Badges? Badges?! We don’ need no steekin’ BADGES! (Come on…you would have been disappointed if I didn’t.) Yep. You see a lot of weird, wild, off-beat stuff here at the NRA Confab. And this product is on the list. A badge that looks just like the real ones, except this says something about “Concealed Handgun License.” Um. Okay. But having a badge and using a badge are two different things. So let’s say you’ve got one. NOW what?
Okay, let’s assume you have a badge. Let’s assume you’ve just been in a life-or-death situation and you had to use your gun. Let’s assume the bad guy is dead, you’re alive, called the police, and they are on their way. Now let’s assume that you pull your badge when the police arrive. I see three possible scenarios:

  1. The LEO guys see your badge, ignore your gun, and assume you’re on the job, approach you like the would a fell0w-officer, and you get to explain what happened. They realize you’re the good guy, and everything is hunky-dory.
  2. The cops don’t see your badge, but have tunnel-vision on your gun. They assume you’re the bad guy, what with a dead body lying there and all, and help you to assume room temperature, air conditioning your bod with enough holes to ensure a permanent dirt nap.
  3. The cops see your badge, but once they find out you’re NOT a cop, they get royally pissed and beat the ever-lovin’ snot outta you for having the cojoñes to try and con them.

In a perfect world, you might – MIGHT – luck and and live through scenario #1. I think it’s far more likely that you’ll see a visit from scripts number 2 or 3, neither of which is a life plan that I’d consider.

So if you’re not gonna use it after a gunfight, when would you use it? If you’re like me (a big fan of shiny things, official-looking gear, and other stuff I don’t need/shouldn’t have) you’ll be flipping it out and saying things like “Book ’em, Dano!” Only that can get you arrested for impersonating an officer.

Which leaves us with…what? I mean, what possible use is this thing? I dunno. But it does look cool.

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19 Responses to NRA Convention: Badges? Badges?!

      • If you never claim to be a cop, and you don’t wave the badge around. I dont think it would be a problem. The badge is not to show cops as much as a way to assure people that you are not about to shoot them.

  1. Brad Kozak says: “But it does look cool.”

    No, it looks like a fake badge, and it indicates that the wearer is a dork. He will surely be regarded by intelligent people as some kind of junior G-man, a cop wannabe nutcase. Most everywhere in the USA, it is a serious crime to present or expose a police-style badge and in any way suggest or even allow the assumption that it denotes authority. It’s called impersonating a peace officer and in my state it’s a felony.

    Brad, your three scenarios are breathtakingly naive. Please tell me you aren’t serious. It’s hard for me to fathom that this would even begin to look like a good idea to a grown man. To me, these badges reinforce every negative impression there is about citizen handgun carriers.

    • It’s impersonating a police officer* if you’re out impersonating a police officer. Just having a badge isn’t impersonating a police officer. You could clip a Junior Rangers badge on your gun belt and walk around with it. If some dumb shit assumes you’re a cop, well, that’s his mistake, not yours.

      Having said that: Yes. Anybody who thinks buying themselves a fake badge makes them part of some exclusive club where they get to walk around and act like dicks to people with impunity** is a serious wannabe, is in need of some serious soul searching, and probably a little professional help from the local shrink wouldn’t hurt, either.

      * I refuse to call them “peace officers”. There may have been some time in a long away yesteryear where that title applied. No more. I tend to think of them more as an occupying army, but that’s another discussion.

      **That is what cops do, right? They make a living out of ruining other peoples’ days/lives? That and drawing chalk outlines where bodies get found. And occasionally catching a murderer or serial rapist or something. Mostly, though, they just lurk around the freeways and wait to hand out speeding tickets. Because people going too fast is the number one problem plaguing our cities these days.

    • “Most everywhere in the USA, it is a serious crime to present or expose a police-style badge and in any way suggest or even allow the assumption that it denotes authority”

      So when am I going to see TSA goons, also known as _A_irport _S_ecurity _S_creeners arrested and hauled off?

  2. I’ve seen these before. It looks bad all around. I’m sure they’re cheapies made in China. I think impersonating an officer is a likely charge if you flash this thing. It starts to build the bridge from responsible citizen to vigilante.

  3. The purpose of the badge is for responding officers to not fire immediately on seeing a man with a gun, i.e. assess situation before using force. These were first marketed and sold in the 90’s as a result of off duty and plainclothes officers being shot (friendly fire) when CCW laws were being passed around the country. How else can you communicate you may be a good guy in 5 seconds or less?

  4. “Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, the defendant was walking around with a gun and a badge. He didn’t feel threatened, he felt like Dirty Harry. He wasn’t trying to defend himself against these poor, defenseless young men, he was itching to kill a bad man. You should convict him of murder.”

    Sorry, we don’t need no stinkin’ badges.

  5. Magoo. Let me introduce you to a literary technique we writing pros refer to as sarcasm

    As to my “breathtakingly naive” scenarios, how exactly can a scenario be naive? A belief in a scenario certainly could be. But a scenario in and of itself could not. If you’re gonna bust my balls over semantics, Magoo, the least you could do is to deride with precision.

    I thought it was pretty clear in my post that I think these are ridiculous and a screamingly bad idea for anyone to carry. Yet they must sell a butt-load of ’em, otherwise they would not be taking up valuable space in a booth at the NRA show. The ONLY thing I think could possibly make them useful would be if you wore one on your belt, making someone who got a peek at your concealed gun think “oh, it’s a plainclothes cop,” as David B suggested. And that’s (IMHO) pretty thin, and opens you up to an impersonation rap.

    So, no I don’t plan on buying one at the NRA show. Nor do I plan on wearing a shirt that reads “SHOOT ME FIRST,” which, I suspect, would have much the same effect.

  6. Magoo and naive seem to fit if used in the same sentence… Oh well, could not resist.

    As far as the badge goes… about the only way it could be realisticly used(though one would have to be in a CCW friendly area) is if it was a decent badge that actually had your CCW license # on it and even then I have doubts…

  7. Badges? Badges?! We don’ need no steekin’ BADGES! (Come on…you would have been disappointed if I didn’t.)

    This being the Internet and all, I’d have gone with this reference instead:

    Badges, badges, badges, badges, badges, badges, badges, badges, badges, badges, badges, badges, mushroom, mushroom!

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