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I often hear that no matter what a member of law enforcement is telling you to do, you should obey the officer immediately. People often argue that the only safe thing to do is to comply. Because that officer has the gun, the armor, the training, and if you scare that officer they are going to act in accordance to their training, and you are going to lose, maybe even die. I’ve heard this advice directly from members of law enforcement with no lack of bravado. There seems to be the general belief among many police forces and the public that you just better do what the officer says because they will always come out on top. Except when they don’t . . .

According to the Officer Down Memorial page there have been 24 police officers killed already this year as the direct result of assaults. Tell them about their invincibility, and how they will always win. Oh, you can’t. They’re dead.

Now I am willing to bet good money that the vast majority of these police officers died because they were doing their job, and doing it right, and some scumbag(s) just got the better of them. I am just as sure that there are police officers who have been killed or badly injured because they incorrectly identified a threat, started a cycle of aggression and wouldn’t back down.

As an EMT and military medic, I’ve seen law enforcement interactions with the general public go wrong when one or more of the parties involved misjudged the situation and then someone refused to back down. Many times the person who won’t back that cycle of aggression down is the professional police officer. I’m saying that there are times when cops back people into a corner and become perceived as the threat themselves, correctly or not. When that happens, it’s not always the citizen who gets hurt. Cops don’t always end up going home at the end of their shift. So I’d like to point out some dos and don’ts to law enforcement personnel in dealing with me, as a member of the general population.

First, don’t point a gun at people.

This should go without saying but it can’t. Although I have never had a member of law enforcement inside the U.S. point a gun at me, I have seen this happen to other people both in person and in videos. I am referring to people who were clearly not an immediate threat who ended up getting a duty gun aimed at them. In every case I can remember, an officer had justifiably recognized a threat. BUT after that threat was over, he continued to aim a gun at non-threats while talking to them or giving them instructions.

Don’t ever do that to me, or anyone else trained to counter a lethal threat with lethal force. If you do, you’ve left us with nothing but bad options. Like many vets and trained civilians, I’m likely going to take the best option I’ve been trained to take. And that option, when faced with an aggressive threat in body armor pointing a weapon at me, is to draw and shoot to stop the threat. Quite simply, if you are unsure of the threat, lower your weapon and the holster it.

Next, keep your damn hand off your gun.

Sometimes officers are not attempting to be aggressive when they perform this action. Putting a hand on their holstered gun is an approved “rest position” for some law enforcement agencies. And if you are the one with a belt loaded down with equipment and your pistol hangs off your hip, resting your hand there is a comfortable position. I get it, I really do. But that comfortable position for you is step one of the draw for me. The rest position is pretty much identical to step one of drawing your weapon.

If you just want to be comfortable, don’t make things really uncomfortable for both of us by confusing me as to your intent. If I think you are drawing your gun, I am certainly drawing mine. Unfortunately, I have also seen this action, simply placing a hand on a service weapon, as a tactic for intimidation. This is never acceptable. Fear tactics are never the right thing to do. They are not even the right thing to do tactically. Healthy, rational people often act irrationally when frightened. Maybe you scare gun owners into backing down, but maybe you just scare us into killing you.

Don’t lie to me.

One time I had a state trooper pull me over leaving a billiards parlor. He told me that he knew I had been drinking and that he could smell alcohol on my breath. I hadn’t had a drop to drink in years, and that night was no different. During another traffic stop, I actually had a city police officer tell me that my friend, who was being questioned by another officer, told his partner that I had drugs in the vehicle. Of course I didn’t, and my friend said no such thing.

In both instances, these law enforcement officers were fishing, and with some pretty rotten bait. In both cases, I was never arrested and released on the spot. But the simple fact of it is that when law enforcement uses these tactics, they are attempting to rid me of my property and liberty through deception and coercion. They become thugs, and it is difficult for a rational person to see them as anything but that.

If you become a threat, that makes me treat you as a threat. You make me put my guard up, and make me much more ready to be aggressive. At that point, after you have lied to me, something seemingly small, like resting your hand on your weapon because you are tired, is much more likely to get you shot. So don’t start lying to me.

Be professional.

Professional includes words like “please” and “sir.” It includes a calm tone. If you don’t have to yell over traffic or crowd noise, don’t yell at me. Don’t be cute. Don’t ridicule or insult me. All of those things are aggressive actions that signal to me that you might be a threat. They will make me treat you like a potential threat.

To be clear though, I will never yell at you. I won’t insult you, even if you insult me. I might not follow your orders if they are unlawful, but if I don’t comply I will do it in a non-violent, non-threatening manner. I will always be respectful. Always. I practice smiling while in the interview position. I even practice smiling through the draw and fire. I expect the same level of professionalism and politeness from you.

Use the camera, because the camera is both your friend and mine.

I know that if a car is behind me, I’m being filmed. If I can see a body camera, I know I’m being filmed. If I’m near a stop light in central Austin, I know I’m probably being filmed. When I encounter law enforcement, being filmed gives me comfort. In fact, telling me that I am being filmed really helps to calm me, because if I’m being filmed then so are you. And I like knowing there is a third party record out there.

On the other hand, any time an officer asks someone to walk away from the vehicle, or even the one time I’ve seen an officer reach up and cover the camera with his hand, that makes me very nervous. It makes me ask, what is this officer doing off camera that he doesn’t want anyone to know about? All sorts of alarm bells go off for me there. At that point, it is my story versus the officer’s story. I am not without means, I can hire some really great attorneys. My story will get told. And if things go really bad, and you try and assault me off camera, maybe you don’t get a chance to tell your story at all.

Finally, bring a friend.

I, for one, don’t feel more threatened when there are more cops around. I like the additional eyes and additional witnesses. Yes, I realize that means more guns and more TASERs and more handcuffs, but I’m not really worried about gangs of rouge cops. Has that happened? Ask Frank Serpico. But what I am much more concerned with is the individual police officer who has a bad day or a bad career and is taking it out on me by making some even worse decisions all by himself. Just like “Homeland Security,” I’m not nearly as worried about groups as I am the lone wolves. It’s just in this case these self-radicalized gunmen also have badges.

In this day and age, when police/civilian tensions are so high, professional law enforcement can do a whole lot with just a few things to de-escalate a situation. It’s pretty simple really. Don’t insult people, don’t threaten them and don’t needlessly endanger them. And if you are insulting, threatening and endangering situationally aware gun owners like me, don’t be surprised if they respond appropriately, just like you, in accordance with their training.

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  1. “If you just want to be comfortable, don’t make things really uncomfortable for us both by confusing me as to your intent. If I think you are drawing your gun, I am certainly drawing mine.”

    It might be time to seek some help.

    • Why?

      Are you implying that non-badge-wearing civilians must suffer the unjustified threat of deadly force, merely because that threat is presented by a badge-wearing civilian? Do law-abiding citizens not have the moral and legal right of self-defense against a threat, merely because the threat has a badge?

      • Not at all, but if you think someone resting their hand on their pistol is justification to draw yours, then you’ve got issues.

        Would you draw your gun on someone OC’ing a rifle at low ready?

        • if they approached me, made eye contact with me, and then transitioned from slung-over-back to low ready, you had better believe I am drawing.

          While the social connotations are different for a cop with a duty belt, the action itself is no different. Putting your hand on your weapon is a threat, intentional or otherwise.

        • a recent, friendly discussion with 2 local officers led to this question – OC is legal, but they were instructed that a rifle in the low-ready position is brandishing. In that case, they are expected to draw and arrest the individual.

      • While I don’t necessarily agree with wisdom of drawing down on a cop, it is precisely this dichotomy that causes the animosity that so many of us have towards officers. The non-cop’s safety is deferred to the cop’s safety as though it were sacrosanct. Both parties are entitled to safety and respect until one or the other isn’t.

        I think Chip admirably highlights the disparity in those last two sentences.

        • Lofty ideas that I doubt many here would really back up.

          While I will be the first to say I don’t like jack ass cops with god like complexes I don’t think ending my life to make a point about it is even remotely worth it. I would take the path of least resistance. There is nothing I do in my life that would or should prompt a cop to take action against me.

          If they did it would be by mistake. In that case my quick compliance with the right attitude would draw the encounter to a quicker and less violent conclusion. Provided I was not injured the incident would be over for me as my ego does not bruise so easily.

          If I were to put my hand on my gun, combined by the wrong attitude I would assume that I would come off as a threat to the cop and he would then take action, which could very easily end my life.

        • @Larry – “If I were to put my hand on my gun, combined by the wrong attitude I would assume that I would come off as a threat to the cop and he would then take action, which could very easily end my life.”

          I think the point is, that the reverse of that statement is not true, but should be.

      • Of course they do.

        However if you do what the cop says, exactly with out a attitude and promptly, there is a 99.9% chance you will LIVE. If you live you can then take legal action.

        If you pull a gun on a copy that already has his gun on you, there is a better than 50% chance you will be taking a dirt nap. If you live there is a 100% chance you life will forever change.

        These are simple facts of life. If you want to be the trail blazer that changes these facts through action, then let me get out of your way. I believe the end result will be a brief news story that might make the national news before you are forgotten by almost everyone.

        • Exactly. I would rather do everything in my power to not be, in any way, perceived as a threat.

        • No. Civilian police, fire fighters, EMTs, etc. are civilians. Military police are, wait for it, not civilians. Don’t buy into the redefinition of key concepts by “popular consensus.”

        • I’m in the Army. I deploy, engage, and destroy the enemies of the United States of America in close combat.

          My training and expected course of action is to kill the enemy.

          A police officer protects and serves the community and enforces the law.

          His training and first course of action should not be to kill a citizen.

          Whomever wrote that definition is incorrect. Police are civilians. Governors, senators, house reps, judges, firefighters, etc. etc, all civilians. Soldiers, Marines, Sailors, and (despite how they make it look) Airmen are military.

          The military exercises lethal force against aggressors or threats to interests on behalf of the state. Everyone else is a civilian.

        • How cute. You can regurgitate something you read in some dictionary somewhere. Good example of furst-order thinking there.

          Now, are you actually capable of ysing your brain to perform higher-level thinking, and evaluate whether what you regurgitated makes any sense?

          Despite efforts to rewrite the dictionary, etymology does not change:

          late 14c., “judge or authority on civil law,” from Old French civilien “of the civil law,” created from Latin civilis “relating to a citizen, relating to public life, befitting a citizen; popular, affable, courteous” (see civil). Sense of “non-military person” is attested by 1819 (earlier in this sense was civilian, attested from c. 1600 as “non-soldier”). The adjective is from 1640s.

          A civilian is someone who is subject to civil law, as opposed to military law (eg the UCMJ, for US military). Police enforce, and are subject to, civil law, not military law.

          Trying to redefine “civilian” also to exclude firefighters only further serves to prove the absurdity of the attempted redefinition.

          This is not a point of mere pedantry, either. The effort to redefine “civilian” is a blatant attempt to grant a super-legal status to police: a special class of people above the civilian law, with special rights and privileges.

  2. JWT – Thanks, very informative and well written. A quick question that has been bothering me for quite some time though. Under the assumption that one has done no wrong, what does one do if the officer demands to disarm you?

    • I like to think I’ll say something like this in the case of an law-enforcement agent keeping his/her firearm holstered and wishing to relieve me of mine:

      “Sir/Ma’am, I will certainly not physically resist because I’m not in the mood for six warning shots in the back, but your action of disarming me is both unethical and tactically unsound.”

      At this point, they’ll either continue or ask what I mean.

      “Right now, with no human contact on that firearm and normal temperatures, there is 0% chance of a negligent discharge with that firearm. Even if you leave it in the holster and ask me to remove my belt, a human being will contact that firearm and increase the chances of a negligent discharge from 0% to more than 0%. If you’re really disarming me for your own safety, wouldn’t you like to keep that chance as low as possible? Not to mention a 9mm jacketed hollow point fired from a 4.7-inch barrel is lethal for at least 100 yards in all directions and your act of disarming me would endanger every bystander in that radius.

      As far as tactics go, are you really about to reach into knife range? If I’m so dangerous that you feel a need to disarm me, then you should keep your distance and keep a watchful eye on my hands. If I’m not so dangerous that you feel comfortable reaching into knife range, then I’m not dangerous enough to warrant being disarmed.”

      What do you all think about my long rant? Leave a comment to That Effect.

      • That is a dream conversation. In real life any hesitation would be a threat to the cop and he would probably escalate his demands of compliance pretty quickly.

        Lets be real here. I have my CCW and carry not to go up against cops, even cops that have jack ass attitudes. It is to protect my self from those that wish to do deadly harm to me and my family. I hope there is not a cop out there that has that premeditated desire.

    • Disarm, may not feel right, but the alternatives will feel worse. Unless of course you are in Mexico and the cops are going to kill you anyway, then do what you want.

      • My EDC is a Ruger SR9c. If the cop is polite about it and asks me to disarm after I have shown my CCW I will probably comply, slowly, carefully, and I will press the magazine release on the way. Even if the mag does not drop free the SR9c WILL NOT fire without the mag securely seated, even with one in the pipe. Safety for everybody.

        • Unless, of course you have removed that safety mechanism from your gun. I did that to mine, so I could dry fire the empty gun in IDPA matches.

    • @richard
      “Under the assumption that one has done no wrong, what does one do if the officer demands to disarm you?”

      That is your personal choice to make, and it is a decision that the founders of this nation felt so passionately about they risked all they had. That is why the Founders of America ratified the Bill of Rights, because they experienced the same corruption from men under the guise of authority.

      In a duty to inform state I always inform the police officer I am armed, which they know from my license plates. The law states I have to say I have a gun, not how many guns I have on me. I tell the officer to call for back up for my safety, and that really pisses them off.

      I will not allow a stranger to handle my loaded weapon and place me in danger of a negligent discharge. My gun will not leave my physical possession as I am not a criminal, and I have the right to self defense from any man. I have read history books about how those in police states wish they would have resisted the physical act that stole their freedom, before the kangaroo courts legally sent them to their deaths.

      • If I remember correctly in Illinois they updated there ccw laws to require you to disarm when asked to do so by emergency responders now that’s some horseshit. How do you secure a firearm if you’ve been in a car accident, or broke a leg in the woods?

      • If I think you are drawing your gun, I am certainly drawing mine.

        Absolutely terrible effing idea.

        If this doesn’t get you killed on Ohio (it probably will), it will get you convicted of a felony.

        From the Ohio Concealed Carry Laws Manual:

        If a person is stopped for a law enforcement purpose and is carrying a concealed handgun as a CCW licensee, whether in a motor vehicle or not, he shall not have or attempt to have any contact with the handgun, unless in accordance with directions given by a law enforcement officer. Violating this law is a felony and may also result in permanent loss of the person’s concealed handgun license

        (Actually, because it’s a felony, it will result in the permanent loss of the person’s right to own a gun).


        In Ohio, the concealed carry laws manual says: “If a person is stopped for a law enforcement purpose and is carrying a concealed handgun as a CCW licensee, whether in a motor vehicle or not, he shall not knowingly disregard or fail to comply with any lawful order given by any law enforcement officer. Violating this law is a first-degree misdemeanor and may also result in the suspension of the person’s concealed handgun license for two years. “

        You may try to play instant lawyer and determine an order is “not lawful” but I guarantee you the cop isn’t going to see it that way and the judge is going to give the cop an awful lot of discretion in a dubious case.

        Disarming you for the duration of the stop/interaction is usually regarded as a lawful action, In fact, while the manual doesn’t make any references to the circumstances under which you can be disarmed, it does talk about what may happen after you are disarmed:

        If the CCW licensee surrenders the firearm, then the following applies:
        • If the firearm is not returned at the completion of the stop, the law enforcement officer is required to return the firearm in “the condition it was in when it was seized.”
        • If a court orders the firearm’s return and the firearm has not been returned to the licensee, the CCW licensee can claim reasonable costs and attorney fees for the loss and the cost of claiming the firearm.

        You can infer by this, that if the officer disarms you, the court is going to consider it a lawful order.

        • The author seems to have left common sense behind when he wrote this article. I can’t recall the last time I saw this many potentially fatal ideas in one article.

    • Mr. Guion, that a great question, but one that requires context. If the officer was not acting in a threatening manner, was calm and professional, I don’t think I would have any problem turning over my weapon, any more than I would handing it to someone who I otherwise trusted enough to hold and vew my weapon. If an officer was acting as a threat, I would not disarm.
      There are other instances where it is wise to give up your weapon to law enforcement, based on the reasonable assumption that they would identify you as a threat, such as in the aftermath of an active shooter scenario or other mass shooting.

      • JWT – I tend to agree. However, as commented earlier, I am VERY uncomfortable with allowing another person to handle my weapon. I carry either a 1911 or BHP in condition 1. Anyone unfamiliar with these weapons who wishes to take my weapon IS a threat, not only to me, but themselves and others. From what I’ve read in past TTAG blogs, most officers are not POTG and have limited firearms experience. Although all of my interactions with the police have been nothing but very positive, I worry about interacting with that one officer who, for whatever reason, decides that my weapon is somehow a threat to him and unnecessarily escalates the situation. I guess the devil is in the details. If he disarms me it will most likely be from my six. I am now blind to what is going on. If I disarm and safe the weapon, then whether it is on camera or witnessed, I will be seen as having removed my firearm from it’s holster and that may not look good. But thank you for your input.

  3. If cops can’t lie to you they may as well stay home. 95% of the whole investigatory/interaction procedure with cops is to lie to you in the hopes that you blurt out “the Clopman diamond is in the trunk with all the PCP and the dead hooker!!!”

    From start to finish it’s bow up, hand on gun, lie big and lie often and treat any non-cop in the area like a piece of shit that’s in your way all while playing friend.

    I believe that’s day one at the academy.

  4. Excellent post. And as to the rest position issue, how would an officer respond to an armed civilian walking around with his hand on his gun? They would probably flip. I understand this is hard to not do though, when I open carry my revolver it’s like my hand just wants to rest on the handle.

  5. It’s too bad they are trained to do all the things you said not to do. You may as well say, “Don’t be a cop”.

    • That’s actually pretty solid advice. Don’t join, support, or endorse a system that is inherently corrupt, or has been thoroughly corrupted.

  6. I’ve noticed that SOP for pulling someone over the police park their car at an angle. I always thought that was to protect both of us from oncoming traffic, but could it also be to purposely provide a blind spot from the camera on the side of the road?

    • It is the cop taking up a defensive shooting angle, and establishing cover. Cops don’t care if the tax payer cars are wrecked.

      I always get out of my truck after handing the cop my license and registration. I stand behind my truck on dash cam, and when the cops try to tell me that I have to stay in my vehicle I respond with No thank you.
      I tell the cop I am not being confined in an accident hazard over a speeding ticket, and I also tell the cop I have your back for the on lookers that might come up his 6. Cops don’t like their authority to be contradicted but I don’t care about their personal feelings, since they get paid to be a professional.

      • A car hitting the front end of another car is likely to be blasted back off in a direction that is likely to miss the cop standing next to your window. Cars are fungible – lives are not. The canted angle is for their protection, because they’re the ones with their asses on the line (literally and figuratively).

        • Exactly. Many moons ago when I was a rookie officer, I was taught to angle the patrol car with the front drivers corner further to the right then the car I had stopped, and the wheels turned to the left. This provides the officer with a small buffer zone that (hopefully) will provide some cover should a passing car get too close. The wheels turned to the left is to steer the patrol car away from the officer and the car that was stopped, if the patrol car is rear ended. Those are the facts. I am sure that some of you would rather embrace your conspiracy theories. Feel free…

    • The angle is neither to protect you from traffic or to point the camera away—this has been taught in the academy since at least 1980 when I attended; it is to protect the officer from gunfire should the person stopped decide to open fire on the officer. By opening the door of the squad car, the officer can have true cover from the gunfire. That is the reason for the angle.

        • That’s how CHP does it too. Don’t recall seeing an angled stop in SF bay area by SD or PD either unless they are blocking a street or freeway. They pull directly behind disabled vehicles in roadway too – easier to push onto shoulder I suppose.

  7. Good article. I’ve found being professional myself as the ‘suspect’ has seemed to calm officer’s down when dealing with me. One who took umbrage with my motorcycle riding and went into a fairly vociferous and energetic lecture. I simply responded with “yes, sir” or ” no, sir” where it seemed appropriate. No arguing. In the end, he let me go with the lecture as a warning. But, then he certainly had a legitimate reason for pulling me over.

    As far as covering the camera. I have a relative as a LEO, and the one downside he sees to the recent equipping of his force with cameras– He won’t let anything slide, he won’t simply give warnings, he won’t give breaks for info to low-level folks he’s interacting with. Because– although he’s done this in the past with good results, he knows all the camera footage is going to be reviewed and there’ll probably be negative repercussions for not ‘making the bust’ or ‘writing the ticket’. He plans to have a history of his camera never being turned off (even when he takes a dump) to reduce suspicion he may have if anything ever happens. Just a thought…

    • Good. I encourage officers to never let anything slide. Perhaps if enough of the “right people” get jammed up on some of these idiotic laws then those laws might get repealed. If enforcement of the law is good enough for this one then it is good enough for everyone. Nothing would expose the lunacy better than 100% enforcement.

  8. I have had a LEO’s partner point his duty pistol at the back of my head while he was interrogating me during a traffic stop. My hands went to the roof of the car and I froze in that position, not responding to anything the officer said except to say that “I’m not moving until your partner lowers his gun.” Eventually calmer heads prevailed and I was eventually sent on my way. This was close to 40 years ago in NJ.

  9. I’d just as well prefer to not unnecessarily escalate things against a class of citizen that is not bound to the same rules of civilized behavior as the rest of us and suffers no significant penalties for doing so.

    • “I’d just as well prefer to not unnecessarily escalate things against a class of citizen that is not bound to the same rules of civilized behavior as the rest of us and suffers no significant penalties for doing so.”

      Then be sure to stay out of Democrat Metropolitan areas with high percentages of minorities.

  10. Sounds like the rules of the Corporate world (except without the guns, and with different consequences)

    Seriously though, there are some similarities in that it is in both parties interests when faced with conflict to not to increase tensions, but to deal with the immediate situation like a pro – even if you have to be the ‘better man’ and be sickeningly sweet and eat a little shit sammie for the sake of deescalation, in order to avoid it becoming a worse ‘situation’. (This goes for both the cop and the ‘citizen’)

  11. Remember the cop in Temple, Texas who GRABBED the rifle from Christopher “C.J.” Grisham’s without cause or justification?

    I have a warning for you.

    A LEGAL OPEN-CARRY GUN “RUDELY” or you will get a lesson on what is rude.

    • When you say it to a Cop’s face we’ll all be impressed.
      But you would never do that, because you’re currently busy being a keyboard commando.

      Get to know a cop – in person, and tell him how you feel. Discuss it like an adult. Til then, keep your d**k waving to yourself please.

      • Well hello mr hide behind your anonymous handle E762.
        Maybe I can back up what say, and maybe not.
        yes I know it’s easy to sound like a blowhard on the net.
        And yes I did react to what I read in the above article and what I saw happened in Temple Texas a few years ago.
        It still infuriates me.

        But you guys seem to think that cops are the all omnipotent overlords and if there is any resistance when start bullying (not all cops are that way) that the civilian gets what he deserves.
        I have a lot of respect for cops but have NO RESPECT for bullies.
        When I was younger I used be threatened and intimated by bullies.
        But as I have gotten older (and got some decent training) I am not so intimidated anymore. In other words, I don’t put up with the BS anymore.

        The police put up lines of behavior that they assert you will not cross, but you have to understand that swing both ways and they don’t like to be told that.

        They don’t have unlimited power.
        They can go to jail for crimes they commit themselves.
        And you can use legal deadly force on them at certain times.
        It does not happen all the time, but it does happen.

        They have to comply with the law same as you.
        The only thing that swings justice in their favor is have
        qualified immunity.
        But there is great effort to take that away from them.

        The only things that swings in the favor of civilian is
        Knowledge of the law,
        Video cameras (plural),
        and a fair, impartial jury who is not threatened by the judge or the prosecutor and
        knows the Right if Jury Nullification.

        I am well aware of the consequences of resisting the forces of the police.

        There are limits to what we as a society have to tolerate from rouge, bully cops.
        And if you don’t stand up against them, then you are a slave to them.
        You chose how you will react.
        You have to live with yourselves.

    • Wow, how impressive! Another Chairborne Ranger has laid down the law. Be sure to keep us updated when you get the chance to put this brilliant plan into action. Then again, your access to the internet might be limited in prison.

  12. Especially with today’s ammo choices, I carry a second mag loaded with 50 grain Civil Defense Ammo. In 9mm it travel 2000 fps, and cuts through Lvl II-IIIa like butter. Beware my “Blue Mag”.

    • Wow more of that magic “armor piercing hollow point” ammo? Who told u that michal bloomburg? Seriously if that was remotely true the ATF would be on that stuff like stink on sh*t.

  13. Sounds nice in theory but in reality police officers are not civilians like you and me, they are a special class with a different set of laws.

        • Yeah, a separate more lenient set of rules that the government requires their agents to conform to. That just illustrates the growing perception that it really is an “us v. them” thing.

  14. “I’m not nearly as worried about groups as I am the [LEO] lone wolves”

    Humm…I seem to recall a DOJ study that 2 person squad cars often result in more complaints and litigation: cops attempting to out-macho each other phenomena. Our local PD & SD have switched to single officer squad cars. Also provides greater mobility for same staffing level.

  15. I agree with most of it except the last part about bringing a friend. Plenty of people have been killed while there were multiple officers present. The “go along to get along” thin blue line mindset means that multiple officers doesn’t really help that much. Absent cameras, it might even make proving your case (or your widow proving your case) all the more difficult with witnesses who have demonstrated a willingness to lie under oath.

  16. My varied experiences with law enforcement have been from the perspective of either A)the guy getting pulled over for speeding or B)the guy who called 911 because his house was getting broken into.

    Every single event where I’ve asked LEOs for help has gone well, they show up, are concerned, polite, friendly, do what they need to do, tell me they aren’t going to investigate the break-in but here’s the police report so you can file an insurance claim. One of these times I came home to find the perps in the house. The responding officer cleared the house with me right behind him guiding him through the home.

    The traffic stops, 95% cordial and friendly. Sometimes I get tickets, once I had expired license and was totally clueless it expired. But there was ONE officer who fits the alpha-male, kick your face in for wearing a jacket type. He pulled ALL of the above “don’ts” on me, for supposedly running a 10mph right angle corner at “at least 35 mph”, on Thanksgiving Night, while my car was filled with framed artwork worth more than my car and his combined. I was drawn-on (not with sharpie), screamed at (officer was instantly escalated), threatened, lied to, and received no ticket or warning because at the end of the stop, I was polite and I hadn’t done anything wrong. I still have no idea why I was really pulled over, but I’m guessing random drunk-check because it was a holiday. To this day I am wary of personal interactions with police officers because for the 20 times I’ve had to interact with them, there was that ONE guy who ruined it for the rest of them.

    So yeah. Don’t be that guy.

    • “The traffic stops, 95% cordial and friendly”
      That means you must have been stopped at least 20 times, that seems excessive.

      • Excessive? Hell yeah… the year I turned 16 and got my driver’s license I was pulled over more than 50 times. I don’t dispute that I deserved it, I was frequently speeding and pushing the limits in every way other than alcohol being involved. I received enough tickets to get my license suspended for 6 months too.
        My last actual speeding ticket was over 21 years ago now (just luck on my part, and successfully choosing where & when to speed more than just a little), and my only ticket of any kind in the last 6 years was for an expired insurance card, which was dismissed.
        Fact is, if I keep my paperwork current and my vehicles in good repair, I simply don’t get contacted by cops.
        Right or wrong, I’ll follow the officers directions and avoid the hassle of arguing, thanks.

  17. I like this. It reminds me of an episode of “The Rifleman” when a substitute deputy sheriff was on a power trip and pushing people around, including unilaterally banning open carry.

    He started hassling Lucas about his rifle and Luca told him “You won’t have any trouble out of me. Now just don’t go making any for yourself.”

  18. This is one of those articles that gives sound advice to police officers but shows a foolish and dangerous attitude on Mr. Taylor’s part. It isn’t the time to figure out right and wrong when the officer has his gun pointed at you. Letting “your training kick in” is going to get yourself killed because as soon as you make a move the cop is going drop you. It’s the Kobayashi Maru scenario — you can’t win. I will pass on the advice of that one of my force protection trainers gave when you are faced with a no win situation. “Hands Hoch!” and sort it out when things calm down.

    • I know a couple Vietnam Combat Veterans who have very bad reactions when people point guns at them. They have stated that if someone deliberately points a gun at them, they will kill the guy pointing the gun at them.

      • I hope they are never confronted with that situation because unless they are as fast as Jerry Miculek they are going to die and if they have a weapon IA is going to call it a good shoot.

        Look, As I said this is not about being right or wrong it is about surviving the moment. Look up Major Arthur Nicholson. He decided not to be compliant too.

        • Maybe; maybe not. Action is faster than reaction.

          maybe no blanket statement can be made either way. Some guys would drop the cop, though. I believe that 100%.

    • That’s the reason I brought up the officer’s killed during assaults this year, they don’t always win. The entire post was written to keep cops alive and unharmed.
      As for me, I’ve had men not only pointing guns at me but actively firing at me before I had my gun up. And I’m not dead yet, and more than a few of them are.
      But the tone of your reply really concerns me. Are you saying that, if held at gunpoint, people should just give up? After all, police officers have been tried and convicted of rape, of battery, and even of murder. If you honestly thought you were in danger of one of these things, would the badge on the offender’s chest stop you from protecting yourself?

      • Sadly, I think that many average American citizens think that way these days. I sincerely hope that the individual zeal for life and liberty hasn’t left our people.

        • Think they can what, fight back? ‘Cause that’s precisely what I meant. Too many Americans don’t have the guts to fight back or don’t think that they ought to if their life were in serious jeopardy.

          If someone, anyone, already has the drop on them, the chances of the person surviving is slim. However, rolling over and accepting death or serious bodily injury at their hands is unfathomable. Yet, here we are with people espousing precisely that because the perpetrator wears a badge.

      • If I have to explain to you the difference between a police officer holding a gun on you and a mugger than you are hopeless.

  19. Fight an ill-mannered, unprofessional cop? Very bad idea. If you lose the fight, you’re dead and the cop has you for an example to justify continuing his bad behavior. If you win the fight, you will go on trial for felony assault on an officer, or worse, and nothing short of jury nullification will get you off. Better to keep your mouth shut and go along with the son of a bitch. Later on, send a letter of complaint to the police chief with a copy to the mayor. Outline the circumstances, state that you were polite and cooperative in the face of the officer’s misbehavior and warn them that, if they don’t rein him in, he will either pick a fight with someone tougher than he or leave the city vulnerable to a ruinous lawsuit.

    That said, it’s stupid tactics for a cop to be rude the the people he encounters on duty. At best, it generates resentment in those who will cooperate anyway. At worst, it provokes resistance in those ready to fight over trivial issues. Being polite may avoid a struggle and, if not, it doesn’t make the suspect bullet proof.

    • Read my post again. You’ll find at no point do I say to fight a rude or unprofessional cop. In fact, I say pretty clearly that I will be nothing but respectful even if the officer is not. What I’m saying is that we all, police or not, should expect people to react to protect themselves if they feel as if they are under attack. That’s a long way from just rude.

      • Excuse me?? You did more than say you would “fight”. You went so far as to say that you would likely draw and “eliminate the threat”, if you saw the officer’s hand go to his gun! Absolute BS…

        • Officer

          You and your ilk have failed to remember that WE are a nation of MEN before LAWS.

          If you ever served please eat your gun as you have tossed that oath aside. I believe it is called Death before Dishonor, which is something maybe Mr. Taylor would explain to you if you threatened him deadly force.

        • I read the original post again. I still can’t find anywhere that I said I would fight a rude or unprofessional officer. Pretty sure I said the opposite. I also can’t find where I said I would eliminate the threat solely because an officer reached for a weapon. But if you can find that, please include the quote here.

        • Uhhmerica, that’s pretty horrible. There are a lot of really great law enforcement officers out there actually protecting and serving people.

        • until they aren’t.

          why is it gun owners (especially ccw holders) are condemned as killers in waiting, but cops get a pass? i speculate (without research) that a majority of armed government outlaws (ooops, i meant “agents”) are not
          the type people who are lawfully licensed to carry a firearm. that the “laws” are more likely than the general public to have aggression problems, only reinforced and ramped-up by being being in a club of kindred souls.

  20. “One who took umbrage with my motorcycle riding and went into a fairly vociferous and energetic lecture. I simply responded with ‘yes, sir’ or ‘no, sir’ where it seemed appropriate. No arguing. In the end, he let me go with the lecture as a warning.”

    Yes; the tactic of appearing to be scared of their Ah-thor-uh-tie often works, I’ve often said I’d rather be screamed at or even cursed and then let go, than politely arrested. That said, this routine usually works far better for females. To wit: one of my former secretaries, a former cop herself, when pulled over for speeding in a manual transmission vehicle fast enough to be accused of reckless driving, faked crying and told the cop she was just upset because her mean husband made her drive his (really, hers) manual transmission Xterra, and she didn’t really know how. He yelled at her about slowing down and saving lives, blah, blah, blah, and then let her go.

    As always, whatever tactic you try, depending on the particular officer and jurisdiction, YMMV.

  21. We need to and the cops need to scale back to simple survival reactions of the human and think this way. Loudness, close spacing, pressured speech, quick physical movement, body language all trigger our senses toward fight or flight. I continue to argue much of our current police problems derive from the military influence blurring of the lines.

    The lone cop is more worrisome than two, especially in isolated events. It should be universally accepted the person the cop confronts may question their authenticity, the same as the cop will question yours.

    Once the lid is off the id anything can happen.

  22. Ok post but pull your gun out because officer pulled his out? Good luck staying out of prison…I have talked my way out of trouble MANY times in 60some years. Even 40 years ago when I smoked a little pot. And yeah I’ve had cops lie, be rude and falsify tickets- on the interstate highway(how about a stack of tickets ALL for going 77mph-in a van that never went that fast?). I also lived in Chicago and am well acquainted with corrupt,evil,vile and racist cops…I hope to not be dead right.

  23. Please guys, seek to create BALANCE, not counter-balance.
    Moving further in the opposite direction will not help draw the two groups together.

    If you want things to change, provide a viable path forward for both parties, not some “you come to me, i’m not budging” response.

    • Sure, let the gun owners know when the police are willing to stop using “officer safety” as a license to kill, and laughing off their crimes against the Constitution as “de minimis” intrusions.

  24. I hope Mr. Taylor didn’t waste too much time writing this post. It’s an 800,000 man occupying army with the power to murder, assault, rape and rob every last damn one of us, and composing silly little bits of advice like this piece is ridiculously futile.

    • Charles Ray says:
      August 5, 2015 at 15:26

      I hope Mr. Taylor didn’t waste too much time writing this post. It’s an 800,000 man occupying army with the power to murder, assault, rape and rob every last damn one of us, and composing silly little bits of advice like this piece is ridiculously futile.

      One Chris Dorner had the entire LEO establishment of Commiefornia as well as the Federal LEO in that state changing their collective diapers and ‘pons on an hourly basis for a week. 800k LEOs nationwide would last a week or two in open conflict with Americans. Please do not think for one minute the average LEO would be willing to suit up if the People said “Enough”. Would not happen.

  25. As a cop I try to practice these things every day. I admit sometimes I find my hand resting on my gun, and like the author says it’s really a comfort thing. For those of you who have spent a lot of time patrolling with gear and a rifle know how you can create comfort and save energy by resting your arms/weapon in certain areas. It’s the same idea, but I can understand why it makes people uncomfortable. I usually try resting my hands on my cuffs.

    I’m all about the cameras. I’ve had and seen too many bs profiling complaints and not had footage to back my story, so I have my own camera now. Regarding what another commenter said about the family member not giving warnings… who gives a damn about your warnings being recorded? Warnings can be just as/more effective than a ticket, and I’ve got no problem telling a supervisor who doesn’t like them to pack sand.

    As far as the do what the officer says because it is the safest thing, this is absolutely true. If you think its unlawful, sue them (it works contrary to popular belief, the key is having a real case). You may think you’re more ninja than whoever you’re dealing with, and maybe you are. Or maybe you’re not, you’re not the only one who invests their own time and money in their training. Officers are not the only ones who escalate situations needlessly, though I knew (keyword) a few who did and hated dealing with them so I can only imagine how citizens felt about them. Always remember if you start playing stupid games, expect stupid prizes.

    Oh last thing. No, I don’t want to take away people’s guns. In fact, I wish more people carried. We would be far better off as a society if they did.

    • Dave, you bring up a good point about the “rest” position on your gun. I recently had a great experience with some officers in Travis Co. During a fairly long encouter with them, at some point two of the three officers rested their hands on their duty weapons. But by that time, I had already gladly shown them one of my newer pistols, handing it over to them to show them what Wilson Combat had done to the gun. They were friendly and professional, and it was hot and muggy. So although I noted it, zero alarms went off when they rested their hand their, just as zero alarms went off for them when I pulled out my gun to show it to them.
      Because everyone was being nice to each other, we all had a good time, and each of those great cops walked away with free gear from our company.
      If they had run up to me, got in my face, yelled at me and lied to me, then put their hand and their guns, it would have been a very different ending. If I ever did that to a cop, or ANYONE with a gun, I woud fully expect them to shoot me with it.

      • Good job with the article.

        Just a thought here….all cops are trained to face every situation with suprise, overwhelming force and violence of action. My boy scout attitude about police changed several years ago, due to about two decades of seeing, hearing or reading about abuse of authority. Friendly cops (“professional”, I guess you would say) are the most scary because I know they are looking for an excuse to burn-off a lot of adrenaline, and trying to put me off-guard and place me at a timing disadvantage. The belligerent ones are transparent and it is risky but kinda fun to pressurize them by being “professional”, nice, friendly,and a little bit “slow in the head”.

        • Good point. The complaint stats published for our PD shows a “U” shaped curve with most complaints in the 1st and 16+ years of employment bands.

        • “pressurize them” oh, my word. That’s a good one.

          I’ve not had any bad encounters with cops in some time, but I do worry about it. There’s two kinds of cops: the ones you read about and the ones you don’t. Fortunately the latter outnumbers the former. Training or no training, veteran or not, I fully agree that intimidating tactics and lying have the potential to backfire.Sometimes fatally. Therefore, it behooves ANY officer to refrain from such as a matter of course.

          The problem is that there are more and more cops in American society who are already ‘pressurized’ to begin with, and that is a VERY dangerous trend indeed.

          I have been fortunate to be able to deal with ‘pressurized’ cops by being assertive but not threatening, and the situation at hand was resolved to everyone’s satisfaction. It doesn’t mean that I should have to expect more of the same, nor does it guarantee my future safety.

          My grandfather once told me I had three options when dealing with bullies in school – I could either outsmart ’em, whip their asses, or get my ass whipped. The problem nowadays is a lot of cops can’t outsmart a five-year old, which leaves only the last two options.


        • Everyday I am more convinced Col. Cooper was a prophet in his admonition about meeting people.

  26. “Don’t ever do that to me, or anyone else trained to counter a lethal threat with lethal force. If you do, you’ve left us with nothing but bad options.”

    Yeah the cop points his gun at you to get back at a crime scene and you are going to draw on him and shoot?

    You get to do that exactly one time before your life as you know it is over.

    Unless a cop comes into my house by mistake and is shooting while he is doing it, I will do the what the cop says, 99.9999% of the time and I will LIVE to take legal action if need be.

    We all have brains, not all of us use them.

    • If a cop is attempting to murder me, I’m going to take my chances no matter how slim you believe them to be. Just like anyone else trying to murder me. I’m “way more ninja” than any cop I’ve seen in training or in action. It’s certainly not an extreme I’m going to jump to over any little thing, but if it’s clear I’m going to die anyway, I’m not just going to lie down and take it.

      Slim is better than none.

  27. Safety tip: if you’ve reported your car stolen, and you wind up finding it, make sure you clear your car through the LEO agency who took the original stolen report. Do that *before* you drive your car. Do that that especially before you drive your car next to a fully-marked LPR (license plate reader) unit. Because that unit will read and track your plates, and the guys inside it will perform a felony stop, with guns drawn, on the driver of the stolen car.

    • Accur81, I have a long story about some really great police work that I experienced from a similar scenario. Long story short, I was stopped south of past midnight driving home from a firearms industry convention north of Dallas. My truck was literally packed full of guns. Unfortunatley, while my truck was at the airport the day before, someone stole my license plates and swapped them with the plates of a similar vehicle that had been reported stolen. So the officer ends up pulling over a stolen care late at night by himself that is packed full of guns. He could have come in guns blazing. He didn’t. He was slow, careful, and reasonable. In fact, by the time the night was over, we swapped email addresses, his chief gave me his challenge coin, swapped war stories, and they ended up calling all of the counties down south on my way home let them know I would be coming through and was already checked out and ok.

        • It was great stuff. But it was also one of those times where recognizing that this guy (the officer) was in a bad situtation pulling me over by himself with all of those guns in the truck, that being careful, mindful, and respectful probably helped a lot. It’s what you will always get me from me, and it’s what law enforcement should supply in return.

  28. Ok, let’s do this slowly….

    – If a cop is not acting like a thug, he/she is probably on a short break from being a thug

    – More cops at a scene is not a comfort; one rogue + plus a bunch of others who will not break the blue line does not equal safety for the non-cop

    – Cops are naturally going to try to intimidate or bully because they are the sort who naturally do (being cops are gang members with badges)

    – never engage a cop at all, for any reason. even if they end up room temperature, you will lose – dead or alive; juries are just eager to find cops not guilty…fact of life

    – JWT wrote a terrific missive that should be delivered to every cop house in the country (but it wouldn’t actually change any behaviors because….cops.

    – Never engage a cop at all, for any reason.

    – Trying to follow cop commands is risky because they are trained (especially if in a group) to issue loud,
    conflicting directions in order to freeze a citizen or cause that citizen to do something that will give cover to the cop who shoots the civilian

    – At a traffic stop, turning your head in any direction is likely to be perceived as a threatening move, and you are in a poor posture to respond to or interrupt lethal action

    – The propensity of “good cops” to ignore/cover-up “bad cop” behavior is legendary (and true); don’t bet your life that one cop will turn-in another for bad (criminal) action.

    – Never engage a cop at all, for any reason

  29. I like your articles, however cannot agree with your counsel. Here’s why. Your interacting with a LEO as a law abiding citizen, they interact with citizens who for the most part are non law abiders. Noting most criminals lie, LEO’s lying to citizens is part of the job. I had a drug interdiction stop and the third sentence out of the cops mouth was a lie. So until I figured out what he was up to, I was cautious of my answers, which ironically made him more suspicious. I’m preparing for another cross country trip and should I be stop again. I’ll just ask if this is a DI stop and if he says yes, hand him my keys and let him inspect. The reason, rather him spend 10 minutes satisfying himself I’m not a mule, than go through a two hour break off the 4th in your ass drill (pun intended). That way he can get his big drug bust somewhere away from me.

    Now before we all rail about liberty infringment, yes it’s annoying and one has to make a choice. The least confrontational you can be, I think the better off you’ll work through the stop.

    I’m no friend to cops, they got a job and its up to me to interact in a non threating way and direct the conversation by explaining actions before I move and then confirming with the LEO I’m moving.

    The only fail in this strategy is if the LEO is s bad cop, if this is the case your F’ed anyway.

    • I’ve got news for you… If that cop is holding you up for two hours and he doesn’t have consent, reasonable articulable suspicion, or probable cause then you are dealing with a BAD cop. Give “Am I being detained?” a try next time. Once you STFU, the clock starts in earnest and they have limited time to play their games.

  30. Absolutely terrible, irresponsible article.

    If I think you are drawing your gun, I am certainly drawing mine.

    Absolutely terrible effing idea.

    If this doesn’t get you killed in Ohio (it probably will), it will get you convicted of a felony.

    From the Ohio Concealed Carry Laws Manual:

    If a person is stopped for a law enforcement purpose and is carrying a concealed handgun as a CCW licensee, whether in a motor vehicle or not, he shall not have or attempt to have any contact with the handgun, unless in accordance with directions given by a law enforcement officer. Violating this law is a felony and may also result in permanent loss of the person’s concealed handgun license

    (Actually, because it’s a felony, it will result in the permanent loss of the person’s right to own a gun).


    In Ohio, the concealed carry laws manual says: “If a person is stopped for a law enforcement purpose and is carrying a concealed handgun as a CCW licensee, whether in a motor vehicle or not, he shall not knowingly disregard or fail to comply with any lawful order given by any law enforcement officer. Violating this law is a first-degree misdemeanor and may also result in the suspension of the person’s concealed handgun license for two years. “

    You may try to play instant lawyer and determine an order is “not lawful” but I guarantee you the cop isn’t going to see it that way and the judge is going to give the cop an awful lot of discretion in a dubious case.

    Disarming you for the duration of the stop/interaction is usually regarded as a lawful action, In fact, while the manual doesn’t make any references to the circumstances under which you can be disarmed, it does talk about what may happen after you are disarmed:

    If the CCW licensee surrenders the firearm, then the following applies:
    • If the firearm is not returned at the completion of the stop, the law enforcement officer is required to return the firearm in “the condition it was in when it was seized.”
    • If a court orders the firearm’s return and the firearm has not been returned to the licensee, the CCW licensee can claim reasonable costs and attorney fees for the loss and the cost of claiming the firearm.

    You can infer by this, that if the officer disarms you, the court is going to consider it a lawful order.

  31. So John Wayne Taylor, you want to go on record here saying you’ll draw down on a cop? And you really think cops are going to read this and think, “Gosh, I better change my ways!”. You watched some youtube videos, got pissed off, and wrote an article based on your fantasy of What If That Happened To Me. You are escalating before you’ve even found a situation to escalate. The vast majority of cops are normal guys. Then there’s the small percentage of bad apples that are itching for a fight almost as bad as you are.

    • In my opinion TTAG shouldn’t even allow Taylor to write here if he’s going to advocate actions that will literally result in deaths.

      • Leighton and Cloudbuster, I”m not sure you read the original post. But to be clear, I would, as any rational person would, “draw down” as you say, on anyone who I had reason to believe was about to shoot me. Are you saying you wouldn’t?
        And no, I didn’t just watch some video’s on YouTube, and I’m not angry.

        • If the police are drawing down on you they probably have a good reason, like that you match the description of a dangerous suspect. Responding in kind as if it’s a western movie will likely result in death and, more often than not, it will be the death of the (previously) innocent suspect.

          An article full of stupid, wrong-headed advice that is like a great deal of other legal-sounding advice on the internet except instead of getting you arrested this will get someone killed.

        • JWT, Thank you for your service and a provocative question.

          It seems like a Kobayashi Maru scenario and don’t know what I’d do. The rogue cop would be probably be younger, faster, and a better shot. My drawing might just tip him or her over the edge.

          Turning my back with hands-up yelling for help occurred to me.
          1. Unexpected behavior and perhaps startling him/her out of an aggression loop.
          2. The yelling might attract attention and witnesses.
          3. Tough to justify shooting someone in the back with empty hands. I might die, but with 5 lawyers in family, I’d assume relentless litigation. LEO’s policies and training might change plus survivors could receive a handsome settlement for my death.

        • I note you didn’t deal with my more substantive post just above. That’s probably because under Ohio law, if you do as you describe, you’re a felon. If a cop draws on me without sufficient justification, yes, the last thing I’m going to do is try to win a gunfight with him.

          You’re a menace if you think that’s an appropriate response. Did you see the video Robert Farago posted today?

          Yes, sure, the cop was in the wrong. He had no cause to draw on the man taking a video. Was it worth triggering a shootout, if the videographer had drawn? Is it worth either of their lives? Absolutely f*cking not. But somebody would have likely died if the videographer had drawn a gun.

          If you don’t like the deference the law gives to police officers, you should try to change it through the legislative system, not by making a martyr of you or him in a gunfight in the street.

    • “You watched some youtube videos, got pissed off, and wrote an article based on your fantasy”

      You do realize JWT is a combat vet that has had guns pointed at him and rounds fired his way before, and fired a few of his own, don’t you?

      I mean…it’s not like he REALLY just watched some youtube ninja wannabe stuff and pulled this out his butt.

      Whether you think he’s giving good or bad advice is your own choice, but trying to insinuate he has no basis to back up HIS decision process is wrong.

      • I would guess there are more than a couple combat veterans here who have had guns pointed at them and responded in kind. That does not necessarily qualify one as an expert in how to respond to a tight situation here on the streets of America. With the exception of Chicago the streets of America are not Iraq or Afghanistan or a free fire zone in Vietnam. If Mr. Taylor is advocating drawing down on a cop because of his experience in combat he should set an example for the rest of us and be the first to do so.

        • “That does not necessarily qualify one as an expert in how to respond to a tight situation here on the streets of America. “

          Logic fail. Non-sequitur to my comment.

          My comment was specifically addressing the notion by the other poster that JWT merely watched some vids on youtube and declared himself a hero (or something).

          I’m not arguing in favor of Taylor’s comment or against it. I am, however, arguing against the illogical assertion that Taylor is…in the way that poster implied…a “wannabe.”

          Try to keep up.

        • From what I understand, JWT correct me if i’m wrong, the author has already had to shoot and kill at least one person in a kill or be killed situation and, although he’d very much prefer not to do it again, he’d rather set his mind right ahead of the need for reaction than after, because not all those who appear to be sheep in wolf’s clothing are exactly that.

  32. I’ve got a great idea: Since you addressed this article to Law Enforcement, why don’t you print a copy of this and hand it in to your local police station, or better yet mail it to the Chief of Police who signed your carry permit.

    • or better yet mail it to the Chief of Police who signed your carry permit.

      Anyone else catch that hint? By giving up the exercise of a right in favor of a privilege (licensed carry), both the right to bear arms and the right to free speech are in jeopardy. The slippery slope is felt in that sentence’s inference. 😉

    • I know and shoot with many police officers. They have all heard this from me and I’m pretty confident I’ve got a 100% agreemnt from all of the ones I shoot with or have taught tactical medicine to. There is no police chief of my town. There is a county sheriff’s office and several of the deputies of that office have discussed these simple ideas with me, while on my property, shooting on my range.

  33. Fun story about my brother… many years ago, while a volunteer EMT/firefighter, my brother get’s a call about a murder three houses down. Protocol in this situation is to drive to the station and wait for LE to clear the scene instead of driving straight there. While driving to the station, county sheriff’s deputies pull him over, and with guns drawn, rip him out of his truck and slam him to the ground, splitting his lip. Turns out his vehicle had been mistakenly reported as fleeing the scene (since it was seen driving by the murder scene). He had no way of knowing that, and was a concealed carrier. As far as he could tell, he was being unjustly drawn upon. Should he have drawn on the deputies?

    His day job was selling cars at a dealership in a neighboring county, and exactly one week later, while driving a vehicle to another dealership in a third county, get’s pulled over again, this time by deputies from these second two counties. And again, with guns drawn, he’s ripped from his vehicle and slammed to the ground, splitting his lip yet again. Turns out him and the vehicle he was driving matched the description of a car jacking suspect and the vehicle he just stole, but my brother had no way of knowing that. As far as he knew, he was being unjustly drawn upon. Should he have drawn on those deputies?

    This idea that if a cop unjustifiably draws on me, that I’m going to draw is absurd. Even if I win the gunfight, good luck winning in court. I would rather make myself as little as a threat as possible, even if that means allowing my rights to be temporarily violated. I think I would rather my rights get violated in the short term, and sue later, than try and make some sort of self-righteous stand for my rights against an agitated cop. My rights are no good to me dead.

    (On a side note, he was very polite to the cops at the second incident, and when everything was straightened out, they apologized. When my brother told them about the first incident a week earlier, they felt terrible and both departments bought him a dozen donuts).

    • So if I read that correctly, not once, but twice in under 2 weeks he was unlawfully ripped from his personal conveyance and physically harmed by “police officers” that had nothing done to them before, during, or after these events? Am I further to understand that neither he, nor you, find ANYTHING wrong at all with their responses and manner in which they handled themselves? Are you for real? WTF is wrong with you? Never mind, you do not know and will not change.

      • So he should have pulled a gun and started shooting?

        I’ve heard some pretty absurd “use-a-neck-tourniquet-to-stop-a-nosebleed” logic on the internet, but this really has me furious, because sane gun owners have worked long and hard to show the public that we’re not trigger-happy crazies ready to gun down the first cop who “Infringes on our rights!”

  34. Yes, I think the article is long over-due and should be published in every major news outlet. Police agencies need to be pushed-back about their foul attitude toward their employers. All government agencies run on the assumption/philosophy/policy the you, the ignorant mob need to be controlled at every turn. For enforcement agencies, the attitude is that every non-enforcement person is a criminal who has not yet been caught at something. JWT is taking our viewpoint to the cause of police-citizen tension. He is taking our story to the people responsible for their evil reputation. Did JWT invite any of us to do as he states he would do? No. He is stating his policy/philosophy/assumptions in a manner intended to forcefully project our frustration and anger at the power that is abused everyday, everywhere. He is providing warning that when the citizens finally refuse to take it any longer, the reason for the damage done to law enforcement is of their own doing.

  35. An odd guy who lived with his parents back in Decatur IN supposedly would get picked on by the cops just for fun. The odd guy had an AK and deliberately pulled a tail light out of his truck. His plan was to kill the next cop that hassled him. So out of the main drag that was US27 going through Decatur, a State Cop stopped him and the odd guy got out of his truck and shot the cop dead with the AK. The odd guy drove away and the cops found him in church with his parents the next morning as though nothing happened.
    I think the article stating a full auto AK is BS. This all happened about a half mile from where I used to live.

  36. How about all government employees act Constitutionally with citizens at all times? Government employees can testify against you, but if they say anything to help your case it’s hearsay? Government employees can lie to you, but not the other way around? Government employees may intimidate, threaten and ignore your rights and not incur the same penalites, if any, as a non government employee.

    Government employees must be held to a higher standard. Honestly, does anyone who posts here have a problem with this concept?

  37. After my experiences with dumbass cops playing with my guns, chambering rounds in previously empty chambers, negligently discharging promptly after, then trying to blame me… Any request or demand, no matter how nicely presented will result in the immediate end of all pleasantness from me. Demand to cross the line, ask nicely to cross the line, doesn’t matter. I’ll be pleasant up to the point that any of my Rights are so much as approached. Respect that line and everything will be fine.

    I’d rather not, and so far it hasn’t come to that point, but I’ve seen enough cops in action and in training at the range to know that even on my worst day, I can take any 2 of them together if I have to. More than that might be a challenge. I’ve been a slave long enough, and I’ll not be “put back in my place” for one second.

    It’s sad that cops have decided to make war against us, but ignoring the reality of it won’t make it better.

  38. As much as I agree with *most* of JWT’s article, I won’t be surprised if it moves him up a couple rungs on a watch-list somewhere.

  39. If the SHTF many of these law enforcement officers will wish they had developed better relationships with their local law abiding gun owning citizens.

    • I stand “MINDBLOWN” to see a piece like this on a firearm website oriented to conservative ‘Murica-types. It’s a subject matter long past due being confronted and corrected.

  40. If an armchair commando wrote this it would be bravado and bad advice, a vet wrote it so it’s not bravado… Doesn’t make it good advice though. If a cop draws on you comply and deescalate, even if you kill him first his 50 buddies are going to get to you before a jury gets to decide your fate.

    Should they have the same rules as us? Yes, but shoulda and coulda never met did.

  41. No good can come from “official” contact with the po-leece. As far as I’m concerned, the presence of cops means I have screwed up and find myself in a stupid place near stupid people doing stupid things, and it’s past time to leave. Don’t speed, you won’t get there any faster. Interestingly, my contact with 5-0 vaporized after college. Things that make you go hmmm. That change in environment was good in more ways than one. These days, the only leo I know and am friendly with is a fellow Ruger collector. I still don’t want to meet him in a professional capacity.

  42. If the bad actor cops are such the anomaly, why don’t their brothers in blue honor their profession and thin blue line crap more and push these folks out or hold a higher standard? If average Joe Friday type really wants to just get home safely, see his kids and wife, and know he’s done his part to protect his community, then why accept the dick on the police force that is a walking liability? Would you willing work with/for an asshole treating people like shit in any other profession? Don’t these officers have professional pride in their work? What kind of organizational culture allows for this behavior?

    Growing up in Houston, most of the folks I know that became cops saw the role as a decent steady job with good benefits. I am sure the benefits part has changed, but at the end of the day most cops I’ve known are just trying to be safe, work some OT, and make retirement. So how in that equation does an officer allow for the bad apples to spoil the lot? Does it really just come down to unions and a lack of material consequences? In my professional life my errors have had the potential of putting at risk hundreds of millions of dollars, but never anyone’s life. How can we take so lightly the risk that come from officers making errors with so few consequences if incompetence avails itself? Risk analysis isn’t just about expected value, but also severity. Given the potential severity, why is there not better governance?

    • ask frank serpico ( what happens to good cops who out bad cops. yes, good cops just want to do their job and go home safe. that applies to evaluating the retaliation risk of identifying bad cops. and then there is the whole group thing. no one wants to be voted off the island. and once you share danger with another person, you do not want to end that feeling of being part of something larger. if you have never been part of the “us” in “us vs. them”, it is difficult to imagine how strong the urge is to keep the club intact, functioning. it is easier to just avoid problems.

    • Some PDs don’t hide behind the Blue Brotherhood. See for detailed statistics of incidents and consequences. BTW, the report includes Seattle’s Use of Force policy that’s been recommended our PD adopt.

      As others have suggested, a ride-along is illuminating as to what officers encounter and deal with. Many are sleep deprived from OT and shift changes. Frankly, it’s surprising there aren’t more complaints.

      One study estimates the rate of alcoholism among police at 33% and among the highest for work-related stress – see

  43. “Next, keep your damn hand off your gun.”

    In many states, a non-LEO doing this is can be charged, and will most likely be found guilty of brandishing.

  44. Bravura, oye. 1st amendment and all that, but if this is being construed as advice and is sponsored by this website, I’d remove it or caveat it as a work of fiction less it become a liability issue should someone take it seriously and quote it to their lawyer from the other side of the glass.

    Kung fu charlie here with his thousand yard stare needs to leave the desert ninja maneuvers in the far far away. You’re home bro, your wars over.

    • Far easier said than done, especially for someone who’s never been to war.

      “A man fires a rifle for many years, and he goes to war. And afterward he turns the rifle in at the armory, and he believes he’s finished with the rifle. But no matter what else he might do with his hands, love a woman, build a house, change his son’s diaper; his hands remember the rifle. And all the jarheads killing and dying, they will always be me. We are still in the desert.”
      – Anthony Swofford

    • It’s pretty clear, as states in the title and in the article itself, that the post was intended as advice for law enforcement. It’s also clear that the advice is for the protection of those officers, since some of them don’t make it home from their shift. At no point in the article do I tell anyone other than members of law enforcement what I think they should do. You kind of have to read all of the words to get it.

  45. when I was a kid and started driving, my dad told me that if I ever got pulled over, to shut off the engine, turn on the interior light (if at night) roll down the window and put both hands out the window. I’ve done it every time I’ve been stopped and I will be honest, I have never had an unpleasant experience during the stop. never been asked to step out, never had my vehicle searched. I was raised by my southern momma so “yes sir” and “no sir” come automatically. I always inform them that my license and registration is in the glove box and ask before getting it. I have never been given a warning but I deserved every ticket I ever got so no hard feelings.

    • Translation: if you throw yourself prostrate at the government goon and pay obeisance he’ll usually just steal your money and leave without hurting anything besides your wallet and your dignity.

      • so… I should just shoot him? seriously though, I hear you. While my demeanor is calm and polite, don’t mistake that for cowardice. I am not looking for a fight but that doesn’t mean there isn’t one in me. How I deal with the man is not advice on how you should deal with the man.

        • Your money is gone anyways, so you should just interact with the level of respect that thieving goons deserve: none.

      • Translation: get caught doing some kind of traffic violation, get a ticket, refuse to accept or pay it, and then… something something something.

        Do I think it’s BS that you have to pay the state money for a violation? Yes. Am I going to refuse to pay it out of sheer principal? Not really, no. I don’t like the idea of being held in contempt of the court.

  46. Sometime before the American Revolution 2.0, it would bode well for all parties involved, to familiarize themselves with #JohnBadElk-vs-UnitedStates.

    Cops, politicians, and arsesmutsucker monkeys at #MordorOnThePotomac, newsflash: you, are all SERVANTS.

    So STFU and ACT like one, #FLaggots.


  47. I think the author of this piece needs to seek some therapy… sounds like a bad event in waiting. One which will probably look like “suicide by cop” to outsiders.

  48. My neighbor was a LEO. We used to be regular backyard BBQ buddies almost every weekend. Several months ago I was at the bank ATM and saw him pull over a guy. They both pulled into the bank parking lot so I sat there and listened to the exchange. I was horrified to hear my buddy lie outright to the driver that he had been driving radically for the last mile and was suspected of being drunk. I saw the driver pull out of the market parking lot next to the bank and hadn’t driven 50 feet when my buddy pulled him over. I witnessed his sobriety test where he walked the line without wavering and didn’t show any unusual signs of being DUI. The driver told my buddy that he had been in the market, but my buddy insisted he had seen him leaving a bar down the road. The driver was arrested and hauled off to jail. Later, I found out the patrol car’s dash cam had been disabled and my buddy had turned off his body cam during the traffic stop and arrest. Once I found this out I located the guy’s lawyer, told him what I saw and gave him my dash cam video with audio. the lawyer also obtained the bank’s security camera video.

    When I confronted my buddy about the arrest he just laughed and said it was none of my business. I told him this is why people don’t trust the police anymore and that as far as I was concerned, we were no longer friends.

    When my ex-buddy found out that it was my dash cam that was used to exonerate the driver he became enraged and almost went postal. Once the news media reported his firing a large number of people filed complaints against him for doing the same thing to them.

    There have been six firings of officers in our community this year due to miss-use of authority and in one case an officer pistol whipped an elderly man for walking too slowly across an intersection.

    After all of these events, I cringe every time I see a police officer drive by or shopping in a store.

    I don’t like living in fear, but as a retired person I know I don’t have a chance of surviving should a rogue officer decide to make me his next target. I now fear a police officer more than I do a potential home invasion. At least in a home invasion I fell that i have a better chance of surviving than I would a confrontation with a police officer.

    I recently had a chance to talk to the police chief about the incident and I got a real creepy feeling listening to this guy lie has way out of the conversation. Plus, he suggested that next time it might be in my best interest to keep my mouth shut and mind my own business.

    This is why I no longer have respect for police officers.

    • Gregg, Thank you for doing the right thing. My arc was just the opposite: from contempt to compassion and support for PD.

      What saddens me is a sense of futility I get from your experience. My gut reaction would be to organize other citizens and flood elected officials and media with complaints about the chief demanding his ouster and establishment of a civilian review board. The public records act can be an amazing tool if your state has one.

      And don’t forget complaints to the county DA and to your civil grand jury.

      BTW, elected officials typically have a complaint threshold where something really gets attention. At the local level (city & county) that’s often 10 emails, letters, or phone calls. A relatively small number gives enormous leverage.

      Attending council meetings, organizing, etc. takes time, but all of us can make our communities better for ourselves, neighbors, and the generations behind us.

  49. I never leave comments but I can’t hold this one back. If stopped by a police officer in accordance with his duties and that police officer pulls his gun because he perceives a threat… You plan to take things to the next level and make that perception a reality while also assuring that somebody dies. I can think of a million smarter ways for that story to end but you picked the one where you show us you are an idiot. Tell me what comes next if you “win” that altercation…

    • i think the writer’s position is/was that if he (the writer) posed no threat to the cop, but the cop pointed a gun at the writer, the writer would respond with sufficient force to stop the threat. he is talking about a situation where no threat to cops exists, but a cop goes around the bend in a fit of anger, or bullying.

      • How much are we going to ramp up this crazed,evil out-of-control “bad cop” scenario? You all have watched Training Day ten too many times.

        This advice is going to get someone needlessly killed. Full stop.

        • jwtaylor: What advice do you mean? The advice I am giving to members of law enforcement?

          I’ve detailed exactly what I mean in several posts that substantively discuss the issue. You only respond to me in posts where I don’t. Wonder why that is.

        • Cloudbuster, I can’t find any substantive arguments you’ve made at all, but I certainly agree with you that didn’t make one with that last post at all. However, in re-reading your posts, I came across this:
          ” If a cop draws on me without sufficient justification, yes, the last thing I’m going to do is try to win a gunfight with him.”
          And I’m willing to take you at your word. Even if you were not a threat, even if there was no justification, even if you believed you were about to be killed, you wouldn’t fight back if the offender was a police officer.
          I think that’s just really sad and I don’t have much to respond to it other than to suggest that you need to get some real help discovering the value of your own life.

        • JWT – great response…exccept the part after “…I find that really sad.” Sorta lessens the impact of what went before. Stay strong.