There are so many changes that are taking place within the United States today. Part of which, that I want to talk about is the view on Law Enforcement. This really is not just cops as there are many different branches of Law Enforcement. You have Security Officers, Peace Officers (or cops), Correctional Officers, and more at the Federal level.
I work as an armed Security Officer. My duty belt has all of the tools that Police Officers carry. Due to my contract being tied into a Police Department, I also get to carry a Police Radio. I have many duties and some of the shared responsibilities as Police have, just without the authority. I know that with all of that, the shift of the views toward Law Enforcement is negative. I would hope that it is due to the lack of education in the United States as the main reason. That would be changeable. The video below is to show you what it is like to be a Police Officer.
When you’re in the line of work where you carry a gun for a living, you really need to have a specific mindset. Almost all of us have someone that loves us and wants to see us again. In order to stay alive, you need to act and think a certain way. It’s called a Tactical Mindset. Military members, Law Enforcement, even Fire Fighters have to have this mindset to live another day. People may not want to see Law Enforcement continue to carry firearms. I have had debates where the argument has been “If you feel afraid for your life when dealing with a person who is unarmed, you shouldn’t be carrying a gun.”
One night, I was working when I had a young man sleeping. I went to wake him up and was received pretty well. I went to resume my normal duties of securing an area for cleaning when the same individual tried to enter to get a drink of water. I told him he was not allowed to and that he could get a drink from the fountains outside. The individual proceeded to become more belligerent. He even said, “What are you going to do about it?” I followed him to ensure he left the property when I asked him to. Then after 3 attempts to keep him off the property, he starts charging at me with closed fists from across the street. My first thought was “does he have a knife?” My second thought was “I’m about to get stabbed”.
See it’s the fear of the unknown that causes Officers to shoot unarmed citizens. I ended up not shooting him, however I would have been justified in court. Does that really matter? Not really when you’re talking about taking a life. The situation never should have gotten that far. The disrespect and conduct that the individual had, whether towards an armed Security Officer or actual Police Officer, is what would have caused that potential deadly force situation to occur. That is how we have the videos on the news that further magnifies the Law Enforcement community as a whole. Just like this video below…
See videos like the one above get circulated and the media goes crazy over it, further perpetuating the hate towards Law Enforcement. The video above shows an Officer who ended up fighting for his life after confronting Mark Adair while he was becoming confrontational with some women in a parking garage. Mr. Adair decided to draw a large caliber hand gun that was later found to be an air pistol, fight the Officer to try and take the Officer’s weapon, and caused the Officer to believe his life was on the line. That resulted in the Officer shooting Mr. Adair.
Take Away Their Guns!
I have been told before that If you feel afraid for your life when dealing with a person who is unarmed, you shouldn’t be carrying a gun. I have also been told that in today’s society, we are moving closer to taking away everyone’s firearms. Is that really the solution? Should we take away the firearms of the general public? Take away firearms from Police Officers? Let me counter those questions with, what would that really solve? Let’s go down a scenario. If we took away firearms from Law Enforcement Officers, then the next time they get into a situation where they pull a vehicle over for speeding, they don’t have anything to defend themselves with if the driver points a gun out the window and starts shooting. What about in hostage situations? The Officers would have no means to take the situation by force if necessary as a last resort. SO MANY PEOPLE hate cops. There are websites, Facebook pages, and other media outlets dedicated to perpetuating the hate towards Law Enforcement and they like to sound educated and argue with cops, etc. They forget that the same cops they perpetuate hate towards are the first to be there when one of their children gets kidnapped, or when shots are being fired at the protesters the Police at the Police Protest rally were the first to shield the protesters with their own bodies.
On another note, just because the firearms are taken away from the “good guys” does not mean that the “bad guys” will follow the rules. That is what criminals do, break the law. Now you just disarmed the group of people who are trying to protect you and everyone else. There is a reason the armed crime rate is so high in all the cities with the strictest gun control laws. In Arizona and Texas, the armed crime rate, especially on person vs. person is relatively low. Out of 933 deaths relating to anything with a firearm, including suicide, homicide, and accidental shootings; only 271 were homicides committed with a firearm. That is from a statistic from the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention in 2010 in Arizona.
How Can We Fix Things?
I personally believe that the first step to fixing things is education. I don’t mean education only from school, although that has a part to play in it. The sad part is, most children nowadays grow up without having to really respect authority. That includes parents, teachers, and anyone else in a position of authority. I see kids all the time throwing tantrums in stores, restaurants, and other public places. That has a part to do with the respect part. If we could teach children how to think for themselves instead of memorize and regurgitate, that would help immensely as well. As far as the gun part goes, instead of taking away firearms (especially from trained professionals), require anyone wanting to own a firearm take a class on firearm safety. I recommend anyone who wants to own a gun, take a Concealed Carry Weapon course as that not only covers gun safety, but also covers a few of the legalities associated wit firearm usage. If we were to do those things, it would not only have a greater impact on society as a whole, but also in regards to Law Enforcement as a whole.
Below is a funny video showing how the duties of being a Police Officer can affect a person in the long term. Due to the nature of what they see in the course of their careers, they become jaded or desensitized and end up doing things in what seems to be a harsh manor.