Reader Mark B writes:
OC seems to be a hot-spot in the anti/pro debate now. The Moms don’t have a problem with uniformed cops, and perhaps others in uniform, open-carrying. OCing-while-Uniformed doesn’t scare the hoplophobes. But we haven’t been asking the obvious question: What does a uniform prove? . . .
The St. Valentines massacre was perpetrated by gangsters dressed as cops.
For a long time we have heard reports of our servicemen being shot at by al Qaida wearing Afghani police or army uniforms.
Jihadis have begun attacks in the UK and Europe, sans uniforms; when will they refine their tactics by dressing in uniforms?
What’s to stop jihadis, criminals or crazies from murdering one or many while disguised in a uniform?
Coming to a theater of operations near you!
The obvious answer is: anyone impersonating a police officer would not long wander around any precinct in America before running the risk of being observed by a legitimate member of the local constabulary; who would immediately call him out. Does this answer hold water?
Anyone intent on murder need not “long wander around” in a uniform. All he needs to do is doff his cover (rain coat, van) and move swiftly to his target before encountering as a local cop. He will be able to walk by any security (in a mall, store or school) without question. A uniform will buy several minutes of opportunity to position himself before the first shot calls attention to the ruse.
There are three kinds of venues with respect to police patrols: sparsely populated, average populated, and densely populated. In a sparsely populated venue (rural areas) there are almost zero police per square mile. No local constable is likely to see and question the impostor. In the most densely populated, such as NYC, no police officer can presume to know all the other cops who might be assigned to his beat. An impostor is apt to be ignored.
In any case, why should an attacker risk impersonating a police officer? He might be much better off impersonating an armored-car company currier. Their uniforms aren’t particularly elaborate; fewer details to screw up. Local police are unlikely to presume to know all the curriers who work on their beat.
During the 25 years I lived in NJ I saw two non-uniformed OCers: one, a middle-aged police detective (a woman), and the other a young courier (also a woman). Neither attracted any attention from anyone in the vicinity.
I don’t see how the hoplophobes can take any comfort whatsoever from a uniform when observing an OCer in their presence. A uniform, whether that of a cop, private security guard or armored car courier, provides great cover for anyone intending to murder – especially mass-murder.
The question facing us is, how can we make this point effectively?
By way of illustration, how about an OC demonstration that illustrates the point? Clearly, no one should dare to dress in public in any reasonable facsimile of a police uniform nor that of a Brinks or Pinkerton employee. Nor should anyone OC where it’s against the law. That said, I don’t see why it would be illegal to dress in a costume of a 19th Century police officer.
So long as the uniform is clearly an out-of-date costume and doesn’t resemble the local officers’ uniforms I doubt that it would violate the law. Nor do I see why it would be illegal to dress in a uniform emblazoned with the name of a fictitious armored-car service, e.g., the “Miqui-Mustafa Payroll Services Co”. If a half-dozen paraders are dressed in a variety of antiquated police uniforms and armored-car service uniforms observers should get the point.
We wouldn’t have any impact on the antis, of course; our audience is the uncommitted observer. Once so exposed, the seed of doubt is planted in the uncommitted mind. “I saw these silly clowns parading around with their six-shooters; obviously, they were imposters. Yet, how can I be sure that Officer Friendly or the Brinks employee is legit?”
The next time such an uncommitted observer hears the antis ranting about OCers they will have to reconcile the message with the experience we have offered them. If the Antis’ reasoning is fallacious about OC, should the uncommitted mind be skeptical of the rest of the Antis’ messages?