Houston's Police Chief could use a refresher course on gun crimes

Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo has gained even more fans in the liberal media. Acevedo’s department experienced a nightmare recently when four of his officers were shot on the same day while executing a raid on a drug dealer’s house. The department, the community and the state government all came together in sympathy and support for the brutal attacks, with Governor Greg Abbott and Attorney General Ken Paxton sending their expressions of support and offering thoughts and prayers for the affected families. (As is the usual practice among civil people.)

This inspired Acevedo to fire back at them, deriding the “thoughts and prayers” comments and issuing calls for new gun control measures. Any time you have a police officer saying something like that, they immediately receive national attention from liberals in the media. This was no exception, and the Washington Post was soon singing his praises.

“WE DON’T elect people to pray for us. We elect people to lead us.” The day after four of his officers were shot while on duty, that is what Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo had to say to politicians who offer up “thoughts and prayers” in the wake of tragic shootings. His scolding of elected officials who do absolutely nothing about the public-health epidemic of gun violence was well earned. It ought to shame Congress into finally enacting some sensible gun safety policies…

“I appreciate your prayers . . . but the question is, what are policymakers willing to do, besides prayers, to address a public-health epidemic?” said Mr. Acevedo.

It’s not the first time the chief, who leads a police department in the fourth-largest city in the United States, has spoken out about the need for gun reform. After 10 people were killed in a school shooting last year in nearby Santa Fe, Tex., he posted a statement on Facebook that said he had “hit rock bottom” with gun rights arguments. His frustration about government inaction was palatable. One of the officers who was shot Monday as he tried to rescue injured colleagues had been shot twice before. But, as Mr. Acevedo painfully pointed out, gun violence doesn’t impact law enforcement only.

Here’s an extra bit of irony for you. Acevedo took to Twitter on the day of the incident and asked people to pray for the officers.

The spat over thoughts and prayers isn’t the real issue here. What I’m sure Acevedo knows but isn’t mentioning is the fact that it’s highly unlikely that the guns the two drug dealers who shot the cops were using were purchased legally. When we see high-profile shootings being investigated and the source of the weapons is known, that information is generally released. I’ve checked multiple press reports of this incident, with statements from Acevedo and others in Houston and there’s no mention of where those two men obtained their handguns.

But they were definitely heroin dealers, a fact provided by Houston’s own police who sent an informant there to make a purchase. What are the odds that these two guys in a house where they’re dealing drugs and packing heat were able to pass a background check? As in the lion’s share of cases, these criminals probably bought them on the black market or stole them. And if they were able to pass a background check somehow, then they still would have had the guns anyway.

And if that’s the case, calling for new restrictions on “assault rifles” and extended magazines or conducting more background checks wouldn’t have prevented those officers from being shot. Chief Acevedo should know better and stop playing to the gun control crowd using his own wounded officers as promotional material.