T Nation

The Law and Guns


I'm curious, because I really don't know (so I hope someone in, or with Law Enforcement experience; or who knows someone who is, will post...)

What does the average, "in-the-trenches/out-in-the-street" Law man or woman think should be the "balance" between them and public when it comes to firepower?

Do most advocate any form of Gun Control?

(P.S. Politicians need to get the hell out of the discussion...and I believe the 2nd Amendment is clear...)



I think that will vary a great deal, especially depending on location, but anecdotally the ones I've interacted with (both urban and rural) come out in the "mixed" camp, and certainly are not absolutist either way.

One thing I'd take issue with, though - the Second Amendment is not all that clear, if you consider its history and application. It's an enormous mess, frankly.

It's only "clear" if you believe that the states that ratified of the Fourteenth Amendment (along with the Congress that drafted it) intended to override all state constitutions and state and local public safety laws and, in many cases, eviscerate them with respect to gun laws. Does anyone think that the states that ratified the Fourteenth Amendment intended that for that to happen?

The Second Amendment is fascinating, but far from clear.


Understood, Bolt...

Maybe "clear" was the wrong word.

What has happened is that I've come to probably "understand" it more. (or at least the passion people have in it as it relates to gun ownership).



Sure, and I don't want to be guilt of derailing your thread. My point - clumsily left unsaid - is that I think law enforcement types (at least the ones I know) understand the Second Amendment isn't the clear, unabashed ight that the fetishists think it is, nor is there no individual right at all embedded in it. In other words, they get it isn't black and white.


"...This will not only lessen the call for military establishments, but if circumstances should at any time oblige the government to form an army of any magnitude that army can never be formidable to the liberties of the people while there is a large body of citizens, little, if at all, inferior to them in discipline and the use of arms, who stand ready to defend their own rights and those of their fellow-citizens. This appears to me the only substitute that can be devised for a standing army, and the best possible security against it, if it should exist." - Federalist 29

I defer to Hamiliton.


Sure, as would I. Whatever the restrictions of the Second Amendment on government action, it was a restriction on the federal government. Not so on states. States could do whatever they wanted, under their police powers.


Yes, and I certainly agree with this; it should still be that way.

That said, any officer who would disarm the people he is supposed to protect is not worth a flying fuck. Let someone else come and try to disarm your people.



Let's not derail this into a "government disarming citizens" thread.

This is about what the everyday Patrol Officer, Highway Patrolman, Sheriffs Deputy, etc. sees as the "balance".

I seriously doubt any are advocating disarmament of the citizenry.





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This post was flagged by the community and is temporarily hidden.


This post was flagged by the community and is temporarily hidden.


This post was flagged by the community and is temporarily hidden.


Most of the police that I've talked to are very pro Second Amendment. They know that in a BEST case scenario, they are minutes away, when seconds count. But that's not what it's about and most of us here know that. The founding fathers were all about checks and balances (and were well aware of how inconvenient that could be). They were pretty convinced that if one were to err, it would be best to err on the side of individual liberty. Giving Citizens the fundamental right to arm themselves is the ultimate check on government.

And out of the whole Constitution, to MY little brain, the Second Amendment is the clearest one of them all... What part of "SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED" is hard to understand? The Rights spelled out in in the Constitution supersede state law. It's pretty cut and dry. It's two sentences. We can form a militia, and we can own guns, and the government cant stop us (theoretically).

Now we all know that ship has sailed a long time ago with the regulations passed in 1934. It was fine for almost 150 years before that. Just a coincidence, that was only fifteen years after the American Communist Party was formed... And we all know Communists don't like their citizens armed any more than they like checks and balances on liberty. And they are still coming after our freedoms to this day.


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My personal experience:

Former patrol officer in a major American city with a force of over 4 thousand.

5 years assigned to patrol in the "housing projects"

5 years as tactical SWAT Commander

6 years as federal narcotics investigator

I responded to hundreds of calls in the city and surrounding areas (mutual aid) as SWAT commander, made numerous arrests, been sued 3 times for deadly force(always happens after a shooting) and been in seven deadly force applications.

Law Enforcement is a reactive force. Other than Narcotics and fugitive squads, the average officer responds to calls, AFTER, the crime has occurred or is in progress. In a large city this can take around 3 to 5 minutes, in rural areas as much as 20 minutes. That is a huge window of time to kill, so, the only protection you have..........is YOU.....You are responsible for life and the defense of the ones you love. period. The armed citizen, with the will to survive and protect, is the greatest deterrent to violent crime. In my career , I have NEVER arrested a legal, law abiding citizen for a gun crime. I have arrived on home invasions, where citizens defended their families with a firearm and stopped predators from murder or rape. I have responded to calls, where rapists were either shot or shot at by women with concealed carry, and, why not? its your responsibility to defend your life.

How can any rational,thinking person, give up their right to defense of life? Would you stand by and watch your family being butchered because you advocate "gun control" ? You are going to watch the slaughter of innocents because you swallow all the crap from the left wing media? Has anyone who advocates "gun control" actually read their states laws? They are already so restrictive its almost impossible to enforce. I especially like the idiotic "magazine restriction of rounds rule", like having a magazine with 10 or less rounds makes everything safer. With little training, anyone with just a hint of fine motor control can change magazines in less than 3 seconds.

But, I digress. to answer your question, 99% of all the LEO'S i have worked with and continue to work with, support the 2nd amendment. They know the truth. They have seen the results of predators preying on victims. They know,you will rarely ever arrive in time to save lives in any active shooter situation. People who scream about citizens being armed all have one thing in common, they have never personally experienced violence .I know. I have been on many crime scenes where "average citizens" have been brutalized and if they survive, their first question is "why me' , like violence will always happen to "someone else". Once you have been the victim or survived a violent encounter, its remarkable how their attitude changes.

Practical experience trumps theory every time.

Please take a moment to read the following:


I just hope, if I make it to 75 years of age, I will answer the call to protect the innocent. I just wish he was carrying a gun and killed the worthless motherfucker.


(...Push brought up the 20's and 30's. Beautiful, isn't it? The legendary (and infamous) Thomas Sub-Machine Gun or "Tommy-Gun". Is it illegal to own as a Collector?)

Thanks (as always) for the insights.

While I hesitate with embracing a public more heavily armed than Law Enforcement...I certainly think an armed citizenry is a safer one.

Thanks for the insights (...and PLEASE post more of your thoughts...)



Yep. The Sixth, certainly.

Don't you think that if you're going to stomp around and be a champion of the Bill of Rights you might ought to actually understand it?


Most of my friends and family are police officers. The vast majority of police officers, at least here in the southern Appalachians, are extremely "pro-Second Amendment." However, plenty of police officers(especially elsewhere) do advocate disarming citizens(at least those citizens with whom they interact frequently). For what it's worth, and I will go into no further detail about myself due to my name on here being about as close to a full name as it can be, I believe that the only way anything close to a "balance" can be achieved is for everyone to be as heavily-armed as he can be(I oppose all restrictions on small arms for that reason-in truth, I oppose restrictions on arms beyond that level, but that's not what this discussion is about).

I do, however, agree with TB's opinion that the 2nd Amendment was created to restrict the federal government. I merely pointed out that, even if it were still seen that way, only a piece of shit officer would participate in arms confiscation


Ironically modern Marxists stand in direct opposition to what Marx himself said on this issue.