Police Chief Comments pull E’ville into gun debate

Published On March 1, 2013 | By Rob Arias | Crime & Public Safety, News & Commentary, Politics

Seems like EPD police chief Ken James has ruffled some feathers in the gun enthusiast community with his recent “A Gun Is Not a Defensive Weapon” comment. This is a story that I thought may go away but it seems to have created quite a bit of internet chatter from the gun lobby and right-wing internet sources. In fact the Emeryville Tattler has exposed the circulation of an anonymously authored petition to have the recently honored chief fired. The petition has so far garnered less than 100 signatures. It’s unknown if any of these signatures are actual Emeryville residents. It’s pretty rare that our little town makes the national media spotlight but the topical conversation of gun-control has put anyone who speaks in favor of it at the ire of the pro-gun community. Right Wing media sources like The Blaze have gone on the offensive against James questioning his logic and the comments directed at him have not been kind.

“One issue that always boggles my mind is that the idea that a gun is a defensive weapon,” James said speaking during a press conference promoting stricter gun laws in California. “That is a myth. A gun is not a defensive weapon. A gun is an offensive weapon used to intimidate and show power, Police officers don’t carry a gun as a defensive weapon to defend themselves or their other officers. They carry a gun to be able to do their job in a safe and effective manner and face any oppositions we may come upon.”

James was promoting what he referred to as “reasonable regulations” which include a ban on semi-automatic rifles, high-capacity magazines and universal background checks. James is also the chairman of the Police Chief Association’s Firearms Committee.

Emeryville itself has relatively low gun-violence levels, but we are all too familiar with the impact guns have had in the surrounding community of West Oakland. In fact, they have recently installed ShotSpotter to triangulate the location of gunfire and theoretically shorten response times.

If I’ve learned anything from being a Facebook citizen, gun control is a very passionate subject and can lead to a very emotional reaction from people. Any comment made in favor of gun-control will place you in their figurative crosshairs. The lightly trafficked EPD Facebook Fanpage found this out and has in fact had to moderate comments. An Admin warning stating “Just a reminder to our friends and visitors. We welcome healthy discussions on our FB page. However, taunting and rants have no place here. This forum is a way for us to try to keep in touch with our residents and give them updates on what’s going on. Any abuse will result in the ban of those who wish to use this page as a propaganda tool.” was recently posted in response to the apparent spike in traffic and inflammatory commenting. | More on TheWashingtonTimes.com →

About The Author

is a third generation Californian and East Bay native who moved to Emeryville in 2003. A new parent in the community, he can often be seen walking his French Bulldog rescue "Fiona" around his Park Avenue District neighborhood, traversing the greenway on his bike or enjoying his favorite Emeryville small businesses. Rob's "day job" is as a creative professional.

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