Myrebutal;A police perspective on 'open carry'
Wednesday, May 19, 2010
Law enforcement officers are taught that guns are a dangerous and deadly threat to their safety and the safety of the public they serve. They understand that any encounter involving a gun is grave.
"Open carry," the practice of carrying an unloaded handgun exposed in a belt holster, unnecessarily subjects our officers and the public to tense encounters that have unforeseeable consequences. The police officer who approaches an "open carry" subject must rapidly assess the subject's behavior without knowing if the individual has a permit to carry a gun or a gun license. The officer knows only that he or she must detain the subject only long enough to determine whether the gun is unloaded.
An officer has more authority to check on whether a driver is legally driving a car than to stop an individual to verify if the individual has the right to carry a gun.
The officer doesn't know if the individual is a law-abiding citizen or an individual prohibited from owning or carrying a gun. The officer does know that an unloaded weapon can become a loaded weapon in less than 1.3 seconds.
Advocates argue that "open carry" subjects are law-abiding citizens exercising their legal right to carry an unloaded gun. They suggest that any potential danger could be reduced by simply educating the officers to recognize an "open carry" incident. They say this could be accomplished merely by having a dispatcher asking a few clarifying questions. A criminal, they say, would act suspiciously, whereas a law-abiding "open carry" subject would remain calm.
An officer is not going to drop his guard when handling a "man with a gun" incident based on the subjective observations of an unknown third party. These encounters will remain a danger to all involved.
Law enforcement officers encounter gun violence and its tragic aftermaths on a daily basis. Officers have seen guns used in conflicts where the subject, in the passion of the moment, has lost his temper and fired. Advocates argue that carrying unloaded guns openly will reduce the number of these incidents and make the public safer. I contend that additional guns only increase the chance of a violent encounter.
It is my view, shared by the California Police Chiefs Association, that "open carry" is an unnecessary threat to the safety of our officers and the public whom they serve.
Chief James obfuscates the real hazards facing law enforcement these days. The California budget crisis is going to make police agencies make some difficult choices and many departments will see cuts in patrols and staffing, which will ensure officer's will be stretched too thin to deter violent crime. By taking the stand that he will not issue licenses to carry concealed to the public which he claims to serve and discouraging those who want to take responsibility for their own safety and security he is asking us to depend on his officers when it is impossible for him to deliver.
Those who open carry are not obligated to be licensed to carry and guns in California are not licensed. Officers who have an encounter with an open carry advocate do not have to assess suchlicensing as they are not relevant to this form of self-defense. I dont know where he got that crap. I suppose its 'official sounding'.
Encounters with open carriers are only as threatening as the police choose to make them. The dangerto the general public is raised when disproportionate force is used to apprehend an advocate when no crime has either been observed or commited. The firearm is safe in the confines of the holster- but police, by injecting themselves into the investigation of a law-abiding citizen for a non-crime both violate the open carry advocate's fourth amendment and threaten the safety of everyone nearby by demandingan inspectionof theweapon under threat of force. Let's put it this way-Ifcops must have a good reason to clear leather- then why are they handling others firearms in public when there is no threat detected?
In the end, Chief Ken James cannot ensure your safety, he cannot make anyone safer by denying the people a means of self-defense, his officers cannot make the community safer by investigating a non-crime, and his department is no where near as effective a deterent to crime as widespread open carry.
New to OPEN CARRY in California? Click and read this first...
NA MALE SUBJ ON FOOT, LS NB 3 AGO HAD A HOLSTERED HANDGUN ON HIS RIGHT HIP. WAS NOT BRANDISHING THE WEAPON, BUT RP FOUND SUSPICIOUS.
CL SUBJ IN COMPLIANCE WITH LAW
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"Why should judicial precedent bind the nation if the Constitution itself does not?" -- Mark Levin
The theme of your retort is really good. I would like to expound on your theme by saying that Chief James is a failure at public safety. During his tenure, people have been battered, assaulted, raped, robbed, and murdered. His traffic safety programs have not worked as wrecks have happened. How do I know this? All of the above have happened on his watch.
Until Chief James can provide security for all, he is really not a peace officer, he is an investigator--he investigates and hunts down suspects after the carnage has occurred. He isn't even a guard! Guards try to protect the people and property under his purview. Chief James does not have the resources to guard anything.
"The officer doesn't know if the individual is a law-abiding citizen or an individual prohibited from owning or carrying a gun."
It is not the officer's job to determine if the gun is legally owned. LEO needs RAS for a law-abiding citizen and he needs RAS for a not-known-to-him convicted felon, to detain anddeterminelegal ownership of anything.
The Supremes have ruled that cops don't have the responsibility to protect anybody. They can witness a heinous crime and move-in after the fact to take evidence. Public Safety? Bovine Scatology.
Projection and rationalization requires psychological counseling. Chief James should get checked-out. Being a "peace officer" requires an element of risk; Chief James should resign if he does not like the target (uniform) he chooses to wear every day. There are many safe jobs for him to perform.