Gary Marbut, President of the Montana Shooting Sports Association, reckons his state’s cops don’t “get it” when it comes to private citizens arming themselves to the teeth. “It is a matter of record that too many members of professional law enforcement, especially administrators, simply do not trust citizens to be armed and enabled to defend themselves from criminal attack,” writes in ammoland. Quick aside. Does ammoland sound like something Disney should be investigating as a replacement for the lame post-modern irony of “Tomorrowland?” Also, a note to Internet-enabled journalists wishing to declare a social trend: either link-up or shut up. Now, Mr. Marbut’s sees The Treasure State police’s alleged antipathy to lawful gun owners from a sociological perspective. Of which I’ll share with you . . .
This unique perspective is influenced primarily by three factors:
- The clientele they deal with are not a cross section of the population. The people subject to their work are primarily ne’er-do-wells of one sort or another, conditioning some in law enforcement to grow to believe that anyone not a police officer and not in jail just hasn’t been caught yet committing his or her special crime.
- Their peer associations tend to be limited to their narrow circle of co-workers, so they don’t have the level of everyday exposure to usual citizens that those not in law enforcement have.
- Their mission has changed. The primary mission of the people hired to wear badges and guns used to be to keep the peace in the community, and to prevent the strong and mis-intended from preying on the weak. They were called “peace officers.” Their title has gradually changed and they have come to be called “law enforcement personnel.” Along with that change in descriptor has come a change in mission. Their primary mission has come to be enforcement of government edicts of one sort or another.
I happen to agree that culture eats strategy for lunch. The cops may mouth their support for private gun ownership, but their culture says we’re the best gunpowder gatekeepers. The police should be in charge of arming, training and policing private guns; in ways that encourage safety, responsibility and, yes, fraternity. Again, all I am saying, is give guns a chance.