It’s time for Law Enforcement to take a stand with the law-abiding firearms owning citizens of this country.

As many of my readers know I am a 35 year veteran sworn law enforcement officer who retired at the rank of Commander and more years after that training cops. I can tell you that a large majority of cops are strong supporters of citizens rights to be armed. I am also a U.S. Army veteran of the 3rd Infantry Division. Contrary to the few incidents that make the news or social media most of law enforcement supports the citizens right to self-protection and to being armed. I have had citizens come to my aid more than once when I needed back-up and none was around, and I was thankful for their help.

But there is rapidly coming a time in this country when law enforcement as a whole may need to finally take a stand with the citizens and stand up for the Constitutionally protected right to “keep and bear arms” that seems to be under attack.

In VA. there are many Sheriff’s and Police that have taken a stand with the citizens they are sworn to serve. This is a good sign, but I do not think it is going far enough. We need a national push, and national movement in law enforcement to stand up against further restrictions on a citizens right to keep and bear arms. The second amendment is for all citizens, even law enforcement. Citizens in several states have even gone so far as to save officers lives using a firearm to stop attacks on officers.

Virginia sheriff: We’ll deputize law-abiding citizens to counter state Dems’ gun control ‘overreach’

Think for a second why many firearms laws exempt law enforcement from the restrictions placed on the average citizen. The legislators and some figure heads in law enforcement will tell you its because police are highly trained in the use of firearms and can be trusted to have firearms. Well that is not exactly the truth. If you look at the training of many law enforcement agencies throughout the country you would be astonished at how little training they actually get. In the State of Florida for example officers are only required to qualify with their service firearm every two years! While some agencies do qualify more than that there are agencies out there that only shoot their firearms every two years. Now that does not make them “highly trained” or better trained even than most firearms owners. I know for a fact that our local agencies offer officers free time on the range every month to practice if they want, and yet out of almost a thousand officers and deputies, very rarely (one or two maybe a month) would take part in the offer.

After retiring from law enforcement training, I began teaching civilian classes at a local gun range and found to my very pleasant surprise that many firearms owners shoot as much if not more than most cops. Sure, there are some in each group that train a lot and some that train very little. Point being that on an average I have to say from personal observation police are no more well trained in firearms than most firearms owner citizens.

So why do legislators seem to always include exemptions for law enforcement in most firearms bills and restrictions then? Well they will say it’s for public safety. But an officer’s home collection does nothing for public safety. Only the officer’s duty firearms while they are working and maybe their off-duty firearm (if they carry one, I know many that do not). The reason that they include these exemptions is because they know that if law enforcement had to abide by the same laws and rules as citizens the cops would be in an uproar and fight any more restrictions. Imagine if law enforcement officers’ personal firearms were going to be banned just like they are threatening citizens firearms. What if law enforcement was required to keep any “assault weapons” (before you scream at me I know there is no such thing, I’m using the anti-rights groups words) at the station and check them out only when working. What of they were only allowed the same magazine capacity that the legislature is trying to place on citizens. I don’t think they would like it much and you would hear a huge cry from the police unions and officers themselves. Now do not misunderstand me, I think that ALL law-abiding people should have a right to those things, not just law enforcement. And I know some will say, and I agree, law enforcement does need these things since those are the same weapons they encounter criminals already using. Being at least as well armed as the criminals is a necessity for law enforcement, why is it not for the citizens who will encounter the criminals before the cops do?

I teach the police recruits that I have in the academy that the golden rule of law enforcement is to treat every person (good and bad) the way they would want another cop to treat their family member if they were in the same situation. Cops need to remember that these laws and exemptions affect their families and friends who are not cops, and everyone else.

In closing let me point out that I am pro law enforcement and know most are great, brave, decent people trying to make the areas they live in just that much safer, but I also know we (LEOs) see the worst that society has to offer and sometimes forget that there are millions of times more good people out there than criminals. If we remove the exemptions for law enforcement from the firearms laws, then I think we might see much different reactions from the law enforcement world in opposition to any more restrictions. Maybe even they might stand with the citizens and require the law makers actually follow the Constitution and remind them they “shall not infringe” on their right to “keep and bear arms”, both citizens and cops. Virginia law enforcement seems to have figured that out.

What’s With All the Police Brutality?

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By Chris Wagoner:

The protesting of police shootings and police brutality has sky rocketed this year. I see news reports with groups wanting “justice for Freddie” or for the latest person shot by police. If you listen to the media, all they seem to focus on is police violence. You see so much news these days about police accused of, and sometimes even arrested for, various crimes resulting from acts of violence. Now, first let’s make something very clear, I am not saying that the police do not commit crimes, or that they do not commit police brutality. Let’s get that out of the way. I am sure they happen. But it is my contention that they are not an “epidemic” or a nationwide problem.

I say this because in 2012 there were about 313,910,000 citizens in the United States and 670,439 police officers. That meant there were about two police officers for every 1000 citizens. Sworn officers made up about .22% of the US population. During any given year officers come in contact with about 16.9% of the US population, with about 3.89% of those contacts resulting in arrests for something. Think about this… 670,439 cops made contact with more than 53, 050,790 citizens! Now this is for any reason from traffic stops to making reports, traffic accidents, anything. Of all the millions of contacts citizens had with police, only 26,000 complaints of excessive violence were made against police. Of those 26,000 complaints, only 2,080 were found to be sustained, meaning they were true or had some substance to them, or 0.0039% of all police contact resulted in a verified complaint regarding the use of excessive force.

Read the rest of the story here….

Be the Solution…Not the Problem

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By Chris Wagoner:

If people wanted to see things change, they would look at all the options and pinpoint where they could create change with a positive outcome. I hear it a lot in the news and on the internet, people ranting about how unfair justice is for this or that group. When I can, I engage them in a conversation asking them if they would like to be a part of the solution and not the problem. I see people rioting and destroying others property, and when confronted they cry injustice about how the system is unfair. So, I tell them, why not be a part of the solution? And the answer I often get is “Who me?”

Overseeing a large police academy in North Central Florida I see all kinds of students come through our doors. I wish more people who believe they could do a better job than those currently policing would try and make a difference in their community. Becoming a police officer is not as easy as many may think. Candidates must complete written exams, interviews, background investigations, polygraphs, psychological exams, and intense training.  And this arduous process is just the beginning.

Read the rest of the story here…

Concealed Firearms License Holders: Are They More Law-abiding than Police?

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By Chris Wagoner:

I want to take a few minutes to ask you, you the liberal, anti-firearm, anti-citizen self-defense, pro law enforcement people out there: “do you trust law enforcement to protect you and your family from most threats?”

I hope the answer would be yes.

The vast majority of law enforcement officers are average Joes and Janes who have a family to support and are just trying to make it by doing what they feel is a job worth doing, to make everyone around them feel safer and be safer. If, in the process, they can remove threats to society as a whole and lock them up, that’s a plus. Cops are, for the most part, really good-intentioned people. Yes, we have our bad apples, just like most professions.

Read the rest here: the rest of the story…

 

It Happened Again – Wake Up America

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By Chris Wagoner:

It happened again! Another attack on a college campus. This time it was Ohio State University, and it was not a gun being used, but a knife that wounded 11 people. The suspect (I will not dignify or promote the terrorists name) is dead of a gunshot wound from a campus police officer who just happened to be in the area at the time of the attack. What in the world are we doing America? Why can we not stop these attacks on our college campuses and other places where we gather in large numbers? Why can’t we just pass a law? Maybe more gun control laws would help. Take away all the guns and the attacks would stop right? If guns were harder to get, then these attacks would stop right? I forgot, this one was with a knife and it was a gun that saved more people from being injured or killed. Yes, I know that it was a police officer that shot and killed the suspect, but what if that officer had not been in the area at the time of the incident? What if it had taken them the normal 3-5 minutes to respond like it does everywhere in the country (and that is being kind and conservative in response times, they are much longer in many places).

What can we do to lessen the impact or to stop these kinds of terrorist attacks when they happen? Let’s look at this realistically and not emotionally like the large majority of the anti-gun crowd. Put away your fear and your hate for all things gun-related for just a few minutes as you read this. Since this was a knife attack and had nothing to do with guns, with the exception that a gun, in fact, saved everyone’s lives, consider the facts that gun laws would have done nothing to change the outcome of this. Or could they have?

Read the Rest here: http://bit.ly/2opV9vI

Citizens Are Saving Police All Over The Country!

As I wrote in one of my other articles, “An Open Letter to Those Who Would Harm the Police or Citizens of These United States” there seems to be a trend where people are willing to step in and take action more to help out their fellow man, especially police officers in need. Where not too many years ago it seemed as if people would just drive by and do nothing to assist officers in need, now people have come to realize they can make a huge difference, and even ultimately save the officers lives.

Recently, video footage from a dash cam video was released of two more upstanding citizens who decided that helping out a fellow human being, even though it was a police officer, was worth the risk. Not knowing if they themselves would be injured or worse, they still stepped up and aided the officer.

On Feb. 20th, 2017 in Berrien County Michigan, State Trooper Gary Guild was chasing a stolen motorcycle on US 31. As the chase was going down the roadway, people who saw the flashing lights or heard the siren of the trooper’s patrol car pulled over to the side of the road. One of those who pulled over was Keith Pepple. Keith was geocaching (a form of treasure hunting using GPS Coordinates) and little did he know or have any idea of what he would involve himself in just minutes later and a short distance down the road.

The motorcycle crashed and the driver charged at and attacked the trooper. Pepple pulled back onto the roadway after the trooper and motorcycle had passed him, but on getting down the road, he saw the trooper in a life and death struggle with the motorcycle driver. Just as Pepple decided to stop and help, another vehicle pulled off the roadway, and the driver of that vehicle ran to the struggling pair and put the trooper in a head lock. Now it was two on one! The motorcyclist was later identified as 21 year old Michael Barber, and the second attacker was 19 year old Travis Wise, Barber’s brother.

Regardless of the fact there were now two attackers, Pepple still stopped and decided to get involved. Pepple came to the trooper’s aid, running up and knocking the attacker off of him. All of them went to the ground. Pepple placed Barber in a headlock, but Wise was still trying to choke the trooper. Then Pepple released Barber and put Wise in a headlock.

Just then another passerby, 44 year old Jerry Burnham, also stopped and came to the trooper’s aid. With Burnham’s help, the attackers were outnumbered and were subdued and arrested. They are facing multiple charges, included assault with intent to murder the trooper.

These two outstanding citizens saved that trooper’s life. They decided to stop and help the trooper rather than take out their cell phones and record the trooper dying at the hands of these scumbags. As I have said before, people are tired of the violence directed at law enforcement and their fellow man in general, and are becoming more and more willing to stand up for what is right and to help out. Even when they know there is a possibility of danger to themselves, they still step up and help.

My thanks to Mr. Pepple and Mr. Burnham for stopping and helping their fellow man, and in this case, a State Trooper. And to those out there that may come across fellow human beings in need, stop and help! You never know when you may need help like that someday, and you would want others to stop too. We are our brother’s and sister’s keepers.

Is the Main Stream Media Responsible for the Serious Injury and Death of Police Officers?

The following article was originally published on OpsLens.com on Oct 24th, 2016.

By Chris Wagoner:

Being in law enforcement for 34+ years now while still teaching new police officers at the academy level, I cringe every time I read or hear on the news of another officer being ambushed or shot just because they were a cop. And recently it is happening too often. I read as many reports and news articles as possible regarding police shootings and deaths, in order to learn and be as up to date on tactics and issues to then relay to my students. But after reading one article the other day, all I could do was shake my head and wonder how much more of these types of attacks are we going to see before people have had enough and demand better from their media sources?

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I read about a police officer in Chicago who was savagely beaten because she hesitated to use her firearm on a suspect that was beating her head against the pavement smashing it over and over.

Chicago Police Department Superintendent Eddie Johnson said the officer, a 17-year veteran of the force, knew she should shoot the attacker but hesitated because “she didn’t want her family or the department to go through the scrutiny the next day on the national news,” the Chicago Tribune reported.

When police worry more about what will happen to them after the shooting rather than saving their own life at the time, then something is seriously wrong. Why are cops starting to worry more about what “might” happen to them after the shooting than protecting themselves during an attack?

It’s because of the “Ferguson Effect”, a term that references the St. Louis suburb where a police officer shot and killed a suspect that was trying to attack him. But because of the way the shooting was covered and portrayed in the news, people who knew nothing about the actual shooting itself, or the details, began to riot and a movement was born. One that calls for, among other things the death of police officers. The media called the Ferguson Shooting “The shooting of an unarmed black teenager” when in reality it was the shooting of an 18 year-old adult, black male, who was 6’4” tall and weighed 294 pounds. Who when he was shot was charging at the police officer to attack him, again, having already done so once. It was all in the way the media portrayed the suspect and the officer and conveniently left out certain facts of the case when had they described it and simply stated the facts instead of choosing the most inflammatory way of describing it they could, things may have turned out different.

Now because of that incident, and the others that have followed, the media has continued to try to fan the flames of racial divide, the “Black Lives Matter” movement was born. A movement of people who seem to forget that when you single out a race or ethnic group for special or favored treatment, you are devaluing by default the other groups. The BLM movement has since then become violent and contributed to many riots, injuries and possibly deaths. What would happen if someone tried to start a “White Lives Matter” group? Would they be called racist? Of course they would, and rightfully so. There is no need to single out any single race or ethnic background for specialized treatment. Cops do not go out and single out this or that racial group to target. When you patrol a black neighborhood like I did for a number of years in Pompano Beach Florida, I arrested many more black suspects than white suspects. If someone had gone back and looked at my arrest statistics and seen that I arrested 90% blacks and 10% whites, when looked at by itself that would seem to indicate a problem, and that I was “targeting” blacks, when in reality, I was simply around more blacks than whites during my day. But the media would be able to bend the truth to meet their agenda of fanning the flames of racial divide. The headlines would read “Dep. Wagoner found to be racist! He arrests 90% blacks compared to 10% whites and others!” when in reality none of that is true except the numbers.

As a trainer of law enforcement officers today, I try to stress to the new officers that they do not need to worry about what the media says about what they do. If they are acting within the law and within the policies of their department, they will be fine. But that is still in the back of their mind and that can be deadly! And it’s because of how the media portrayed one event and then the next and so on.

I think that if the media did what they are supposed to do, report the facts without agendas, things could and would be different. But that is not going to happen anytime soon. Think about this, if the media can fan the flames of racial divide and cause riots and personal injury to anyone, who gets to report that? The media of course. One of the things the media is not supposed to do is create the news, but that is exactly what they are doing. They are portraying one side of a story in such a negative light that it is perpetuating the story itself and creating more news.

In light of these types of officer incidents, it is important for people to understand that you cannot take for granted that a story about an officer, or anything for that matter, is being given to you in full and unfiltered fashion. If people would demand the same type of transparency of the media as they are crying for of the police agencies and officers, then maybe we would get a better picture of what happened at a scene, more of a “294 pound, 6’4” suspect attacks officer and is shot” type of story. What they are doing is not reporting, it is dramatizing an incident to create more news. Shame on mainstream media!