The Privileged Elite
The Privileged Elite?
Cops Are The Wrong Target
(This article composed in 1992,
but appropriate in these times)
It is ironic that Chief Joe McNamara, San Jose PD, found
the Achilles Heel of the American Gun owner, and gun owners are doing the most
to take his lead and act on it. McNamara marked the target, and gun owners are
taking all the shots!
I refer to the generally declining respect for law
enforcement demonstrated by the Second Amendment Community, in general, and,
specifically, that community's response to a call for a national concealed
weapon carry law for law enforcement.
RKBA enthusiasts communicating on electronic bulletin
boards, the Internet, or in everyday conversations at clubs and meeting places
display this very negative attitude quite openly. It is especially evident when
the topic of the national CCW for cops is brought up, and was very apparent in
the response to any media addressing the subject.
The proposed legislation would make it lawful for
licensed and trained LEO's to travel across state lines while armed. It was
drafted and proposed by pro-gun LEO's in an attempt to re-establish some lines
of pro-gun communication with the law enforcement community at the line officer
It wasn't too many years ago that law enforcement was the
traditional, recognized, friend and ally of the gun owner. That was made very
obvious in the battle over Proposition 15 in California, in 1982, which called
for a handgun ban. Initial polls showed a two-third majority of Californians
supported a ban on sales of handguns.
And then a concerted campaign by gun owners resulted in a
defeat of that proposition by a truly amazing turnaround. Much of the credit for
the two-third-majority win is attributed to the law enforcement support of the
N.R.A. and The Right To Keep and Bear Arms!
It was the results of that election that led Joe McNamara
and HCI to the conclusion that something must be done to drive a wedge between
those traditional allies, cops and gun owners. Together, he guessed correctly,
they were invincible, and he initiated his campaign to "divide and
And by listening to Second Amendment Activists, I think
we can agree that his efforts have met with great success.
In response to those few political police-types who
parrot the HCI agenda, and the obviously biased media support of that agenda,
gun-owning activists have developed considerable resentment. I try to consider
that it is understandable, since most legislation has been carried on the
emotional claims of a police loss in the so-called gun wars. But it is now being
carried to an extreme by a minority of those who have a personal grudge against
authority, or by individuals who's personal agenda or affiliations involve a
greater resentment of government and/or authority than the average RKBA'er.
And whether justified, or not, the resentment is
misdirected when aimed at the beat cop who is restricted from political
involvement by that very same political police administrator who makes the false
claims, and then muzzles any attempt by department members to debate or tell the
Think about the times you have heard the claim that the
police "need this legislation", or are "outgunned" and
"losing the battle". Those statements are made by a political cop or a
politician and seldom, if ever, by a line officer.
And yet, the typical claim is that a CCW law for cops
creates a "privileged elite". There is, no doubt, a privileged elite.
The antics of Diane Feinstein, Joe McNamara or Carl Rowan have been well
publicized. More examples include the FBI Director breaking with tradition to go
political, and an aid to Barbara Boxer (D-CA) discovered packing a 9mm
There, you have your privileged elite!
In the case of the average police officer, though, I
think we may be confusing privilege with responsibility. The cop is hired to
assume the responsibility of enforcing the laws of the community. Those
responsibilities are many and varied, and include the carrying and use of a
Unlike a privilege or entitlement, which connotes a
special advantage, the law enforcement officer's role is voluntary and includes
the obligations and accountability of an office of trust. The prerequisites are
many, and include the requirements of many months of classroom and on-the-job
Culpability and liability are major factors in a law
enforcement officer’s daily assignment, also. There are specific laws directed
at the misuse of the authority, or the tools of that authority, by an officer.
So it might be best to reconsider your target. Aim a
little higher on the political chain. It should be a shot (figuratively
speaking, of course) just above the line officer's level. And for Harry Thomas's
sake, be a little picky with lieutenants!
I do not claim that law enforcement support is the major
factor in the battle for our RKBA, but no one can deny the value of a positive
coalition with that audience, and we do find ourselves in dire straights without
If we continue to shoot at what Joe McNamara and HCI have
defined as our Achilles Heel, we may well be shooting ourselves in the foot.