By Major Van Harl USAF Ret
Wisconsin --(Ammoland.com)- The Canadians do law enforcement very similarly to the US–understandable, considering both countries learned their basic law enforcement skills from Mother England.
The biggest difference in US and Canadian law enforcement is that the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) is a national police force. A Mountie has full police powers anywhere in Canada. If RCMP Constable Smith, who works in Vancouver, British Columbia on the far west coast of his country, is on holiday on Prince Edward Island on the far east coast of his country, he can enforce Canadian law.
Sounds very efficient, now does it not? Don’t we have a national police force? Can’t the FBI go anywhere in the country and make an arrest?
Yes, the FBI can make arrests throughout the US, but only on a limited basis. FBI members are not policemen, they are agents. “Agent” implies a limit on the jurisdiction and the scope of their arrest powers. There is no single police organization in the US where the officer has blanket arrest powers to enforce all federal, state and local laws. FBI agents do not enforce state law, and local police departments do not enforce federal law on a military base or an Indian reservation. Sheriffs can enforce county laws in the entire county, whereas a local police officer in that same county may not be allowed to go outside his city jurisdiction to make an arrest.
This all sounds complicated, and with so many police and law enforcement agencies working on the same piece of real estate, it seems redundant and wasteful.
And you know what? We in the US like it that way.
As a brand new nation, we brought with us the fear learned from Europe of national law enforcement and the use of soldiers to enforce civil law. Now the Canadians love their Mounties and trust them not to abuse their countrywide law enforcement powers. So far that trust has not been betrayed. In the US, we just do not trust one single group of people with guns and arrest powers to be in charge of all the law enforcement, of all the people.
Sort of an Oliver Stone conspiracy theory mentality: with only one group of armed cops, some bad guy could take over control of a single nation-wide police department and control the country. One national police department that controls all law enforcement is the norm in most South American countries.
With that in mind, can you name one former Spanish colony that is now an independent nation, with a stable, democratically elected government that has been in power for more that 25 years?
Former President Felipe Calderon of Mexico announced (while in office) that he was unhappy with the 2000 plus, allegedly, corrupt state and municipal police departments in his country. He wanted one national police department. If you have paid attention to the news related to all the crime south of our US border, you might sympathize with Calderon’s problem. But, another former Spanish-colony-turned-nation, with only one national police department, is not the direction I want to see Mexico move.
Did you know that Mexico outlawed the private ownership of firearms back in the 1960s? You cannot go to the local Mexican sporting goods store and buy a rifle or shotgun to defend your family with. This is why the drug lords can run rough-shod over the citizens of that country.
In this country, if Bubba the local Sheriff is corrupt and violating the law you as a private citizen can take your case to another law enforcement department or agency. You can also shop at Wal-Mart on the way home and legally buy yourself some protection.
Kenya is another English-law based country that has a single police force and extremely controlling private gun ownership laws. Only the military and the one national police force can help or hurt you in time of desperate need. Those shoppers killed in the mall in Nairobi could not fight back because they were not allowed to be armed and the authorities that were legally armed failed the citizens.
No matter how well meaning a government is, when you take the firearms out of the hands of the people, those at the top do not fear the common man. The bad guys know this and thrive on that advantage. Without fear of the armed citizen, governments and terrorists can do what they want. Illegally armed Muslim terrorists killing legally un-armed Christians is the wave of the future in third and possibly first-world countries–prepare.
That is why it is a right, not a privilege, to own a firearm in the United States!
Major Van Harl USAF Ret
About Major Van Harl USAF Ret.:Major Van E. Harl USAF Ret., a career Police Officer in the U.S. Air Force was born in Burlington, Iowa, USA, in 1955. He was the Deputy Chief of police at two Air Force Bases and the Commander of Law Enforcement Operations at another. He is a graduate of the U.S. Army Infantry School. A retired Colorado Ranger and currently is an Auxiliary Police Officer with the Cudahy PD in Milwaukee County, WI. His efforts now are directed at church campus safely and security training. He believes “evil hates organization.” firstname.lastname@example.org