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Mr. President?

Mr. President: 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 lie.

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 society?

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 ownership.

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 issues.

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 and Protect".

Boycott those who support laws that violate your individual rights!

POLICE
vs.
Gun Owners

(excerpts from
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."

http://www.ibpo.org/press.html

BOYCOTT POLICE UNIONS

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 officers.

"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."

Leroy Pyle is a career police officer,
NRA Training Counselor & Instructor, and Internet Activist WebMaster, www.2ampd.net & www.PaulRevere.org

Printer Version

 QUOTES TO REMEMBER
For, in principle, there is no difference between a law prohibiting the wearing of concealed arms, and a law forbidding the wearing such as are exposed; and if the former be unconstitutional, the latter must be so likewise. But it should not be forgotten, that it is not only a part of the right that is secured by the constitution; it is the right entire and complete, as it existed at the adoption of the constitution; and if any portion of that right be impaired, immaterial how small the part may be, and immaterial the order of time at which it be done, it is equally forbidden by the constitution. [Bliss vs. Commonwealth, 12 Ky. (2 Litt.) 90, at 92, and 93, 13 Am. Dec. 251 (1822)

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