For decades the public has been inundated with bogus, anti-gun, anti-rights propaganda spouted from the offices of Police Chiefs and other high-profile police political appointees and their vassals who hope to someday become political appointees themselves. The gun rights movement has countered this propaganda by insisting that these anti-rights opinions do not apply to rank-and-file officers on the streets. Organizations like the Law Enforcement Alliance of America (LEAA) help to bolster that position, but their close association with the NRA hurts their credibility.
Now a new force in the argument is emerging and it is proving what pro-rights advocates have been saying all along. The internet, with its Blogs, forums, and other web sites is proving that line cops by-and-large understand that the Constitution means what it says and that they recognize armed citizens as allies, not threats. Clearly there are many officers who need more education regarding the rights of citizens and the limits of police powers, but the internet is helping there too.
A good case in point is a recent Blog entry by Frank Borelli, Editor in Chief of Officer.com , discussing the current situation in our nation's capitol. Borelli contends that the District of Columbia should be the shining example of Constitutional integrity. That the DC gun ban should never have even been considered and should have been dumped as soon as it was seen that it didn't work. He goes on to criticize recent DC police activities where they cordoned off a certain section of town and stopped people entering and leaving, demanding identification and a "valid" reason for being in the area. In past entries Borelli has espoused the value of officers spending personal time on the range and the importance of the "Constitution vs. Convenience."
We in the gun rights community need to make extra efforts to reach out to members of law enforcement through these web sites and in person. We need to help educate the undereducated and encourage those who put forward strong clear thinking on Constitutional matters.
Recent incidents in Virginia and Pennsylvania where officers overreacted to citizens lawfully carrying firearms openly, point up the need for continuing education, and web sites like Officer.com can be a useful venue for such education. All police powers are derived – on loan – from "we the people" and are retained by us even while they are on loan to the government. When police and government forget this simple fact, tyranny has gained a foothold.