Many of the anti-rights cultists tout how police officers are the only one’s who should be anointed with the ability to carry a firearm. They claim this comes from numerous factors including their extensive training, self-control, and their general infallibility.
The training argument will be ignored today with the exception of the following comment.
Many civilians receive equal if not better training through their own funding. Many civilians spend more on ammunition in a month that many officers will in their entire career. The assumption that a police officer is some how magically more qualified by training is false. Not to mention the fact that training has no bearing on the exercise of a Constitutionally protected inalienable right. No one has to attend a training class before they can exercise their right of free speech.
The argument about their general infallibility has been covered quite well in the state sponsored criminal count. This list doesn’t even focus on the incidences where officers have been caught and convicted, but centers around officers getting away with illegal or being provided unfair treatment under the law.
So instead this article is going to focus on self-control. Numerous incidents have occurred as of late illustrating that police are human and their position does not provide them a magical exemption that alters their behavior from that of the human condition.
*Note nothing in this article should be construed as my being anti-law enforcement. There are many officers who do an upstanding job and are quite commendable. My goal through this article is to illustrate that there should not be a duality in law to differ between someone who works as a civilian in law enforcement and a normal law abiding citizen.
Where does this idea come from?
Often we hear the anti-rights cultists claim that only law enforcement should be allowed to carry or own firearms. The claims provided previously coupled with the mistaken belief that the police are some how above a common citizen mix to create a serious problem. Those ideas mix to provide an unrealistic definition of what a law enforcement officer is. They combine together to destroy the idea that the officer is fallible, capable of making mistakes, or otherwise a human being.
When their want of their initial claim for total disarmament fails they instead extend restrictions on the right.
Exempted classes aren’t special.
Many of the anti-rights crowd call for banning carrying into establishments that serve alcohol. Never mind the fact that it is illegal to carry a firearm while drinking alcohol. Where with driving there is a limit, no limit exists with regards to carry. A single drink renders you unable to carry legally until your liver has finished it’s job. What this does do is disarm the designated driver, or someone who hops into a bar to visit with friends just for a bite to eat. Just because you visit someplace that has the ability to serve liquor, doesn’t mean you’re going to drink it.
Cops however can make poor judgment calls while off duty. An officer in Gatlinburg assaulted two people while off duty, thankfully in this incident he left his service weapon at home. There was also an incident where an off duty police officer assaulted someone in a bar because the channel on the TV was changed. However one should not ignore other incidents where officers while off duty have carried into bars, legally, and the worst nightmare of the anti-rights cultists came to pass.
Baltimore homicide detectives have completed an initial inquiry into Saturday’s fatal shooting by an off-duty police officer of an unarmed man outside a Mount Vernon nightclub, and a decision on criminal charges rests with prosecutors who plan to repeat interviews with key witnesses over several days.
The victim in that case was disarmed as the law required allowing that law enforcement officer his selection of disarmed victims. Just as it works with any other victim disarmament policy. As the assailant in this case was also a police officer, it was left from their inclusion in their “gun death” metric.
Moving forward though the question around bars and alcohol though doesn’t just include off duty officers. There have been instances where officers, while on duty, have assaulted people, and then falsely accused their victims. In cases where the officers were on duty, they are also carrying their service weapons.
There have been instances where officers are dunk on the job, or drunk on their way to work. In the latter instance, putting on the uniform of a police officer does not magically render you sober. While certainly this is in the outside boundary it illustrates that police are human. The act of wearing the uniform does not provide them magical powers regarding firearms, alcohol, and proper social behavior.
What about emotional stress?
Another favorite amongst the anti-rights crowd is that carry will result in blood in the streets. With shootouts occurring over parking spaces, increases in domestic violence, and any other type of social activity where people can become agitated.
The idea that cops are invulnerable from this type of behavior is quite disturbing. Just look at instances such as Officer Roid Rage, the Atlanta PD officer who’s more unstable than nitro-glycerin, the off-duty cop in Philadelphia who shot someone over a parking spot, or the following group of incidents that will now be dissected that started this blog post.
The first involves not just one but two police officers.
According to the sheriff’s department, Cortez was having an argument with Officer Senovio Elizondo when she broke his car window with her night stick. He then allegedly did the same to her car, and that’s when deputies say Cortez began chasing Elizondo with her handgun.
It ends up this was not only an argument between coworkers, but they were living together. It was a domestic disturbance that overflowed into their work, which has both of them armed.
The second incident is a standard domestic dispute.
Police said Brown told his girlfriend to go to the basement. When he told her, according to police reports, that he “was not afraid to die” and he “would shoot any police officer that came to the location,” she pretended to comply with his instructions, then ran outside to call for help.
Domestic migrated from physical, to full out confrontational. Again emotion was the root cause.
Obviously police officers can suffer from this type of emotional distress just like anyone else. And the belief that disarmament make everyone safer is down right false.
So how are the two groups different?
The bottom line is neither group is different from the other. Each side suffers from the same stresses and human tendencies. We know relative to the general population that those with a concealed weapons permit are considerably more law abiding that the general population.
Trying to perform this comparison though is considerably harder within law enforcement. Statistics for law enforcement as a whole are not tracked well. While just looking at the New Orleans police department placed a corruption rate of 15% amongst officers, this is by no means a representative sample of all of law enforcement. Trying to get a solid comparison between the two will be difficult due to changes in demographics and freedom the police have.
What can be blatantly seen is though is that officers are in fact human. They are capable of the same errors, and mistakes that any other human being is. Officers are in fact civilians like the rest of the general public.
In 1829, Sir Robert Peel created the Metropolitan Police when he served as Home Secretary of England. According to Peel, the real key for policing is “the police are the people and the people are the police”.
(Emphasis mine.) Given those facts, along with the smattering of incidents that show it is not lawful concealed carriers that we need to be concerned about, we must wonder why the anti rights crowd continues to insist that it’s for our safety. Obviously given the facts and the evidence, safety has absolutely nothing to do with, if anything it’s solely about control.
That control is important considering many of their supporters wish the gun culture and other law abiding citizens harm. Anyone that tells you that police are a special case and should be granted particular rights and privileges exempt from the law abiding public is nothing more than wanting a group of elitists to create their “vision” of
Barron is the owner, editor, and principal author at The Minuteman, a competitive shooter, and staff member for Boomershoot. Even in his free time he’s merging his love and knowledge of computers and technology with his love of firearms.
He has a BS in electrical engineering from Washington State University. Immediately after college he went into work on embedded software and hardware for use in critical infrastructure. This included cryptographic communications equipment as well as command and control devices that were using that communications equipment. Since then he’s worked on just about everything ranging from toys, phones, other critical infrastructure, and even desktop applications. Doing everything from hardware system design, to software architecture, to actually writing software that makes your athletic band do its thing.