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.