A lot of talk has taken place around the shooting community over the last twenty years or so on the change in public participation in such activities growing up - the number of people who have any exposure to firearms, shooting sports, or military service.
Well I'm in the middle of observing that whole trend this week, helping to teach the new academy on our range. Out of the group, about 40% of them have never fired a weapon before, or only once before. Another 30% has very minimal exposure, and the final 20% of them have prior military or law enforcement experience. Some of the new ones are enthusiastic and putting forth good effort to learn, while others are less than stellar...
My point with all this though, is that it used to be that a lot of cops were, if not gun enthusiasts, at least somewhat active shooters. They were familiar with firearms, comfortable with them and viewed going to the range as a fun chance to shoot free ammo. These days qualification courses are a chorus of "Why do we have to do that? I don't want to sweat/get dirty/challenge myself." whining. In my estimate probably a third of our department is uncomfortable with, and barely competent with their handguns. I hate to say it, but it's true & a trend I hear from other agencies.
Which leads me to the thoughts of how this has affected our police/society interaction as a whole. The number of "cops" I have met or have heard speak who are OPPOSED to armed citizens disgusts me. Same thing for the number who support weapons bans, similar to NYC or DC's. They have taken their own fears and discomforts (brought in from their prior experiences and closed minds), and transferred them to what others are doing... Additionally, many are very ignorant on the very gun laws they so vigorously seek to enforce upon others. They don't know what is legal or isn't, and when it is or isn't - but they want to arrest people for violating these rules?
Well, in my time working as a cop, I have dealt with plenty of gun incidents - and out of all that I have arrested exactly ONE person with a legally purchased, legally carried firearm for a gun offense - and he was drunk when he did it. Well hell, alcohol and guns don't mix no matter how legal you are... On the other hand I have dealt with countless armed citizens who were polite, law abiding and gave me no problems or concerns at all - I've even gone out of my way to answer weapons/law related questions when I'm asked, to make sure they keep that right even when the system thinks they can "take" it away. In my belief we need to be doing everything we can to encourage armed, trained and safe citizens throughout our country.
Folks, as so many have said before, if you call for me in the middle of the night because you're being attacked, raped, killed or anything else I will do my damnedest to get there and help you. But unless I'm already right outside your door, the odds are the situation will be over before I can get there, and all we can do is pick up the pieces...
anyway, just my random thoughts from today on the whole thing...
Just a few ramblings from a confused guy. Former military, former cop. Husband. Father. Student. Role playing gamer, on intermittent weeks. Avid reader. Internet addict. Small "l" libertarian. Too many others to mention. The views and opinions expressed herein are my own, and do not reflect those of any official agency or government or species. Names have been changed to protect the guilty; God protects the innocent as a matter of course.
“May have been the losing side. Still not convinced it was the wrong one.”
"This report is maybe 12-years-old. Parliament buried it, and it stayed buried till River dug it up. This is what they feared she knew. And they were right to fear because there's a whole universe of folk who are gonna know it, too. They're gonna see it. Somebody has to speak for these people. You all got on this boat for different reasons, but you all come to the same place. So now I'm asking more of you than I have before. Maybe all. Sure as I know anything I know this, they will try again. Maybe on another world, maybe on this very ground swept clean. A year from now, 10, they'll swing back to the belief that they can make people . . . better. And I do not hold to that. So no more running. I aim to misbehave." ~ Captain Malcom Reynolds
Tuesday, January 8, 2008
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