Thursday, November 11, 2010

This is obviously some strange usage of the word "safe" that I hadn't previously been aware of.

So a bunch of folks are doing some kind of an open-carry thing in downtown Indianapolis, getting together for lunch or singing Hari Krishna chants, or whatever it is people do at those OC gatherings.

Anyhow, apparently the heat showed up, and the OC types somehow managed to get moderately cross-threaded with the po-po, allegedly because one of the police got queasy at the sight of a cocked, holstered pistol, and... well... here's the money quote:
The rest of the folks began to arrive, and the police mad [sic] them all draw, unload, and unload the mags, for the "officer's safety."
Great job, Deputy Fife! Because that's how I define safety: Making a bunch of people unholster their heaters and jack around with them in the middle of a major city.

Look, Officer Friendly, has your gun ever just jumped up out of your holster and gotten up to mischief of its own accord? No, it hasn't. The only place loud noises occur down at the cop shop is in sally ports and bathrooms, where somebody's got their gat out of the holster and is screwing with it. If you're concerned about safety, let's not go touching the guns, okay?

(And to the guy who brought the slung HK SBR: Ten out of ten for chutzpah, but minus several thousand for thinking ahead.)


McVee said...

Heck people, it's a tool. I can carry a multitool on my belt and do more harm if I was so inclined. And in my eyes that's the point. If so inclined, do harm. Regardless of choice of instrument it comes down to trust in society as a whole. How many guns do we respectively own in this country? Millions right? If you listen to the like of the Brady's and our local leaders we as a society should have offed each other a long time ago.
But we have not. Why? Because, I believe, We do not see the gun as the threat, but see the potential for harm (or need for food, sport etc)and have embraced and realized this right as ours to do as we see necessary.

Weer'd Beard said...

One of my big fears is that Officer Fife during some interaction where I feel obligated to inform him I have a permit to carry and am using said permit (have to think of the wording if I have something go on while I'm in Vermont), and officer fife will feel safer if not only my is my gun put someplace "Safe" but that HE be the one to pull it from my holster.

I just have a nightmare of being hand cuffed, and officer friendly sweeping my arm as he pulls my cocked-and-locked 1911 from my holster.

Needless to say even in a duty-to-inform state I'll take my chances on a routine traffic stop, rather than risk catching a pill from my own gun in the name of "Safety"

Anonymous said...

My guess is the statistics bear out that the Indy-po have murdered/killed/maimed/wounded more people than OC activists. (And that's just with their cars, not counting the guns.)

This 'officer safety' is wearing thin. Better taze the 10 year olds and octogenarians just in case she flails her arms in the cops general direction, or worse, lifts her face instead of genuflecting.

Robb Allen said...

At our last OC event, a gentleman brought both his young daughter and his AR pistol to be slung across his back.

Had it not been for him, I think our little fishing expedition would have been completely ignored. Which would have been just as good considering that's what we're aiming for.

WV -dereadju, pronounced "Dey Read Jou". Yes, dey do!

og said...

I'm not sure I remember the formula correctly, but I think it's something like this:


I first thought it was safe/police=something but then you have that whole divide by zero thing.

WV Valvalga. I'm not going there.

Stuart the Viking said...

A friend of mine relates a story where he is detained by police while carrying his .45 concealed. He was happily walking down a sidewalk past and as he passed the entrance to a bar and a fight that was on-going inside spilled out onto the sidewalk and he was knocked down by one of the pugulists. As he managed to get back on his feet, the local bicycle cops arived. Once it was apparent that my friend wasn't going to be allowed to just walk away because the cops were demanding his ID, my friend handed over his DL and his CCW to the officer. The officer asked if he was currently carrying and where so my friend told him. The cop handcuffed my friend (in front, assumeably so that he wouldn't be able to reach the pistol behind his right hip) and proceeded to take the pistol. The cop then proceeded to drop the magazine on the ground (accidentally?), pick it up, then spent the next few minutes trying to rack the slide... with the safety on. Much to no avail. Pointing the piece this way and that (no muzzle dicipline) trying to figure it out. As my friend stood there watching trying not to giggle (the bicycle cops down here quite often have an attitude problem, giggling at them usually only gets you more trouble). Finally, the officer's partner walked up and said "get a statement if he wants to make one and let this one go, he had nothing to do with this" and then upon seeing the gun "WHAT ARE YOU DOING?" Which was too much for my friend who busted up laughing.

The story just gets funnier. The next question was "Hey man, is this gun registered?" THERE IS NO GUN REGISTRATION WHERE WE ARE FROM but not knowing that, my friend said "I don't know, I bought it at a gun shop, don't they do that automatically?". "Nope" was the answer from the cop. After leaving him standing there, still cuffed in front, for another 30 minutes (freaking out because he thought he was going to jail). The cops finally uncuffed him and gave him his (now unloaded by the partner) gun back along with the loaded magazine, my friend says he didn't bother asking for the round from the chamber. Didn't want to push his luck. They then told him that they were letting him go "this time" but that he needed to get his gun registered. They didn't tell him where or how to do so.

Guess it's better than getting shot.


Anonymous said...

Cops and CWP guns can be scary. Buddy of mine has a very funny (now) tale of a cop trying to clear his Beretta .25 by repeatedly yanking on the slide and wildly waving the pistol around meanwhile muzzling him, passing motorists, stores and airplanes. This model has no extractor, so a fingernail is what is used to extract the cartridge, not yanking on the slide. Buddy now mostly carries a revolver.

Al T.

Anonymous said...

I've never had an officer so much as ask to see my pistol when informing them I'm carrying at a traffic stop. In fact, the most common response I've received has been, "You're not going to shoot me, are you?"

And that is in Maryland, which is not exactly the most pro-ccw place.

Having said that, at what point did "officer safety" become adequate justification to interfere with the lawful behavior of lawfully assembling citizens?

Montie said...

The amount of sheer stupidity that the average cop has regarding gun rights, mechanics of guns in general and the people who carry guns that are not cops or criminals never ceases to amaze me (this coming from a cop of 25 years service).

For much of my career (except the first couple of years when everybody carried mandatory revolvers) I have carried 1911's, except now, when I am forced to carry my department issued piece on-duty (but, thank God, allowed to carry my choice of firearm off-duty.

I have been asked by civilians and other cops "do you know your gun is cocked?" I used to get a kick out of it, but now it's just annoying.

I once had a note passed to me from an officer with another department during an in-service class. It said: "Your guns is cocked!". At our first break, I took a few minutes to explain the mechanics of firearms and how his Glock was also partially cocked inside the slide.

When I am on-duty and available, I will not let any of my officers unload confiscated weapons, insisting that they call me to the scene to do so. This the result of an incident a few years ago when an officer AD'd a Hi-point 9mm he thought he had unloaded after he took it off a gangbanger (fortunately he at least had it pointed in a safe direction and the round went into the ground some six feet away).

I frequently field questions about "how to register a gun" from people contemplating purchasing a firearm and they are usually astounded that there is no such thing in Oklahoma. At least all the cops I know are familiar with this.

At the last department meeting I asked all the officers about doing a field interview with a pedestrian. I explained the difference between a "Terry Stop" and a "field interview" and asked if they requested ID and the subject of a field interview refused to present ID, what could they do (Oklahoma has no ID law as defined in Hiibel v 6th Judicial Dist. of Nevada). I was stunned when most answered that the person MUST carry ID when out and about and could be arrested for refusing to show ID on demand. I turned to the Chief and said "Keep your checkbook handy" before educating them on what they could and could not do.

Most cops in OK are fairly neutral about CCW carriers. I have had numerous traffic stops with permit holders, and once advised by them I thank them and go on with business. I have seen officers make them exit their vehicle, and then remove the gun from them. On occasion even unload the gun. I called the officers in those cases and made them aware of (1) the bad PR such a thing causes (2) the inherent stupidity involved in handling a gun outside the holster, when it is MUCH safer not to touch it when it is safely holstered regardless of who's wearing that holster, and (3)never to unload a firearm you are not intimately familiar with (see the AD story above). This usually corrects the problem.

Most of my officers are from this area and grew up with guns but some are from states where only the cops had guns and it shows in their ignorance of guns, gun laws and gun people.

Joe in PNG said...

First, I really don't like to personally bash cops.
However, during my one traffic stop I also got to witness:
1) being swept my my own muzzle while
2) the officer yanked fruitlessly on the slide because
3) the safety was on while
4) he asked why in the world I had hollowpoints in the gun and
5) why did I carry a gun in the first place.

Somehow, I get the feeling that the only pistol these folks know how to use have "Glock" written on the slide.

Sport Pilot said...

Very good post Tam, your comments on “securing the weapons” are absolutely correct, every negligent discharge of a service pistol I’ve known of involved exactly that “negligence”. Individual’s, especially LEO who attempt to pass of an act of careless stupidity as an accident couldn’t be more wrong. FWIW I earn my paycheck as a LEO and am amongst the ranks of those who’ve fallen into the “active stupid” a time or two while developing some modicum of good sense as I grew older and wiser.
As to the open carry aspects of firearms, well Tennessee doesn’t specify concealed carry in its issuance of HCL so that’s moot here. I’ll put this into a format of an officer carrying his weapon while off duty. An exposed weapon draws undue attention towards you causing you stand out from others, while a more tactical approach is to blend in. I can go into a long list of “what ifs”, with examples but won’t. I’ll instead close with your responsible for your own actions legal or otherwise whether a sworn LEO of legal HCL/CCW holder, be safe.

Anonymous said...

"Officer Safety" is the new version of " it's for the children". Uses to justify anything an LEO twists it to. Officer safety doesn't concern me. Citizen safety does. If you're an LEO and are so concerned about your safety, maybe you should find another job.

When I read stories like this, it really angers me to the nth degree. There will be an incident between badge wearing citizens and non-badge wearing citizens on our future. Sparked by a dumbass LEO doing something similar to what happened here. Officer safety does not trump everything. Citizens rights should be the trump card.

Why were the popo there? If all was legal and no criminal activity, why were they there?

Tomcatshanger said...

They might understand how to unload my Glock, but then I have to hope they understand that they have to remove the magazine before racking the slide in order to unload it.

I had my Glock 30 taken off me by the FBI once upon a time. Came back to me, after an hour or two, empty in a brown paper bag with both of my magazines, also emptied, and my ammo in a separate brown paper bag.

The long delay was supposedly due to them making a food run in the vehicle that had my damn Glock in it.


BobG said...

Love the quote from "The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy" as the title of the post.

Quilly_Mammoth said...

I read the cop thread and other then obvious 'Bags on it there was a good point that came across well to us SF Con-goer types: Don't upset the Mundanes.

Carrying a long gun or an MP-5 OC is going to upset the uninformed and instead of making friends you make enemies.

That's smart!

I'm voting the INGO are going for Drama. "Let's provoke the cops and citizenry into trying to take our guns" is STOOPID.

And yes, having a bunch of people unloading off the firing line at the same time is unsafe. Which, imao is exactly what INGO wanted.

Standard Mischief said...

ToddG, If you're carrying in Maryland, you're either rich, famous, well connected politically, or you have some money to guard and your permit reflects that fact (and limited your carry to those times alone)

The only other possibility is having survived a heinous crime by the protected criminal class and the licensing authority decides after the attack to grant you the right of self protection, renewable every year by their discretion.

This is the state that thinks going through the drive through on you way home from the range is a crime.

Anonymous said...

Wow. I looked at the photo. I didnt know that they made tactical pants for LEOs in XXX fat-ass.

rickn8or said...

My own Road-to-Damascus moment re: cops and guns came at a fun show where I was chatting with a dealer carrying a cocked-and-locked 1911.

A uniformed officer came by, pointed to it and asked, "Isn't that dangerous??"

I was very proud that I didn't lapse into my faux-Russian "Is GONN! Suppose be dangerous!"

Montie said...


While I no longer sport the lithe and graceful profile of my younger years, I have at least fended off having to buy uniforms and other types of clothing sporting more than one X. However, in the local police supply stores, multi-X sizes seem to be very prevalent.


"Sigh", I can only say, see my comment above.

Matt G said...

Like Tam's issue about not fiddle-phuquing with the gats keeps them from making loud noises, I frankly like carrying concealed because it avoids such sillyness. Hoplophobes come in all flavors, uniformed, ununiformed, ect. If you're carrying a handgun to stir up trouble, then you're not really carrying a handgun for its originally-intended purpose (self-defense). I don't disagree with the sentiment about "we're armed, get over it," but dislike using guns as hammers, or can-openers, or political statements.

I stopped a driver last night, and he mentioned that he had a CHL. I told him not to worry about it. He was beligerent about the stop (several safety issues on his trailer), but neither of us thought twice about the "gun issue," while he railed at me, and I wrote him his citation. The gun just doesn't play into it.

Montie said...

Bravo Matt. At least a few of us are doing it right, and as I said above, I usually take corrective action when I catch one of mine going the extra mile to harrass a legal gun carrier.

I also share your opinion on the tactical advantage of concealed carry as well as using the act of carrying guns as a form of political protest.

Douglas Hester said...

As long as we're on the subject,

My friend Joel Rosenberg being assaulted by Minneapolis Police spokesman Sergeant William Palmer in the office of Police Chief Tim Dolan on 11/4 (only the first 2:30 or so is relevant here):

Palmer apparently swept Joel with the muzzle during his ill-advised and tactically stupid disarming (Joel had a concealed backup gun easily available, if he were of the mindset to injure cops, which he isn't, of course.

Yes it's perfectly legal to open carry in Minneapolis City Hall with a permit and yes, Joel had a reason for doing so on this occasion, whether or not everyone agrees with his tactics. For the record, he generally advocates concealed carry.

Justthisguy said...

Joel Rosenberg is a good buddy of Jerry Pournelle's, too, I believe.

Nancy said...

You would expect cops to be smarter that that when it came to handling guns...

Ferret said...

[SARCASM]What they were doing may have been perfectly legal, but they needed to be shown whose "authoritah" to respect. This of course trumps the safety of everyone both on the scene and within a mile or so[/SARCASM]

perlhaqr said...

Montie: Can we, like, clone you or something, and then install two or three copies in every PD and SD in the country? :)

Tam said...


There are a lot more Monties and MattG's and LawDogs than most people realize; the problem is that in big city departments they tend to be vastly outnumbered by Us v. Them types. You're a lot more likely to find them in the outer 'burbs or a rural setting.

Joe in PNG said...

File under "wouldn't it be nice":

...if all LEO's were given training on the proper interaction with law abiding gun carriers.

...if LE higher-ups wouldn't think that this whole CCW thing was just some passing fad.

Will said...

Reminds me of the time I was interviewed by an L A SO unit after oversleeping in the parking lot of a fast food place. While I was talking to one deputy, the other came back with my .45 auto, complaining about the hammer drop lever not working...
( I think they carried Beretta 92's).
Thankfully, no loud noises occurred!

Anonymous said...

Indianapolis, is that one of the 57 states Obamao visited? Does the U.S. Constitution apply there?

Did the poo-poos unload theirs for citizen safety (which is supposed to be the reason they even exist)?

What legislative authority gives the poo-poos actual authority to require law-abiding citizens to "unload" legally BORNE arms?

Inquiring minds would like to know.


Anonymous said...

Furthermore, I believe it is time to forget the Open vs Concealed carry debate and PUSH AGGRESSIVELY for CONSTITUTIONAL CARRY all across the United States.

CONSTITUTIONAL CARRY comports with the 2nd Amendment in that the amendment does not specify open vs carry but simply states "... the right of the people to keep and BEAR arms, SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED [emphasis mine]" Therefore it is the right of the citizen to bear either openly or concealed, or both, at their sole discretion anywhere in the U.S. except TRULY sensitive places, like a courtroom, where authorities provide armed security and scan/search everyone upon entry.


Anonymous said...

Oops, that should've said, "... open vs concealed carry ...".