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The Privileged Elite

The Privileged Elite?

Cops Are The Wrong Target

by Leroy Pyle

(This article composed in 1992, but appropriate in these times)

It is ironic that Chief Joe McNamara, San Jose PD, found the Achilles Heel of the American Gun owner, and gun owners are doing the most to take his lead and act on it. McNamara marked the target, and gun owners are taking all the shots!

I refer to the generally declining respect for law enforcement demonstrated by the Second Amendment Community, in general, and, specifically, that community's response to a call for a national concealed weapon carry law for law enforcement.

RKBA enthusiasts communicating on electronic bulletin boards, the Internet, or in everyday conversations at clubs and meeting places display this very negative attitude quite openly. It is especially evident when the topic of the national CCW for cops is brought up, and was very apparent in the response to any media addressing the subject.

The proposed legislation would make it lawful for licensed and trained LEO's to travel across state lines while armed. It was drafted and proposed by pro-gun LEO's in an attempt to re-establish some lines of pro-gun communication with the law enforcement community at the line officer (grassroots) level.

It wasn't too many years ago that law enforcement was the traditional, recognized, friend and ally of the gun owner. That was made very obvious in the battle over Proposition 15 in California, in 1982, which called for a handgun ban. Initial polls showed a two-third majority of Californians supported a ban on sales of handguns.

And then a concerted campaign by gun owners resulted in a defeat of that proposition by a truly amazing turnaround. Much of the credit for the two-third-majority win is attributed to the law enforcement support of the N.R.A. and The Right To Keep and Bear Arms!

It was the results of that election that led Joe McNamara and HCI to the conclusion that something must be done to drive a wedge between those traditional allies, cops and gun owners. Together, he guessed correctly, they were invincible, and he initiated his campaign to "divide and conquer".

And by listening to Second Amendment Activists, I think we can agree that his efforts have met with great success.

In response to those few political police-types who parrot the HCI agenda, and the obviously biased media support of that agenda, gun-owning activists have developed considerable resentment. I try to consider that it is understandable, since most legislation has been carried on the emotional claims of a police loss in the so-called gun wars. But it is now being carried to an extreme by a minority of those who have a personal grudge against authority, or by individuals who's personal agenda or affiliations involve a greater resentment of government and/or authority than the average RKBA'er.

And whether justified, or not, the resentment is misdirected when aimed at the beat cop who is restricted from political involvement by that very same political police administrator who makes the false claims, and then muzzles any attempt by department members to debate or tell the truth.

Think about the times you have heard the claim that the police "need this legislation", or are "outgunned" and "losing the battle". Those statements are made by a political cop or a politician and seldom, if ever, by a line officer.

And yet, the typical claim is that a CCW law for cops creates a "privileged elite". There is, no doubt, a privileged elite. The antics of Diane Feinstein, Joe McNamara or Carl Rowan have been well publicized. More examples include the FBI Director breaking with tradition to go political, and an aid to Barbara Boxer (D-CA) discovered packing a 9mm semi-auto.

There, you have your privileged elite!

In the case of the average police officer, though, I think we may be confusing privilege with responsibility. The cop is hired to assume the responsibility of enforcing the laws of the community. Those responsibilities are many and varied, and include the carrying and use of a firearm.

Unlike a privilege or entitlement, which connotes a special advantage, the law enforcement officer's role is voluntary and includes the obligations and accountability of an office of trust. The prerequisites are many, and include the requirements of many months of classroom and on-the-job training.

Culpability and liability are major factors in a law enforcement officer’s daily assignment, also. There are specific laws directed at the misuse of the authority, or the tools of that authority, by an officer.

So it might be best to reconsider your target. Aim a little higher on the political chain. It should be a shot (figuratively speaking, of course) just above the line officer's level. And for Harry Thomas's sake, be a little picky with lieutenants!

I do not claim that law enforcement support is the major factor in the battle for our RKBA, but no one can deny the value of a positive coalition with that audience, and we do find ourselves in dire straights without it.

If we continue to shoot at what Joe McNamara and HCI have defined as our Achilles Heel, we may well be shooting ourselves in the foot.


Leroy Pyle is a career police officer,
NRA Training Counselor & Instructor, and Internet Activist WebMaster, www.2ampd.net & www.PaulRevere.org

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