Sunday, August 14, 2011

Trained and qualified.

Stephen at Standing Outside Looking In writes of an encounter with a dude with a bad case of Only One-itis. If I hadn't once had a similar conversation, I'd accuse him of fictionalizing, but they are indeed out there. It's rare to run into one of those types at a gun shop or range, however; apparently they get pumped full of all the knowledge of firearms and shooting they'll ever need at the academy and somehow retain it 'til their dying day, and therefore have no need to take any particular extracurricular interest in the subject.

When I was still living in Tennessee, Knox County Sheriff's Dept. had a particularly embarrassing little incident involving a few deputies, a dude who was trying so hard to commit Blue Suicide that he'd helpfully drawn a bullseye on his chest, and the better part of a box of ammunition. The score at the end of l'affair du nutcase was one grazing wound to the shoulder at about 15 yards, and a few dozen gutterballs perforating the landscape of suburban Knoxville.

The next morning, one of our regular customers, also a deputy, came into the shop while on break. Shannon and I looked up from behind the counter.

"Hey," he held up his hands, palms out, "I wasn't there last night. If I was, did you think I'd be in here today without a bag over my head?"

"I didn't think you were," I replied, "I know you can shoot better than that. But who all was there?"

He sighed. "Let's put it this way: Nobody you'd know from a gun show or a shootin' range."

Ah. That kind.


Tango Juliet said...

Sad but true.

Fortunately the jerks constitute a minority within the group.

Anonymous said...

I find that the LEO's that are gunnies tend to be very good and comfortable with folks who are shooters as well.

Then there are the jokers who think that shooting a barely qualifying score after two or three do overs makes them a gun fighter. They tend to believe because they have such a rough time with a pistol, no civilian could possibly be any better. I have met some who think their tough guy cop demeanor will intimidate folks from any confrontations

When it goes bad for these clowns it tends to end in tragedy.


Borepatch said...


Bubblehead Les. said...

Too Bad these "Only Ones" tend to kiss butt and become Police Chiefs.

Anonymous said...

When I started an IPSC club in 1981 (pre-race-gun era), we put the word out to the PD and the SO that active duty LEOs didn't have to pay an entry fee, and that we'd have a revolver class if need be.

No takers in three years. None.

Austin/Travis County, Texas; certainly not a small rural area.

Old NFO said...

I agree with Gerry- The older ones I know I tend to trust, the younger 'guns' not so much.

Tam said...

Old NFO,

I don't know that it's necessarily all that age-specific. For example, big city departments have been producing "Only Ones" for generations.

Will said...

Bear in mind that starting back in the 90's, or earlier, the cop shops started going ultra PC. I've talked to some that had to lie about being shooters to get hired. Being part of the gun culture was an automatic fail in the hiring process. If a new cop starts out with the idea that guns are icky, what competence would you expect them to ever achieve? And the fact that you want to carry one as a "civilian" should go over well? Yeah, right.

Tam said...


Only there is no one monolithic cop culture in the US.

The sheriff of the county to the north of us? He's an adjunct instructor for Gunsite. I see Ken at the gun shows all the time.

He brings in world-class trainers to the Boone County Sheriff's Dept. range and throws the classes open to the public; that way he gets cheap quality training for his guys. I don't think liking to shoot would be a downcheck in the hiring process there.

Odysseus said...

We had an incident in the county south of us where two deputies emptied a patrol carbine and two handguns at the stopped car of a violent meth-head. Result the tweaker drove off unwounded to go ditch the car and hide in the woods.

I know it's different when someone else is shooting back, but I've seen deputies from this county at the local range after this happened and they weren't any better.

They were congratulating each-other for hitting a silhouette target half the time at 7-10 yards.

Law enforcement acquaintances of mine(people who rightly make me look like the shooting armature I am) have confessed that the each have people like that in their departments.

Firehand said...

I've sat in a car with long-time LE people(as in 15, 20, 25 years) listening to THEM bitch about the bad attitude of the younger ones coming out of the academy; that's instructive, I'll tell you.

I once described it as "They're trying to give rookies the FBI Attitude: "I sit a Gods right hand and give advice, and don't you forget it." And that crap just doesn't go over well. Thankfully, most either outgrow it or have the past experience not to believe it in the first place, but the ones that do...

ISH (Mininerd) said...

I automatically distrust any policeman or policewoman that refers to me as a "civilian," in a manner that implies that they aren't one too.

Police are civilians in this country... at least, that was the theory. We've made our elected representives into "elected officials" and (worst of all) "elected leaders," so perhaps this is just another symptom.

Stephen said...

Ah, now I understand all the hits. And yes, he has been the only cop in almost thirty years of dealing with them that has ever given me a hard was his age. Young and full of himself.
Thanks, Tam.

Matthew said...

"Are you going to buy anything, officer?"

"Are you here on police business?"

"Then get the hell out of my store."

TJIC said...

The post starts

"Let me first state I like cops."

He lost me right there.

Maybe someday I'll meet a cop who's not an authoritarian asshole hell-bent on enforcing laws that he doesn't bother to respect when it comes to him and his buddies.

If that happens, I'll cheerfully say that only 99.99% of cops are fascist suckups who don't mind the worst sort of unequal enforcement of laws (as long as they're in the boot-on-neck group and not the neck-under-boot group), but until that fine day I'll stick with saying that 100.0% of them are respect-mah-authoritah goat-fuckers.

Anonymous said...

"Maybe someday I'll meet a cop who's not an authoritarian asshole hell-bent on enforcing laws that he doesn't bother to respect when it comes to him and his buddies."

As a LEO I showed my badge twice. Once when picking up medical records on a case and the other time was approaching a Sheriff's deputy in another county who was having car trouble near my parents' house.

With the build up in the number of laws, we now have a legal codification of the feudal system, lords and serfs. LEOs being the knights of the bureaucratic fiefdom.

Shootin' Buddy

Shootin' Buddy

Anonymous said...

This incident with this LEO will prove to be one in a series of escalating conflict and violence until he kills a citizen and makes his bones. Then the blue wall of silence will envelop and support him.

Tam said...


You need to get the hell out of Massachusetts and move to America.

Tam said...

"All cops are [blah blah whatever]"

"All gun-owners are [blah blah whatever]"

Collectivism and Identity Politics smells the same, no matter whose sphincter it plopped out of...

Matt G said...

You beat me to it, Tam.

The problem here wasn't with an officer; it was with a man. An asshole. Who happened to have a badge.

Matt G said...

And golly, TJIC, I can't imagine why you've found police unpleasant to you, given your clear tone of human respect for them.

(That said, if I'd gone through what you'd gone through in Mass, I'd have left a long long time ago. Staying there is an odd kind of stubbornness.)