John Moritz (courtesy moritzassociates.com)

“Most times citizens are going to be best served and best protected by calling trained law enforcement officers whenever they feel their lives or property are in danger.” – Combined Law Enforcement Associations of Texas Spokesman John Moritz, quoted in  Texas Gun Police Chief, Others Urge Citizens to Arms Themselves [via Associated Press]

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68 Responses to Quote of the Day: Danger? Texas Lawman Reckons You’re Best Served By Calling the Police

  1. The part I argue with is “whenever”. If you have the option of letting the cops deal with it you should. The problem is when events are unfolding in a way (e.g. too quickly to summon help or before help can arrive) that you are no going to have the option of letting them handle it.

  2. This is the fault of the idiots who buy or sell the signs saying “We don’t dial 911,” as if the phone and the gun were mutually exlusive modes of self-defense. Obviously, if you can avoid having to draw your weapon by calling the police, you’d dial 911. Obviously, once you’ve drawn your weapon to neutralize the threat, you dial 911 (even if no shots are fired).

    • I respectfully disagree. Never call the cops unless there’s a body or a detainee. If you must call the cops, call a lawyer first. The cops are not your friends.

      • OK, there’s still no dichotomy between calling 911 or calling the police. If the police aren’t your friends, then you’d rather call them before the situation escalates. Easier to explain that you felt threatened and dialed 911, than to explain a body, or a habeas corpus situation.

    • 23 years of martial arts training.
      18 years as a self defense instructor
      Infantry veteran
      Ugly as sin

      But yeah, some 23 year old kid with a badge and six months of training is better suited to defend my life for me.

    • Do you have more training than the bad guys lawyers? The DA that try to make you the next George Zimmerman?

      If a simple 911 call averts all the crap that can come from a dgu, why not? You’ll still have your gun available if the situation escalates before the police show up.

      • Yeah, jwm, except the guy that gets to carry a gun into places we could only dream about does not make that distinction.

        He does not say, “yes, all law abiding citizens, (that have proven themselves to be more law abiding than us, “the only ones” , that have shown themselves to not shoot the wrong guy less often the We, “the only ones” , that should have the same right to carry in all the same the places that We, “the only ones” are able to carry a firearm) should do their best to not engage a a bad guy doing bad things unless the bad guy(s) are committing (mass)murder, then do your best to save as many lives until, We, “the only ones” eventually show up to draw the chalk lines around the bloody bodies on the floor.

        “For everything else, when no one is in immediate threat of losing their lives, then by all means, observe, report, but do not engage”

        No, the only thing that he, “the only one” essentially is saying is that we, the subjects, should just wait, and die, until the “only ones” eventually shows up to draw chalk lines around the bloody bodies on the floor.

      • I feel bad when I only hit the range 2 or 3 times in a month, generally to the tune of a couple of hundred rounds each session. Even given that, I’m finding the experience a bit lacking, since there are few ranges in the DFW area that allow you to draw and fire from the holster or do move and shoot scenario shooting. Punching holes in a stationary paper target is fine for learning the hold over point and building familiarity with the trigger feel on any given handgun, but not that great for simulating a darkened hallway in the middle of the night, or a lonely parking garage, or any of the countless other defensive scenarios where one might have to draw, aim, and potentially fire their handgun at another human being.

    • Good question. Let me ask you one. What if Bob109 is just one person and not all “citizens” as referenced by the officer?

      For every bad ass Bob109, there are plenty of unable and/or unwilling people who really should just call the police.

      That has nothing to do with you exercising your rights, of course. It’s simply an acknowledgement that not everyone is equally able to defende themselves. Hell, even the POTG concede that, even celebrate that, by arming themselves with firearms rather than go hand-to-hand. Well, that’s a degree of defense assistance. Others prefer an additional degree of assistance in having someone else wield that firearm on their behalf. That someone else could be the person’s spouse, their adult child, or the local police.

  3. It’s not that I wouldn’t plan to call the police; its the time in between the call and when they arrive that I’m concerned about

    • Interesting. It is the time between my noticing I’m in trouble and my having the opportunity to make that call that concerns me. As in, when the knife or gun comes out, I am NOT reaching for my phone. In many circumstances I can imagine, I would then never make that call, just reholster and walk away. If I hear noises outside my house, OTOH, I will be happy to call 911 and stay inside until the cops have assured my safety. I don’t plan to LOOK for trouble.

      As an aside, has anybody else noticed that the edit function actually seems to work the way it should? The last few days have me holding my breath.

      • LarryinTX, if you do have to brandish your firearm to deter a threat from another person, and said person suddenly gains 100 IQ points and decides to turn tail and run, you should definitely call 911 once it’s safe to do so. The reason being is to get a time stamped, legally admissable piece of evidence showing that you were in fear of harm so that in case said scumbag, after changing their skivvies, decides to call 911 and report you as an aggressor in retaliation.

        That being said, I suppose a body camera, akin to what a lot of police departments issue to their officers, might be a wise investment. Wear it and have it recording whenever you’re out in public while carrying. You can archive or delete any footage for the 99.999% of the time that the sidearm stays in its holster or the safe, but if you have to draw and/or shoot, having POV footage of the incident could save you from jail and possibly short circuit any civil suit stemming from a shoot.

    • Unless you are a federal judge who left your disbarred trial pimp husband behind to get thrown down the stairs by some punks while you run to a neighbor’s screaming call the US Marshals

  4. If you don’t call them you will be arrested, charges with deadly conduct at a minimum and then charged with unlawful carrying a weapon, even if you have a permit.

    Thirth minutes blater they might answer 911, then even if they catch the individual it only works if you can pick him out of a lineup, if they bother to even believe you at all.

  5. Current plan, I draw, the wife calls…. if at home, wife calls on speaker phone, from closet with long barrel pointed down the hall, I use handgun to get to daughters room and if I can do so safely bring daughter into our room. We have a code word to slip out of stupid situations, if we see something coming down, we use a code word, retreat to safety, observe and call police if needed. Being near Detroit gas stations can get hairy after dark, but avoiding gas stations in the dark isn’t easy when it gets dark at 5pm!

  6. I am more than happy to call the police, but fend for myself until they get there. Fortunately, have not been in civilian life or death situation, yet. If it comes to that not likely have time to call first. If you do call police, have your family members and pets in a safe place, do not have a firearm near you. Everybody will be in danger until the dust settles.

  7. Yep, your better served by lying down and being a victim and letting the police show up after the fact, take a report and file it away to be ignored.

  8. EVERY other “conservative” website on the mother bleeping Internet kisses cop ass like it’s going out of style. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that gun culture types understand exactly how arrogant, corrupt, and incompetent law “enforcement” really is.

    • The way I see it is, police are regular people. Some choose to be an officer because they want to be a public servant, and should be admired for that. To others, it’s just a job, as if they were hired muscle. And to others, they enjoy some parts of the job a little more than they should. I like to believe that a majority of police are in it to serve (of course, we don’t hear much about those). Of course, I’m an optimist.

  9. He’s giving good advice. Defend yourself and your loved ones. If you can do that with a 911 call instead of your 12 ga you are ahead of the game.

    From the time you place the call until cops arrive keep your gun ready. If the cops get there before you have to use your gun then you’ve won the best prize of the night.

    Remember, it’s not about how tough or well trained you are. It’s about protecting yourself and your loved ones without becoming the next george zimmerman.

    • Good point, I don’t mind letting the police come and arrest the person, better than criminal and civil litigation process after pulling the trigger. I don’t ever want to be involved in a shootout or dgu, I just know that I am prepared. I’m also aware there are a lot of tough guys and ass holes in this world, sometimes you can take the high road and just walk away from a stupid situation. Road rage is something I see all the time, I just pull over let them pass, if they pull over, I run. No need to shoot someone who just needs anger management, call the police let them handle it. Practice getting descriptions, know makes and models of cars, etc.

  10. I read the TTAG posts every day, this one is disappointing. It amounts to nothing more than anti-anti propaganda. It makes TPOG look no better than the politicians trying to take our rights away.
    As stated, his comment is absolutely true.
    MOST times you are better off calling the police. For example, even if someone is pounding on your front door screaming I’m gonna kill you, you are still better off calling the police instead of opening the door and confronting them. MOST altercations are far less dramatic than this. It also doesn’t preclude you from having gun in hand while you wait for the police in case they make it through the front door. By opening the front door and confronting them you open yourself up to possible legal problems as the first question a prosecutor is going to ask is why did you open the door or why didn’t you call the police.
    Deadly force should always be your last resort, an in imminent threat, no other reasonable course of action is available.

    The full quote for this article should have been,
    “Moritz said caution should be used when giving such instructions to people who have no law enforcement training.
    “Most times citizens are going to be best served and best protected by calling trained law enforcement officers whenever they feel their lives or property are in danger,””

    And again he is still absolutely correct as quoted. Caution should be used when people in positions of authority are giving advice to people.
    We do not need repeats of the Home Depot parking lot shooting.

    I firmly believe that every law abiding citizen should be able to carry a gun wherever and when ever they choose to protect their life, family and livelihood.
    Nothing that this man said as it was quoted is contrary to that.

  11. Because we all know that once the police are called the danger/threat ceases to exist immediately.

    “Hey man…you can’t shoot me. I just called the police. You gotta stop what you’re doing right now and leave. That’s the rule.”

  12. these egotistical type officers believe they are the only ones qualified to save lives, except they will not be around when needed, nor it is their duty too protect Individuals but collectively! so according too this Hi placed supposed protector of people it really boils down to gun Control, they get to shoot any body armed or unarmed with no other thought than put the bad guy down! Image the chaos that would happen in a multiple homicidal shooting took place and 5 good guy armed individuals showed up ready to go and you got trigger happy Idiots in blue opening up on them! guess I can’t carry one in my back pocket for when needed! so guess I will go with my own self protection plan or reaction, we all know if the stuff goes down self is the only one you can rely on! Semper Paratus

  13. Yeah, about that… Try this fun experiment: A. Figure out the average response time for 911 calls in your neighborhood. B. Time yourself walking from your front door to your bedroom. If A<B, you don't need a gun. In public, try carrying an off duty LEO piggy-back style. They will appreciate the extra income, and you get an amazing work out. I elect to just train and carry a gun myself.

  14. I don’t care what the so called experts advise or say. Ill call the police after the fact. If Im still able to.
    Im not waiting for them to show up to collect my possibly inert body.
    Id go down trying, rather then waiting to possibly be perforated by some miscreant scumbag.
    Its bad enough most police are becoming so militarized. Therefore more reactive then ever in my memory.
    Im a pretty self reliant individual and carry 20/7 seven days a week. 8 days if a week it had them. The other 4 hours its less then a foot away. I carry everywhere I go signs or not if I have a legitimate reason to do so. Since a sign here carries no weight at all in reality.

    • I would think by definition, those “other times” aren’t included in the “most times” statement. And I agree, it’s those “other times”, one of which I actually observed, that make me keep a pistol and a wall-leaner handy.

  15. Right up there with “fire two blasts in the air.” At least this advice isn’t illegal, even if it is no more likely to save anyone’s life (and might actually cost it)

  16. CLEAT is nothing more or less than a police union. Another public employee union, emptying the treasury with their bleating about how much money they want.

    And here, you have the head of said union dispensing advice to the populace, telling them that they should keep supporting the members of his union.

    Of course, this person is utterly ignorant of Castle Rock v. Gonzales.. wherein we learn that you can call 911 three times, and the po-lice have no duty to respond, even when you have a prior restraining order.

    Cops should think carefully about the ramifications of that SCOTUS decision, because Jessica Gonzales is making a film about the SCOTUS case. If it comes to fruition and is even moderately successful as an indy film, a whole bunch of people who were previously gullible and ignorant enough to believe the CLEAT position above will learn what reality is. And then maybe the public won’t be quite so willing to pay out plush benefits and pensions…

  17. I’m going to call a bit of pot-stirring here. Context matters, and if you read the whole story, the CLEO chief says that the local cop’s call to tool up probably reflects the values of the community, but a bit of discretion is in order. And the comment is IMO essentially accurate–most notably since he qualified it with that “most times” part, and the “if you feel your life or property is in danger” part. If you are still at the “feeling” stage, then you are most likely not at the “immediate action necessary” stage, and most such times it probably is better to let the guys handle it who are paid to do so.

    • Yeah, if you read it VERY carefully, and parse out his may, and could be’s, if you feels like. But you can also tell that he is only VERY begrudgingly even making those prevarications.

      His whole response says he is screaming inside, “NO, WE ARE THE ONLY ONES THAT SHOULD BE LEGALLY CARRYING A FIREARM, NOT THOSE PEONS!!”

      • That could well be, but I just don’t think it is necessarily the correct conclusion based on the article. Again, talking about someone who “feels” his person or property is in danger is not the same as talking about someone who is in fact confronted by imminent danger, as in someone is breaking in through your door or window. The CLEAT guy isn’t necessarily saying “you all throw away your guns and just trust us to take care of you,” at least not in the referenced article.

  18. You may never need to use deadly force, but if you do you’re going to need to do it now. If you have time to run, get to a safe location, or call 9-1-1 do so. If not, and you intend to stay alive you’ll need to do what you need to do. In any case, even if you’re completely in the right, you’ll either be treated like a hero or like another George Zimmerman. Either way, the friends and family of the altar boy you had to shoot before he killed you will be out for your blood. The people who tell you to always no matter the danger call the police and wait for them to show up to save you are not going to be wearing your shoes if the SHTF.
    [W3]

  19. citizens are going to be best served and best protected by calling trained law enforcement officers whenever they feel their lives or property are in danger.”
    All of whom will show up a half hour to an hour and a half later.
    Keep your shotgun handy.

  20. That is correct. 911 should be your first option in case of danger. Let the cops get dirty. However, if the danger is immediate and there’s no time to call police then you’ll have to defend yourself or third parties.

  21. Ministering with a small church in rural San Jacinto County, Texas, my congregation was visited one Sunday evening by a young man who was obviously at loose ends (turns out he was way wasted). Sitting in our auditorium during my sermon, he suddenly stood up, and began raging at us. As he screamed and cursed us, he clasped his hands together and extended one index finger as a pretend gun and began “shooting” all of us. He got out about three “Pow,” “Pow,” “Pows!” before he was abruptly taken down by a Harris County deputy who was one of our members.

    Naturally, as he was being “managed,” another member called 911 on her cell phone. 45 minutes later two San Jacinto County units pulled up. Yep – for 45 minutes were were on our own. We were fortunate that we accidentally had a professional (who was assisted by some of our “amatures”).

    Although it is true that “Most times citizens are going to be best served and best protected by calling trained law enforcement officers,” is is also true that law enforcement officers are too often too few and too far between.

    The reality in the statement, “When seconds count, LEOs are 45 minutes away” is an inconvenient truth for the anti-gun crowd.

    • Last church I went to I asked if they minded me bringing in my gun. The guy I asked said no, several of the other guys always brought theirs at the behest of the church staff–afterwards I started noticing guys who always wore an untucked shirt if they weren’t wearing a jacket…

    • Well, once again context matters; read the article and you’ll see that a cop did respond to the “maybe DWI” complaint by driving by the accused’s house and verifying that his truck was there (ie the guy wasn’t driving at all) upon receiving the dispatch–not 10 hours later. As for the alleged assault–what cop is gonna make a hot run to respond to an alleged “assault” victim who isn’t even making the complaint himself and doesn’t want to identify himself. Throw in the fact that the only one who IS making a complaint–on someone else’s behalf–is the accused’s ‘estranged’ wife, and, well, surely there is a better example out there to make the point you are trying to make. In fact, I know there are. better examples, some of which have been posted on this site. The question is whether such incidents make up the “most times” majority of police calls.

  22. When seconds count the police are only 5 minutes away(wait-it was 4) in San Bernardino. We are our own first responders. Of course I call the cops-but I’ve regretted doing that the last few times. From reporting a pit bull attack, a very loud screaming woman and an illegally set trash fire I’ve been given the 3rd degree. It’s not like I’m some kid either-I’m an OFWG in my sixties. The po-leece are not your friend…

  23. Of course this guy is correct- 90% of the time, if you arent directly involved, you should call the police – its their job to deal with criminals and clean up the mess after.

    The problem is the 1 in ten chance, or whatever it is- when its you confronted by the criminal, in a life-threatening situation, its too late to call the cops – they are only minutes away when seconds count.

    Most street cops are honest about this. Most Chiefs and Association type reps are not- they serve politicians, who approve their salary and budget and poltical ambitions- and in most urban forces, the politicians in charge are left wing. Thus, the propaganda from the paid “Association” stooge pretending to speak for all cops. He is not- he is merely stealing their honor to speak for the crooked politicians who pay him to lie to support their failed progressive narrative.

    • I’ve noticed that too! As people they aren’t any more dishonest or hostile than anyone else, especially if you catch them off duty. But you get them together in groups or unions and the lies start flying thick and fast.

      It like “Most Russians are ok one on one, it’s the communist party I can’t stand.”

  24. Ha! See, even if this is true, pretending those few instances where you may need or even just want a gun don’t happen does not a good argument make.

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