Hypocrisy! Columbus City Council takes police away from residents to protect themselves

The words "cynical" and "selfish" come to mind. As does the word "hypocritical."

In a move typical of big city politicians who view themselves as more important than the plebeians they claim to serve, Columbus City Council members have gifted themselves armed police officers for personal protection.

These officers have not been added to the Columbus police force, but transferred from their job protecting ordinary citizens to their new job protecting individual council members.

From the Columbus Dispatch:

Columbus taxpayers will pay $315,314 per year to have three full-time city police officers assigned to a security detail to protect City Council members when they travel into the community for meetings, city events and to an unknown extent their personal outings at restaurants and performances.

They will join Mayor Andrew J. Ginther and Police Chief Elaine Bryant in having dedicated personal police protection. Bryant in 2021 became the first Columbus police chief to employ a security detail.

So while council members have been busy passing unconstitutional gun control laws in an effort to make it more difficult for lowly city residents to protect themselves, they simultaneously provide themselves with taxpayer-funded police officers for personal protection.

Was this in response to a specific threat? Not according to the Dispatch article:

City officials said the desire for a council security detail wasn't the result of any specific, recent threat to members.

In other words, council members just feel that the world can sometimes be a dangerous place and it's wise to consider security as you go about your business. Unfortunately, ordinary folks can't afford to hire a personal security team or make taxpayers foot the bill.

If this weren't insulting enough to all of us taxpaying nobodies, City Council President Shannon Hardin has suggested that this personal security detail makes citizens safe too:

"You know, safety is our top priority, and that means for everybody," Hardin said, noting that the officers will be tasked with protecting everyone at any crowded public events attended by council members.

I'm sure Columbus residents will be grateful to learn that taking officers off the street and having them accompany council members actually makes everyone safer. After all, why have them patrol crime-infested neighborhoods when they can stand next to council members as they give speeches, shop, or dine out?

Which is another way of saying, what's good for citizens, such as unburdened access to personal firearms, is dangerous. But what's good for council members, such as taxpayer-funded armed security, is a blessing for us all.

Dean Rieck is Executive Director of Buckeye Firearms Association, a former competitive shooter, NRA Patron Member, former #1 NRA Recruiter, and host of the Keep and Bear Radio podcast.

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