the leg” is useful advice for police officers.

It’s the kind of “solution” politicians specialize in: It sounds like a great idea unless you think about it for more than 30 seconds. And it has to make you wonder whether Bass has ever spoken to a police officer about police reform.


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