By Dean Weingarten
Arizona – -(Ammoland.com)- It was not very many years ago that the common refrain echoed by the media for any self defense shooting was that the police advised against “taking the law into your own hands” and the obligatory “leave it to the professionals”.
It is hard to know how much of this was from real police attitudes, and how much was from what the media wished to portray as police attitudes, but it was what was commonly seen.
Over the last two decades, that has changed. Now, we commonly hear: “Homeowners have a right to defend themselves; you will have to defend yourself; and get training so that you can do the right thing.”
There was a recent shooting incident in Village of Centuria in Northwest Wisconsin, not far from the Minnesota border. Coverage of the incident was titled: “Law enforcement pushes self-defense education for gun owners”. From weau.com:
Eau Claire police officer Kyle Roder says law enforcement is working to make sure people are educated when it comes to self-defense.
“We think people understand the law and know their rights, however, we are very diligent in making sure that they use the proper precautions so as long as we have a public who understands that and is safe, we don't have this issue,” says Roder.
In the incident, an intruder kicked open the armed resident's door. The resident was on the way to the door, armed with a handgun when the intruder gained entrance. Derek Amorosa was shot in the groin after attacking the resident.
While the benefits of an armed population have long been understood in most rural American communities, urban centers are starting to get the message from big city police chiefs like Detroit's Chief Craig and urban county Sheriff's such as Milwaukee County's Sheriff Clarke.
The Chippewa County District Attorney Said:
“Always call the authorities and cooperate with the authorities and use deadly force as a last resort,” says Gibbs.
This is generally good advice, taken in context. To be fair, in the video that the quote is taken from, the advice appears far less Stalinesque. Body language says a lot. While I advise cooperating with authorities, that does not mean that a person who has to resort to deadly force in defense should give the police an immediate, off the cuff, detailed statement; or ignore all the legal and constitutional rights that they have by law. The subject has been covered extensively by others.
Insuring that the police understand that you are willing to cooperate, but have been advised by counsel not to make a statement at this time, and pointing out evidence so that it will not be ignored, seem like generally good ideas.
What we are seeing is the climate about an armed population changing, and specifically and most importantly, the police attitudes changing or perhaps, being allowed to be expressed, in support of an armed population. Rural areas have commonly had this synergy, and have had far lower crime rates than urban centers.
Armed Americans and police are natural allies and are complementary to each other. Law abiding people support law and order and peaceful resolution of disputes. It is those who wish radical “change” at any price, who support the overthrow of Constitutional law and lawless rioting in response to legal outcomes that they disapprove of. Police benefit greatly from an armed population that backs them up, and acts as their eyes and ears.
A number of police have been saved by armed Americans over the years. On the other side, armed Americans need the backup provided by a rapid response force and the communication system provided by the police. The true “first responders” are the armed Americans, and their job should be to hold out until the police arrive. That is one reason that criminals flee. They know that armed backup, in the form of police, is on the way. Police are part of the criminal justice system that arrests and processes the criminals after the fact. They may not be good at preventing crimes at the scene; but you have to have a way to process criminals after they are apprehended.
In rural America, this complementary nature of police and armed Americans has a long tradition, and is growing stronger. I predict that more and more urban areas will see the benefits and will encourage this development. An early indicator to watch for would be the police encouraging and/or offering classes in the use of deadly force to non-police.
c2014 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included. Link to Gun Watch
About Dean Weingarten;
Dean Weingarten has been a peace officer, a military officer, was on the University of Wisconsin Pistol Team for four years, and was first certified to teach firearms safety in 1973. He taught the Arizona concealed carry course for fifteen years until the goal of constitutional carry was attained. He has degrees in meteorology and mining engineering, and recently retired from the Department of Defense after a 30 year career in Army Research, Development, Testing, and Evaluation.