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An Atlanta police officer recently wrote an opinion piece for the Newnan Times-Herald vigorously defending armed self defense. It’s clear that the cop is a street officer, not an officer confined to his desk. From

My sergeant and I interviewed the homeowner, assuring him his actions resulted from fearing for his life against serious bodily injury or death. A responding investigator queried as to whether we had “coached” the victim. But our position was more about the proper assimilation of facts and fears than dishonest motives. No point in the victim being a victim… twice.

The next day the body of a young man was found behind the homeowner’s shed, killed by a single gunshot wound to the chest. It was later determined the deceased was part of the three-man robbing crew that had threatened the homeowner the previous day and had committed over 30 burglaries in the area. There was no need to interview the homeowner again. Self defense yesterday… justifiable homicide today.

Police and armed citizens are natural allies. Both have an interest in a lawful and safe society. They tend to support and reinforce each other. A society that maintains the rule of law has low homicide rates. Societies where the rule of law is weak or missing have high crime and homicide rates. Such societies are dangerous for both police and armed citizens.

There are no such lawless societies where the right to be armed is acknowledged by the government. And even in states that are hostile to gun rights, most street cops are sympathetic to armed citizens. The police have seen the result of disarmed citizens all too often.

The Georgia police officer has the right idea. Celebrate armed citizens as part of society that maintains the rule of law. Societies that do not have this dynamic tend to accumulate more and more power in the government, with less and less residing with the citizens.

Armed citizens usually see police as specialists who work for them to assist in the maintenance of the rule of law. Most police see armed citizens as allies and/or equals. These attitudes prevent police power from becoming dominant, resulting in a police state.

©2016 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included. Gun Watch

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  1. The last paragraph seem more aspirational than a reflection of current reality in the US (perhaps depending upon which part of the US one looks at).

    But it is a good goal to work for.

  2. Hot LEAD lanta! Even in south Cook County,ILL I can shoot a perp. Attitudes by the po-leece are achanging…

  3. “Most police see armed citizens as allies and/or equals.”

    I’m going to say ‘false’ on that one, Dean.

      • Not where I live–Sheriff ordered virtually every ‘no weapons’ in entire county removed and are almost forbidden everywhere–said the citizens had the right to self defense no matter where they were–the way it should be

      • I think it varies depending on where you are. My Sheriff is the one who told me to carry concealed, even without a license.

    • I think it’s hard to say “most” think either way. Seems to vary regionally, I know cops around my area support private gun ownership and use. Didn’t TTAG post a survey recently indicating that was the majority view of the surveyed street cops?

      • Therein is where my issue is: With the use of ‘Most’.

        Regional differences, PD vs Sheriff’s office. Having retired from the work and worked with many over those years, the use of ‘most’ is hopeful, at best. Anecdotal, of course.

      • An interesting website — — surveyed well over 10,000 active and retired law enforcement officers regarding their attitudes on private firearm ownership. The overwhelming majority of them, on the order of 90% to 95%, seemed to enthusiastically support private firearm ownership.

        Of course that survey failed to disclose some critical caveats. Consider, for example, the many states that require their residents to keep rifles unloaded in the trunk of their car or in a locked case away from the passengers. If you had a loaded rifle for self-protection sitting on the passenger seat next to yourself in the driver’s seat, would 90% of the police who see that situation give you a big smile and thumbs up? Nope. I can guarantee you that 99% of police would promptly arrest you for the corresponding “felony”.

        So, I believe that most police (outside of the “slave” states like Hawaii, California, New York, New Jersey, Maryland, etc.) support private firearms ownership and possession for self-defense as long as that ownership is consistent with the myriad laws on the books. In my book, that is at best tepid support of private firearm ownership and possession. The day when I can possess any firearm I want in any manner that I want (short barreled rifle or shotgun, pump-action or full auto, with or without a suppressor, loaded or unloaded, in my home or on my back or next to me in my car) and get a big smile and thumbs up from over 90% of police, that will be the day when I conclude that most police truly support private firearms ownership.

        • There are clearly regional differences, and considerable differences in many state laws.

          There is also a significant rural vs urban difference.

          Given the survey and the demonstrated changes that have occurred in police attitudes over the last 30 years of progress in concealed carry permits, the use of the word “most” is appropriate. If you want, you could substitute “a majority” but many would still find an objection to that.

        • People who like to quote the survey, including you, always limit their scope to plain firearm ownership. If you continue to read the survey to where they ask cops about supporting citizen carry on the streets, the numbers precipitously fall off. So while a cop may support citizen ownership of a hunting rifle locked up in a safe, that doesn’t necessarily mean they also support CC or OC everywhere.

        • Danny Griffin,

          Actually, I thought that survey showed that something like 85% of police support citizen carry (e.g. licensed concealed carry). If my memory is off and most police oppose licensed concealed carry, that would be another example of the critical caveats that people fail to understand.

          I will try to find it to verify/clarify.

        • Danny Griffin,

          Okay, you are mistaken. Here is the relevant quote from the survey,

          “More than 91 percent of respondents support the concealed carry of firearms by civilians who have not been convicted of a felony and/or not been deemed psychologically/medically incapable.”

          Note that all of those “respondents” are law enforcement officers.

          Here is a link to that quote:

        • Couple things, from my perspective (of course)
          Support for civilian carry is probably regional, much like the electoral map. In Colorado, 62 out of 64 County Sheriffs are reliable 2A supporters. Most towns outside the Denver/Boulder area also have a PD that is supportive of legal carry by non-prohibited persons.
          I guess that’s just one thing. Oh, regarding carrying a loaded rifle in a vehicle – in Colorado, carrying a loaded rifle or shotgun is a game and wildlife offense. It’s a misdemeanor, 50 buck fine and points against your hunting or fishing license. Any LEO is authorized to inspect any long gun in any vehicle on public roads or lands. And yes, I can have a loaded pistol with a 17 round magazine on my dash, except in Denver. It has to be in the console in Denver.

        • Personally, I feel that you have spent too much time reading from “Your Book”.
          I suggest reading the news periodicals which clearly indicate that Officers across this nation are coming to the undeniable understanding that they cannot be everywhere at once… When seconds count, they (the police) are but minutes away…

    • That’s how it is in Dean’s mind.

      All of his articles fawn over the police like if he just kisses their asses enough they’ll give him a badge.

      He’s convinced he’s one of the good guys and all of the cops can plainly see it and wouldn’t dare disagree, or, say, throw him under a bus to save their own skin in a shooting investigation. Or anything.

      • Dean doesn’t need the cops to give him a badge. He used to be a cop. I think if you ask him he will tell you that since he carried a badge, some things have gotten better, and some things have gotten worse.

    • Deans smoking the dope on that one. The thin blue line is getting worse and all the social media that is supposedly well intentioned is not helping

    • Conversely, if the Defensive Gun User had been a Certified Law Enforcement Officer, he would have been given a union rep and several days to think about his story before even being interviewed. So, yeah, I’m pretty dismissive of any ‘coaching the defendant’ claims here.

      • He has the right not to speak just as an officer would until he has representation and that is advisable. The law doesn’t distinguish between law enforcement and non law enforcement. That’s just some hateraide folks want you to drink.
        There is no need to say a lot if anything during the heat of the moment. If you carry then you should try and get insurance. I use USLawSheild but there are plenty of good ones out there. Mine puts out videos on youtube that anyone can watch and they do seminars as well.
        Protect yourself not just with a firearm but knowledge from professionals

      • Pro Tip:

        Particularly If you carry concealed, you need to have a local lawyer who specializes in self defense lined up. Fork out a couple hundred bucks (or go in with a few friends) and go speak to this lawyer for an hour (he’ll probably even give you a discount) and get him to tell you what he wants you to do in a DGU. Keep his card in your pocket and hope you never have to use it. My guess is that the lawyer is going to tell you to say something along the lines of the following (yes, I’m a lawyer and no this is not my specialty and NO I’M NOT YOUR LAWYER): 1. Call 911 as soon as you can and request both police and an ambulance, describe yourself and tell them there has been a DGU (DON’T SAY ANYTHING ELSE), 2. If it is safe and you are able, try to administer first aid to the person you have shot (watch for blood, the last thing you want to do is get HIV from some junkie), 3. when LEOs arrive tell the officer you were in fear for your life or the life of another (as appropriate), 4. point out evidence that supports your claim (including witnesses), 5. respectively tell the LEO that you are willing to fully cooperate but would like wait for your lawyer before answering additional questions (at this point the police should stop asking questions), 6. Call your lawyer.

      • Conversely to your converse, because he’s a private citizen he doesn’t have to be interviewed AT ALL. A police officer (who wants to remain a police officer) cannot invoke his right to remain silent.

    • Hey, at least they’re improving on figuring out who the real victim is. In some circles, the poor, struggling youth – just turning his life around – would be the victim.

  4. There will always be people in society who only behave within the law out of fear of being shot. Once the law removes that fear by disarming the law abiding, these become the lawless violent criminals they always were. But now without fear of being shot by their intended victim. That is why criminals love Mexico, Chicago, NY, California, etc….

  5. That article makes less than zero sense…

    Was the burglar shot on the first burglary and wasn’t found for a day?

    Were they shot the second day while trying to rob the same place?

    And then the last paragraph says the homeowner shot a bad guy in a truck while it was trying to run her over… Is this the same homeowner? The same burglar? Related to the dead guy behind the shed?

    • That article makes less than zero sense…

      The whole article is speaking to self defense, and the need for it… and it provides 3 examples.

      1. An old lady who was beaten and ultimately set on fire. This illustrates a need for self defense.

      2. The homeowner featured here. He shot through the door at night (article says he was awoken by the doorbell), the cops set up a perimeter and caught 2 suspects, the 3rd was discovered the next day. I’d assume there was no sign outside the back door indicating that someone had been hit, and per the homeowner’s description, he only saw 2 people. So they probably didn’t even know there was a third. This one illustrates the successful use of self defense.

      3. Some lady who shot a burglar trying to run her over. This one also illustrates the successful use of self defense.

    • It’s a letter to the editor, likely in response to an unlinked article or letter about a woman facing inquiry about shooting (in self defense) into a recently stolen car that may have been aiming to run her over.

      It’s written by a cop who is telling a similar story about a man who shot through a closed door (also in self defense) at the two home invaders that he had seen at his front door. The police caught two of them, but there were actually three of them, and the third died behind the shed after being hit with the shot through the closed door.

      The officer is trying to link these two events by showing that preventative self defense is often justified; that gun owners should not have to wait until they are under direct assault to deploy a ballistic defense; that “he’s coming right for me” is enough.

      Without the story about the woman and the car, this letter is out of context, and that’s probably what is causing the consfusion.

    • Yeah I guess no one bothered to check the backyard… why bother, it’s just a robbery with shots fired?

  6. Police and armed citizens are natural allies.

    It’s too bad many police don’t think this way. What are police academies teaching their officers?

    • I am certain it varies greatly by state. I have backchannel information that the academy teaching about armed citizens changed (positively) in Arizona after a few years of shall issue. That included the Rory Vertigan shooting, where an armed citizen shot and captured a cop killer. The police took up a collection to buy the shooter a replacement Glock (his was held in evidence).

      I haven’t heard from NYC cops. But there are many references about police administrators and sheriffs changing their mind about armed citizens as shall issue was implemented in their jurisdictions.

    • eh police academies are 3-6 months long. It’s the culture of the department and the people in it that make the difference.

      And the culture of the NYPD or DC Metro police is a hell of a lot different than… well, almost anywhere else.

      But even in places like Chicago were the city is led by the wooliest of liberals the cops are a lot more gun-friendly.

  7. “Police and armed citizens are natural allies.

    It’s too bad many police don’t think this way. What are police academies teaching their officers?

    I am certain it varies greatly by state….”

    For persuasion (vs. facts on the ground), presume what you’d prefer to be so, whatever you actually believe.

    This is the flip side of the standard political advice, “Don’t accept the premise of the question.” Yeah, don’t accept it — guns kill people by themselves, there’s some magic legislation about *things* that will make all the thug violence go away, how to solve this is “common sense”, places with more restrictive gun laws are “more advanced”, etc. etc.

    When you assert something, they have to disprove it … which gives it more energy. When you presuppose something, they have to *name it* and make the case against, *naming it the whole time.*
    – Make them make the case *against* what you’ve presumed
    – Use contextually, and emotionally loaded language as you do so.

    “Well, we’re all after living our lives without getting shot up, menaced, or having to tag up with ‘Mother, may I?’ every time we want to do something. Civilized people collaborate to secure that together. Police are one mechanism we use to help us deal with people who just won’t leave other folks be.”

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