Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should…

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My father used to tell me “People say stupid things all the time. Some they mean, and some they say in the heat of the moment. Try to resist saying stupid stuff you will regret”.

This never more evident, than the recent resignation of probationary Firefighter Ron Drake from North Randall, Ohio Fire. Drake, who posted a comment on Action News 19’s Facebook page regarding the  NYPD brothers recently assassinated, stating “cops n gunman goin’ to hell lol”. Following up, when taken to task by another commenter with similar absurd statements, such as “most of your race is disgusting” (side note, if someone asked me my race, it would be “PURPLE” as a combination of blue and red blood to signify our brotherhood as first responders) .

Here is the thing that I find hilarious.  If you are a firefighter, cop, paramedic or anyone else than Joe Q. Public who works at the gas station and you are in a position subject to higher scrutiny, you should probably keep your thoughts off public sites such as Facebook, or, mores specifically… A NEWS STATION’S FACEBOOK PAGE…

That’s the funny thing about Facebook genius, it has useful things on it, like WHERE YOU WORK.  If you don’t have your privacy settings locked down, people can see everything you post and even WHERE YOU WORK…

I don’t get people on the best of days, but when you couple how legitimately absurd people are.  I see all kinds of things over the many places I frequent over the interwebs, but the funniest (and saddest) thing that I see often, is the penchant of the masses, who consider everything they hear on Facebook as gospel. Like for instance, people’s first amendment rights.  People take that as gospel, and think that anything they say is protected speech.  Here’s the kicker, if you threaten a cop, or anyone for that matter, it’s not just you “blowing off steam” or whatever absurd reasoning that you try to use as an excuse for your conduct.  If you threaten a public official, newsflash genius – It’s not protected speech, it’s a CRIME GENIUS.

Words have consequences, and with the onslaught of social media relating to the recent hatred directed towards law enforcement and other first responders by default, people get caught up in the emotion of the situation and just lose their minds, that is no excuse for jumping on the bandwagon and doing the “me too” response. So, when I look at a fireman/paramedic who ends up resigning because he jumped on the “me too” bandwagon, forgive me if I don’t shed a tear.  You are held to a higher regard because you are in public service, it’s what we as cops know and except. If everyone else can be brothers and sisters in arms, you don’t get to be the one single delicate flower that get’s to alienate yourself from the herd because you want to join with the “protest mentality”.

What’s the point of this post you ask? Well, I guess it’s two-fold.  One, the first amendment doesn’t cover threats or protect you from recriminations in the workplace for your views, especially in public service. Two, I was always taught, if you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.  The world, and the interwebs in general should take heed of that saying.  If we all treated each other online like we would in person, there would be a lot less hate filled vitriol going around the various social media outlets. There would also be fewer people losing their jobs and careers because they can’t keep their trap shut.  Your company/agency/department WILL NOT BACK YOU IF YOU ARE CONTROVERSIAL.  Popular thought of the minority or not, think, before clicking the post button “could this post upset a lot of people or be detrimental to my employment”  if the answer is yes….step away from the keyboard.

– The Tactical Platypus (TP)

 

 

We Hear You…

Orockwellnce upon a time in America this picture was common place, there was nothing unique about it, nothing extraordinary it was simply a slice of life this is what was expected. I miss this time.

What happened? Lots of stuff, some of it real, more of it manufactured to distract the masses in the name of control and power. If we really look deep into those who fuel the fires of hate, we will discover they are not the honorable souls searching for the truth and harmony laced into their screams of inequality. Behind each and every rally cry is someone who is profiting off the raw emotions of people who don’t realize they are being taken advantage of. However, that’s not what I want to talk about today, I want to look at something else altogether.

Paul Harvey, (Radio commentator and Presidential Medal of Freedom winner) in his famous narration “What are Policemen Made of?” wrote he believed “Buried under the frost is the fact: Less than one-half of one percent of policemen misfit the uniform. That’s a better average than you’d find among clergy”  What are Policemen Made Of

Let’s think about this quote for a moment, let it really sink in, roll the number over in your head for a moment. Let’s muse through that number just to see what it means, what it implies, “Less than one-half of one percent”……The most recent number floating around estimates there are at least 900,000 sworn police officers in the United States.

900,000 officers…..1% of that is 9,000 and another half brings us down to 4,500 that’s. .005 of the total number, .5% who may be considered “misfit”. The population of the United States in 2014 was estimated at 323,885,035 people. The total number of Law Enforcement Officers in the US is therefore .2% of the total population, and those who “misfit the uniform”…. .0013% of the total population of the United States according to Mr. Harvey.

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Over on the Facebook page Matt, along with the rest of us, have shared stories discussing the current insanity gripping the nation. We all have written about our outrage at the current climate but there is so much more to focus on. It’s time to take a moment and talk about the people (like so many on this page) who support what Law Enforcement Officer’s do to protect their community and their way of life. There are so many more of you (us) than there are of them. “They” are the loud rabble, the “vocal minority” the “useful idiots” who fall prey to the charismatic snake charmers fueling the fires of hate. Rallies support Police- USA Today

It’s time to take a moment and celebrate the good, generous hard working people and let them know how much we (those of us working as first responders, LEO’s, Fire Fighters, Medics) truly appreciate you. We hear you, we know you are out there, you are why we suit up every night, answer the bell, race to the scene when you hear a bump in the night. We will do our job regardless of what the media says about us. We will continue to fight for what is right in spite of what the race-baiters make up about us. We will do this regardless of the climate, we don’t need praise, we don’t need “thank you’s” we do this because this is what we do. However, there are little things that make a difference.rally3

No matter how bad a day may go, when I drive down a street at night and I see a house with a blue porch light ablaze I am recharged with a sense of duty and pride. I know that my being out on that street that night away from my family is for a reason and I will go on to the next call, find the next criminal and hold them to answer.

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When I see pictures of rallies, people carrying signs in support of their cops I am energized. I don’t need the praise, I don’t want any glory but I am energized because I know they understand. I know the people who are walking the streets taking time from their day and their families understand what I do, what I stand for. When I drive by a school and the children run to the fence and wave, I feel proud of what I do I want to work that much harder to earn the innocent trust I see in those faces. I don’t want to be feared but I demand respect, not through force, but through example. I don’t want to fight every time I drive into a neighborhood, but if the fight comes to me, I am going to win at all costs, I am going to go home. I am going to protect the people who called for my help.   Seattle Times-Pro Police Rally

I think what I am trying to say on behalf of all of us is simply “Thank you” we hear you. Although the voices of support at not always the loudest, they are without a doubt the strongest. I (we) understand the rest of this is static, it will pass we will continue to stand strong. We will be there for you, it is so heartwarming to see the outreach that is going on all across the country. I have included pictures from a rally in Virginia Beach, a link to a rally in Seattle and You Tube video showing a community outreach of young people working to rebuild positive relationships with their officers. I am so grateful every time I see these stories, and I am filled with resolve to continue and fight for what is right and just. I will work to pass these traits on to the next generation of cops. We will be here for you, just as you have always been there for us.

 

So know, when you put that blue light up, or you wave at us as we drive down your street we see you, we know and we are grateful. Let’s take back our country and our streets through that same positive example, we will not get drug down by the negative cries of the few.

-Doc

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Welcome to our new virtual digs!  

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While my Facebook page has been great and has grown beyond my wildest imagination, Facebook itself it has limitations.  The page will not be going anywhere, but due to the temporary nature of Facebook posts, I wanted a more permanent home for some of the more extensive, in-depth posts that myself and the other new page admins have written.  I felt we had enough going on now that we needed a new place to post our musings instead of trying to fit them in at other locations where they are sometimes less than welcome.

Additionally, due to the nanny state, left leaning mentality of Facebook, we are not always free to say everything we might like for fear of retribution by the oh so benevolent and even handed Facebook moderators (that was sarcasm).

For anyone just stumbling upon this page, it is a place where some like minded (mostly) first responders will be sharing our thoughts and comments on current events, daily encounters, or just what ever happens to be on our mind.  While most of us are cops, either current or retired, not all of us are as we currently have one firefighter in the group.  The one thing we all have in common is an appreciation for the Bill of Rights, including the Second Amendment.  We all believe in personal responsibility for one’s actions, and we are all proud Americans, even if not all of us were by birth.

As this page is run by a cop, administrated by a bunch of cops and other public servants, you should not be surprised to find that we do not tolerate cop or other first responder bashing.  If you are a fan of Cop Block, you will not find yourself welcome here.  While we do not condone bad behavior by cops, we are intelligent enough to know that dirty cops are the exception to the rule, and by a huge margin.  We are tolerant of differing views, so long as you express them in an adult manner.  While cursing is allowed here (we are on the adult program), name calling as a “debate tactic” is not.  If you can manage to follow those few simple rules, you are welcome to join in the debate at anytime you like.

Welcome to our new home on the interwebs,
-Matt

The Faulty Logic of Magazine Capacity Limits

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“High capacity” magazines are another arrow in the anti-gunners quiver of false arguments.

First, let me clarify, what they are trying to ban are not really “high capacity” magazines, they are standard capacity.  When a gun is designed to accept a detachable magazine, it is designed in a manner to accept a magazine capable of holding a certain number of rounds. Just because that number is higher than the number of digits one has on their hands does not make it “high capacity”. Secondly, the capacity of the magazine has absolutely nothing to do with the lethality of a firearm.  The lethality of a firearm is determined by the caliber of the weapon and the ballistics that results from the combination of the ammunition used and the barrel length; not by the number of bullets the gun has in it.

David Gregory breaking the law holding a banned 30 round AR mag
David Gregory breaking the law holding a banned 30 round AR mag

As a gun owner, a husband, a father, a citizen, a cop, and a gunfight survivor, I have to ask myself a few questions.  Where does this magic number of 10 bullets, or 7 in the case of New York, come from?  What gunfight/firearms/combat/law enforcement/crime/mass shooting expert provided that number, and what was their basis for determining that number?  What makes the gun control crowd think that limiting magazine capacity to 10 bullets will have any effect of mass shootings? What is the logical basis for that argument? If a network reporter (David Gregory) can so easily break a “high capacity” magazine ban law on national television, what makes anyone even dream that it will stop someone with evil intentions?

For a well-trained shooter, it takes about a second or less to perform a magazine change and get back on target. For sake of argument, if I were someone intent of committing a mass shooting, and let’s say I limited myself to only the “magically less lethal 10 round magazines”, I am still going to bring as many magazines as I can carry so that I can continue my rampage as long as possible. During those 1-2 second intervals when I, the assailant, am changing magazines, are the victims of the assault supposed to rush me, the attacker? Or are they supposed to flee the scene? That short time frame is not sufficient for even a professional athlete to make a difference, let alone an average citizen who is soiling their drawers during what is likely the scariest thing they have ever encountered.

Sheriff Ken Campbell from Boone County, IN released an excellent video back on February 23, 2013 where he had shooters of various skill levels assist him in debunking the ridiculousness of magazine capacity limits, specifically addressing reload times and the “a good person could tackle the suspect” theories thrown around by the logic-lacking antis.

Will 10 round magazines stem the tide? No, and there is absolutely no evidence to even suggest it would. But what that limit will do is render a lawful, concealed carry (CCW) holder less able to defend themselves or others from an armed assault. See, while the person intent on perpetrating an attack has all the time in the world to prepare and gear up, because they know when they are going to strike, the CCW holder likely only has their sidearm because they are prepared for the what if, not prepared for battle like the armed attacker is. Why would you limit the good guy to 10 rounds to try and stop the bad guy who is going to be armed to the teeth?

That 10 round limit, or 7 for the unfortunate folks in New York, is completely ridiculous, and was clearly determined by someone who has never been in a gunfight. Unlike in Hollywood, when people are moving and shooting at you, and killing people around you, you tend not to be the most accurate shooter in the world and you might possibly miss a round or two. Additionally, unlike Hollywood, when a bad guy gets shot, they do not fly back 20 feet and become instantly incapacitated. Real bad guys have been known to soak up over a dozen rounds and live, and in some cases, continue to fight even though they are mortally wounded.

A recent incident in Georgia (January 4, 2013) is the perfect example of the stupidity of artificial magazine capacity limits. A mother saw an intruder breaking into her home, called 9-1-1, grabbed her gun and her 2 sons and retreated to a hiding area, and waited for the cops to arrive. The intruder broke into her home and began searching it. When he found the woman and her two sons hiding, she shot him 5 times from a few feet away, emptying her revolver. That intruder, who was shot 5 times in the face, neck and torso, got up, went back to his car and managed to drive away. Thankfully, considering her gun was now empty, once the intruder was shot, he decided to retreat. Thankfully there was not a second intruder. Townhall article about this incident.

In another, real life example of why someone needs more than 10 bullets in their gun, in August 2008, police Sergeant Timothy Grammins was involved in a shootout with a bank robber.  During the 56 second shootout, Grammins fired 33 rounds from his Glock 21 (.45 ACP), leaving him with only 4 rounds left in his last magazine at the end of the battle.  “At the core of his desperate firefight was a murderous attacker who simply would not go down, even though he was shot 14 times with .45-cal. ammunition — six of those hits in supposedly fatal locations.”  – Police One article “Why one cop carries 145 rounds of ammo on the job”

In fact, in the land of the banned “assault rifle” and the long standing 10 round magazine*, that law has routinely failed to prevent criminals from obtaining magazines exceeding that artificially imposed 10 round limit.  The most recent, excellent example of the inefficacy of that law is the June 7, 2013 shooting spree in Santa Monica, CA.  In that incident, the shooter, who was only 4 years old when “high capacity” magazines were last legally available in CA, had well over ten 30 round mags for his AR-15.

All of these incidents reinforce something that is so intrinsically basic to gun owners, it is difficult for us to see how others fail to grasp a few basic realities:
– Real world gun fights often require more than 10 rounds
– Gun laws only affect law abiding citizens
– Artificial magazine capacity limits are just like all the other gun laws, and only affect law abiding citizens
– Artificially limiting the good guys to only 10 rounds just aids the bad guys who don’t obey the laws

As always, your questions and comments are welcome.  Be safe out there.
Matt


* Magazines exceeding 10 round capacity have not been for sale in CA since 1994, when they were banned federally.  That federal law later expired in 2004, but California also has a state law that has been in effect since 2000 banning magazines over 10 rounds.

Reality Check for the “Only Cops Need Guns” Crowd

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Why You Should NOT Count on the Cops to Save You – The Ugly Truth About Law Enforcement Officer to Citizen Ratios

There are those who say only the cops should have guns.  To them, the idea of individual citizens owning guns is frightening.  They cannot fathom why any normal person would want to own one of those “death machines” that only “belong on the battlefields”.  Those anti-gun people feel the way they do because they have bought into the lie that has been fed them for so long, the lie told by those in positions of authority that do not want an armed population, the lie that says “the cops will be there to protect you, you do not need guns.”   To the gun control advocates, to the people who think that no citizens should own guns, or at least no semi-auto guns, to the people who place their safety and the safety of their family solely in the hands of law enforcement, to you I say: You have MUCH more faith in law enforcement than I do, and I am a law enforcement officer.

Before anyone gets upset, that is not meant as a disparaging remark directed at law enforcement. Despite what the media and some others would have you believe, cops as a whole are good people and they really do care about what happens to most of the population (criminals pretty much excluded).

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We’ve all heard the saying, “When seconds count, the cops are only minutes away”.  Well sadly, it really is just that simple.  Let me explain to you my lack of faith in their ability to save me when seconds count. My lack of faith is based on staffing numbers, crime statistics, and as Bill Clinton likes to say, “Arithmetic”.

For a broad, well known example, I will use a large city that we are all familiar with. One with a HUGE police force, and one in which the mayor is notably VERY anti-gun, New York City. The NYPD is one of the largest police organizations in the United States. I just checked their official website and according to that, the NYPD currently has approximately 34,500 cops. That is a huge number by any stretch of the imagination. BUT, let’s put that number in perspective. According to the most recent available census data (2011), NYC is 468 square miles and has a population of 8,244,910 people. Now for some arithmetic: 8,244,910 / 34,500 = 239 citizens per cop. That is a phenomenal cop to citizen ratio. I honestly have never seen any agency with such a good ratio. I have tried to look at the NYPD’s divisional/staffing breakdown to figure out how many of those cops are actually street cops, and not administrators, detectives, property personnel, trainers, etcetera, but I cannot find those types of numbers anywhere.

For a specific example, I will look at an agency I am quite familiar with, but cannot name. Said agency serves a large metropolitan city with an equal distribution of urban development and rural area, covering 836 square miles. In that 836 square mile area, the population as of 2010 was 618,962. That population is served by a law enforcement agency that has 2017 total number of sworn cops. Taking that total number of cops, let’s do some math: 618,962 / 2017 = 306.8 citizens per cop. Not bad, not NYPD, but not bad. But now lets break that down to the real numbers.

gun_cop_pic_124183157_std1Of that 2017 cops, many work in the jails (far more work in corrections than any other area), the courts, the airport, administrative jobs and other various details. The actual number of cops assigned to patrol duties, the people that respond to calls for service, is a whopping 291. Here comes that old arithmetic again: 618,962 / 291 = 2127 citizens per cop. That’s right, 2127 people for every street cop employed. Now, let’s dissect that even further. Those 291 street cops work 4 days a week, and are split up amongst 5 overlapping shifts. At any time of the day, at least 2 of those shifts are on the street. For mathematical simplicity, I am going to split the number of cops evenly amongst the shifts: 291 / 5 = 58.2 cops. Ok, now take that number and divide by 1.75 (since they work 4 out of 7 days a week): 58.2 / 1.75 = 33.25 cops. Mathematically speaking, at any time of the day, the entire population of this large area is being policed by 33.25 deputies. What does that number work out to now? 618,962 / 33.25 = 18,615 citizens per working street cop. Let me say again, that is 18,615 people per every working street cop. I can only imagine if we were to examine the NYPD, at least two thirds of their sworn personnel are assigned to duties other than patrol and do not respond to calls for service. National average for citizen/cop ratios is somewhere near 1000 citizens to 1.5 cops, but please remember, those statistics are pure numbers of cops, not the ones working and responding to calls.

Make you feel all safe, warm and cozy inside? Still insist that the cops are better able to protect you and your family than you are?

Let’s look at response times, should you actually have the time to make that 911 call, and actually get the chance to speak to the call taker, and have enough time to explain what is happening to you. The only stats I could find are for the other local agency of similar size and makeup as the one I examined above. The difference is, they have a much smaller area of responsibility (99.2 square miles). Their average response time, from the time the 911 call is answered until a cop was at the scene, was 7 minutes for the highest priority calls. That does not sound like a long time, right? Want to know how long 7 minutes is? Sit in a chair and start a timer. Imagine yourself fighting for your life during that entire time, knowing that at the best, the cops might be there when that timer rings. Now imagine yourself having been armed with your choice of firearm. Statistically, most of the time they are used in self-defense, they are merely displayed scaring off the attacker. Imagine yourself in the other situation, and this person is so intent on attacking you, the sight of a gun does not dissuade them. Do you want that person having their way with you for 7 minutes while you wait for the cops to respond?

I cannot answer those questions for you; I can only tell you that I will always be armed to be better able to protect myself, my family, and anyone else who may need my protection. If you honestly believe that you are not capable or responsible enough to shoulder the burden of arming yourself, then I commend you for being honest, but I ask that you not project your personal decision onto others who are willing and able to do so. That other person may just be the one there to save your bacon one day when you need them.

The next time someone tells you that the cops are the only people that should have guns, feel free to give them an arithmetic lesson!

As always, your questions and comments are welcome.
Be safe out there,
Matt