This is a discussion on Interesting Traffic Stop - First LEO contact with permit within the Concealed Carry Issues & Discussions forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; A lot of good points have been made in this thread. A lot of food for thought. For me, it boils down to a couple ...
A lot of good points have been made in this thread. A lot of food for thought. For me, it boils down to a couple of items.
I have a CCL so that I can legally carry the means to give me an advantage when it comes to protecting my family and my person. It is not to make a political or legal statement. Whether I agree or disagree with the laws "allowing" me to exercise my rights is moot. Should the occasion arise where I have a basic disagreement with a LEO, I will swallow my pride and give the LEO pretty much what he wants. If it's something which compels me to go to court to fight, I will do so. However, considering the fact that my CCL is an important part of my SD strategy, I will not jeopardize my ability to carry because my pride was hurt or because I feel my rights were violated, or because I happened to run across a LEO who has a bad attitude. I will display restraint, courtesy and if necessary, temporarily suspend my civil rights voluntarily so that I can continue to carry a weapon. I may lose a battle or two on the way to winning the war. Of course it sticks in my craw that I have to apply for the "right" I already have been granted by the 2nd Amendment. But there are ways, other than confrontation, which will allow me to prevail.
We can complain, and cite scenarios till we are blue in the face, but the fact remains that in most situations where it comes down to a local argument with a LEO, the citizen will lose the argument. Period. IMHO, the secret is to make it as easy as possible on myself. And if that means that I say, "yes sir", when I really want to say kiss my a$$, then I will do what I need to do so that I don't jeoparize my CCL. I will also continue to try to put myself in the LEO's shoes and give him the benefit of the doubt. I know that I am a mostly law abiding citizen, but the LEO does not know that, and I don't know what type of situation he was in just prior to stopping me. So, for me, bottom line is that I will comply with whatever reasonable requests are made of me and if I disagree, I'll take it court.
"Never underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups"
If the law requires me to inform, then I inform.
If the law requires me to not touch my firearm unless told to, I don't.
If I'm stopped, I obey all LAWFUL commands, whether I like them or not.
If the law doesn't require me to open carry in a vehicle, then the cop doesn't tell me I have to open carry in a vehicle.
If the law says it's permissible to open carry, then the cop doesn't try to bully me into not open carrying.
If the cop doesn't think people should be able to carry concealed, carry openly, or have a gun at all, that remains his personal opinion, which he doesn't try to impose upon me at gunpoint.
If either one of us doesn't want to abide by those rules, he deserves to be hammered. Your race or ethnicity don't matter. How hard or unappreciated your job is doesn't matter.
When either of us breaks the law we become criminals; we deserve to be punished.
If I'm a citizen and violate the CCW (or other) law, lie to a cop, or defy a cop's lawful instructions, I should be arrested and prosecuted.
If I'm a cop and I'm too lazy to know the law I'm enforcing, or make up my own "laws" to enforce, or openly violate the law because I don't "like" it, then my violations of law and civil rights should have a devastating effect on my career, finances, and if necessary my freedom.
Don't be stupid and break the law.
Don't be a punk and whine that you got caught.
Don't be an enabler and make excuses for people with no excuse.
That goes equally for cops and citizens at large. If you're a citizen and you go to jail for carrying into a bar and getting drunk, tough. If you're a cop and you end up living in a refrigerator carton because you falsely arrested somebody, tough.
Clearly there are people, cops and citizens who can't deal with such subtlety. I see them every day. I just spit.
No one said anything about arguing with the cop or being discourteous either. That's a strawman everyone has been having fun beating up. You don't have any obligation to do "everything the cop wants." That's why we have rights. You don't have to answer any questions about the traffic stop, or firearm possession. You don't have to consent to a search and seizure either. You don't have to be rude, and you don't have to argue.
Politely exercising your rights shouldn't come with any consequences from all of those good guy cops. Many people have been proudly defending the average good guy cop. It's only the few bad apples, but then they all admit that on average if you politely exercise your rights, this average good guy cop is going to screw you over. You can't have it both ways.
The reason we're losing our rights is because we're not courageous enough to exercise and fight for them. We're not winning the battle. We've already lost it. A big part of the reason is that, as we've seen here, so many of the most vocal supporters of their own rights to keep and bear arms are all too quick to support restricting the rights of everyone else.
If a CHL holder presents a dangerous risk to a cop, so much so that you agree citizens should be stripped of their 2nd amendment rights for his safety, why don't you give the public the same benefit of the doubt? The public doesn't know you're a law abiding citizen. Why aren't you willing to give up your civil rights, for their safety?I will also continue to try to put myself in the LEO's shoes and give him the benefit of the doubt. I know that I am a mostly law abiding citizen, but the LEO does not know that, and I don't know what type of situation he was in just prior to stopping me.
I'm not buying what you're selling.
The REAL problem isn't a "few bad apples". Those are unavoidable in the best department. The serious problem is a few bad TREES. It is an undeniable truth that there are a few bad DEPARTMENTS which either do not discourage bad behavior, enable, or encourage it. In such circumstances, no "benefit of the doubt" is deserved, nor will any be given, at least not from me.
I don't believe that all cops are bad. I believe that SOME cops are bad and that they should be elminated as soon as possible. The alternative is Chicago, where NOBODY trusts or respects the police. They don't even trust or respect each other.
I draw a distinction between somebody who's misinformed, makes a MISTAKE, seeks correct information and appologizes for that mistake, and somebody who "knows" EVERYTHING and seeks NO guidance. The former's department needs to be notified that they aren't properly training their personnel, which could have monetary consequences down the road. The latter needs to be written up at the least, and if necessary sued. Ignorance is no excuse for me carrying unlawfully into a liquor serving establishment. Neither is it an excuse for harassing me for doing something which the officer SHOULD know not to be a crime. I don't expect an officer to "know every law". I DEMAND that he knows the law he's ENFORCING right now. Due diligence costs a little more work. Negligence costs a lot more money.
Worse is a cop who KNOWS the law and violates it because he doesn't "like" it. I don't have to like that I can't carry into a Post Office. I just have to not do it. Likewise, a cop doesn't have to like that open carry is the law in Ohio. He just has to not unlawfully harass people for doing it. In either case, consequences attach. If a cop says to me, "I KNOW x is lawful, but I'm going to arrest you every time you do it.", I have no more sympathy for him than he should have for me if I say to him, "I know I can't carry concealed without a CHL, but it's my 2nd Amendment right and I'm going to do it anyway." Either of us who acts on those expressed statements of intent to break the law needs to go to jail. The odds are that the cop WON'T go to jail, but the odds are also nearly 100% that I'll sue the cop and his department for a 1983 violation at the least. Qualified immunity doesn't cover willful criminal acts.
I believe in negative consequences for negative behavior, regardless of who engages in it. If I willfully choose to carry unlawfully, I deserve to go to jail if I'm caught. If a cop willfully chooses to violate my rights, he deserves to live in a refrigerator carton, and I don't care if his family lives in one with him.
Everybody should obey the law, period.
Wow, I haven't checked this in a few days...and its become a pretty heated debate...
"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing."
Smith & Wesson M&P9c
It is good to keep a couple of things in mind:
(1) Cops aren't, and cannot be, perfect.
(2) When he detains you, your "rights" are not what they were previously. How is it that he can stop you, order you out of your car, etc.? If a private citizen tried that on me, there would be a violent response. But a cop can do it because the situation is different. True, he doesn't have a free ticket to do just anything, but unloading your weapon (dumb as it may seem) is within his rights so long as you are in his detention.
Try not to get huffy. Just be glad he's out there cleaning up the trash so that you don't have to--even if he is a jerk. If there's a real problem, file a complaint later.
I went to buy some camouflage pants, but I couldn't find any.
The muzzle end of a .45 pretty much says, "Go Away" in every language.
Fast is fine, accuracy is final. Learn to be slow in a hurry.
"I never met a man that had been in a gunfight and wished that he had a smaller gun. Ever."
My first encounter with law enforcement was a weird one. The first LEO on the scene was a small town city cop. He acted nervous and disarmed me. He unloaded the gun, griped at me for having a round in the chamber, and proceeded to give me the magazine and all ammo while putting my gun in a box in the front seat of my vehicle. He then appeared to have forgotten about it. When the state highway patrol showed up, I told him and he acted like it was no big deal. He said he would not have taken my gun but since I had already had it taken, would I please lock it in the glovebox so it would not be unsecured. I complied with the directions of both officers because I did not want unnecessary trouble and/or loss of my ability to lawfully carry.