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47% Chance of What?

47% Chance of What?

by Leroy Pyle

The Lieutenant of Police told me that he and his department personnel advise citizens that there is a 47% greater chance of their personal firearm being used against them or a family member, rather than for protection. And he prefers that citizens didn't own firearms. If owned, they should be kept unloaded and locked safely away with the ammunition locked up separately.

It was tough maintaining my smile while continuing the conversation. The good Lieutenant had just advised me that his Chief of Police was a member of P.E.R.F., Handgun Control's Police Executive Research Foundation, and the department's Crime Prevention Officer who was assigned to participate in the N.R.A. Women's Firearms Safety Seminar I was emcee'ing would be handing out HCI firearms safety brochures!

I was on my best behavior, though, as I was given a tour of the department's facilities. The Lieutenant was very proud of the fairly new facility that headquartered his 380+ force in a good-size Texas city, and it was apparent that he played a big part in its administration. But I couldn't get that 47% figure out of my head. He seemed an intelligent sort that had contributed much to his department's law enforcement effort. I was there because I had asked for a law enforcement representative to explain the State's firearms laws to a group of women attending a firearms safety seminar in his city. He was going to direct a Crime Prevention Officer to attend, but took the opportunity of my visit to offer his opinions. It was apparent that he had read his share of HCI literature, and agreed with their anti-gun philosophy. He went so far as to express the opinion that law enforcement did not need pistol magazines exceeding a 7 or 8 round capacity. He explained that cops were shooting more since the conversion to high-capacity magazines, and hitting less.

In as friendly a way as I could, I suggested to the Lieutenant that bringing HCI literature to an NRA seminar would be like bringing ACLU material to a meeting of police officers discussing Civilian Review Boards. No disrespect to the ACLU attorneys, of course, but most would agree that the agendas don't always match. He seemed to agree, but went on to explain that the ACLU made some good points when it came to a civilian review board. I still couldn't get that 47% figure out of my thoughts.

47% of what? A Lieutenant of police was telling me something that made no sense! Am I to expect that the guns of almost 300 of his gun owner officers are going to be used against friend or family? How else can that be interpreted? I mean, a gun owner is a gun owner regardless of occupation. Or does that 47% figure really have any meaning? Do any of HCI's figures have any real meaning? And just what has caused the police administrator to take up with a bunch whose primary purpose in life is to deprive the honest citizen of the right to self-defense? And what about constitutional rights?

I had to be courteous at the time. I was in his city, a guest in his department, and asking for the services of one of his officers. But I was angry and disappointed to hear yet another police administrator mouth the exaggerations, distortions and lies of the gun-control advocates.

How many can relate to the police administrator who has taken the gun issue to the press, waving about so-called 'ASSAULT WEAPONS'? Is there a real policeman out there who believes there is a plastic gun? Is there a policeman who is REALLY fearful of "semi-automatic" firearms? Or "Saturday night specials"? Or "military style"? Is "rapid-fire" really anything more than how fast a finger can pull a trigger? And as the professional gun-owners in our society, do we really need police administrators who publicly announce the only reason for these firearms is to "kill people" and that his ?

Think about how that may sound in court the next time a defense attorney gets a SWAT‑officer on the stand who was the first-man-in-the-door and had to use his weapon in self defense. Do we really need quotes by police administrators on record that "the only reason for firearms (the very same kind that POLICE OFFICERS CARRY) is to KILL people"?

Is it necessary to promote personal politics by claiming "the police are LOSING the battle against crime"? Or that the police "are outgunned"? Is that the reputation that you prefer for YOUR police department? What kind of hero would Eliott Ness have been if he hid in his office and sniveled about Al Capone's machine gun?

Today's law enforcement officer is more professional than ever. He does not depend on brute strength any more than he requires the "biggest" gun! The modern officer realizes that intelligence, skill, tactics, and planning are his or her greatest STRENGTH!

But can the same be said of the police administrator who parrots the HCI lies? Has it ever occurred to any of our political chiefs that if the people are ever disarmed, as in England, that the cops will be the next to be disarmed, AS IN ENGLAND!

What's worrying me is that this coziness between so-called police leaders and our traditional political foes is causing many of our gun-owning friends, our TRADITIONAL "NATURAL CONSTITUENCY," to raise loud voices against ALL LAW ENFORCEMENT. And if you doubt it, you should read my mail, or look at the hostile comments on the law enforcement computer bulletin boards.

With the majority of recent anti-gun legislation carried on the backs of law enforcement, and the press saying "police have joined the demand for gun control", not only have these police administrators succeeded in costing us much-needed support from our strongest supporters, they are triggering active hostility toward police among gun groups. What happens if, in retaliation for 'gun control' demands, the gun lobby decides to throw its weight behind the decades‑old police disarmament efforts? If gun owners have to give up their guns, or leave them locked up at ranges (as some have proposed AND seems to be happening in New York City) how many of them are going to demand that law enforcement officers leave duty guns in lockers when going off duty?

Police have a stake in the gun control fight. It's a big stake, and if you are interested in participating, I can present options to save our reputation and gain back the support of our long‑time allies. Contact me at 

The Women's Safety Seminar was a complete success, by the way. The local Crime Prevention Officer participated. He did a pretty good job, and did bring the HCI literature along with other department handouts. I was very lucky to have some experienced NTARC activists help with the sign-up table and hand out literature. They told me later that the HCI stuff must have been great, because it disappeared almost immediately!

Leroy Pyle is a career police officer,
NRA Training Counselor & Instructor, and Internet Activist WebMaster, &

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Sometimes a person has to exercise personal judgement and take the chance of being mistaken, or stop calling himself or herself free. —POUL ANDERSON

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