Friday, October 22, 2004


"I work for a major Sheriff's Department in southern California. I am a non-sworn public officer, which means I carry a gun on duty and perform most of the same tasks that sworn deputies do. I am supervised by and work closely with police officers from my own department and other agencies in the L.A. area. You must understand that there is definitely an elitist attitude amongst many police officers. While I share your sentiments regarding my respect for police and the tough job they (we) do, I can provide a unique perspective on the us vs. them mind-set which most police share.

I have been trained to the exact same level as sworn personnel when it comes to arrest and firearms. I have to qualify and maintain proficiency with my weapons just like the sworn personnel. I have been in many situations where I have had to use my weapon to affect an arrest. I have been in fights and I have taken many felony suspects to jail. However I am considered a wanna-be, rent-a-cop in my department. The average citizen does not realize just how low they are in the food chain in the mind of many cops. Almost every agency looks at other agencies as inferior. Hell, even in my own department, if a deputy did field training at a slow station they are immediately dismissed as inexperienced and sub-standard. If your a federal police officer, a county safety police officer, or any one of the many police designations in L.A County which are not working the mean streets, you are nothing in the eyes of the elite cops. If the cops think other cops are losers, how do you think they see you?

Although I and many of my fellow officers have used our departmentally issued firearms in the line of duty to effect arrests of violent felons, we are required to lock-up our weapons every night before going home. I and my partners are prohibited from carrying concealed weapons off-duty. Most of my fellow officers work in extremely violent neighborhoods, yet we are forced to travel home unprotected. I know exactly how the average citizen in California feels.

Although we have fought for the right to carry concealed we are always denied on the basis that we are not sworn and really have no need to be armed. No different from the accountant or the cook in the eyes of the law. Yet politicians, judges, attorneys and the high profile people somehow merit the protection of a CCW.

I know that police officers have to maintain a level of awareness and suspicion when encountering the public during the course of their duty. But I also know first-hand that cops see you and even me, as the enemy. I have even heard officers say that they are glad that the general public can't carry guns, because what fun would it be if everyone could carry. It truly saddens me when I see a police officer confiscate and either arrest or cite-out for a misdemeanor an otherwise law abiding citizen, caught with a handgun in their vehicle or on their person. To be put through the legal system just for wanting to make it home safely every night is immoral. My Sheriff's department badge and civilian I.D. won't get me a cup of coffee at local police station let alone out of trouble if I attempted to carry off-duty. The attitude in CA law enforcement is that only (sworn) police carry guns. Everyone else needs to dial 911.

Now I'm certainly not accusing every police officer of this attitude. And there is a percentage who are pro-CCW for civilians. But I am pointing out that it permeates the majority of the law enforcement community here. And is not helped by the liberal political hacks.

In my opinion law enforcement suffers from the mis-conception that they are truly protectors of the public. While most would like this to be true, it just isn't. We will only rarely stop a crime in progress. Anti-gun elitist politicians prop-up law enforcement officers as god-like heroes who are so well trained, that the average citizen could never hope to match their ability to thwart criminal attack. You must be joking! The average police officer can barely re-qualify each tri-mester at my department. I know private security guards who are more proficient and train harder with their firearms than veteran cops. And I'm not exaggerating. People need to speak-up and take back their right to self-defense through the second amendment. Until then we are all at the mercy of the criminals who are enabled by the out of touch members of our legislature."

More here

Gun permit rules open to interpretation: "The U.S. Air Force trained Maj. Dave Panzera how to fire machine guns, and has certified him to carry a gun at work since 1985. Oklahoma, Florida and Arkansas all let him carry a pistol anywhere he went, issuing a concealed weapon permit in no time at all. But New York was different. Despite his military service and training, the 38-year-old father of five had to prove to this state that he's an upstanding citizen before he could have a gun. ... Panzera did get a permit to own and carry a handgun in New York -- all he had to do was pick the right county. After being denied a 'full carry' permit in Saratoga County, he moved to Schoharie County, where the law is interpreted differently."

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