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By TTAG reader Matt N.

I’ve read a lot lately about the disconnect between law enforcement and armed citizens.  The discussion seems to center on examples of police militarization versus cases of police heroism.  Police risk their lives daily for citizens, so why is it that they don’t get more respect? Moreover, why is it that they don’t get more respect from the overwhelmingly patriotic ranks of armed citizens? . . .

Before I go into specifics, a little context. Although the average citizen believes that the police, TSA, FBI, and all the other acronyms are out there to protect them, the armed citizen knows better. Law enforcement exists to protect society as a whole and not individuals in particular.

This isn’t just my opinion, it’s established case law. Police have no obligation to protect the individual citizen. Their job is to protect society from the individual. In order to accomplish that, they’re provided with great power and latitude. That power is somewhat tolerable because it’s bound and directed to serve the good of the community. To wit, there are checks and balances established to protect citizens from legal excess. The point being that the protection afforded by the government is a byproduct of its mandate to protect society, not a personal duty to any specific taxpayer.

That’s all well and good if you’re an average citizen with negligible exposure to the thin blue line. But if you’re a gun owner then life is a bit more challenging. I say this not because firearm possession will call down the law, but because owning a gun holds a citizen to a higher legal and ethical standard.

In my state of Maryland, gun ownership requires me to affirm that I’m not a habitual drug user, drunkard, felon, mentally disabled, subject of a restraining order, as well as subjecting me to the infamous background check.  There are a limited number of places I can legally take a gun outside my home. And the gun has to be transported in a locked container separate from the ammunition, preferably in a different part of the vehicle.

The legal right to carry — concealed or otherwise — is granted strictly at the State’s discretion. Owning a gun not only means I have to conduct myself as a model citizen, it also means that the very act of transporting and using my guns is heavily regulated. Most of that regulation simply affirms common sense practices we’d follow anyway. But whether I’d follow those statutes on my own or not, they are still there. They loom over me every time I do anything with my firearms. They cast a shadow over me when I’m hundreds of miles away from my gun safe. There’s always that worry that an honest mistake or misunderstanding will result in the loss of my good-citizen status.

Add to this picture the constant attacks by the media, gun control interests and anti-gun politicians. There’s an active movement in the United States to limit private firearm ownership, if not banning the practice entirely. Although guns are more socially acceptable than in the past, gun owners are regularly subjected to ridicule and profiling, regardless of political affiliation, religion, gender, race, sexual orientation, or economic status.

Outside of specifically gun-friendly zones, acknowledging firearms ownership can get one branded a racist, bigot, ignorant reactionary or worse. So while the trend toward acceptance of firearms in America is significant, firearm enthusiasts have to manage themselves to the loudest, lowest common denominator every single day if they want to be taken seriously.

That trend is frustrating, especially if you’re part of the scientific minded portion of the gun culture that studies optics, reloading, history, ballistics, metallurgy, etc.  Reloaders have to work with chemical compounds, formulas, and precise machine tolerances. Long range shooters regularly employ complex math to deal with ballistic drop, wind, altitude, humidity, and velocity.

Most of the shootists I know are well versed in history from the American Revolution onward if not before.  It’s one thing to have your choice of football team questioned.  It’s something entirely different to be branded an easily ignored idiot, especially when the root cause of that assessment is based on a hobby that involves proficiency with multiple branches of hard science.

These points are important because they explain why the average gun owner is so jaded when it comes to government. No, government isn’t the enemy, but often its agents and society in general treat him as if he’s a second class citizen, one step away from some terrible act of violence.

Firearms ownership requires me to ask permission to own and use a gun, something that the constitution specifically provides as an individual right. The operating assumption is that simple gun ownership makes a person a menace to society when statistics tell a completely different story. Every day gun owners have to deal with the fact that while they live within the limits of the law, the media consistently depicts them as monsters.

Now, about those government agencies….  Since 9/11, the powers of law enforcement have been greatly expanded through the Patriot Act and other legislation. Wiretapping without a warrant, detainment of citizens without charge, searches,and personal scans have become, if not common, grudgingly accepted practices.

The National Guard can regularly be seen at airports and train stations. It seems like every other day I hear about heavily militarized SWAT teams kicking in someone’s door, enforcing a no-knock warrant. Police wear bullet proof vests and carry AR15s in their cars.  A recent product advertisement described a .50 caliber rifle as ideal for counter terrorism and drug interdiction. And the TSA seems to be growing by leaps and bounds.

The picture this paints to most of us who are already “concerned” about how government and society views us isn’t one of a benevolent force constructed to respect and defend our freedoms. Add to this picture the daily attempts by government to further limit rights that are already heavily regulated, and it can seem as though the government as a whole and police in particular are simply waiting for gun owners to give them the slightest reason to bring  their wrath down on them. And it doesn’t help much whenever a story is published that depicts police using excessive force, entrapment or abusing civil liberties.

The average peace officer is a decent, hard-working person doing a difficult, risky, and often thankless job. The police I’ve encountered have always been polite and helpful. Most of the LEOs I’ve come in contact with in cyberspace are public servants who view their job as a sacred duty rather than a mandate to oppress (all the moreso, since they are part of that same firearms loving community.)

The challenge for the public is that we can’t blindly assume that every boy in blue we run into is that considerate and civic minded. We have to guard against the lowest common denominator, which breeds a certain level of antipathy. It’s that same peace officer who needs and deserves our respect who has the ability to complicate — or ruin — our lives.

That’s the heart of the aforementioned disconnect. LEOs I encounter on line who act every day to protect and truly serve, often bemoan the lack of respect they get. They see themselves as heroes, willing to sacrifice their lives daily for a seemingly ungrateful public, in this case a public comprised of fellow gun lovers.

I imagine that must sting doubly hard, since the very people expressing those negative sentiments should be the ones most likely to support them. Yet it isn’t the individual that those sentiments are directed against, but that lowest common denominator I mentioned.

Ask most gun owners how they feel about their country and they’ll tell you that they love it. Ask them how they feel about police officers in general and they’ll tell you that they respect law enforcement. A love of firearms and patriotism have been bound together in the American spirit. Because of this, most gun owners I know support the police and military in the abstract. It’s the practical, every-day potential for personal tragedy that gives us pause.

Finally, let’s look at LEOs as heroes. More to the point, the desire that many officers have to be viewed as heroes. The most commonly accepted definition says that a hero is someone who does the ordinary under extraordinary circumstances.

When a citizen uses a gun to defend themselves and others from violence, it affirms our belief that firearms are a tool that can prevent evil. We celebrate those individuals because we so rarely hear of righteous defensive gun usage.  Nobody expects citizens to stand against evil, they expect them to run and call the police, hence the extraordinary status.

But what about the officer that responds to a call and does the exact same thing as the citizen? Isn’t he a hero? By that definition, no. We expect the officer to serve and protect.  That’s what he is there for. So we respect him for his courage and thank him for his service, but we raise the bar for ‘heroism’ proportionally.

Ultimately that’s why many armed citizens get so offended by talk of the police as heroes.  It isn’t that they don’t care, but after 9/11 every first responder became a hero. The objection comes from the idea that being a first responder conveys the heroic title on a person absent any comparable action on their part.

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  1. Well thought out and written. I think one of our problems is the extreme views taken by a vocal minority in both law enforcement and the gun owning community. We see the actions and hear the words of the extremists in law enforcement and get to feeling they represent all cops.

    This of course is no more true than the extremists inour midst who view cops as jack booted thugs or as simply revenue collectors for the state. Both sets of extremists are wrong.

    It’s up to the rest of us, cop and citizen gun owner alike to find the middle ground and improve our relationships.

    • +1000. No group is homogenous. To exemplify the entirety of group based on a narrow subset is a disservice to everyone. As Matt said at the start of his article, gun owners are vilified but most of us have never done any of the stereotypes.

    • +1000. We gun owners who make up what I’d guess are 95% who are supportive of law enforcement need to walk up and just say thanks once in a while. They deal with a lot of $hit birds and its only human nature once in a while they are going yo have a bad day and fall into the habit of treating Joe Public the same.
      Everytime I do this I’m a bit sad they seem surprised at the unsolicited pat on the back.

  2. The issue with LEOs and gun ownership is that LEOs are agents of the state. The 2A is meant to protect against tyranny by the state. When the state decides to impose tyranny LEOs will be the means to do it. Its like lions and zebras at the watering hole: its only an issue for the zebras when the lions are hungry.

  3. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Respect is earned. You don’t get it by default of becoming employed as a LEO. A lot of cops go on about how “dangerous” and “thankless” being a cop is. Maybe so. But it’s less dangerous than being a logger, sanitation worker, iron worker or truck driver. It also pays much better than all of those jobs, is arguably much easier (or at least less physically demanding), and I generally don’t hear iron workers bitching about how little respect they get on the job.

    Some cops are indeed heroes. Many have died trying to protect the innocent, and have rightly been immortalized as such. However, many cops are complete douchebags that pervert the laws they swore to uphold. The issue that leaves a bad taste in the mouth of most of us mere “civilians” is that the former will often cover for the latter when they screw up.

    Want a better reputation in the public eye? Next time some SWAT raid results in a few dead innocent people, stand up on the highest soap box you can find, and decry those responsible as the incompetent murderers they are. Doing so will win you a lot of hearts and minds, and as a result, respect.

    • yes, cops do cover for each other. As do lawyers, doctors and just about any other profession you can name. I worked in the public school sector before I retired and was a member of the union and we covered for each other also.

      • @jwm, lawyers don’t cover for each other. When I was practicing, every lawyer knew damn well that if he or she made even a minor slip, the Bar would be all over it.

        In thirty years, I had one grievance filed against me, and it wasn’t by a client but by an adverse party in a regulatory hearing. Despite the fact that the claim was absurd on its face, and that my client and the regulatory body both supported me competely and loudly, I had to fight for a year to get it cleared.

        Doctors? My partners had a national medical malpractice business. Good doctors couldn’t wait to turn on the bad ones and considered them a blight on the profession. At the same time, they would fight for a doctor who they felt was unreasonably accused of malpractice.

        Public school teachers? Absolutely. But I don’t have a problem with union solidarity unless what they’re covering up is criminal activity or cruelty to children.

      • The difference being, when cops screw up someone generally ends up dead, and there’s no legal recourse for the victims.

        Cops moaning about a “lack of respect”: We just want to be treated like everyone else!

        Cops after “accidentally” mowing down innocents: We’re nothing like anyone else!

        That sort of double standard is what causes a whole lot of distrust and suspicion.

        • Yes – well put. And the sad thing is this: REAL American heroes, i.e US ARMED FORCES personnel, fighting REAL criminals and terrorists in Afghanistan (and other places), and dying by the hundreds, are actually, incredibly held to a far higher “standard” than trigger-happy, no-account cops. Cops shoot and kill (never mind beat, harass, kill their pets for fun, etc) innocent citizens all the time, and their outrageous actions almost never are punished. IN CONTRAST, a couple of U.S MARINE heroes who pissed on a couple of filthy dead terrorists in Afghanistan are being court martialled!! So, cops can kill innocent people (oops!) with no consequences, but soldiers and Marines can be thrown in the brig to rot for not showing RESPECT(!) to their dead terrorist enemies on the battlefield. Unbefukinbelievable

      • That makes about as much sense as when I am arguing with a leftie about all the crap Obama has done and they go “Well BUSH did it!” and they can’t comprehend when you ask them “Well… if it was bad for Bush to do it, what exactly are you trying to say? That Obama is bad?” and I didn’t even particularly like W.

        Yes, other people in other professions do bad things, and otherwise good people in those professions very often look the other way and cover for those that do so. That has no bearing on how right or wrong it is in this case. It is simply indicative of a human problem that transcends all boundaries. Applied in the case of law enforcement, with not only not more, but less oversight and threat of punishment for wrongdoing in most cases, it leads to a separate “class”of law enforcers, which is simply wrong.

    • Just to expand on the “respect is earned,” so too it can be wasted.

      When we see a patrol car come to a red light, turn on the cherries, go through, turn them off, respect is wasted.

      When someone gets a break from a LEO only because they are related to another LEO, respect is wasted.

      When LEOs are seen being used for revenue enhancement rather than protecting people (yes, not the LEOs choice, is doesn’t matter) then they’re taxmen, and respect is wasted.

      • Many times when we hit the lights to get through a traffic light it is to get to a call faster and help someone.

        And Ive never written a red light ticket… Nor a speeding ticket.

        Is that ok with you sir. Is that respectable enough?

        • Thanks for showing your typical cop rudeness and arrogance.

          “And Ive never written a red light ticket… Nor a speeding ticket.”

          You are a LIAR!

        • Really percy? I am a liar? U know better than I do how many tickets ive written? You tell me how many Ive written then.
          We have bigger problems in south Dallas .

          You are dispicable.
          But no, Im not saying I and my partner are the norm. I see no one responded to my explaination. Only called me a liar, which just shows your ignorance and bias. Would you guys want us yo get to a call faster to help someone by jumping a couple lights or no?

  4. “Police risk their lives daily for citizens, so why is it that they don’t get more respect? Moreover, why is it that they don’t get more respect from the overwhelmingly patriotic ranks of armed citizens?”

    Your response is well thought out and written. That said, ill answer your question as directly as I know how.


    Too many police believe their careful training and authorization to carry a firearm constitutes a license to play god. That situation is deplorable enough, but the ultimate reason police officers are wisely distrusted is because they do not answer to the citizen. If a conflict arises between the interests of the powers that be and the interests of the US Constitution , the desires of the government WILL prevail regardless of legality or due process. LEOs swear an oath to defend the US Constitution and laws of their area, but in practice they really swear an oath to The Mayor & Cheif of Police. If the mayor, cheif, or President orders an officer to do something against their oath the officer must choose between feeding his family and breaking the law he or she is tasked to uphold. Most rational people would rather have food in their kids’ stomach than a clean conscience.

    Catch is in that situation us gun owners are the ultimate loser of that ethical debate. When the officer carries out an illegal order or enforces an illegal statute, we are the ones with our property in the Evidence room and our butts unjustly rotting in a jail cell. We are the ones who have to cough up tens of thousands of dollars to defend against the crooked agendas of the LEO’s bosses and overlords.

    When police across the nation start making the hard choices necessary to earn the public’s trust, then perhaps the dynamic will be different.

    When police officers start outing crooked members of their ranks, when LEOs cease to enforce laws which are against the rights of the public, and when they tell their power hungry bosses “NO” when ordered to commit an act against their oaths, then the gun owning public may start to trust the police. If we know LEOs will uphold their word even if it means personal risk, then respect will be accorded to their ranks in kind.

    • What really irks me is that even even good police have to follow what is bad rules. I was threatened by someone mentally ill, and I had my firearms taken away despite not brandishing them, nor did I greet the peace officers with one, & I was the one who called. My firearms were locked away in my room. The call which should have been a quick simple one ended up with all my firearms taken away for 7 days. The police for the most part were polite, but constantly looking for anything to pin on me. They ran the serial numbers on my firearms to see if they were stolen despite that not being why they were called. One hinted that I may be a drug dealer or abusing my father, because I’m currently unemployed and taking full time care of my elderly father but have nice things. One police officer claimed that I was a “prepper” waiting to fight the government when they come to take away my 2nd Amendment rights. But if that were true, I’d expect the encounter would have been much bloodier. Another really kind officer was a bit huffy because I had a holster on a belt that was lying next to my bed cause I don’t yet have my CHL. She, luckily understood that I used that only for inside. Anyhow, for some reason the order was to take the guns, but not all the knives or the bayonet, but the seizure was on the grounds of safety for everyone involved, which is why I said red tape. It seems more red tape is involved with firearms.

      I’ve had mixed encounters with the police, one nearly ended with my father and I being on the receiving end of a 12 man beat down simply because I politely asked for help for my father who had a broken foot. The overall impression I’ve gotten is don’t call them for anything short of rape or murder. Even then be extraordinarily careful. I respect the good ones and commend them. But even the good have awkward red tape to do. The risk to myself is too high for me to purposely want to ever be involved with the police.

      Once again, I even respect and thank the concern that those who confiscated my firearms showed. Being a police officer seems to be a very tough job. But, now I have a new respect for those communities who just don’t call 911. They handle everything internally. The amount of power law enforcement in all branches seems to be way out of whack. My father I have more fear of law enforcement than we do any of the many gangsters I’ve encountered. Imo that shows something fundamentally wrong with the system. Guess it has something to do with him also having been repeatedly robbed and beaten in his youth by officers.

  5. Good article that presents a lot of different points of view. I have a slightly different question. What can we as responsible gun owners do to “win the hearts and minds” of the law enforcement community?
    Obviously, some (maybe most around here) already “get it” we see them here on the threads and on other boards. I see them at the range, IDPA matches and gun shows. But what about the rest?
    How can we convince them we are not a threat and, in fact are an asset?
    Some will say we shouldn’t have to and maybe they are correct but in the real world I want these guys as my allies in the defense of the Second Amendment. I want them on my side if I am (God forbid) involved in a DGU. What can the armed intelligentsia do as a community to bring more of the law enforcement community into the fold?

    • That has to be done by cops who like guns, respect the 2nd, and like to shoot. The kind of cops that don’t get it are typically the same kind who don’t give a **** what you or I think. But, they may be able to be convinced by others that are part of the tribe.

      And by their nature they’re not going to be on your side in a DGU. They investigate. That’s what they do. You have to cover your own ass. They cover theirs when they’re involved in one. While they get significantly more protection from union lawyers and other don’t. So just don’t say a damn thing and get a lawyer.

  6. I lack the faith that LEO’s, and the unions they belong, effectively purge the rank and file of corrupt officers. It is simply a matter of trust. Or lack there of.

  7. Let’s not candy-coat it. A badge does bestow magical powers – flawed people enter the LE profession. For every admirable public servant whose desire is to protect and serve there is a marginally educated yahoo on a power trip. Add in public sector unionism and you can now factor in time-biders hoping to sleep through 20 years and get their pension and/or “boat check”. (Lest all the LEOs jump on me, I say, puhleeeze. I come from a long line of NYPD LEOs and I have at my Thanksgiving table every year both types, unabashed union stooges and the silent, everyday heroes who proudly wear the uniform. Both types exist. Don’t lie and pretend otherwise.) Unfortunately IMHO, the force has become over time more and more of the pension seekers than the proud men who serve. Further add diversity hiring and we have an LEO establishment that is diminishing in the eyes of the public. So the “when seconds count…” maxim is now “when seconds count, the [4’6″ lady] cop[s] is minutes away.” No wonder more and more citizens want to take more control of their personal safety.

    But I digress. That said. I can understand LEOs’ skepticism over armed citizens for the simple reason that LEOs witness the absolute trough of society’s mental capacity and virtue in their daily interactions. Cops see a disproportionate share of our world’s compete idiots and irredeemable thugs, so they are bound to have a skewed opinion of society’s ability to act in a responsible, safe and law-abiding manner with firearms.

    There are a few LEOs who shoot at my range and they understand the safe/responsible/serious gun-owning culture, but they are in the minority. Most LEOs train at LEO-only ranges. Perhaps, we should intermingle more and train at the same ranges.

  8. Until police as a whole refuse to enforce unconstitutional laws, no matter how “legal” politicians made them, then I don’t see any kind of lasting resolution. I don’t care how polite a cop is or how considerate he thinks he’s being if he’s enforcing laws that defy the Constitution.

    That said, very good and well thought out article.

  9. Let me go talk to my employer and demand some respect. We’ll see how that works.

    Respect is earned by acting respectable, not demanding and whining til you get it. I have faith that there are some good people in “law enforcement” but the system is beyond broken.

    FWIW, I have not had a positive experience with a police officer in years. I have seen friends assaulted by police for mistaken imaginary reasons and seen the case subsequently squashed and made to go away. I have been belittled and threatened on the side of the road by traffic cops who cant communicate properly. I spent a day in jail and was shaken down for ~$500 on a “clerical error”. You can’t fight this system within the system. You will be blacklisted and scapegoated.

    That’s just me. There are millions of other law abiding, decent citizens with similar experiences. What is there to respect?

    • @cz82mak, I’ve had two positive interactions with the police in the last couple of years. But interacting with police is like keeping a pet alligator. You can feed it and care for it and love it, but sooner or later it’s going to bite off your arm.

      • I know there’s some good folks wearing the uniform. I just never run into them.

        There’s plenty of big, eggregious stories that get everyone fired up, but its a million little things that stoke the fire too. From the mouths of babes, the other day:

        “Daddy, why is the police man pointing a gun at us?”

        I look to see a cop in the bushes, weaver stance, pointing his speed gun at passers-by.

        “Keep your head down, kid. He’s only aiming at bad guys.”, I tell her and keep driving, stifling my urge to make other comments. I’ve been teaching her gun safety at home since she was 3.

        Also, my wife is a teacher and a model citizen. To this day, she is terrified of police due to interactions with them as a teenager. I call it the blue-reset button when she sees the flashers and immediately freezes & panics, even though she should have nothing to worry about.

        You never know which Jeckyll or Hyde will show up in blue.

        • I can relate. My dad is a former cop, and I grew up personally knowing about half of the LEOs in my hometown. In my younger, dumber days, there was at least one occasion on which my friends and I were caught being stupid by the police – my buddies ran, I walked over and had a genuinely cordial chat with the officers, they told us to go home, and that was it. When I was in college, I hung out with the University PD guys all the time, since one of them was the faculty sponsor of our shooting team, and we had to check our firearms out of the campus police armory every time we went to the range. That was the standard I applied to all interactions with LEOs until recently.

          Since I’ve moved to my current residence, I’ve been pulled over multiple times for seemingly random and arbitrary administrative infractions – never once have I been able to give an honest answer when asked why I was pulled over. The first time that happened, they even trumped up dubious “probable cause” (smelling, and I quote, “unburned marijuana,” which the couple of actual narcotics officers I’ve mentioned the incident to laughed at) and searched my car. I went along with it, since I figured that I could be polite and talk things out with the officer to clear up any mistunderstandings, and instead the guy guy called for a backup officer who led me 20 yards from the car and made me face the opposite direction while his buddy spent half an hour almost dismantling my car, and threatened me every time I even looked like I was about to put my hands near my pocket.

          I also freeze up every time a police car pulls up behind me, because I never know if I’ve done something that they’ll decide to pull me over for. I don’t want to have an adversarial relationship with the police, since we’re all on the same team, but that’s not always up to me, and a lot of my default good will has been squandered by a few officers who, regardless of the degree to which this description applies to all of theory respective departments, were utter tools.

  10. I know you talk about Police officers in your articles but often its Sheriff’s that can gather the ire of our gun owners. In Iowa, for a long time, it was the whim of the sheriff that determined whether you were permitted a concealed carry license. I had a license for 4 years in one county and moved to another. I applied for a transfer and I was denied. I had a steller background, a working professional, and never had anything worse than a speeding ticket. The sheriff told me he was not interested in issuing my license under any circumstance because he had been “tricked” by the public before. He was also going to restrict my carry if I did get a license to only legally able if I was in possession of more than $300 cash on my person. We recently changed the law in Iowa to counter that. The raft of sheriffs and police that objected to concealed carry license law was loud and seemed numerous. They had no respect for the citizenry and it showed. We have not had shootouts or OK corral events here as predicted but there is still aprehension from the uncooperative sheriffs still. This goes for lots of police officers who have voiced they are the only ones with enough training to safely use and carry a firearm. This arrogance is expressed by the vocal ones. I have had the seen the competance and accuracy of some of these “better than you” police officers and I would not trust them to hit the ground if they were aiming for it.

  11. Lets start at the very beginning, the big (huge) PR lie – LEOs risk their lives everyday for you and are in some incredibly dangerous job. They don’t.

    Every time someone is injured or killed on the job, any job, there is paperwork. Sometimes an injury gets under/non reported but that just doesn’t happen with death. Especially on a government time card. All that data is collected, collated, and put into big reports by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.

    For the first time in quite a long time, LEO has just made it back into the top 10 dangerous jobs in the US. At number 10. Barely.

    Big picture, out of all the people who go to work everyday all across our land of over 300 million, only 4,690 died from injuries on the job. That’s pretty amazing when you thing about it. About nine times that many died in car crashes. Going to work may get you killed, but once you’re there, you’re pretty darn safe.

    Here’s a link to one of those reports which has charts, graphs and numbers. Lots of numbers. But it’s a pretty straightforward read.

    OTJ deaths are compared by the “deaths per 100k” metric so lets see who actually gets up everyday and risks their life for you…

    Fishing industry – 121.2
    Logging – 102.4
    Pilots, flight eng. – 57.0
    Refuse collector – 41.2
    Roofer -31.8
    Iron, steelworkers -26.9
    Farm/ranch/ag – 25.3
    Driver/sales, trucker -24.0
    Elec utility worker -20.3
    Taxi driver chauff -19.7

    Oh yeah, Police officer? -18.0

    You want to know who’s wife has to worry that her hubby ain’t coming home for dinner ever again? Your trashman’s, at over twice the rate of a LEO. Your commercial pilot friend at three times the rate of an LEO. Mrs. Gorton’s fisherman is the one who should be really worried about her man’s career choice at about 7 times the fatality rate had he just done something safe like become a cop.

    • With a screen name like Agitator & an attitude like that, is it any wonder why you have less than amicable contacts with police?

      For all the detractors on here who despise American Police, perhaps you should emigrate to Liberia, Sudan or Somalia. I hear there’s NO irritating police to wantonly violate your very state of being.

      No one is perfect; bad teachers, bad doctors, bad politicians etc. All professions have incompetent people. Sometimes it’s hard to weed them out because of politics, red tape or piss poor management. Of the 700,000+ USLEO’s in this Republic the ones you hear about in the news (who actually did commit a crime) represent a tiny % of the overall number of honorable officers who do the job everyday for a generally apathetic public. I do appreciate & thank a citizen when I get a simple “thank you” from them.

      I work in AZ where gun ownership is the norm, not unusual. Hell, I’ve had many armed citizens approch me to ask a question about whatever. They’ll tell me they’re armed to which I say; ok, thanks for telling me. Then we move on with the conversation. Some are carrying openly & I do see big eyes from folks who see that the person in carrying a sidearm talking to the police. I don’t mind, the bad guys don’t tell us they are armed or carry openly! Ergo their criminal behavior. I only remove a firearm from a person when they are lawfully detained for a legal issue for EVERYONE’s safety. If the issue is resolved then the weapon is returned-unloaded & intact.

      I agree with some of the postings here. Some states have seriously FUBAR laws & they are not right. But, this is a Republic, not a demacracy & the police have to enforce the rule of law. That’s where the citizenry/voters need to incite change. I hate politics in my profession as much as anyone else. I would much rather enforce the just laws the way the founding fathers intended it than deal with the BS & legalese that goes with it! Lest we forget what class of people have done this to us: LAWYERS with an agenda!! We find ourselves getting screwed over by legal system more than you know. I despise seeing a solid criminal case against a real shitbag get tossed, or plead down by some jerkoff atty who has nothing invested in the matter! No justice for the perp, victim or society. It’s aggravating!!

      So, until the detractors have done what I do every single day for many years, try to see it from the officers perspective. We’re human, we’re not perfect nor is the rest of the world. The vast majority of American Police do care about the community’s we serve & live in too. We do recognize that the majority of the U.S. are decent, law abiding people who make mistakes occasionally. Remember, your response to police contact can make or break the situation. If the citizen is amped up, the cops may be also. Generally, a tactful inquiry will suffice to get an explanation from the cops. Does it work always? It depends on he severity of the incident & what is happening right at that moment. After the incident is resolved, that is a better time to ask for an explanation. In my experience that works best for everyone after things have settled down.

      We have to be on guard, people DO try & DO hurt us. Unlike the statistical comparison that another reader posted; the garbage man or Gortons fisherman don’t have PEOPLE knowingly trying to KILL them! That fact changes the dynamic just a bit from other professions.

      So, for those who lack understanding or are just to easily offended to listen to fact & logic, emigrate elsewhere. I have yet to have someone from south of the border tell me that they FEAR American police. They do however fear the juntas from their countries of origin.

  12. I take felons to jail and felons only. I have given several gun owners their guns back even when, technically, I should have arrested them for Unlawfully Carrying a Weapon, as their gun wasn’t properly concealed when I walked up to the car.
    I respect gun ownership rights to the highest and believe people obviously need to be able to protect themselves.
    Many of my brothers in blue believe the same. But will you hear of that on the news? No…

    • @Bobby, I’m taking you at your word, and I’d shake your hand if I could. Still, I have one bone to pick with you — you speak of your “brothers in blue.” That excludes me from being your brother. That’s your choice, your decision, your call. It’s your own insularity, so don’t blame me or the media.

      • Ralph, just because I have brothers in blue, does not mean I dont have other brothers not in blue. So you, nor any other good person, are not excluded, my friend.

        We police officers are here for you good people.

        • We police officers are here for you good people.

          Some, maybe – not most. You’re also ignoring the fact that your job is to do the bidding of the government, not to do what is right. When faced with imprisonment for disobeying orders, I’m willing to bet you’d turn on your “brothers” and start smashing down their doors to confiscate their guns and drag them off to jail if you were ordered to do so.

        • Totenglocke….. Dont bet on me sir.

          And what should we do, by the way, with the laws we are sworn to uphold. Should we follow them and enforce them becuse the legislature, the people voted on the laws? Or should we take our opinions into account, like the courts, and make, break, and enforce only the law we agree with?

        • Don’t confuse politicians will with the will of “the people”. Our sham two party system with no real choice means that we vote for the lesser of two evils (if we even have an option between two evils) and then we HOPE that they’ll listen to our letters / phone calls and vote the way we want on laws.

          It’s good to see you admit that, even with a blatantly unconstitutional law like seizing all guns, you’d obey your masters without thinking. Sorry, but that solidly puts you with the bad guys, no matter how “good” you proclaim yourself to be.

        • Totenglocke…
          I appreciate you calling me a bad guy, knowing nothing about me of course.

          And no, I would not seize fellow citizems firearms. The gun is the last resort tool of the citizens to defend themselves against a tyrannical govt of course.
          And hate big government to the bone sir.
          But I appreciate your wild, baseless assumptions you seem to have for everyone you respond to.

          By the way, can you think of a better system then our republic with laws in place voted on by the legislaters voted into office by the people?

        • @Bobby

          Hey, you’re the one who said that you’d obey any orders, no matter how unconstitutional. I’m sorry that you don’t like that your statements make you one of the bad guys, but that’s your personal issue, not mine.

          If you hate big government so much, why work as one of their enforcers that crams big governments’ will down people’s throats? Sorry, but that’s kind of hypocritical to claim that you’re opposed to something and yet work in support of that same thing. It’s like me ranting about how much I hate Apple and then getting a job working at an Apple store.

          As for improving our government? How about a system where we have actual choices in politicians instead of having the politicians select our choices for us and work in conjuncture with their friends in the media to ensure that candidates that the people actually support are insulted and made out to be psychotic?

        • Totenglocke,

          U mind copying and pasting my post where I said I would Obey anyorders nomatter how unconstitutional?

          In fact, I dont even write tickets. Even when the LT occasional mentions that we should write more tickets. I just turn in my felony arrests and dont worry about it.

          I believe the police are here to protect the people that cant protect themselves. And that’s what I and my partner and several officers I work with do. No more, no less.

          I can tell you’re a good dude though. I just hope you come visit us in south Dallas sometime.

        • @Bobby

          Your exact words were “And what should we do, by the way, with the laws we are sworn to uphold. Should we follow them and enforce them becuse the legislature, the people voted on the laws? Or should we take our opinions into account, like the courts, and make, break, and enforce only the law we agree with?“. That’s saying that you support following bad orders because they’re your orders and your job is to follow orders, not to think.

          Sorry, but I don’t buy it for a second that you don’t write tickets, seeing how that’s almost all police do anymore.

        • Totenglocke,

          You’re an idiot. What reason, evidence do you have that I write tickets?

          I have no reason to lie. In fact, Dallas Police Department has a unit in every division whose mission it is to take the felons to jail.


          What is so hard to understand about that.

          A debate with you is like a debate with liberals. You dont base your opinions on facts and you make wild accusations about something which you know nothing, and have no evidence to support.

  13. @Matt N, this was a well thought out and written post. I think that ST really hit the nail on the head when he answered your question: *BECAUSE THEY DO NOT ANSWER TO THE PUBLIC THEY SERVE*.

    The police have created a closed society where they answer to nobody but themselves, and their union dictates that bad cops are untouchable without state or federal intervention. There can be no such animal as a “hero cop” when police alibi and lie for each other, or at the very least, turn a blind eye to bad cops in their midst. When a bunch of cops murdered two people and shot four others at the Danziger Bridge in New Orleans, cops did what they always do — they lied and covered it up. Where were the heroes?

    I’m tired of reading reports every day of unreasonable, unlawful police shootings and beatings, accompanied by the pratings of police officials to “wait until all the evidence is in,” when we know damn well that the only thing that’s not in yet is the fix.

    Recently, we had this: (Cops Kill Man in Raid on Wrong House), and this I’m sure there are many more cases that will be buried deeper than Kelley Thomas (go ahead and google the name).

    A cop may be good, bad or indifferent, because a cop is just a person. However, cops as an organized group are a dangerous not-so-secret society, armed to the teeth and with no sense of responsibility to anyone but themselves.

    • If you want to see how this all plays out nationally go over to Actually started a few years ago by one semi-employed guy as the most scientific survey of what really happens with bad cops once it has hit the vetted news. Now run by Cato, it really is the most wide reaching and scientific aggregator that I have found – frankly, there’s nothing else like it.

      All the horror stories, plus follow-ups as to what, if anything, happens.

    • Ralph,
      I’m glad you enjoyed the post. The question asked was intended to set the stage for the piece, but I’m always glad to read other opinions.
      As you said, cops are just people, good, bad, and otherwise.
      One of the other comments talks about the end of the peace officer being the war on drugs. I would add to that the creation of police as revenue generators.
      The point where speed traps became less about public safety and more about generating income for the machine was the point at which things started going backwards for me.
      I like writing about such things, so if there’s another topic I can research and compile, let me know.

  14. In my case, I started losing respect for many LEO agencies when the focus shifted from protection to blind enforcement.
    In past days if any citizen made a minor mistake, like carrying a pocket knife or firearm into a prohibited ares, they could expect to be informed that the behavior was illegal and afforded a chance to rectify the situation. Nowadays they can expect the full force of the law to come down on them like they are a hardened criminal.
    Look at the crime of not carrying proof of insurance, a hefty fine for not having the document in the car with you at all times, not a simple “fix it ticket” to bring it in to the police station for verification.
    Look at the poor California man who was arrested for having an “assault weapon” in his car as he picked up a shooting buddy at the airport, he had complied with every asinine law the state required, yet was arrested for not proceeding directly from home to the range but thought he could save a little time by picking his buddy up on the way.
    There are too many people who have been, or are currently in jail/prison for the crime of “trying” to follow the law as best they could but failing one technical stricture.

    • Much of this has been driven by the current fascination with “performance based metrics”. BKA, what we used to refer to as “quotas”.

      Most modern metros are now judging themselves and their officers onsome sort of “hard data”. Have been for the last 15+ years.

      Just like that form for stops made on your way home end-of-shift to justify your take-home car is more pleasing to the LT when it’s not blank, you’re considered a better officer if you have “x” ped stops and “y” felony grabs per month on the job.

      If you judge how well a cop does his job predominantly by numbers, you will get what we are getting now – cops motivated to bust you for anything they possibly can. It’s how they’re being graded, who would expect anything else?

      • Nailed it. Added to the fact that prosecutors are judged in a very similar fashion, it should surprise no one that we have the system we do.

        • And ordinary people never go to the court house and see a judge in action – all they do is look at the percentage of guilty verdicts he hands down and say “He’s tough on crime – I’ll vote for him!”, which gives judges motivation to just automatically find everyone guilty.

    • @Peter I couldn’t agree more. Many years ago a NYS policemen stopped my now deceased father for driving too slow. When asked why he was driving so slow my father answered because I’m drunk. The LEO lit up his gum ball, told my father to keep driving slowly, and followed him home to make sure he made it safely. He gave him a good talking to, but his prime objective was my father’s safety. Imagine that happening today.

      • … I may or may not have done this while in the Academy, on a day off, wearing nothing remotely resembling a uniform, when someone stopped at a gas station to ask me about my car.

        Now, if I did something like that, and anyone found out, or if God forbid, he crashed into someone on the way home, the city I work for would likely get sued for failing to prevent the collision, and end up paying a million-plus dollar settlement.

        Some of the enforcement focus is due to quotas, or a more subtle love of statistics. Some of it is down to “if I don’t, someone will sue.” Sad. And yet, I’ve seen it happen in my department, when one of our guys failed to take some action he had no legal authority to take, a civil court lawsuit cost the city well over a million. Wish I could give more details.

  15. I think Peace Officers are mostly extinct. There might be one or two specimens out there trying to eek out their survival in some small town, but they just don’t have the numbers to reproduce effectively. They have been crowded out by their much larger, more powerful, less ethical and generally more repugnant Law Enforcement Officer cousins. This new breed cares very little for actually keeping the peace and is much more concerned with enforcing the LAW, regardless of it’s lack of moral, ethical, historical or even natural standing. To learn more about behavior of the aptly-named LEO, study their natural habitat in any of the most recent despotic, tyrannical dictatorships throughout the last century around the globe.

    The preceding public service message was brought to you by the “‘I Was Just Following Orders’ is not an Excuse” Foundation.

  16. So what went wrong in Mexico to allow the authorities to operate with impunity and corruption? It’s more than just the US drug market we can blame. It’s the fact the cops and military are unrestrained, improperly supervised, and unaccountable to anyone.
    The same thing could come to pass here, since LEO confidently act as though the laws either don’t apply to them, or new regulations void out your rights. Witness the video tapes of cops encountering armed citizens and not only threatening them with violence but taking it out with tazers, stating to them they are guilty of a crime and are “going down”. Investigations start out innocently enough and devolve into entrapment where the costs and red tape of the legal system are used to extract punishment even if you are found innocent.
    And look at the relationship between law and armed citizen. We are hardly considered team mates and reminded constantly how They have training and we are all thumbs. At least we know how to clear a revolver without sending a round through the wall.

    Am I cherry picking a few bad apples? Obviously. But bad apples exist because safeguards, standards, training and accountability do not.

    • bad apples exist because safeguards, standards, training and accountability do not.

      Brilliant, true, and I wish I had written it.

  17. To 16V, why don’t you go walking up to cars all night in south Dallas and let me know how you like it. Make sure you do it for long enough to get into a couple shootings cause a couple guys wanted to pull a gun on you cause they were robbing a chick or they were dealing dope before you get back to me.

    And all you people talking about how police whine about no respect? No respect is just a way of life for police officers. Its understood. No officers I know are worried about it in the least, much less vocal about it and whining.

    Most of the officers I know take people to e tickets.
    Now, I know all officers are different, and everyone has different experiences wiyh officers

    • Bobby, you volunteered. If you don’t want to be walking up on cars in Dallas, do something else. It’s a free country. Well, kinda.

      • Ralph,
        I DO like walking up on cars. I like taking felons to jail. And I love my job.
        I believe it is essential for us officers to uphold everyone’s constitutional rights.
        Most officers I know are absolutely for the 2nd Amendment and against anyone who tries to suppress it.

        • “I believe it is essential for us officers to uphold everyone’s constitutional rights.”

          Now would be a good time to start……

    • Walking up to cars in South Dallas? I’d be bored to tears. Alert, aware, but bored to tears. Especially armed, in a vest and plate, with a backup, knowing the incredibly tiny odds for getting shot let alone killed, and getting paid to do it. I know waaayyyy too many cops who work really bad hoods to buy that propaganda for a minute.

      It’s a job, a safer one than most Americans have. Sorry that rustles the jimmies of your mythology, but it’s simply a fact.

      • I think that’s going a bit too far, and will continue to think that until you show some more stats than previously posted. Is it the most dangerous job in America? No.

        However, most people in America aren’t commercial fishermen, or loggers, or any of the other jobs that come in higher than police. There are far more people who work retail sales alone, jobs like Wal-Mart, Target, Best Buy, etc, than police. There are apparently far more teachers than police in America. Look at chart 8 from a different page, same source you quoted.

        34 teachers and librarians died on the job last year, according to the page you posted, and this includes 12 “roadway” deaths, and 24 “falls, slips, trips.” Not sure how they did their math. 149 died in law enforcement, 45 of which were homicides. Yes, there are more dangerous jobs. Maybe you have one of them. Most jobs are safer, and that’s the way it should be.

        • Think/feel whatever you want. These are death stats from the BLS. Non-partisan, validated, checked, and sampled to a fare-the-well. That you don’t like the facts is not an argument.

          “However, most people in America aren’t commercial fishermen, or loggers, or any of the other jobs that come in higher than police. ”

          So you’re honestly suggesting with a straight face that there are more cops than there are iron workers, truck drivers, route salesman (the beer guy, pepsi guy, chip guy), farmers, electrical workers, taxi drivers…

          There are more farmers alone than police. Just farmers. Not to mention truck drivers or warehouse workers. More of each job and they all are more likely to get killed on the job.

          Sorry the facts don’t fit the illusion that the PR folks want to spin. But the fact is that most people aren’t police and many many millions of people hold jobs that are far more likely to get them killed than the under one million PO/COs.

        • Oops, rereading the earlier post “…most Americans…” is supposed to read “…most blue collar Americans…”. Don’t know how I missed that, but I did.

          Mea culpa.

        • That’s not quite what you said. You said “It’s a job, a safer one than most Americans have.”

          Are there more people employed in more dangerous jobs than police? Yes. Do some of the jobs by themselves that have a higher danger level employ more Americans than police jobs? Yes. Fortunately, this country is still civilized enough that we don’t need that many police.

          What you haven’t shown is that out of the more than 130 million employed Americans today, more than half of them have jobs that are more dangerous than police. Maybe ten million have more dangerous jobs, maybe twenty million. That’s a large number, but it’s not most Americans by likely a hundred million.

          Unless (reading the second bit) you took the time to break down blue collar vs white collar, and somehow consider an office worker, a teacher, a doctor, to not be a real American. If so, I’m not going to respond. If you just meant that blue collar workers do an honest, often difficult, and sometimes very dangerous job, then that’s fair, but it’s also a distortion of statistics.

          I respect farmers, truck drivers, commercial fishermen, and everyone else who’s not a career criminal. I also think it’s a tragedy on some level that their jobs aren’t made safer.

        • As I noted in the follow-up, it was supposed to read “blue collar Americans” and I apologized for the confusion. Don’t know how much clearer that can be.

          The big picture point is that ALL Americans are really pretty safe at work.(OK, not the fishermen.) But, the constant media drumbeat (perpetuated by police PR) that being a PO is this incredibly dangerous job is simply not true.

          A farmer falls off a tractor and gets caught in the brush hog. A warehouse worker is killed by a falling pallet. A PO is wounded, not fatally. Which one is going to get top billing and 5 minutes of handwringing on the evening news and which ones are going to be a 10 second blurb before the weather? Hmmmm.

          I understand fully that selling this danger fiction is incredibly useful for leveraging taxpayers into paying bigger salaries, bigger retirements, and newer shinier toys. Fireman do it too, it’s just playing the game. I also get that if you did your academy in the last 10-15, you’ve likely been trained so hard that everyone and everything are a potential threat to you, it’s difficult to have perspective.

          There’s millions of folks out there doing jobs that most reasonable people consider quite safe, yet they are all statistically more likely to get killed on the job than being a PO.

          None of that in any way makes the job of PO inherently less necessary, or less valuable. It’s just not that dangerous in any remarkable way.

        • Ok, here we can agree. Yes, it’s not as dangerous as it’s made out to be. Part of that is the media, part is the over-reaction of many people to 9-11, which very few people were able to think about with anything approaching proper perspective, and yes, part of it is from police with an inflated sense of their own importance.

      • What propaganda would you be referring to sir? I was merely stating facts and a question?

        The propaganda would be you stating that MOST Americans have a more dangerous job than a police officer.

        And bored to tears? It’s pretty exciting, actually, never knowing what you are walking up to and taking felons to jail every day and seizing their dope, guns, and money.

        You must be killing terrorists every day or jumping out of airplanes for that to bore you.

        • I corrected my mistyping.

          I know cops, I’ve dated cops, I’ve had 4 in the close family, people on the job have tried to recruit me for years.

          If lighting up a never ending series of Firebirds, Camaros, and Grand Prixes then grabbing the predictable drugs or guns from it’s denizens is exciting, well you’ve found your calling. For a minute.

          Hate to tell you, but the Ricky Ranger thrill always wears off by the time you do your second year, honest. That it didn’t wear off by the time you left the tutelage of your FTI is a bit odd. That you are still referring to “suspects” and “perps” as “felons” is even a bit more telling.

          As I said, alert and aware. But yeah, I bore easily and while the same 10-ish scenarios with an oddball once a week may work for you (right now), it wouldn’t cut it for me anymore than skydiving, bungee jumping, or base jumping 5 times a week.

          BTW, As NYC finds that one summons per shift and one arrest per month is decent productivity, what kind of felony wonder-squad are you on to be constantly hauling off all these bad guys? Why are you wasting your talents in sleepy South Dallas, North St Louis or East St. Louis need you!

        • 16V,

          My partner and I average about 5 or 6 felons in jail a week.

          Usually a gun or 2. Mostly felony drugs. The occasional robbery or burglary suspect.

          I appreciate you referring to I and my partner as the wonder squad, but, I must admit, south Dallas is like fish in a barrel. It’s almost too easy.

          And when I use the word ‘felon’ rather than perp or suspect, I am speaking of a person who has literally been convicted of a felony, most of the time several. What word would you rather me use to describe someone who has been convicted of a felony?

        • Bobby,

          Fair enough, if they’ve been convicted ‘felon’ is perfectly accurate – which begs the question are you doing parole vios, felony warrant squad, just letting the ALPR pick the targets and only stopping felony records?

          (Or just doing the light up 3-pontiacs-and-something-on-chromerims-a-day plan. That one is painfully easy to generate felony arrests. Absolutely morally wrong, but it does work throughout the Midwest.)

          Good productivity, just don’t let it drive you nuts.

    • Here’s a tip – when you spend your day harassing people just trying to get from point A to point B so that your department can get some extra revenue, it’s your own damn fault if you do it to someone bigger and badder than you and they put a bullet in your chest. If you were trying to harass innocent people, you wouldn’t have pulled over the drug dealer (don’t even get me started on the fact that police violence against people selling a product caused them to turn violent in return) and gotten shot.

      • Totenglocke, I see your a very bitter person and hate the police.

        Thanks for the tip.

        Would you rather us not look for drug dealers and murderers?

        If so, I assume you are one yourself?

        • I’m only “bitter” when thugs are allowed to run around destroying people’s lives and making everyone worse off just for kicks.

          As for drug dealers? Absolutely not. They’re not doing anything wrong – they’re simply businessmen who’s product was arbitrarily made illegal, just like alcohol was arbitrarily made illegal. The only reason that there is ANY violence involved with the narcotics trade is because of it arbitrarily being made illegal. As long as it’s being sold to adults, what’s the harm to anyone else? All of the arguments for why drugs need to be illegal are fallacious and revolve around “If drugs are legal, there will be blood in the streets!” – the same bogus arguments that the anti’s use.

          Please, tell me, what does spending 95+% of your time harassing people driving to work have to do with looking for murderers? That’s right – jack shit.

        • Totenglocke,

          Drug dealers often carry guns and often rob and shoot people.

          And making many traffic stops enable us to find people with murder, agg assault and burglary warrants.

          I know that is REALLY hard for you to underatand. Read it over a couple times… Nice and slow

        • @Bobby

          As I pointed out in my previous posts, drug dealers only carry guns because they’re forced to do to your government making them illegal despite there being no rational reason for them to be illegal. You can make an argument for not selling them to minors, but there’s no justification for drugs to be illegal for adults.

          Since you want to justify stopping people and harassing them while they try to get to work with “We occasionally catch people with a warrant our for their arrest”, why not do away with that pesky 4th amendment and allow police to randomly enter homes and search for people or set up cameras to record them all the time? You know what would let you catch more criminals? Actually looking for them and doing some investigating instead of police spending almost all of their time sitting on the side of the road looking for another person to harass.

        • Totenglocke,

          You continue to show complete ignorance. Im pretty much done debating with you. Your posys are just ridiculous.
          Drug dealers carry guns, shoot people and rob because they are in competition with other drug dealers… I know this is mind blowing information. Please hold your head on tight.

          And just for your peace of mind. Not many people are on their way to work in the middle of the night. And even less stop at dope houses on the way. These are the people we stop.

          As for the 4th amendment, I think thats a pretty important one. And Im stopping these people in PUBLIC, not in their residence.

          I actially believe adults should be able to do wgatever the want inside their own homes, as long as they ate not infringing on anyone else’s roghts , hurting someone.

  18. Technical difficulties at the end of my last post…

    But if you people don’t think that officers let people go with warnings for their honest mistakes all the time, then you are just dead wrong.

    Most of us use common sense and discretion.

    Some of you ‘good citizen gun owners’ are really pissing me off by bundling us all together in the same category. Every police officer is different and a GREAT MAJORITY do it the right way.

    • Yea, you can piss on a citizen but don’t piss the cops off. Most cops view private gun ownership as a threat to their authority as far as I can tell.

    • But if you people don’t think that officers let people go with warnings for their honest mistakes all the time, then you are just dead wrong.

      I can testify to the truth of that statement. Last year, I ran a full red light right in front of a cop. He stopped me and asked, “Do you know why I pulled you over?” I said, “Yes, you pulled me over because I’m an idiot.” We both laughed and I ended up with a warning only.

      That’s the good part. The bad part is the way you phrased the question. I know that you meant no harm, but calling us “you people” is a huge red flag. I hope you get it, because cops have a lot of work to do to win back the hearts and minds of “us people.”

      • When I say, ‘you people’ , I literally mean ‘you people’ with whom I am debating and no one else.

        Come on now, Ralph, please don’t get offended and assume I believe I am any better or worse than the common folk 😉

    • Some of you ‘LEOs’ are really pissing me off by bundling us all together in the same category. Every gun owner is different and a GREAT MAJORITY do it the right way.

      Fixed it for you.

    • “ing me off by bundling us all together in the same category. Every police officer is different.”

      With respect, all police are in the same category. They are police. Based on the last statistics I’ve read there are about 800,000 police to over 300,000,000 citizens. The math works out to about one officer to 400 people. The police are largely faceless. We can not help but lump you together since we have no means or inscentive to do otherwise. How shall I distinguish between you? How shall I pick between the bully and the peace officer?

      • MD, I knew someone would say that. Yep, of course we’re all in a category. And you won’t know me till you roll through south Dallas in the middle of the night sometime when you’re lost. Hopefully not buying dope. Anything other than that, and Im sure you’ll be on your way with not a ticket in hand.

        • Works for me.
          For what it’s worth, you seem like a decent person.
          and I respect you for at least talking about the issues as an adult instead of descending to hate speach and vulgarities.
          That’s one of the things I like about this site, the fact that there is intelegent debate that doesn’t have to mean I’m questioning people personally.

    • Some of you ‘good citizen gun owners’ are really pissing me off by bundling us all together in the same category.

      Oh, you mean like how you “good cops” have pissed off the citizens of the US for decades by declaring us all criminals since a very small minority are actual dangerous criminals? Screw you – you started the war against us, you have no right to cry like a little girl for us retaliating. I have many relatives / friends that a cops and I know damn well that most of them are NOT good cops – the majority of them are sociopaths who enjoy seeing defenseless people tortured and took the job so that they could bully people.

  19. Ralph,
    I DO like walking up on cars. I like taking felons to jail. And I love my job.

    I believe it is essential for us officers to uphold everyone’s constitutional rights.

    Most officers I know are absolutely for the 2nd Amendment and against anyone who tries to suppress it.

    • Bobby, the gist of your first post should be that we should all try walking a mile in your shoes because your job is so dangerous. I would then ask you to walk a mile in a pizza delivery boy’s shoes, because his job is more dangerous than your is. I’ll say it once again – in terms of deaths on the job per capita, pizza delivery is a more dangerous profession than policing is. They also don’t get ultra powerful unions at their backs, make FAR less money than police do and I’m going to guess they don’t have your ridiculous pensions either.

      Can you guess who I’d rather show up at my door? 30 minutes or less only seems to apply to one of you.

      • Funny enough, I actually delivered pizzas in college.

        I was merely saying that some of you guys may have a different view on the subject if you spent some time doing the job.

        I hear you, other jobsare statistically for dangerous.
        But to characterize us as whiners, because some have whined, would be like saying that America is a far left country because the minority and the media is…,

    • Don’t bother arguing. A lot of these commenters cry foul when gun grabbers lump and view all gun owners/enthusiasts/2a supporters from our lowest common denominator. Then the same commenters, in their next post, turn around and do the exact same thing to a group of people based on their profession. They can’t or refuse to see the irony and realize their own hypocrasy.

      • I don’t really understand what you’re trying to say, but if it’s that all cops are being judged by a few bad apples you’re wrong. The problem overall with police is demonstrably systemic – it’s either a large minority or even a majority of police, as well as a large minority or majority of cops that aren’t necessarily crooked but aid and abet or keep silent on the ones that are. The PATRIOT act and other legislation passed in haste since 9/11 has only exacerbated the problem.

        • “The problem overall with police is demonstrably systemic – it’s either a large minority or even a majority of police, as well as a large minority or majority of cops that aren’t necessarily crooked but aid and abet or keep silent on the ones that are.”

          The problem with that statement is that is it not demonstrably factual. It is an opinion, and one that was offered without statistical or factual support.

        • I actually looked through every one of those links you posted. Most show the statistical breakdown of the different types of police misconduct. NONE of them tell me what percentage of all officers are responsible for those misconducts. NONE of them tell me what percentage those misconducts constitute compared to the total number of calls for service and on-view incidents that all LEOs responded to in the same year the misconducts were listed for.

          But let’s take the numbers for total police misconducts given from one of your sites for a period of time of just over a year. The number was about 6000 (rounding up). Estimates for the number of total LEOs in this country are anywhere from mid 600000 to 800000 or more(depending on what site you use). Even using the low end of that number, 600k, comparing it to 6k misconducts (not factoring in the possibility that 1 officer could be responsible for more than one misconduct) you have 1%.

          I will even give you that fact that not all incidents of misconduct are reported and brought to light. But even doubling, tripling, or quadrupling that number won’t get you anywhere near the “large minority” or “majority of police” which you claimed.

          Did you read the information you posted in all those links or did you just simply google search and cut and paste a few times? Nevermind, you already told me.

        • I did read through them as a matter of fact… did you? I only ask because there is indeed a graph illustrating the number of reports per 100K officers… in fact there are two (2nd and 3rd links). Furthermore, your extrapolation is flawed because the figure you used includes all law enforcement while the study includes only state and local, and you assume that each incident involves only one officer. This isn’t the case – the Cato study you apparently didn’t bother with indicates the ratio is about 1.5 officers involved in each incident. That leads me to a realistic number of something like 5-10%. While I’ll grant you that my assumption that most cops or corrupt or complicit in corruption was a off, data in the same links above show that police are on par with the general public in terms of violent crime, more likely to commit murder, and far, far more likely to use excessive fatal force. This doesn’t even use conceal carry holders, who are generally far more law abiding than the general public.

          So please explain to me now how the problem is not systemic.

        • “…my assumption that most cops or corrupt or complicit in corruption was a off…”

          That’s all I was trying to say dude.

        • Nope, you were broadly dismissing anything negative said about cops and now you’re clinging to the one straw I’ve given to you. You haven’t provided a single piece of information indicating that the problem of police abuse isn’t systemic or really said anything to support your point of view.

        • Read my first post and any subsequent ones and point me to where I said anything similar to “I dismiss anything negative said about cops.” My original post was a response to Bobby’s last paragraph stating:

          “Some of you ‘good citizen gun owners’ are really pissing me off by bundling us all together in the same category. Every police officer is different and a GREAT MAJORITY do it the right way”

          Fact is, the MAJORITY of police officers are not corrupt nor do they engage in misconduct. That’s something even the data in your own sites support. You can keep arguing if you wish, but that was the only point I was making.

        • EATENG,

          You are certainly correct that the majority (something north of 70% and realistically far more than that) are not actively criminal.

          But, while the whole house may not know it, everybody on your squad does know which among them is a drunk, which is addicted to painkillers, which one smacks his wife around, which one will lift a bit of dealer cash (or some blow for the bunnies), who is most likely to give somebody a tune-up for looking sideways at a traffic light, who to call if a shoot looks bad and you forgot your drop gun, and who likes to spend a bit too much time doing ridealongs with those Explorer girls. Or boys.

          Everybody covers for those bad cops until they get so bad, it puts everybody else on the squad at risk, or they get caught somewhere that can’t be “managed”. Then, and only then, does the rogue officer finally get some of the attention that we would have gotten long ago.

          This is why the general public doesn’t trust cops. They see the light/non-existent sentences handed down to cops for crimes that would get anyone else 20 years. They know damn good and well that cop who is shown getting arrested for drunk driving has been stopped 10 times before and let go. They know that 2 cops who shoot each other during a drug-fueled 3 am game of quickdraw in a car while cheating on their spouses aren’t doing this for the first time.

          And they know, that you knew, and let it slide.

  20. I think that the day that the War on Drugs was declared that our peace officers started becoming a militarized enemy to the very people that they are supposed to serve and protect. There are good an bad just like in any profession but guess what? Any other profession can’t deprive you of life, limb or property on a whim!
    I have been held at gun point for legally openly carrying my firearm, I have been handcuffed for respecting an officer enough to tell him that I had a weapons permit, I have been called an ‘insurrectionist’ for refusing a search of my vehicle AFTER being handcuffed for officer safety, I have been called a moron for telling an officer that I didn’t have to have a weapons permit to have a loaded gun in my car (before I got my weapons permit). So yeah, until they start actually knowing the laws they are supposed to enforce and reading the Constitution then I will keep on treating them like that dog you’re just waiting on to bite you one day.

  21. My personal experiences with the local police in Portland is 100% good. I appreciate and respect the local police. I also hold the police accountable knowing there are good and bad ones. I do not like the double-legal standards with how the local city governments and state protects the police when it would punish a regular private citizen.

    In terms of gun ownership and the growing anti-freedom fascist policies of the US federal, state and local governments can I trust the police? Are they my ally or enemy? I think they are a mixed crowd: some allies some enemies. I do not know what behavior to expect from the local police as the spread of progressive authoritarian politics continues to strip away our rights, invade our privacy spying on us, and attempts to re-mold free American men into nanny-state approved metro-sexuals.

    • What you should expect is that the police with principles will refuse to obey and be fired or they’ll quit. Those without principles will follow orders and enforce the “LAW.” New recruits who will obey will be hired to fill the gaps left by those who wouldn’t obey. In the end, the police force will be made up of those who care not for morality or justice, only the “LAW.” That is, unless those who love liberty, police and otherwise, do something to stop it before it’s too late.

  22. I’m probably a bit older than the average here. Over the years I’ve had a few and I mean few breaks from officers ( BTW I liked things better when officers were referred to as peace officers ans opposed to law enforcement). But I have had 3-4 situations where the men in blue have lied to screw me over. Fortunately no jail time was involved, but it has cost me many thousands of $ to unscrew the problems. Now how do I predict which cop is in my car window? I’m always polite and compliant with men who have guns AND badges, as I can only make my situation worse by arguing. When I see vids where cops body slam women to the pavement because they get a bit bitchy verbally I question who to trust. Contempt of cop is not a crime punishable by cruelty. But that aside, when your driving down the road and a police car pulls in behind you do you feel nervous or secure? A lot of cops treat everyone like perps, and with all the laws that are piled on top of laws they are to some degree right. But I think the crux of the biscuit is Police Unions.

    Police Unions put cops in the position of ignoring societies issues in favor of union issues. You cannot serve two masters. The P/R of a department tends to take precedent over right and wrong. And if an officer can enlighten me, why do cops treat officers from IA like criminals treat cops? I know a bunch of cops some are personal friends most are not and I can’t think of one that has any respect for IA.

    I truly would hope the department would vet potential officers more thoroughly and that the unions were scaled back in power, but I have a better chance of becoming a State Trooper than seeing that happen.

  23. Police tried luring me into illegal firearm transactions, tried to threaten me at my job over frivolties, and have returned my courtesy with cold arrogance. We can get along when I become a fellow citizen to them.

  24. Here’s a good post I’d really like to comment on, but I have to write a crash where a motorcycle rider tore his thumb off. For what it’s worth, one of our officers who was also an EMT treated the rider, and possibly saved the thumb.

    There are a number of TTAG posters I’d like to have a beer with, and would very much like to see more solidarity between gun owners and peace / police officers / civil servants or whatever it is that we are. Just as there are many different types of gun owners, there are many different types of LEOs. I don’t believe that LEOs are posting here to be a pain in the a$$, but rather to share their opinions on the 2A that they value.

    There are definitely a lot of mistakes and criminal acts that gets covered up, which is wrong. As far as I know, the Fullerton PD officers who beat Kelley Thomas to death will do prison time. I absolutely disagree that we are the only profession that covers things up – you can find evidence of that in the news media, military, construction, etc. I’ve seen lawyers (especially defense attorneys), do some reprehensible things.

    Some LEOs have done excellent things, and many of them have not been noticed because an actual shooting was not involved. The flip side is that clearly mistakes have been made (such as the NYPD shooting 9 people) which are clearly unacceptable.

    • I don’t believe that LEOs are posting here to be a pain in the a$$

      On the contrary. I just don’t envision bad cops engaging with anyone on this forum, so any LEO posting here is welcome as far as I’m concerned.

  25. In response to the question:

    Yeah. Just remember that you’re also part of our community and don’t lord your position over me.

    Oh and don’t ever take part in citizen disarmament. I don’t care what gun bans the empty suit traitors may (or may not) pass in the future that mandate firearms confiscation. You don’t have to abide by unconstitutional laws or follow unconstitutional orders.

    For your own safety and for the good of the country, refuse to enforce them and arrest the sacks of **** for violating their oaths.

    You’re either with us or against us on that.

    • The day the order to go door to door and take the guns comes out in briefing is the day I turn in my badge, take my three duty weapons (paid for out of pocket) home, and apologize in advance to the first man in the door.

      Not on my watch.

      • When then they inform you that they’ll grab you and throw you in jail indefinitely for weapons possession (remember, they just made owning guns illegal) and betraying “your brothers in blue”, I think you’ll change your mind.

        • This is the last free country on Earth, unless Texas secedes. Everyone has lines they will not cross, and this is one of mine. Like many on this site, I’ve served in a uniform most definitely not civilian in the past. Will I be killed if this comes to pass. Likely. Same as many of you who have some principles which will not bend.

          The thing is, I can think of maybe two people in my department of over 100 sworn officers that would follow such an order. I don’t think either would like it. Of the rest, maybe half would refuse to obey, the other half would be right there with me walking out the door.

          Those of you living in places where you feel this to be a ridiculous statement, are likely living under men named Bloomberg or Emanuel. You have my condolences.

        • This is the last free country on Earth

          Sorry, mate, but this hasn’t been a free country for some time. It used to be free and those of you who enforce the governments views proclaim to the peasants that it’s still free, but those of us who actually have to obey the law know it’s not.

          Those of you living in places where you feel this to be a ridiculous statement, are likely living under men named Bloomberg or Emanuel. You have my condolences.

          Nope, I live in one of the best (probably not THE best, but damn close to where I feel no motivation to ever move to another state) laws for freedom. I’m simply smart enough to read the news, see the postings of police / soldiers on their Facebook / blogs, and listen to police / soldiers that I talk to at social / family functions and realize that they are most definitely NOT on the side of freedom – they’re 100% on the side of the government, regardless of what that government does.

  26. I think one thing overlooked by this article is how good LEO’s seem to often ignore the crimes committed by bad LEO’s in their ranks. If good LEO’s want my support, and honestly believe in the moral calling of their duties, I expect to see good LEO’s falling over themselves to rat out/arrest/testify against the bad apples that are making police look bad.

  27. I believe one of the biggest set backs to the police community regarding the opinion of the public is a refusal of some members of the police force to admit they made a mistake. Be it no knock warrants at the wrong house, or an overzealous State Trooper pulling you over for running a railroad crossing sign that he mistook for a stop sign. The second example is my own. I waved at a SC State Trooper as I passed, a habit I have since kicked, he pulled me over and informed me that I had run a stop sign. When I questioned him regarding the stop sign his response to me was “If there was no sign there we would not be here.” He was wrong, there is no stop sign at that intersection for traffic on the road I was traveling. After a VERY long time in his car he returned to hand me a warning ticket for the stop sign. I almost wish he had written the ticket for running a non-existent Stop sign. I would have enjoyed that court appearance, but I think he realized that he was wrong. He did not ever tell me he was mistaken. Police have become less and less human over the years and more and more alien. Until they start talking to kids at McDonalds and smiling once in a while they will continue to be seen as an outside enforcer, not integral parts of the community, which I hope they will one day be again.

  28. It’s not that I don’t trust police. I trust them to do their jobs. It’s their employers I don’t trust. Ultimately they will follow orders, if FEMA tells them to collect guns, they will. If a mayor tells them to stop and frisk, they will. If the DA wants them to interrogate a citizen who was involved in a DGU so that he can try a politically motivated case, they will.

  29. Man I really really want to be able to say I have faith that the majority of cops show up to work everyday thinking they want to do as good a job as possible and treat everyone according to their actions, but I have seen far too many examples of out and out contempt for the public to be able to think that way.
    Try getting pulled over on a motorcycle for doing 31 in a (downhill) 30 mph zone and have the cop tell you speeding is speeding.
    Try watching cops come into the bar youre working at and start mouthing off and hitting on other guys dates because hey, we’re cops, we aint getting pinched piling on some poor bastard in a lop sided bar fight.
    Try in vain to get help from the local PD to do something about a drug dealer ( I know I’ve mentioned this before) and being asked if my tax paying home owning fiance could just move elsewhere.
    How about getting pulled over in a seat belt spot check while RIDING A MOTORCYCLE, having to produce my paperwork then, when questioning why I was stopped, being told to get the f**k going before the cop found a reason to arrest me?
    The saddest thing is that I can cite quite a few more instances that I’ve either observed or been personaly involved in that cast the law enforcement professional(s) in a negative light. Maybe it’s just around the area I live in, but I’d say it’s at best a 50/50 split between good cops and incompetant thugs, but I can honestly say I have had far far more negative interactions than positive ones, and most of those times I was either an observer to events or was seeking assistance from the PD. My best guess is that somewhere along the line something has gone really wrong with the hiring process and the overall viewpoint of senior law enforcement officials.

  30. You hit the nail. In fact it goes both way, I would help any cop with out hesitation in a moment of need but maybe they dont give a thought about a civilian saving his life and the do happen. I have various friends tha are cops I dont mind cleaning ther guns in fact one time I ask if the want me to clean his pistol and said yes. And you know what happen? The gun have seized and and was stuck but I fixit. You never know when he may save your ass. I have been contemplating to donate a gun for his use in the field. But sometimes like cops treate you like shit because the know you have a gun and give you the stink eye. Dont know if the bigotry is that have one they feel they are the only ones to have one and they feel less man than you.

  31. No logic in carry your gun in a case & bullets outside the case. If a perp want your weapon going for a range you are fuck. BTW my country have the same shit on how to tranport them but I rather take my chances, the perp will have to fight if he wants the gun.

  32. Yes, we can get along if cops will start respecting the 2A rights (as stated in the US Constitution) of law-abiding citizens and stop treating them as suspects/subjects.

    And if not… well, then, they can just piss off.

  33. I give respect, you don’t earn it. I treat everyone I meet the same as I wish myself to be treated. All you can do are actions that will lose you that respect.

  34. I view it this way. I like a lot of individual cops. My uncle is one, he and his former partner are both fellow veterans and members of my MOPH chapter. My cousin and brother are both current or aspiring LEOs. My circle of friends includes no fewer than five current or retired LEOs and a DNR conservation officer. They’re all good people, and they’ll be the first to tell you that not all their co-workers are the same. But beyond personal inclinations, LEOs are the avatars of the state. They carry the direct blunt force of organized violence, and as such are held to a higher standard than civilians. I will always be more suspicious and inquisitive about police shoots than citizen shoots, because a cop murdering someone is worse than a civilian doing it. The cop is a sworn officer of the law and his misbehavior brings the law and order in general into disrepute. If LEO’s think this makes me disrespectful or biased against them, so be it. I’ve generally had good experiences with the police, but there’s an asshole in every bunch. It pays to keep an eye on them.

  35. I’ve had both good and bad interactions with police. Great when I called to report my daughter missing, great when I called to report a car broken into in my driveway, pretty good when I legitimately got pulled over for speeding in the 1990’s, not so good when I was repeatedly pulled over by the same dept for driving an old car. Seems they profile old cars as being used to mule drugs incase they are seized, minimizes the loss. Once they figured out I wasn’t running drugs (I was commuting to work), I got the “licence plate was obscured” or the “brake light was dim” or the “you were crowding the center line” reason for being pulled over. It soon became obvious to me that they were trying to either make a quota, or following orders from their commander to pull over every 10 plus year old car they saw. Today, if I see the red lights in my rearview mirror, I will wonder which officer I’m going to get, the one that wants to warn me that my rear tire is soft? or the one that demands in his best loud and rude “I’m in charge” voice, to know where I’m coming from? where am I going? and why am I on the road today? (as if I made HIS road dirty with my presense) And that is something that I think I should NOT have to wonder about.

  36. Police risk their lives daily for citizens, so why is it that they don’t get more respect?

    No. No they most certainly do not. And shame on you for trying to pull that tired old line on us.

    Some police risk their lives once in their career. Even fewer risk their lives more than over the span of their careers.

    The vast, overwhelming, clear majority of police officers are parasites on the working class. Their existence is solely justified by their efficiency at stopping random people and stealing their wealth using force and the threat of violence.

  37. Courts at all levels have upheld that the police are under no legal obligation to protect us. LEOs are responsible for enforcement of laws not for protecting us. We must protect ourselves.


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