No one disputes that some things need to be controlled: liquor and tobacco as they relate to minors, wake zones for inland waterways, traffic at busy intersections, and the flight paths of aircraft. If our society had no constraints, it could easily fall into anarchy. So some controls are necessary.

But when we discuss gun control, we aren’t talking about laws that keep guns away from those who shouldn’t have them—we already have such laws. What is generally referred to as “gun control” is really a politically correct term for “gun banning.” Such bans have already been shot down by the U.S. Supreme Court, but it’s an idea that is far from dead for many. There are people in Congress who believe only law enforcement and the military should have guns—so they can protect the rest of society from those that would do us harm. But as someone who has patrolled the streets for nearly three decades, I personally feel that this belief is simply foolhardy at best.

Going Too Far

Recently, a mayor of a major city here in the United States stated that law enforcement officers nationwide should go on strike until guns had been completely banned. What is he talking about? Keep us safe? What “us” would that be? Cops keep the public safe, and they are very good at it. They are also very good at protecting themselves and have always done so in environments where citizens own firearms. That said, cops know that, by being aware of crime and promptly reporting it, citizens contribute significantly to the success of law enforcement. Also, I believe few cops want citizens disarmed because they know they cannot be everywhere all the time.

Interrupting a murder, rape, armed robbery or burglary in progress is a big event in a cop’s career, and he or she remembers each time it happens because it’s rare. Unlike television, where the cops always arrive in the nick of time, there are many cases where citizens protect themselves from crime, and they do so with personally owned firearms.

Talk to police officers anywhere and most will tell you what their response time is in their jurisdiction. A response time of three to five minutes is considered very good, something the agency should be proud of. But that is a long time for incidents that are likely to be over in 30 seconds.

Guns Can Save Lives

Over the years, there have been numerous incidents where armed citizens have helped police officers who were at risk of being killed—and the cops appreciated it. It is wise to remember that cops are citizens first and government employees second, and the vast majority of cops understand this. That is why I believe the majority of individual police officers overwhelmingly support right-to-carry laws and continue to carry themselves long after they hang up their badge, thanks to President George W. Bush signing the Community Protection Act, better known as House Bill 218, which gave currently serving and honorably retired officers the right to carry concealed anywhere in the U.S.
I believe police officers nationwide understand just how important it is for citizens to protect themselves. They do not have the luxury of being guarded 24/7 like many political leaders, and cops cannot be everywhere all the time. That is the reality.

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