A reader who wishes to remain anonymous writes:
I was watching Fox News the other day and saw a story about a cop in the northeast helping some kids fix a bike. I became a bit irritated, thinking to myself, “This is news?” What the officer did was good, don’t get me wrong. I became irate because growing up, my dad did these things all the time. I never thought twice about it. After seeing that story, I saw videos of funeral procession for the officer in Shreveport who was killed in the line of duty. All I know is he was responding to a domestic violence call, a bad guy with a gun. Then a headline about an officer-involved shooting elsewhere. I read the article, it turned out to be nothing about the shooting, but the alleged epidemic of police shootings . . .
Growing up as the son of a cop, I always knew he was a good guy with a gun. He also preached that the only good form of gun control is the four rules every gun owner should already know. He was always prepared for any situation. On patrol, he carried and was proficient with his Beretta 96, his Remington 870 and his Bushmaster AR-15. He carried a copious amount of ammo. This was not in the interest of intimidation, control or provocation…his beat was almost 500 square miles and backup could be hours way. Going black on ammo is no way to lose a gunfight. He had a wife and kids at home that relied on him.
My dad worked swing shifts, from roughly 1600-0200. I did not have the opportunity to traditionally greet my father at the end of the day. It became routine for me to wake up and walk to the garage to make sure his truck was there before I did anything. This may sound irrational, but every time I opened that door, I had my own celebration. Families of law enforcement officers may identify with me.
I admired my fathers work, although he expressed his distaste for the bureaucracy of working in a government institution, he used it as motivation to do the best he could for the people he served. My admiration led me on a separate path; to a an organization that is equally bureaucratic. I joined the Army. I wanted to be a Paratrooper. I wanted to lead soldiers into Combat. I did. I was a good guy with a gun.
In the eight years I have been in the Army, I have been near death in training and combat, to include being awarded the Purple Heart while in Afghanistan. My father retired a year ago. In thirty-two years of protecting life and property, he drew his firearm on countless occasions, but he never took a life. Up until the day he retired, I lived with the fear that the garage door would open and his truck would not be there.
I am one of the lucky ones.
I see a lot of people on these blogs that have no affiliation to police or the military other than maybe having a bad experience. Or the “Well… I know a guy” types. I see a lot critics and opinions on what they would do and refer to cops as “gangs with badges”.
People ask me all the time, what would you do? I don’t know if it’s a trap to get me to say something out of line. I don’t know if it’s because they think my training makes me more qualified than civilian or police good guys with guns. I say, I don’t know what I would do. All I say is, “My mom taught me to never judge a book by its cover. My dad taught me discretion and to make every round count.” The good guys with a gun who I know, who have stopped bad guys with guns more than once, would agree…no situation is equal or outcome the same.
I don’t care if you are a tough guy or gal on social media or a blog. That is your Firstst Amendment right. I’m glad we have blogs like TTAG to help preserve the Second Amendment.
But before you start criticizing the officer or the institution, put yourself in my shoes. Remember, while America is celebrating the viral video of an officer doing a good deed, mourning an officer killed in the line of duty, outraged because a possible bad egg made the wrong decision, someone somewhere is making sure the truck is in the garage.
– The Son of a Cop