Law Enforcement Diplomats

Social media is an interesting armchair style warrior. Lots of opinions and sometimes zero experience or knowledge on a subject. The problem is we Cops don’t always know what someone else might have experienced or what their personal Law Enforcement story is. One reader today regarded this page as a “circle jerk LEO” page which made me remember something. Cops aren’t just Cops anymore we are Diplomats and Ambassadors to society. There is a certain responsibilitiy which goes along with the ideal and is inclusive in the duties of a Law Enforcement Officer.

People who are not cops and have never been cops might never fully understand every facet of our calling. Why become angry with those who are under a differing opinion? Obviously it’s ridiculous to think that Law Enforcement Officers are all racially motivated or on the flip side of the coin that we are all “the right hand of the democratic party’s agenda.” Ignorance can be bliss but I would rather enlighten than insult. All may not be enlightened I realize yet in some occasions it is well worth the extra effort which may benefit the Police Reputation.

1I teach my children to ask questions and not simply obey commands given to them by someone claiming to be a leader. I also teach my children to be respectful in the asking of those questions and most importantly to listen to the answer and make their own determination. When people put forth ridiculous ideas regarding cops we should seek to answer those accusations with logic and truth. We can also do it diplomatically if the misguided person isn’t too hostile. We may not reach all using this method but less will also be turned away.

When working the streets I usually allowed the public to ask any question they wanted, so long as it was safe at the time for me to do so. In one particular incident I had made a felony arrest on a subject with a warrant. Several people came out of the buildings nearby and began yelling at me. I feared they would surround me so while I was mentally prepared to kill all of them if needed, I also politely told them to give me a minute and promised to answer their questions.

I put the bad guy in the back seat of my car and secured him safely while asking for a cover unit. The potential mob was still angry but at a safe distance. Once my cover partner arrived I had him keep an eye on my prisoner and I approached the group with a smile. I asked what questions they had and It turned out these people were relatives of the man in my car, or so they claimed to be. It really didn’t matter, at this point I felt a small obligation to attempt an explanation as to why in their eyes “the government was taking away their friend for no reason.”

It was calmly explained I had a warrant for his arrest, explained the booking process and provided information on how they could contact the jail to schedule a 3visit with the subject. I was then asked about the court process, this time they were much less angry in asking the question. I explained the court process and the likelihood the subject would be in jail until his first hearing which would probably occur on the following Tuesday. I was thanked profusely by most of the group and they returned to their homes. One guy even tried to give me a hug and stated: “now that’s respect.”

Later in the day I had a discussion with my partner who told me it was pointless for me to address the small group. I explained I had only done this when it was safe to do so yet he believed I was wasting my time. It was difficult for me at the time to articulate my reasons for doing so but in short I told him this particular neighborhood might be more cooperative with Law Enforcement in the future if we treated them with a little more respect. I tell this story because I believe it is not a waste of time to explain circumstances which the public may not fully understand. Hell, the whole point of writing here is to hopefully enlighten and educate not just to complain. Otherwise our words only serve to rally those who are supportive and turn away those who may be on the fence.

I started a text conversation with one of my favorite and most trusted beat partners regarding this subject and he summed it up quickly and accurately while heading out the door. In a short text message which took him less than a minute to write he hit the nail on the head and went on to prove my point here. Examine the following text message:

“I think we have a responsibility to speak rationally and logically when we speak for the side of law enforcement. It becomes obvious that we are cops in these discussions, so why portray ourselves as irrational asshats. We both know that law enforcement officers in general are not out there hunting minorities and just trying to f with people, but there are people out there who legitimately think otherwise. We have legitimate arguments which carry serious weight. I think we do us and the real issues a huge disservice when we just yell and down talk people. I think some people start seeing the validity of our points when we calmly explain them.”

 

Whose Side Are They On?

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The California State Assembly yesterday, June 2, 2016, voted on and passed Assembly Bill 2298, titled Criminal Gangs.  On the surface, the name of the bill would have you thinking it has something to do with cracking down of criminal gangs, but that is far from the truth.  Honestly, reading this bill, it makes me want to start investigating the author and sponsors for ties to criminal gangs.  And yes, I am being dead serious.

Why do I say that?  Here is an excerpt from the bill that summarizes the purpose of the bill:

“This bill would require the notice described above to be provided to an adult before designating a person as a suspected gang member, associate, or affiliate in the (criminal gang) database.”

That is the whole purpose of this bill, to notify adult criminal gang members that they have been identified as a gang member by law enforcement.  You know, because that could not possibly foul up any potential criminal investigations or anything…

Honestly, I cannot for the life of me come up with a single, logical reason that you would intentionally make the cops notify a gang member that that have been identified as a gang member.

So, that is the bill.  Let us take a look at who supported the bill and voted YES to pass it:

Ayes: Atkins (D), Bloom (D), Bonilla (D), Bonta (D), Brown (D), Burke (D), Calderon (D), Campos (D), Chau (D), Chu (D), Cooley (D), Dababneh (D), Daly (D), Eggman (D), Cristina Garcia (D), Eduardo Garcia (D), Gatto (D), Gipson (D), Gomez (D), Gonzalez (D), Gordon (D), Gray (D), Roger Hernández (D), Holden (D), Irwin (D), Jones-Sawyer (D), Levine (D), Lopez (D), Low (D), McCarty (D), Medina (D), Mullin (D), Nazarian (D), Quirk (D), Ridley-Thomas (D), Santiago (D), Mark Stone (D), Thurmond (D), Ting (D), Weber (D), Wood (D), Rendon (D)

Well, now there’s a shock!  It was passed by the criminal coddling Democrats…  Can you see my shocked face?

You will notice, not a single Republican voted for this bill.  In fact, several Democrats actually voted against it along with ALL of the Republicans.  Take a look at the NO votes for yourself:

Noes: Achadjian (R), Travis Allen (R), Arambula (D), Baker (R), Bigelow (R), Brough (R), Chang (R), Chávez (R), Cooper (D), Dahle (R), Dodd (D), Frazier (D), Beth Gaines (R), Gallagher (R), Grove (R), Harper (R), Jones (R), Kim (R), Lackey (R), Linder (R), Maienschein (R), Mathis (R), Mayes (R), Melendez (R), O’Donnell (D), Obernolte (R), Olsen (R), Patterson (R), Salas (D), Steinorth (R), Wagner (R), Waldron (R), Wilk (R), Williams (D)

Now, you have to stop and ask yourself, “what public good could come from notifying adult criminal gang members that they have been identified as criminal gang members by law enforcement?”  Me, I’ve got nothing.  What I do see is yet one more attempt by the leftist idiots running California to coddle the criminal element thus putting the public at greater risk, just like they did with AB 109, and just like they did with Prop 47.

If you have an ounce of brain power, this should at least make you stop and wonder “Whose side are they on?”

Dear Lt. Gov. Newsom, Please Leave Crime Prevention to the Pros

coverGavin Newsom, the Lieutenant Governor of California, the state in which I not only reside, but have been a cop for the last 20 years, in the wake of the recent college campus shooting in Oregon, is proposing a new three part gun control law, exactly NONE of which would have had the least effect on the incident in Oregon, in any of the high notoriety incidents that liberals and other gun control proponents like to “politicize” in order to fuel the emotions of their logically impaired supporters, or on “gun crime” in general.

As reported today, Newsom’s proposed ballot initiative “calls for a background check on all ammunition purchases, requiring owners to turn in large capacity assault-style magazines and making gun owners report lost or stolen guns.”

So, let us take a look at exactly what Newsom is proposing, and why it is, well, stupid.  I will examine each of the three aspects separately.

Background Check On All Ammunition Purchases

This will do absolutely nothing to inhibit the ability of criminals to purchase ammunition and instead will only add yet one more hurdle that law abiding gun owners have to deal with.  First, let me discus why this is useless, then I will discuss why it is stupid.

It is useless because, in my experience, criminals don’t wander into the local gun store or sporting goods store to buy ammunition, just like they don’t buy their guns there.  While they could indeed do so, I cannot think of but one or two instances over my career in which I encountered a criminal armed with a gun loaded with recently purchased, decent ammo.  Most of the time, the ammo is old, dirty, mismatched loads and even on occasion, not even the proper caliber ammo for the firearm it is being used in.  Regarding that last comment, criminals are fairly creative and find ways to make what they have work, such as wrapping 20gg shotgun shells with strips of aluminum cut from a can until the shells fit into the 12gg shotgun they were using.

Now, even if they were running to their local store to purchase it, ammunition is not serial numbered, or marked in any way that would make tracking it possible, so there would be nothing to prevent the instant creation of a black market, or creation of a designated ammo man; the guy with a clean record who makes ammo runs.  On top of that, ammunition can easily be purchased out of state and brought or shipped in.

As for the reason this is stupid, just like every other step that the state has taken down the gun control path, it will only have an effect on law abiding gun owners, and the cost of this will be passed on to them.  Background checks are not free, nor are all of the relevant computer systems, databases, communications hardware, personnel to run it, etc.  All of that requires funding, and I guarantee those costs will be passed on to the law abiding gun owners, all for nothing.

Turn In “Large Capacity Assault-Style Magazines”

I had to put that in quotes, because that phrase is so stupid, it is clearly written by someone with not an ounce of firearm knowledge.

First, before I start ripping apart the lack of logic behind this, let me just say two things:
– Just because a magazine holds more than 10 rounds does not make it “high capacity.” A stock Glock 17 magazine holds 17 rounds.  That is normal capacity, not high.  A 33 round stick mag for that same gun would, in my opinion, classify as high capacity, but even that is totally irrelevant to the gun crimes.
– There is no such thing as an “assault-style” magazine. I’m not sure if Newsom said that, or if that was the reporter’s words, but whoever it was, please don’t be a complete moron.  Quit making up scary sounding crap!

Moving on, artificial magazine capacity limits have been in place for many years in CA, and also in other states, and have been proven completely useless.  They do not do anything to reduce gun crime, or make anyone (except for the criminals – more on that in a moment) safer.  The cowardly murderer in Isla Vista, CA in May, 2014 was using artificially limited capacity magazines which the shooter purchased legally.  The murderer at Virginia Tech did not have any artificial capacity limits, but he still proved that the capacity does not matter as the shooter will prepare himself, just as he did there.  More than 17 magazines were recovered at that tragic event.  Murderers know what they are going to do, and they prepare for it, buying more magazines if necessary.

Why did I say capacity limits make criminals safer?  Simple.  Bad guys know when and where they plan to accomplish their evil deeds, and they load up when they set out.  Good guys don’t know what may be coming, and most folks will only be carrying their gun, with however many bullets that gun may hold, and that is all they will have to stop the evil doer, or evil doers.

Now, to answer your (totally uneducated) question about why anyone would need more than 10 bullets, another simple answer: Because this is real life!  When an evil person is committing evil acts, such as trying to kill you or others, many things happen, including your encountering a massive adrenaline dump.  Also, if you are trained in the least, you will be moving either toward the attacker or to cover, or both.  Both of those, adrenaline and movement, tend to have a huge effect on a shooter’s accuracy, as does stress.  Think about this yourself, why do police officers carry “high capacity” magazines, and several of them?

Also, in the real world, bad guys are not stopped by one bullet.  The incident in the following video is only a few days old, and it happened in Jerusalem.  Notice how many times the evil does (Palestinian terrorist) is shot, but he still continues to move and even to tries and attack the man armed with the gun.  Thankfully, that man was not limited to 10 rounds!  God only knows how many innocent lives he saved that day.

If all of that does not sufficiently explain the need (yes, need) for standard capacity magazines, those which are not artificially limited to some magic number picked by people who are neither experts in firearms nor self-defense, then perhaps this article I wrote several years ago, where I examine it in more depth, might.

Require Gun Owners To Report Lost or Stolen Guns

Now, let me say this, I am not necessarily against this, but I fail to see how anyone remotely thinks this is going to have any effect on “gun violence” let alone gun crime.  Besides, most gun owners, and all responsible gun owners, already report when they have a gun stolen.

Now for the reason I think this is unnecessary; reporting a gun stolen does nothing to locate it or to prevent the gun from being used for evil purposes.

In my experience, the overwhelming vast majority (like 99.9%) of the guns I have encountered in the hands of criminals were obtained illegally, and about one third to half of them were reported stolen.

However, I can see where gun control zealots would like this aspect, because it can be used to punish us evil gun owners.  You know, regular folks who were victimized by having their gun stolen without their knowledge, and if it ends up being recovered by law enforcement, they will again be victimized, except this time by the state who will now be charging them with a crime.

The Sad Truth

Exactly none of these proposals will lead to any reduction in “gun violence” because exactly none of these proposals affects criminals, neither in how they obtain guns and ammo, or how they use them.

The people who will be affected by these proposals are the law abiding gun owners, who will now have to pay significantly more for ammo, who will be forced to turn over lawfully owned personal property to the state (or will become criminals for refusing to do so), and who can be doubly victimized if they have the unfortunate luck to have a gun stolen and not realize it.

The real answer to solving all this “gun violence” is really quite simple, but you and all of the rest of people on your side of the political aisle refuse to admit what every cop in this state knows; stop the crime by keeping the criminals locked up.

Democrat created and passed plans AB109 and Prop47 are a total scam, and between the two, they are directly responsible for the massive increase in both violent and non-violent crime in this state.  Anyone with actual knowledge of the current state of the criminal justice system will tell you that all of the crime in this state, in this country in fact, is actually committed by a very small number of people, and most of those people are not first time offenders, but instead are graduates of our rotting, failing, weakened, revolving door criminal justice system.

How on earth did the criminal justice system get this screwed up?  Take a look at the policies that guide the system, then look at the progressive liberals making those policies.  You want to know how it got like this, look in the mirror.

You want to have less “gun crime?”   There are already more than enough gun crimes on the books, hows about we enforce them?  How about locking up criminals instead of sending them down the road with a slap on the freaking wrist?!?!
-Matt

A Plea To The Pawns Of The Left: Please, Wake Up!

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The Divisive Game Plan In Action

The progressive left is continuing to wreak havoc on the United States, and they are doing so with the aid of a great number of well intentioned folks.  I am specifically talking about the average Jane and John Doe, lifelong registered democrats.  The people who love their country, love their community, and vote Democrat because they think they are helping the less fortunate.  I am talking about people like some of my very own relatives.

This is not meant as an attack on any of those folks, but rather a plea just to take a step back and look at the actions of their party, then take a look at the situation the country is in, and finally to consider if those actions are helping or hurting.  I think an introspective look at the current politics and policies employed by the modern Democrat party might reveal something different from what many registered democrats stand for.  Rather than trying to be inclusive, trying to bring all Americans together as a country, the Democrat party instead continues to separate and divide people into groups based on skin color, gender, sexual orientation and economic status.

The sad reality is that the Democrat party of today is not remotely the Democrat party of 20-30 years ago, let alone the Democrats from the ‘60s or ‘70s.  Both of the two major parties have shifted to the left as time has gone on, but where the Democrat party sits now seems to be in a different time zone from where they once were.

01A quick look back at Obama’s 2012 campaign website will show you all the individual groups they are separating us into. The attached screenshot (taken October 16, 2012) of the official Democrat website shows a similar list of groups they are splitting people into.  Stop and ask yourself what purpose splitting people into small groups serves.  Does that help us come together as a country, as Americans, or does it serve to divide people based on their self-identified sub-category?

SEXUAL ORIENTATION
Just a couple days ago, a new veterans monument was dedicated.  “A first of its kind monument now stands in the Chicago area, honoring lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender veterans. It is the first federally-approved monument honoring LGBT veterans.”  It is a first of its kind because it is a ridiculously stupid idea!

The LGBT community has been demanding equal treatment (something I have zero argument with) for years, some would argue decades.  And in honor of being “treated equally”, they are receiving a specialized monument to honor just them?  For what exactly?  Is their military service somehow different from any other soldier’s service?  Different from a black woman’s service, from a Hispanic immigrant’s service, or God forbid, different from a straight, white male’s service?  Equal treatment should mean just that, equal treatment, not special treatment with special awards.

Additionally, the Democrat party is constantly arguing that you are either for or against gay marriage, like there is no other option or middle ground.  You are either all in, or you are a bigoted homophobe, and in that case, they are going force it down your throat, using the courts if need be.  As a side note, just like many conservatives and moderates I am friends with, I fully support gay marriage.  I just don’t support forcing someone who does not believe in gay marriage into performing the ceremony, but because I have that little “except clause” in there, I am evil according to the Democrat party, further dividing us, when in fact I probably have more in common with the average Democrat voter on that topic than I differ.

RACE and LAW ENFORCEMENT
There are two very obvious, very current, very linked examples of this divisiveness and destruction that is being pimped by the modern Democrats.  Look at what has happened to race relations in the United States, and tied to that, relations with Law Enforcement.  Both of these have been directly attacked by the United States “first black president,” who one would think would have been the perfect candidate to make at least race relations better, but in fact they appear to have been set back 50 years.

But please, do not take my word for it, take it from a man who has lived through all of it, a man who happens to be extremely intelligent, highly educated, a former Marxist, and coincidentally is also black. Thomas Sowell discusses this topic in this piece from 2013, before Trayvon, or Ferguson, or Baltimore, and he ponders the question, who are the real racists?  More recently, he was interviewed and asked some questions on the same topic.  With the president constantly harping on racial inequality, or about mistreatment by law enforcement, is it any wonder that race relations are worse?  Is there any question as to why there is a war being waged against law enforcement?

This racial division goes far beyond whites and blacks though.  Look at how the Democrat party inserted themselves into the name of a football team…

GENDER DIVISION
To hear the Democrats speak, there is a war on women, and it is being waged solely by conservatives.  They actually argue that conservatives want to “control women’s bodies” and they want to “prevent women from access to healthcare.”  They use those statements to argue their defense of legal abortion, as if either of those statements is remotely applicable to a discussion about whether or not abortion should be legal.  Because apparently thinking that a human embryo in a woman’s uterus is a human life, and should not be haphazardly destroyed, equates to preventing access to healthcare and controlling women’s bodies?

Let us not forget the other front in this war on women, the wage gap.  The Democrat party is constantly pointing to this issue as if it were actually a partisan thing, and like it actually exists.  As far as the partisan aspect, I fail to see a single person, no matter their political affiliation remotely suggesting that women should not receive equal pay to men, NO ONE.  Yet the official Democrat party line continues to chant this mantra in order to divide folks further.   Now, as for whether it is even an issue or not, there have been numerous studies that explain the fictitious 23 cent wage gap.  Rather than point you to those studies, it is easier to just offer this video that discusses the myth.

ECONOMIC DIVISION
This is yet another category in which the Democrat party is playing on the emotions of their loyal voters in order to cause division.  They constantly throw out the argument that conservatives do not want to help the poor because they oppose things like raising the minimum wage, or because we argue that programs such as SSI and welfare need significant reform.  While both of those claims are partly true, the reason is not what the Democrat party is pushing.  Conservatives take issue with those programs because historically speaking, neither of those programs have done what they claim is their goal.

Welfare was (supposedly) designed to help struggling families get through rough times and back on their feet.  While that does happen on occasion, what more often than not happens is you end up with entire neighborhoods raising generation after generation of people who rely on that government check, because it if was good enough for mom, it is good enough for me.

Conservatives oppose raising the minimum wage because despite the hypothetical benefits, the real world results are far different.  Raising the minimum wage raises the cost of living, increases unemployment and contributes to artificial inflation, which not only hurts the very people it supposedly is aimed at helping, but it hurts the entire country at the same time.  Again, to point to Thomas Sowell for information, he discusses this very matter in this video.  As you might be able to discern from their attire, this is video is quite old, however the facts remain the same.

FIREARMS
To hear the Democrats talk about guns and conservatives who support gun rights, you would think that conservatives were rolling around in vans distributing guns to criminals so that they can run around on wild killing sprees.  Honestly, think about that for one second.  Why would anyone want that?  Most conservatives, just like law enforcement when polled has been shown to agree (75-90% depending on the wording of the question), think that more gun laws are not the solution to criminal violence, which is really the true problem.

Think about it.  Is the problem really “gun violence?”   Is violence committed with a knife, or baseball bat, or a hammer somehow less violent or more acceptable?  Should not the aim to be to solve the violence problem?

Conservatives realize a few things.  Criminals, by definition, do not care about the law.  It is already illegal to use a gun to commit a crime, and most criminals get their guns illegally already.  If you need an example of the failure of gun laws to prevent violence, look no further than Chicago, Washington DC or Baltimore just to name a few.  Those cities are notorious for their ultra-strict gun laws, and simultaneously are known for their crime rates, and specifically their gun murder rates.

The only person who is affected by any new gun law is the law abiding gun owner, who by definition is not the problem anyway.  Gun control laws negatively affect law abiding gun owners, making it harder, and in some cases, impossible for them to legally purchase a gun to use for personal or home defense.  And as a cop, I can tell you that guns are used in self-defense more than you can imagine (because the media does not cover it).  In fact, there have been a large number of instances where a lawfully armed average citizen has prevented what would have been a horrific “mass shooter” event.  Take it from me, a career cop, there is a very good reason for this saying:  “When seconds count the police are only minutes away.”

SUMMARY
Let me correct a few misconceptions that the Democrat party has been spreading.  First and foremost, we Conservatives are not evil, hateful people.

  • Conservatives do not hate women. In fact, many women are actually conservatives.
  • Conservatives do not hate the poor. In fact, studies have shown that conservatives tend to donate more to charities that help the poor than those who identify as liberals.  Where we differ is on how to best help the poor.
  • Conservatives do not hate the LGBT community. Some conservatives, as well as some Democrats, mainly those who are very religious, oppose “gay marriage.”  However, just because someone disagrees with something you believe does not remotely mean they hate you, but that is what the Democrat party would have you believe.  Shockingly, there are many conservatives who happen to be members of the LGBT community.
  • Conservatives do not want the country to turn into a wild west style shootout resulting in a bloodbath. We just happen to believe that the founding fathers included the 2nd amendment for a reason, and that the best way for people to be safe is for them to be equipped to protect themselves.

Those are just a few example of the modern Democrat party policy of divisiveness, while they simultaneously pander to their constituents.  They give each of their divided groups a little something to make them feel special, so they keep voting democrat, meanwhile the policies they are enacting are actually tearing this country apart.  Sadly, tearing this country apart was the very goal of a man so many prominent Democrats looked to as a role model, Saul Alinsky.

Sadly, this ploy at dividing Americans has been working.  I have had family members avoid contact with me based on my conservative views, and have even had them suggest I think certain ways when my actions, some going back decades, tell a very different story.  If this strategy of division is able to segregate family members, imagine what it will eventually do to the county.  Right now, with all that is going on in the world, both at home and abroad, we need to be coming together as Americans, just Americans, not separated into hyphenated Americans.