Why Do You Ask Police Officers To Lie?
by Leroy Pyle
When a police officer is quoted in the
press stating, "The only reason for a gun is to kill people," he
is lying! When the president marches out a troop of police uniforms to
frame his press conference about his gun control efforts, HE is usually
lying. We have come to expect lies from our president, but shame on him
and the mayors of our cities for forcing a subordinate police officer to
The hundreds of thousands of police
officers in this country receive extensive training with their firearms
that includes particular attention to the use of deadly force.
Municipalities are especially sensitive to the actions of their officers
in dealing with the public, and the use of deadly force is high on their
list of priorities. Nowhere in their training, not in the police academies
nor in the mandated annual or biannual firearms re-qualification sessions,
is a police office told that any of the equipment he is required to carry
on duty is for the purpose of killing.
The emphasis in the training with the
firearm, baton, chemicals, handcuffs, and weaponless defense is on the protection
of life. These defensive tools are intended to protect the officer and
the citizens he serves. Use of deadly force is especially limited to times
when there is a "clear and present", or imminent, threat to
life, the officer's or a citizen's, and then all other methods must be
exhausted before the use of that deadly force is appropriate. It is clear
in the training that the use of any police issue weapon is as a last
resort and intended for the purpose of stopping someone from taking
a life or causing great bodily injury.
Who, then, is behind these lies? Who
supplies the rhetoric? Those are not the words of a real police officer! I
had to ask myself why the President of these United States and the mayors
of our cities force their employees to lie. I was a career police officer
and spent much of that career teaching those very subjects at the local
academy and in-house. To qualify as a trainer, I was sent by the
department, or attended on my own, to learn from recognized authorities in
the subject of firearms and the legal and moral aspect of the use of
force. It is very clear to me that most police officers do not share the
president's opinion on guns, nor have they received any official training
that includes or advocates using a firearm to kill people.
If you want to know what the average cop
thinks about "gun control", just ask him if he would have a gun
in his home were he to quit being a cop tomorrow! Of course he would. Who
knows better than a cop what the chances are of being a victim in today's
And the real lies, when attempting to
promote cops as "anti-gun", is in the fact that cops are true
gun owners. They live with a firearm all day on the job, and most have an
"off-duty" firearm kept on their person and in the home. The
firearm is respected as the valuable protection tool that it was intended
to be. Many, like myself, participate in competition or seek extra
firearms training outside the department to maintain proficiency, and
share varying degrees of enthusiasm and appreciation for firearms.
We all got a chuckle during the early
days of the so-called "assault-weapon" hysteria. Most cops had a
semi-automatic rifle from the days prior to the times when the department
issued everything, and we carried it in the trunk for backup. (I
bought my first one, an M1 carbine, when a bunch of us on the PD ordered
them from the Federal Government) Young cops bought them because the old
cops had them! Before the government started making them so attractive to
all citizens by prohibition, I'll bet cops were the majority in semi-auto
When my chief of police went public
claiming the Glock to be a "plastic gun" easily passed through
metal detectors, cops new that only someone ignorant about guns' or intent
on deceiving the public, would say such a thing. Glocks are mostly metal
in the same way a Corvette is metal, and now a favorite in law
enforcement. My chief hyped “Cop-killer bullets”, and again, only for
the ignorant reader or listener, since cops knew the Teflon coated bullet
was developed BY police officers and was never a threat to law enforcement
unless you believed the media. Who in law enforcement believes the media!
You don't hear reference to "Saturday-night-special" any more
since the very racist prejudice in the term was pointed out to those
administrators and politicians who used it. You may have noticed they now
refer to "junk guns" or the latest, "pocket-sized".
So why do you see cops in the media lying
about firearms? You have noted, I hope, that it is never a
cop-on-the-street interview, but rather the chief of the department or
someone in the chief's office. With all respect for the position, a chief
of police is just another department head in city government, and subject
to the whims of a mayor, city manager, city council, or (D), all of the
above. His job depends on serving those masters. He will share their
political philosophies or find a new job.
And the subordinate police officer who
speaks for the chief? He has an assignment as "press officer" or
administrative aid, and works out of the chief's office. In our
quasi-military organizations, the chief can (and usually does) restrict
all press releases to the chief's office. You can have a 1500-man police
department, but only one voice. Speak against the chief and you are in hot
water. Believe me, I know!
Why, then, do we hear that police
"unions" support the anti-gun efforts? My experience in
California was that we called them "police associations" and
there was a tendency to avoid the stigma attached to a "union".
Not so, everywhere, of course, but I still was curious to learn why my
association and many others professed to be anti-gun. I am aware that
police officers have the variety of opinions shared by any community, and
certainly include those who would restrict the right of a citizen to
possess firearms. But I know them as gun owners who laugh at the phony
attempts to demonize particular firearms with rhetoric that defies logic.
They do adhere to department regulations when it comes to public speaking.
My only conclusion was to consider what
the union's primary function is, and with whom the leaders associate. In
all fairness, the primary concerns of any association or union focus on
the benefits it can negotiate for its members. Working conditions, health
benefits, and retirement issues are what they are all about. At the same
time, the union officers are charged with promoting good will within the
department and promoting the department to the public through various
charity and public efforts.
And pardon my sarcasm, but who do you go
to if you want support for the very best in giveaways? Who is known for
"benefits"? I certainly don't have to explain why most unions
are found on the "left" side of any house of legislation, do I?
And that is the only explanation I can determine for a public sentiment
expressed by an association of employees that seems contrary to the
varying beliefs of its members. Union officers work with, and must
cooperate with those legislators who can do the most good in the way of
benefits legislation. I can't help but suspect that a "union"
leader will jump in bed with those politicians who favor the greatest
union benefits, and the trade for those benefits is the support of other
My response, then, is to strike back
where it will hurt the most. I don't believe that those charged with
enforcing the laws should be making the laws, and especially so when
constitutional rights are in question. When the law enforcers become a
primary influence in the effort to affect the laws that will limit
individual rights, I view that effort to be unworthy of the office. I
explain that to the caller who tries to solicit donations for any police
organization. I first ask the nice caller if he/she is a police officer.
They are not, but rather part of a boiler-room operation, so I ask if they
will relay a message to the "real" police, and tell them that I
refuse to contribute any money to an organization that is working to deny
individual rights to the citizens of the community, and ask them to call
back when their efforts are directed at- promoting good will in the
community by concentrating on the benefits for the member cops rather than
joining any attempts at restricting individual rights.
Will you join me? The next time you get a
call from your local police union or association, tell them you refuse to
ante up this time, and will never again contribute to them until you are
notified that they have voted to support the Constitution of The United
States and the individual rights of the citizens they claim to "Serve
Boycott those who support laws that
violate your individual rights!
International Brotherhood of Police Officers (IBPO) newsletter)
IBPO PRAISES PRESIDENT CLINTON ON NEW GUN INITIATIVE
"The IBPO will make this new gun initiative a top
legislative priority when the Congress reconvenes in a few weeks. This is one
bill, I believe that everyone involved in the gun debate can agree on."
The next time you get a call from
your local police union or association, tell them you refuse to ante
up this time, and will never again contribute to them until you are
notified that they have voted to support the Constitution of The
United States and the individual rights of the citizens they claim
to "Serve and Protect".
BOYCOTT POLICE UNIONS
POLICE UNION LEADER BLASTS NRA'S LaPIERRE FOR SPEAKING ON
BEHALF OF COPS
WASHINGTON DC-- The President of the International
Brotherhood of Police Officers (IBPO) is on record refuting the words of NRA
chief spokesperson Wayne LaPierre suggesting he speaks for law enforcement
"Mr. LaPierre said on a national television show that he
had spoken to police officers who question President Clinton's enforcement of
existing gun control laws. I doubt that Mr. LaPierre has spoken to any of the
50,000 members of IBPO, the largest police union in the AFL-CIO. If he had he
would have heard that crime is down, thanks in large part to the Brady Bill and
the 1994 Crime Bill which banned certain assault weapons," said Kenneth T.
Lyons, President of the IBPO.
"The NRA is on record opposing any common sense approach
to gun control. Lapierre's statement that President Clinton was "willing to
accept a certain level of killing" so he could push for gun control
legislation is beyond comprehension. I thought that Charlton Heston was the only
person over at the NRA known for bad performances."
"The IBPO will continue to support common sense gun
legislation aimed at keeping guns out of the hands of children and criminals.
That is why it is important to pass the juvenile justice bill that includes gun
safety provisions as well as closing the gunshow loophole."