The Potential Problems With Open Carry

inside-chipotle630

 

*Disclamer1* – This is being filed in the “Guns” and the “Police” categories. I am not a police officer, in fact my experience in LE is limited to watching “Cops” reruns, the movie “Super Troopers” and a ride along I did with my buddy where I was instructed to “Stay in the car, unless I start getting my ass beat, then I need you to give me a hand.” I am a career firefighter, 13 years of service and other than a gun lover, that’s all I clam to be. I am writing this as it is an issue that I see LE face and it is being caused by a group of gun owners, however it effects us all, so here we are.

*Disclamer2* – I am extremely pro 2A. Probably more so than you are. True story!

I am writing this because of a misunderstanding on our Facebook page over this post:

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I had a disagreement with a follower that I don’t think really was a disagreement, I just don’t think our points were clearly enough drawn-out. I am writing this post here because I feel this is actually a very common issue and here is a great chance to air it out. You see the first thing that many pro 2A people see is someone having an issue with a particular open carrier, and they assume that you then have an issue with all open carriers. That is not the case! I will go on to explain below.

First, let me start by saying that there are 2 different types of open carriers. The first type is made of true Patriots who bleed Red White and Blue and piss Freedom. These are people who know their rights are God given and recognized by the United States Constitution. Their intentions are simply to open carry, and are usually (I hate painting with a broad brush, but this isn’t profiling, it is statistics) very down to earth people who are pleasant to talk to. There is no agenda here with this group. A tell tale way to distinguish this type of Open Carrier is that any run in they might have had with the law will usually be retold verbally. These are the folks I have no issue with.

Now lets talk about a second type of open carrier. This type is a different breed with different motives. They are attention whores who publicly give most all of us responsible gun owners a bad name, let me explain. This second type is out for one thing and one thing only and that is conflict. Their guise is that they are doing it in the name of education, or to rub their rights in the faces of the general public. You see, these guys walk around in public not with a handgun on their side (which in most places can be carried in the ready to fire condition inside of a holster) but instead with a rifle over their shoulder which is usually, in accordance with law, unchambered. Their primary choices are AR-15 rifles and AK variants as those are publicly recognizable and they know that the typical brainwashed non pro-gun bystander will assume it is of course fully automatic and dial 911 in a full panic. They don’t choose to do this with a shotgun or bolt action rifle, because that won’t get the reaction they are looking for, which leads me into the second thing these guys are armed with. Somewhere on their person in the ready to go position is a video camera, ready to record conflicts with LE. These guys brush up on the ins and outs of the law, things like when they have to produce identification or answer questions. No matter how friendly or polite the cop they encounter is being with these guys, they always reply in very frustrating way reciting lines over and over vs engaging in actual conversation.

Now you might be one of the aforementioned second types, if you find yourself getting frustrated as you read this, you are probably who I am talking to. I’ll answer your question that I already know you are asking, “If I’m not breaking the law, then what is the issue?” Well, for starters you are setting out with a loaded gun in search of conflict. Now you aren’t planning on using that gun in said conflict, instead your weapon of choice is a video camera and YouTube. The gun in your case is simply being used as bait. And that ladies and gentlemen is the problem, you are knowingly using a gun to look for trouble. This goes against everything I as a member of the responsible gun owner crowd stand for. I carry a gun every day of my life outside of work, and do absolutely everything in my power to avoid conflict. Being armed should NEVER be a basis for seeking conflict, this is in every way stupid and could end up getting someone killed.

You are probably shaking your head and thinking: “But, but, but, it is my right!” Well, here is the thing about freedoms, they aren’t without consequences. You have freedom of speech, walk up to the biggest guy you can find and tell him that his mother took real good care of you last night. You will become quickly aware that your actions do in fact have consequences. The reactions you get from police while walking down the sidewalk wearing a kilt (backwards mind you, pleats go in the rear, apron goes in the front) with an AR strapped to your back is a consequence of you choosing to be so careless with your rights. The police have a responsibility to investigate calls that are made to 911. The public safety community simply does not have the luxury to decide which calls they respond to, and are responding blindly sans the information the caller(s) provided.

I want to also point out that this second type of open carrier, in their quest to seek attention, is the type that will flood a business mistaking a “guns not prohibited” policy with a “these guys love guns just as much as we do” policy. Time and time again their actions have forced the hand of these establishments to pick a side as they were being thrust into the spotlight being hailed as “pro-gun” when in fact they were neutral. These businesses honestly had no stance on the subject, they did not and probably still would not care about guns as they were not causing a problem for them. That is until you and your Facebook/Call of Duty buddies invaded the place, dressed in your fresh from Ebay, made in China Airsoft tactard gear, and started to hurt their wellbeing as you were driving away their customer base. Yes, you were making it hard for some of your fellow Americans to provide for their families. Once again, your freedoms do not come without consequences, and in this case the consequence effects anyone who carries a gun, not just some jackass who wants to have a gun circle jerk party at a coffee shop.

In conclusion I want to say this, I have argued time and time again with anti-gunners stating that they were simply uninformed and members of the gun community were some of the most genuine, good people they would ever encounter. I still stand by this comment, as most of the people I encounter exemplify that opinion. However the majority are easily drowned out by a small but vocal minority who go out of their way to show off how big of an asshole they can be by posting videos of their shenanigans on YouTube. I mean, if someone else wanted to publicly “exercise their right” of freedom of speech by walking down the road shouting insulting words, you would probably label that person as a _________(insert your word of choice here). While this is one way a person can “exercise your right” of freedom of speech, you could also do it in a way that isn’t so abrasive to others by showing a little thing we call respect, and (gasp) still have all of your freedoms intact. Here is the thing guys, if you are hell bent on making a point, I’ll give you a piece of advice. You can still make your point without being a total douchbag in the process. Yes, it is possible to talk in a civil manner to your fellow man and still stand your ground, maintain your rights, and even educate others. If those things were ever your true intent it shouldn’t be a hard thing for you to do, unless of course you are just looking for conflict, and hoping for a chance to cash out in a lawsuit, in which case I honestly hope reading this helps you realize what a piece of shit you really are.

– Stache

That “Blue Code Of Silence”, That’s Not…

CoverOver the last several years, there has been a huge surge in hatred and distrust directed at law enforcement.  That sentiment has recently culminated in protests across the country, and in recent months, a HUGE increase in unprovoked assaults on officers around the country.  One of the cries I often see repeated by those denigrating my profession is that cops protect their own, no matter what.  I can’t count how many times I have read “why don’t good cops turn in bad cops” on social media and in reader comments on “news” sites lately.  To anyone who knows better, that mantra is not worth the digital paper it was typed on.

As most cops will tell you, we (cops) dislike dirty cops more so than the public.  Dirty cops not only besmirch our profession, but they destroy the trust that the public has in law enforcement as a whole.  The old marketing axiom holds true in public service just as it does in retail, an unhappy customer tells everyone about their experience, a happy customer tells almost no one.  The people who are either wronged, or unjustly think they were wronged, are always much louder than those happy with their service.  That is just a fact of life.

I have been doing this job a long time, and from personal experience, I know the “cops don’t rat on other cops” line is nothing but hogwash, but what can I do to try and convince the average person who does not have my knowledge base.  I’m not going to pretend it does not happen from time to time, but the claim that it is a rampant problem with all cops is ridiculous.

In an effort to spread the truth, I submitted a Freedom of Information Act request to my own department regarding internal affairs complaints.  What I specifically requested was, for the last five (5) years, the number of complaints and whether or not they were substantiated.  But beyond those simple numbers, I asked to have the numbers split between public complaints filed and those filed internally, you know, the cops who always cover for dirty cops.

Here are the raw numbers:
Numbers

If you were to look at just the statistics from public complaints, it would most certainly look like we were protecting our own due to the massive percentage of unsubstantiated complaints (98%).   It would still somewhat have that appearance if you were to just look at the total number of complaints as a whole (16%).  However, what I find most interesting is not only the number of internal complaints, but the significantly higher percentage of those complaints being substantiated.  Internal affairs complaints, filed by other deputies occurred an average of 1/3 as often as complaints filed by the public, yet they have a 2,500% better chance of being substantiated (50% substantiated for internal complaints vs. 2% for public complaints).

Puffin2When looking at the complaints filed by the public, you must consider that anyone can file a complaint about anything they want.  In all seriousness, most of the complaints filed by the public are because people feel they were disrespected by an officer.  They are angry with how an officer spoke to them or looked at them, and so they file a complaint, and not surprisingly, most of those complaints are not substantiated because they don’t violate any laws or policies.  Cops are not out here to be touchy feely, and make you feel better about screwing up.  If we are in your life, it is usually because you did something wrong and some people, no matter how politely you tell them, do not like being told they screwed up.

On the other hand, look at the outcomes of the internally filed complaints.  Not only is the number of complaints as a whole a fairly large number when compared to publicly filed complaints, but the substantiated percentage is much higher.  What that tells me is that 1) “good cops” are in fact NOT “covering for bad cops” and 2) when a cop files a complaint, they do so more often because of a legitimate reason and not because their feelings or sensitivities were hurt.

Now, here is the kicker.  The information I provided above should actually be common knowledge, yet the public has no clue about it.  Let me explain why I say that.  When I submitted my request for this information, I was informed it would be no problem to gather the information I was looking for because the department already compiles these exact statistics.  I was told that the local news sources, both print and television, request this information every year, yet for some reason, the information that I listed above never seems to make it out to the public, which leaves me wondering just what the “real news” folks are doing with it…

(This article also appears over at The Daily Caller)