I’m hoping this week’s post is more of a discussion than a typical article and really want you to read your thoughts on the situation.
Over the past 2 days I have 3 discussions with retired law enforcement officers… 1 is a shooting buddy and close friend who happens to be a retired San Diego county sheriff’s deputy, 1 is a retired Las Vegas PD officer and today at the dog park I had a spirited discussion about handguns with a retired NYPD officer that had a beautiful German Sheppard Dog puppy.
(Yes I know that sounds dumb, but I didn’t name the breed. I just know it Link to the AKC breed standard)
As a quick aside Bailey was mounted by a pitbull at one point and she wasn’t a fan. It is the 1st time I’ve seen her angry and… HOLY COW!!! The pitbull ran off of molest larger dogs that were less determined to stop him.
Anyway the retired officer was very anti-gun he said…
- That if it were up to him he would get rid of all guns including those owned by police officers and militaries.
- That there were other tools that could be used for protection… like a stun gun that he admitted he could take away from his 17 year old daughter and… that he had a German Sheppard Dog because they were naturally protective (Specifically he “would have no concerns leaving his windows open with his last dog because it would be unpleasant for the intruder”)
- He was shocked at the guns he has seen carried in cars on the passenger seat… He was unaware that legally that was one of the 2 acceptable places to carry a gun for non-concealed carriers in NC, the other is the dash.
- He was shocked that his guns did not have to have checks done to bring them into the state when he relocated.
Unrelated to his anti-gun beliefs he was also pro stop and frisk, unaware that Bloomberg was funding antigun groups, or that as a whole licensed concealed carry permit holders were more law abiding than mayors.
More concerning to me however was the conversation that led to him leaving the park.
He said “How dare you Monday morning quarterback the actions of a police officer doing the job?” And that “Not the other people in the park, (me), (him) or anyone else has the right to question them.”
I stopped him and asked…
“Police officers are fellow citizens, hired by us to protect us, why should we not have the ability to review their actions.”
He then objected to the notion that police officers were citizens.
He then asked me if I thought if even an off duty officer had more responsibility to protect people than the ordinary citizen?
I directed him to the Joseph Lozito case where NY courts said the police officers were under no duty to protect him as an individual… and that has been interpreted to mean that a police officer, even in uniform, is under no more responsibility to protect a citizen.
This is about the time that he left.
The guy was nice enough, his dog was well behaved, the discussion was not loud or aggressive and I enjoyed the debate. (admittedly I don’t think he did), he served for 6 months at ground zero before retiring and I think he would be pretty good neighbor but the thought of him as a police officer gives me the chills.
How would you feel about an officer, that while well intentioned.
- thought you should be disarmed
- was ok with stop and frisk with the minimum of articulable cause
- was ok with tazing a suspect climbing a fence while fleeing (we talked about that too)
- didn’t believe that police officers were citizens like the rest of us
- didn’t think you had any right to question their actions?
Let me know in the comments below.