Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Why Are We Disarmed When No Laws Have Been Broken?


I find it interesting in our Country that it is often implied that if you are carrying a firearm and come into contact with law enforcement; you will be temporarily disarmed. You are disarmed so that the 'powers that be' may determine if you are allowed to possess the firearm. It is this action of determining that has been rattling around in my head for a while.

Let me make something clear. I understand that different States have different laws as to whether or not you need to inform an LEO if you are carrying a firearm. This type of contact during a traffic stop or something similar is not the scenario I'm necessarily referring too. (It may happen during this type of contact and is not diminished)

I'm referring to an instance when you may be openly armed (legally) whether inside or outside your home and law enforcement confronts you. Most times you will professionally be asked to hand over your firearm so that it can be checked for 'officer safety'. Other times you may have guns drawn upon you and brought to the ground. Either way the ambiguous term 'officer safety' is at play in both scenarios. Why do LEOs feel so impressed to disarm citizens that have not broken any laws?

I understand I have many LEOs in my readership and will be given a litany of reasons why this happens but I have yet to discern a clear reason. When I've asked the question to LEO friends several have mentioned we aren't living in a war zone so you shouldn't need to carry around a loaded weapon. I often remind them that even in a war zone several acting parties are not disarmed due to their proximity.

Let me see if I can contrast the above scenarios with another. While performing Route Clearance operations in Iraq we would take advantage of opportunities to interact with locals. Iraqis are allowed to posses rifles by the de facto nature of their Country. Whenever we were approached or did the approaching of Iraqis with rifles we would never ask to see their firearms to ensure their safety. Likewise, we would never force them to the ground and disarm them. Why? Because they have rights and it's seen as disrespectful to treat anyone in such a way. The reason we would interact with them was in the hopes to gain information on enemy movement and; like many Veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, we were always suspicious of locals.

Even with suspicions of folks that spoke a different language, in a foreign land and that were armed; we still would not disarm them for 'Soldier Safety'. Did we watch them like a dog watches a steak? Hell yes we did. The last thing we wanted to do was to take a local that was on the fence about us and shove him to the side of the enemy; so everyone is treated with respect. Is that the problem? Do the police not fear the citizens? I do not think there needs to be an element of fear involved (for their jobs or life's) in order to have an effective LEO. It would also; most likely, increase the 'us vs. them' mentality that many LEOs exhibit. Is it the 'us vs. them' theory that propagates the disarming of citizens?

I fear that my short essay in an attempt to answer a question has only made it more clear that I cannot answer it myself. What are your thoughts on this subject? Maybe together we can hash out the bedrock issue.

Please do not construe my sentiments above with some conspiracy to disarm the populace because that is not what I'm trying to address. The issue is about daily, temporary disarmament.


46 comments:

  1. I have never understood this either, and is seems to be a personal thing. One LEO I used to work with insisted that private citizens should not be allowed to own guns, only military/LE because they represented public interests instead of individual interests. I don't buy his public interest speech, since he also threatened to put a bullet in my brain if I adjust the thermostat in our office again. To me, he was just a bully who wanted a monopoly on power.

    While these bullies may be the minority, the community does not do a good job of sidelining these guys before they get themselves in trouble (excessive force, questionable shootings, etc.)

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    1. Who gives a Damn what these commies want.
      When you look at the SO called Criminal Justice Textbooks , LOL to become a Person who wants to help. Sorry.
      ALL you see is Karl Marx and Social Justice.

      You can wonder all you want, but Real Men and I can tell a Dozen stories about those who fear ( Males) and Great PO's ( MEN!!!) who knew you had the same rights and if not more than THEM.

      Rest in Peac Guys or enjoy you retirement.

      MY idea of safe is you gun in you Holster, match me.

      Delete
    2. Damn I need new glasses or No Dyslexia

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    3. They're going to flood the country with millions of illegal aliens with no criminal background checks or psyche evaluations. We have a welfare underclass that is breeding tens of thousands of gang members.
      And I'm supposed to be disarmed in order to make certain LEOs comfortable?

      Delete
  2. While I am on your side of this argument, I think you shot yourself in the foot on this one. Police say "we're not in a war zone, so you don't need to go armed around us," then you proceed to buttress their argument. But you do bring up a good point in saying that we deserve the respect Iraqis get, I suppose.

    Due process is the angle I'd take here. Freedom from unwarranted search and seizure, and all that.

    I'm definitely in the camp that says police powers have gotten out of hand in this country, and we could definitely use stricter, clearer guidelines restricting police powers. No, they shouldn't be able to disarm or challenge armed, law-abiding citizens at will, especially not on their own property.

    Then there's the 2nd Amendment, which everyone seems to take as a guideline; practically the whole country seems to take a wink-wink nudge-nudge interpretation of "shall not be infringed," while I take it for the clear language it is.

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  3. I have never understood this either, and is seems to be a personal thing. One LEO I used to work with insisted that private citizens should not be allowed to own guns, only military/LE because they represented public interests instead of individual interests.

    I regard people like that as un-American. Statism like that is un-American and unpatriotic, in my opinion. Unfortunately, people like this abound. I think they'd be more comfortable living in Germany, personally (Germans are natural authoritarians, in my experience, and that has not changed since the war).

    I tend to view gov't employees as parasites, and figure the least they could do is present a sense of humility, given the fact that they get paid out of the stolen fruits of my labors, instead of working for a living.

    I don't buy his public interest speech, since he also threatened to put a bullet in my brain if I adjust the thermostat in our office again. To me, he was just a bully who wanted a monopoly on power.

    While these bullies may be the minority, the community does not do a good job of sidelining these guys before they get themselves in trouble (excessive force, questionable shootings, etc.)

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    1. Now they are truly Parasitical and we are the Symbiotes.
      Years ago the Thin Blue Line did the Right thing ,Protect and Serve myself is their motto, Whiners there are exceptions to everything.

      Delete
  4. I don't buy his public interest speech, since he also threatened to put a bullet in my brain if I adjust the thermostat in our office again. To me, he was just a bully who wanted a monopoly on power.

    Whoops, I missed that part. You should have changed it to where you liked it again, then smashed it to pieces, lol. Sure, you'd have to pay for it, but it would have sent a pretty clear message to him, heh.

    And no, I don't think authoritarian types are in the minority in the police forces. I think they're in the majority. On the other hand, this fellow does seem to be in the minority of bad apples in the sense of being one of the unstable and pathological authoritarian types.

    I read somewhere recently that most cops are one of two types: those who were bullied in their youth, and want to be cops to put bullies in their place, and those who were bullies in their youth, and want to be cops to continue being bullies. Makes sense to me.

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    1. That's the case in 90% of law enforcement..

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  5. Texas Colt carryMay 7, 2013 at 3:26 PM

    Depends on the police dept leadership as well. Living in the DFW metroplex, we have lots of different towns all married together. The contrast between different departments is staggering. I have been pulled from my truck, handcuffed, searched, truck searched and then written a ticket for no left turn signal. That officer just stated it was done for his protection,,,,,,,, and I wasn't even armed or had a permit to carry back then. That was Dallas.

    I am now licensed to carry and do, always. A Mesquite officer lit me up and I presented permits, he simply told me "you don't show me yours and I wont show you mine", took my DL and ran it then came back and gave me a verbal warning for going a tad over the limit, speed wise, and was very professional and courteous. Nice guy. Never disarmed me, said he had no reason to when I asked him about it.

    I think department leadership has a lot to do with an officers action and attitude. You attitude towards any officer will also set the tone of your stop as well.

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    1. Texas Colt carryMay 23, 2013 at 11:02 AM

      "Why Are We Disarmed When No Laws Have Been Broken?"

      I should also add this, you would not have a contact with a LEO if there wasn't a law broken, no matter how small the infraction. Depending on how serious the infraction is also going to set the tone of a stop. That LEO doesn't know you, he just knows you broke the law he witnessed and doesn't know just how much further you will go in breaking the law.

      Delete
  6. I have been a Concealed Carrier with lawful permit for about 10 years in Texas and have been pulled over a few times in the past. As required by law, I produced by CC license along with my DL, pointed to the location of my HK in my vehicle, and it has always been positive thing, and usually initiating of a conversation as to the pistol that I had chosen to carry and my experiences in the quality and accuracy of it.
    I must also say that I was never given a ticket (speeding) and was very politely left to go on my way with a cordial goodbye, safe travels and a smile from the Officer.
    Whereas then, the officers seemed to believe that I was their back-up in a serious situation should I be needed, now the Officers seem to view US as a threat, AND THIS FOR THE MOST PART IS JUST PLAIN WRONG!
    This is new indoctrination and viewing us as the threat instead of the "ally" seems to have changed in the last 6 years or so, I believe under the current Justice Dept. initiatives of alienating gun owners and concealed carriers, by the criminal Eric Holder, and must stop.
    WE ARE THEIR ALLIES, but should they persist in their persecution of us, LEOs may just find us absentia if their asses need us to cover said "6".
    I would urge all LEOs to keep this in mind, next time they feel the need to go above and beyond their rightful process with a Concealed Carry permit holder.
    Chances are we are avid shooters, better handlers and more accurate in a "situation" than the fat duff doughnut eater colleagues that they look to for back up in times of crisis...

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    1. In our small town just outside of San Antonio our LE's all dress in black BDU's and come across as all bad-ass. But the Chief always looks like he just fell out of a tangled mess of clothes from a clothes dryer, and at least two of his officers are so large that if there ever were an emergency and they had to "haul ass", they would need to make two trips. They are the laughing stock of the town.

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    2. Lawful permit? As opposed to an unlawful permit?? You should say 'legal' permit, maybe. There is nothing lawful about having to ask permission to carry a weapon of self-defense. Don't play into their game. If you want to apply and pay for a permit, then fine. Just don't give further help and credit to a unconstitutional system by calling it lawful, because it is not.

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    3. NOT WRONG EVIL and Intentional

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  7. So far, no LEO's have responded. That is a shame. Like almost all CCP citizens, I have always been a strong supporter of the police. Have had several good friends who are cops as well. While I personally have never ever had a problem occur during a traffic stop. It does sometimes happen. I want to be on YOUR side. All we ask is to not be treated like felons.

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  8. If an officer feels he must disarm an legal and law abiding citizen "for his own safety", then clearly he is in the wrong line of work but stays on because he enjoys the power. It's truly a sad state of affairs where this country's gotten to.

    Matt

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  9. When a cop tells me, "...When I've asked the question to LEO friends several have mentioned we aren't living in a war zone so you shouldn't need to carry around a loaded weapon..."
    Then I'm going to ask them why they need to carry one as well. I carry for the same reason a cop does: to protect myself and others I love.
    As to the irrational fear they have of me shooting them, the easy way to not reach that point is to treat me with the respect they expect from me. "Don't pull your weapon on me, I won't pull mine on you." Simple solution to resolve their fears.
    Perhaps there's a good reason they're paranoid about someone pulling on them- like, they're acting like gestapo rather than peace officers.
    JSW

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  10. It is interesting to compare the unarmed UK police where it is thought that arming the police force would undermine the principle of policing by consent - the notion that the force owes its primary duty to the public rather than to the state as in other countries. Do do the police in America owe their allegiance to the state or the people?

    Interesting idea- Let's disarm the police. When they give up their weapons, I'll give up mine.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. FROM MY COLD DEAD HANDS , I never did care and never will what they give up.
      They want to give up something try their Exorbitant Pensions, IN the Lib areas.
      The more they make they more arrogant and parasitical they become.

      Commies all the way. Why do you think they will keep trying to disarm sheriffs?

      Delete
  11. You invite L.E. to comment, but look at the content of the invite again, objectively. Then others lament about why there are no L.E. responses. You mention the 2A and state that it is the law of the land and should be adhered to without exception. I agree. I believe everyone should be armed at all times without restrictions. We should start right now. It would take several years to thin the herd but eventually, everything would work itself out. If I were in charge, that’s the way it would be. And if I were at a gunshow or Tea Party rally on duty I would actually be quite at ease. But 99.9% of the time we are not at the gunshow or Tea Party rally. We are dealing with the general public. And if things were as you describe they should be, then there would be no problem really. And you all would have a great point. But that is just not reality. The reality is dropping you, as a L.E., in the middle of Disneyland and providing a loaded weapon to everyone entering the park. How would you feel in that scenario? Think about it. I mean really think about standing in the middle of the park and being surrounded by thousands upon thousands of armed people of the general public. Not the general public that we all wish existed but the general public that exists right now. Food for thought. By the way, I know of very few L.E. that resemble the jack booted thugs depicted in quite a few of the articles presented. But we are a urban and rural S.O. and not in the big cities. So I can only speak of what I know. Most of the L.E. I know are the good guys. If they were not, I would not associate with them. Semper Fi.

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  12. Your question.."Why do LEOs feel so impressed to disarm citizens that have not broken any laws?"

    Answer. Because they are a bunch of pussies hiding behind a badge.

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  13. Cops?! Just a bunch of gun and badge thugs that go around being bully-pussies. Most also disregard their oaths and therefore are also treasonous. So we now have "treasonous-bully-pussies."

    They, to the degree that they have violated their oaths, will have NO quarter with me and mine when the SHTF and I am not the only one. You gun and badge thugs should remember that the next time you aggress against somebody's Liberty, their Property or their Life--"following orders," and "it's the law" are not valid justifications.

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  14. If they are disarming people as SOP, they are NOT the good guys.

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  15. Semper Fi covered it. Look at all the anonymous posters calling names and seething with hate for any and all cops.

    Cops TEMPORARILY disarm people for their safety because you never know who is a nutjob and will take a shot at a cop for no reason.

    Granted most of these armchair commandos on here don't have to worry about getting shot going about their jobs flipping burgers day to day....but check the stats on how many cops get killed each year.

    You really don't want a rational discourse from leo's. Let me ask you this....if you owned a liquor store in the hood, would you be OK with allowing EVERYBODY and their brother to enter your store 24/7 with a gun on their hip????

    Think about it. The reality is the number of times LE temporarily disarms law-abiding citizens is very, very miniscule.

    I'll stop, as I know this is a pointless conversation....time to put the jack boots on anyway.

    RLTW

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    1. The question is not suppose to be disparaging. It is an exercise of comparing and contrasting experiences.

      Delete
    2. I know you won't answer this but maybe you will...When you have temporarily disarmed me and somebody comes by and starts shooting at us and I get killed are you going to pay for my family to survive and for all the pain and suffering you have caused them by disarming me when I needed it the most...Hell no you wont so take your snide remarks and shove them up your *ss ...

      Delete
    3. ".but check the stats on how many cops get killed each year."

      Those numbers are usually not even in the top 10 as far as most dangerous professions. Never mind that most cops die on "duty" for reasons that are their own fault. Heart attacks or poor driving.

      Delete
  16. "Cops TEMPORARILY disarm people for their safety because you never know who is a nutjob and will take a shot at a cop for no reason."

    For safety? If I was going to do a cop harm, I'd be ready and when he walked up to the car window, I would put a couple in his brisket. just below his vest. Instead, I leave my sidearm holstered and present my licence and registration. I am polite and I expect a little politeness in return. Disarming someone like me does nothing to enhance officer safety and a nutjob is going to do what they will.

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  17. If it is justifiable for a cop to disarm me because I "might" be a dangerous nut, am I not equally justified in demanding the cop disarm because he "might" be a rogue, a bully, or just a psycho with a badge? The logic cuts both ways. If you don't trust me, why should I trust you?

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  18. As a retired police officer after 28 years of service and a USMC veteran I believe the 2A gives every citizen the right to carry a firearm. I have encountered many armed citizens during traffic contacts and my response was you don't handle yours and I won't handle mine. I never had a problem with an armed citizen, in fact the few times I was in trouble it was an armed citizen who came to my assistance.

    Most LEO's are taught to take 'control' of a situation and many training academies train officers in a paramilitary manner. The usual result in my experience is an LEO who barks orders and commands to a citizen. Completely inappropriate in my opinion. There is also a definite US versus THEM belief that is instilled very early in the career, where officers are taught to view everyone as a potential criminal and threat until determined otherwise. I have always thought this was a wrong approach. The common habit by every LEO I have ever worked with or encountered of referring to all non-LEO's in negative verbiage (dirt-bags, a-holes and so on), only makes it easier to abuse them.

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    1. Then you were a peace officer instead of a police officer like 95% of them are..Thanks for your service...

      Delete
    2. Outstanding my friend and GOD BLESS, enjoy your retirement.
      Kevin

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    3. He is a MAN not a MALE big frigging DIFF!

      Delete
    4. It's really simple, my basic rule was to treat everyone how I would like to be treated in a similar situation. I'm not saying I was perfect at it, but I did (and do) respect the Constitution, the Bill of Rights and the oath I took.

      Delete
  19. Maybe cops should have to leave their gun in their cruisers when making traffic stops?

    http://digitaltexan.net/2013/austin-local-news/austin-police-shooting-traffic-stop/article53143/#.UYvs-ivfb6k

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  20. I was stopped for speeding while open carrying in Delaware a few years ago. The pistol was on the dashboard of my truck, as required by law. The state police officer never even mentioned it. Took my paperwork back to his cruiser, wrote me up for 5 miles over the limit and on my way.

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  21. I'm not a LEO. I have 2 friends that are. That bring said, I do legally carry a gun everywhere I go and have for the last 7 years. In that time I have had many interactions with the law enforcement community. Out of all those times I have been ordered from my car at gunpoint 4 times after identifying myself as being a valid ccw permit holder. Two were in jurisdictions known for being havens for thugs with badges. The other two were by rookies and when older more experienced officers arrived they apologized for their comrades actions.

    Not all cops are bad, I'd even go ado far as to say that most aren't. I don't blame roles for disarming me because I know what is drilled into them during their last week in academy as the go through scenario after scenario where real life officers have died in the line of duty. Most of them will calm down after a year or two. It's my job to show them that a legally armed citizen isn't a threat by showing them the respect one day I hope they'll deserve

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  22. And how many innocent citizens have been shot by LE due to "Bad judgement" or "You didn't do what I said so I shot you".

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  23. Hi all. I am a deputy in Fl. Let me say this. Citizens face the same threats as all leo's. They should be as well equipped as any leo, including swat. You face your situations for longer periods than I. Most times it takes me a good while to get to you and when I do I have instant backup. If citizens didn't face those risk then I would not be needed.
    Many times I have asked a citizen to assist in getting the cuffs on someone and have always thanked people for their help. Never have I disarmed a person unless I suspected them of being a principle. I always ask individuals to holster while I am in contact with them or ask them to make long guns safe. Many cops have had accidental discharges and all are human. Just my point and I do agree with the idea of your column. Those same tactics used in military should be used on street. I would not want to insult a potential friend or make an adversaries harder to deal with.

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    1. I am a CCW holder and carry 24/7. I am always under the assumption that when in the presence of another armed person, LEO or CCW holder, I agree not to open fire just as they agree not to open fire on me. Seems to be a no brainer except for people with small brains.

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  24. I am a CCW holder and ALWAYS carry. During a recent traffic stop (I may or may not have run a red light) I informed the officer that I was armed. It is not required to do so where I live, I felt it common courtesy. He was going to find out when he ran my name anyways because Nevada attaches CCW to DL's. Anyhow, his reply to me was, "You don't shoot me and I won't shoot you." To which I replied, "You've got a deal." We both had a good chuckle and that was that. I wish every LEO had this wonderful attitude towards armed citizens. Kudos to the Sparks Police officer who had me stopped. (Even though he still cited me)

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  25. DHS is filling there heads with FEAR, from the top down!

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  26. Brief background - I have worked LE in Texas, Colorado, and South Dakota.

    I have had many contacts with armed citizens (especially in Texas) and all of them have ended well. I couldn't even venture an estimate of the number of those contacts. I could probably count on two hands, with fingers left over, the amount of times I've disarmed someone for officer safety purposes. This includes legal firearms, tire irons, pocket knives, and walking sticks.

    Without getting too in-depth, some possible insights as to why you may be disarmed:

    Nature of the contact - is this a stop to tell you your stop lamp is out or does the officer suspect something more than a petty offense (ie: drugs, alcohol, serious misdemeanor/felony-level crimes)

    Demeanor of the individual - respectful and courteous or argumentative, red-faced, balled up fists; attitude is important

    Also, please realize that LE is sometimes responding to a legal CCW because another citizen does not know the law, calls 911, and gives a vague "Oh my god! He's brandishing a pistol in front of my house!" description. By the time a LEO receives the information it's already gone through one, two, or even three, parties and chances are it's been watered down or misrepresented. It's our job to arrive on scene, determine if there's a crime being committed, and respond appropriately. If the circumstances dictate temporarily disarming a legal CCW citizen while the facts are sorted out, so be it.

    As far as RTB's route clearance in Iraq story... Not having performed that duty, I am going to have to make a few assumptions when I compare it to my experience with domestic LE operations. These assumptions are that you were in full armor, had superior/equal numbers, superior/equal firepower, and were in a tactically advantageous position. You gain some leeway in dealing with armed individuals with those types of advantages. From my personal experience working LE I am almost always at a tactical disadvantage. It can be my position on the side of a busy highway. Or the number of individuals in the vehicle. Or the fact that my nearest back-up is an hour away on a 45 mile long 4x4 road (not hyperbole). A temporarily seized weapon is one less variable to account for in a largely unknown encounter. And I agree with RTB that fear of citizens should not be necessary in LE work. LEOs should not be afraid of citizens; LEOs are citizens. Personally, just about the only person I am apprehensive about (not fear) is the one who actually believes I have a robin's egg blue helmet and spit-shined, knee-high boots sitting in my locker.

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    1. Well stated and thank you for your insight.

      Delete
  27. As others have stated, the "officer safety" crap just doesn't fly. I own a gun store & am friends with most of the police in our small town.
    I was standing beside a police car talking to the officer with my 1911 on my hip(like I usually carry when going to/from work) when a state trooper pulled up behind his car. My back was turned towards him & the officer was venting to me about his neighbor ticking him off.
    Suddenly, I feel a hand trying to jerk my firearm out of my holster(since I use an ITAC, it didn't move), So I smashed my elbow back into the face of the person attacking me. Yep, the dumb-ass trooper heard tone of voice, not words, and assumed I was escalating the situation with the officer.
    Broke his nose & he tried to charge me but the officer backed me up 100%. Gotta love the good ones as much as you hate the bad ones.
    SteveA

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