Policeman's Advice: Stay Armed, Stay Free; an interview with Joe Horn, by Carlo Stagnaro
Policeman's Advice: Stay Armed, Stay Free
An Interview with Joe Horn
by Carlo Stagnaro
from The Laissez Faire City Times, Vol 5, No 31, July 30,
It is commonly believed that law enforcement officers are advocates of
civilian disarmament. In fact, by forcing people to give up their guns,
policemen and military would virtually be the only armed ones in the
world. In other words, their monopoly of lawful violence could lead them
to monopolize even unlawful violence. This is why pro-Second Amendment
advocates say gun-control is the key to tyranny.
Anyway, there are many police officers who stand for the right to keep
and bear arms. They think armed citizenry is their ally, rather than an
enemy to defeat or destroy. Gun-control laws simply disarm law-abiding
people, not criminals; so it leaves police without any possibility to be
helped by the people. Moreover, stats show that armed civilians are even
more efficient than police officers in stopping criminals and, on the
other hand, courts have universally ruled that officers have no legal
obligation to protect anyone in particular. In order to have and maintain
a polite society, people and police officers should join a sort of common
"social contract," declaring their enemies both private and government
It might be interesting to hear a policeman's opinion. So, here we
present the view of Joe Horn, retired from the Los Angeles County
Sheriff's Department, and Member of the Advisory Board of the Second
Amendment Police Department (http://www.2ampd.net/).
Among the common places of anti-gun rhetoric, there's the
statement that more guns mean more crime. Many researchers claim this is
not true (see John Lott's work); many others say it is. You were a member
of the LA County Sheriff's Department: what does your experience
Perhaps they should mean more guns in the hands of unjailed or
unpunished criminals mean more crimes. More guns in the hands of law
abiding citizens translates directly to less crime and more dead
criminals, killed in the commission of crime by their last intended
victim. We have over 20,000 laws against guns that I rarely see enforced.
If they were, and swiftly, there would be an even lower crime rate. If you
remove the inner city drug gang violent crime from our national crime
rate, the rest of the US has a crime rate like Monaco or Luxembourg, and
the rest of the US is heavily armed with some 80,000,000 gun owners owning
some 300-500,000,000 guns. Our police fatality rate keeps dropping to the
point that last year 160 police died on duty. Over HALF of that number
died from accident or heart attack. Less than 80 were killed by criminals.
Out of 800,000 local cops making contact with 280,000,000 citizens 24x7,
that is not bad. I'd like to see none killed, but the reason we have
police is because of criminals and sociopaths.
Gun-control is supposed to disarm criminals. In your opinion,
does it work?
Gun control is one of the liberal altar gods. Like Caribbean Voodoo, it
places the responsibility for the evil intent in a criminal's heart in the
gun, an object of metal, wood and plastic. This belief relieves them of
focusing on accountability and responsibility of the miscreant. The
liberals think evil and crime would not exist if there were no guns. Of
course, they completely ignore that fact that violent crime happens with a
plethora of weapons other than firearms and did long before firearms
existed. Voodoo is the belief that inanimate objects have power to force
humans to behave in a certain way against their will. To liberals, no one
is responsible for what they do. The Liberals may not be sticking pins in
dolls, but they believe in Voodoo. The Liberal gun control agenda is not
rooted in social and community improvement. Simply stated: it is that
they know they cannot impose their Marxist/Socialist rule upon armed
citizens without a fight. It's really that simple. Their concern about
crime is quite limited, in that all they want is to disarm the populace
for their own agenda. It's not going to happen here.
Gun-control also should prevent crazy people from getting guns
and carrying out massacres. What about it?
There are already laws that try to prevent this. You will notice that
frequently, some individual in his or her car will just lose it mentally
and drive up on a sidewalk and kill or maim dozens. I do not hear the cry
for automobile control and no law can prevent that from happening. We're
dealing with human beings, human nature, not precise and perfect
machines. In fact, to the best of my knowledge, all of the workplace
shooters, school shooters were under psychiatric treatment and were taking
psychotropic drugs for personality management. Perhaps we should ban legal
psychotropic drugs and force people to deal with their problems while
sober in the cold light of reality. We didn't really have these problems
before 1989. The use of psychotropics has increased exponentially since
Why, in your opinion, do most (or many, at least) police officers
support gun-control laws?
It is not my experience that most of them do support gun control
laws. In the U.S., there is a dividing line of age that separates those
over 40 and those under 40. The older cops largely support the
Constitution and liberty while many of the younger cops are more likely to
support gun control. This is, I believe, because modern education is so
poor and also because of the increasing influence of the Federal
Government (Free money, equipment) in local police issues like affirmative
action, (which means hire by color and gender and not merit), training
(there is a great deal of the siege mentality, fear of an armed
population, "us versus them" thinking in federal training). The other
issue is that fewer police have military service where they learned in
depth about restraint, the US Constitution and swore an oath to uphold it.
Many modern "feel good" police personnel bureaus do not want military
veterans these days; they might be a bit more rigid than the new police
personnel muffins want them to be. Of course the muffins don't work in the
streets, where the criminals are as bad, vicious and violent as ever, if
According to Dave
Kopel, among others, law enforcement agencies
should not be militarized. Militarization will lead (and actually leads)
to lots of abuses, like Ruby Ridge and Waco. Do you agree with such a
Yes I do. The militarization of American local law enforcement is an
issue I have been in opposition to for years. I call these guys ninja
wannabes. The Military mindset is to kill the enemy and wreck his
infrastructure. Waco and Ruby Ridge were military operations with
devastating results. Then they lied to Congress and gave themselves medals
for shooting a 14 year old kid, his dog, and his mother holding a baby
(Ruby Ridge) and they lied again and gave themselves medals for burning
down a church where time was on their side, killing all inside except the
few they shot down when they tried to escape the flames. Then they drove a
tank into and over the remains and ground up some of the bodies with the
tracks of the tanks.
It was a day of great shame.
US Gov: 87 men, women, children and a dog
The sad thing about these events is that too many people decided to see
American law enforcement as a paramilitary enemy that is above the law,
and I don't know how to repair that or if it can be repaired.
What do you think about the UN Conference on Small Arms?
I think that the UN needs a psychiatrist. Under their proposal, small
arms that were smuggled to the resistance fighters in the Warsaw Ghetto,
Greece, Yugoslavia, France and Russia in World War II would be
illegal, while the guns in the hands of the Nazi Stormtroopers would be lawful. The UN stood by in Bosnia and let Serbs
massacre Muslims. It stood by impotently in the Congo in the 50s while
people were butchered and it stood by in Rwanda while 500,000 were
butchered. What did all these victims have in common? They were unarmed.
The UN is an anachronism of the 52 year old socialist wet dream of world
domination by socialism. The United States reserves the right to drop arms
to the enemies of our enemies and so do all the other sovereign nations of
the West. The citizen who does not have the right of Armed self defense
and resistance to tyranny has no other rights.
Finally: have you any particular message for our European and,
more generally, non-American readers, especially those who are involved in
Yes: Remember that many people around you every day are armed. The
honest citizens with arms are not who you should fear; in fact, embrace
them as a resource and back up in bad times. They will save your life. The
only people I worry about are criminals, armed or unarmed. Thanks for this
opportunity and my best regards to Italian and European Police and the
Italian and European readers. Stay armed, stay Free!
Carlo Stagnaro's web page is www.forces.org/stagnaro and his
email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.