Wednesday, February 22, 2012


I'm going to say something here that is going to raise some hackles. Then I'm going to explain my statements and, hopefully, make everyone buy it. Here we go. Ready?

Buy a gun. Get a bat. Own some weapon and have enough skill to use it to save your own life and the lives of your family members. DO NOT RELY ON THE POLICE TO SAVE YOUR LIFE FOR YOU.

Wait. What's this? What heresy are you speaking of? Officer Smith, are you really telling me not to rely on the police to protect me? What about that "Protect and Serve" horse shit plastered all over the sides of their patrol cars? Aren't they SUPPOSED to protect me?

Now, let me explain.

Suppose some bad guy comes into your driveway and starts to attack you. When you (or perhaps your hopefully observant neighbor) call 911, what happens? The phone rings in some dispatch center and hopefully gets answered immediately. Now, let's assume for simplicity's sake that you are calling from your own home phone and your call is actually going to your local police. Remember that if you call 911 from your cell phone the call is usually routed to a mobile 911 call center, not to mention they will have the added chore of figuring out where you are if you're unable to tell them yourself.

Anyway, your call in this scenario is answered by your local police and a call taker begins collecting information from you such as your location, the type of emergency and what response is required. Elapsed time so far while you're getting your ass kicked: 2 minutes.

Now the call goes to a dispatcher who has to read the call, decide which officer(s) to send, and dispatch the call. On a good day: probably another minute.

So now you've been fighting for your life, or more likely laying there being beaten upon, for three minutes. The police are on the way. If an officer is immediately in your neighborhood, you may get a response within a minute or two. With four officers covering your entire city, figure 5 minutes is more likely. So you've now been under attack for 8 minutes. And that is under ideal circumstances. Longer times are far more likely. If your attacker is using a weapon of some sort you are most likely already dead or dying if that was their intent. Otherwise, they have most likely made whatever point it was they were trying to make and they have probably fled the scene. At this point the police arrive and find your bloody, beaten carcass in your driveway.

Where were the police? Why didn't they protect me? This is unacceptable! This is an outrage!

The police cannot be everywhere at all times. It takes time for you to get help when you call 911.

If the news this morning is any indication, people simply cannot grasp this concept. Berkeley cops arrived too late to save a man who was being beaten in his driveway. Now Berkeley residents are all in a tizzy because they think the police response was inadequate.

The response may not have been adequate to some people. But it was as fast as they were able to get there under the circumstances.

There were a lot of things conspiring against a good outcome in this situation. The police were short handed because of the occupy protesters. The neighbor who called was not clear to the call taker about what was happening. Who knows what else was happening at the time.

There are many other things that can cause a delay in police response. You may be in a fight and unable to talk to tell the call taker what's happening. Your neighbor who is calling for you may be hysterical and unable to tell the call taker what's happening. The call might be coming from a cell phone, which can add several minutes while the call is transferred to your local police. You may not even have a phone with you.

The bottom line is this. If you're depending on us, the police, to save your ass in any foreseeable situation, you're deluding yourself. You need to be able to protect and defend YOURSELF. Then, after you have taken care of business, you can call us to come clean up the mess. That way it'll be the person who attacked you who is bleeding in your driveway, instead of you.

Folks used to understand this, once upon a time. There has never been a time when the police would magically appear at the snap of your fingers. In fact, modern technology has made police response MUCH faster than it was at any time in the past. But people have somehow forgotten over the years that it is first YOUR responsibility to protect yourself. People have gotten soft, and come to the conclusion that any violence on their part is a bad thing. They don't want to be responsible for an injury to another person, no matter what that other person is doing unto them.

If you are such a person, I cannot help you. You have already come to your own conclusions. You have already decided you are just going to sit there and take whatever beating you're going to get. You have decided it's better to be submissive and hope you don't get hurt. You have decided the police are responsible for coming to your rescue. You're an idiot.

I believe every person should be armed with something, even if it's just some sort of training on how to use their fists and feet to protect themselves. If you are attacked, DO SOMETHING! Be self sufficient!

Even under ideal circumstances, by the time we get there it'll probably already be too late...


MJ said...

I so could not agree with you more.

TechnicalBuddha said...

Thank you very much for posting this.

I have been considering getting a sidearm for a while now, but have been worrying over scenarios where I would have to use it.

This post here brought a lot of peace to my mind on the matter.

Jake said...

I agree with everything you wrote. Its so refreshing to read it.

However, at least part of the reason we've gotten to this point is that the police for years now have endlessly repeated "don't take matters into your own hands, call us." Many even advocate giving in to criminals to avoid getting hurt. Statements like "its just a purse, its not worth it" have done more harm than good. Meanwhile citizens have been de-armed by the gov't (especially here in in Calif.)over the past 60 years.

The result has been to create a society that is dependent on police.

Southern Belle said...

Great post, Officer and thank you for what you do.

Rev. Paul said...

Well said; thank you.

Larry said...

It's not that people are not willing to defend themselves, it's that they have been trained not to...and then when they do, they end up getting charged for the crime of not being a victim.
My CCW class was not about weapons handling. It was about the legal ramifications of having to actually use my weapon to defend my life or the life of another.
Thank you for the job you do Officer "Smith".

Older School said...

Well said, Officer Smith.
People don't realize that when the Supreme court affirmed our 2nd amendment right to bear arms (McDonald et al v. city of Chicago)it also pointed out that the police have no duty to protect us because it is an impossible feat. That ruling also was clear in stating that every citizen has the right to have a gun in their home for self protection.

People also have the misconception that 911 is this magic cure all. Calling from a cell phone does NOT give your exact location and it wastes precious time plugging in map coordinates just to get CLOSE to you. If your cell phone signal bounces off a tower in an adjoining jurisdiction, don't be surprised if you're transferred to the appropriate agency. Only land lines can give an address and correct jurisdictions. Even that system is not without its faults.

If the call center person asks you questions, they're doing it for a reason. It doesn't slow down the response time by staying on the phone and giving them adequate information that first responders need.

I'm with you....arm yourself for self defense and defense of your family.

HonkingAntelope said...

Officer, will this cover it? Hehehe.

P.S. iPhone camera sucks.

agirlandhergun said...


Phil said...

The shooting at Virginia Tech was a tragic example of this. The police were standing over the dead body of the shooter in under ten minutes, but 30 innocent people had already been killed. It was one of the very fastest SWAT response times on record. The police do a great job, but you are exactly right; they probably will only arrive in time to take pictures and fill out reports. I would like to be conscious when they arrive, so I keep a weapon handy as often as legally possible.

michaelm_ski said...

your article on owning s weapon is accurate , people do need to be armed and trained to be the best they can be with their weapon . The police have had so many budget cuts and are stretched to their limits and undermanned , so you must use your rights to protect your property and family as well as self and the rest of the unprotected innocent public against loss of life . Great article Officer Smith .

Krysta in MKE said...

I think I'm in love.
Can we clone you & spread you across the US?

Would you at least find some anti-self-defense people & force them to read this post? (People like supporters of the Joyce Foundation & Brady Campaign.)

This is so common-sense, yet many people want to ignore the obvious, which you have stated clearly & plainly.
I don't know how many times, in talking with someone who can't understand why I carry a pistol for self-defense, their answer (with finality) is "I'll just call the police".

Bomber said...

It's sad that you have to explain this.

Tango Juliet said...

Good advice! I agree wholeheartedly!

And once you've picked your weapon(s), PRACTICE!!!

Scott McCray said...

Thank you - I'll be sharing this.

"I carry because a whole cop is too heavy" - often said in jest, but very true.

(Subscribed and linked)

Randy said...

exactly what i say

Felix Estrella said...

Preach it! Now, we also need a "Castle Doctrine" in CA.

Kim said...

Very well said! Thank you!

Shellback26 said...

When seconds count the police are only minutes away.

Some say that sarcastically, some as a jab at the police.

But what it is is simple reality.

Officer Smith really wishes he could be there instantaneously to drag that crack head off of you, but he ain't got no Star Trek transporter.

Mad Jack said...

I found this via Older School's blog, The P.O.P. Factor. This is great stuff and should be read by everyone. I'm glad you wrote it, and so offer a tip of the old fedora and a hoist of my bourbon glass to you, Officer.

Hopefully you've planted a seed that somewhere down the line will save a life.

Unknown said...

Dude. You may be the ONLY police officer, next to my cousin, who has ever truly made sense about self-defense and police work. I like you.

I agree that people have gotten soft. And that police are doing all they can. I really have come to believe that a lot of the inadequacy falls upon the people who seeks to shift accountability from their own shoulders. That's called throwing away your own freedom.

Fantastic post, Officer.

Tom AK said...

How many times have the Jack Booted Thugs, er Berkeley Police Department asked for funding for more police, more cars, more dispatchers, better equipment and been turned down by the community? And what were the expecting?

You get the policing you ask for.

The Neophyte said...

Wow, well said Officer Smith. Thank you for saying what so many others refuse to admit. It is OUR responsibility to protect ourselves first and foremost.

kinginyellow said...

Great post. Thanks for writing this. This very topic is why I decided to recently buy gun. Luckily I live in a state that does not give me any shit for having one.

Wandering Soul said...

A very well-written post and I could not agree more!! Every single law-abiding citizen should be armed and should exercise the right to defend themselves when necessary. Those that think otherwise are idiots.

Snowman said...

Rock on! I'm glad to know someone in Cali thinks like that. I completly agree.

DL said...

thank you for this information. Hopefully it helps a lot more people.

Jonathan Sullivan said...

Your awesome. As a Gun owner in the Bay Area I am constantly encountering people who can't believe I have guns and hollow point ammunition. They always say the same thing, "what are you do you have that for?". "Could you really shoot someone?"

You really hit the nail on the head, people think defending themselves with against force with force is bad. I always ask them, "Could you really stand there while your loved ones are being harmed and console yourself with some perverted moral high ground?"

Teri said...

I agree wholeheartedly with everything you just said.

The problem comes when people read about situations like that guy in New Hampshire who shot at the ground to get a burglar to stop, held the burglar at gun point til the cops got there, then was arrested along with the burglar for his troubles.

Or they read about the guy who protected himself by shooting an assailant. He found himself arrested, being unable to post bail he was thrown in jail. While in jail, his apartment managers threw him out of his home and disposed of his possessions.

Reading about situations like that make people who otherwise would do exactly what you said should be done, cower and wait for the police.

EMC said...

Thank you for explaining this from the LE perspective! Excellent.

Officer "Smith" said...

@ Jake - "don't take matters into your own hands, call us." is spouted by some police CHIEFS, not by many police OFFICERS.

@ Antelope - Yeah, that'll do nicely. A rifle would be a good addition though.

@ All - The folks who get in trouble for using their guns to protect themselves usually get in trouble because they overstepped their bounds. If you shoot someone in your house, you're golden. If you chase them down the street and shoot them, not so much. If I recall correctly, the guy who fired a round into the ground did so when the burglar was outside the house and not a direct threat. I'm not advocating shooting anyone who comes to take your stuff. I'm saying if someone is trying to kill you or yours, make sure they don't get the opportunity.

Jake said...

@Felix. California does have a "castle doctrine." Been on the books since 1850. See penal code 198.5:

"Any person using force intended or likely to cause death or great bodily injury within his or her residence shall be presumed to have held a reasonable fear of imminent peril of death or great bodily injury to self, family, or a member of the household when that force is used against another person, not a member of the family or household, who unlawfully and forcibly enters or has unlawfully and forcibly entered the residence and the person using the force knew or had reason to believe that an unlawful and forcible entry occurred."

RiverRat57 said...

Officer Smith,
What are your thoughts on us Road Warriors(OTR truckdrivers) protecting ourselves?? The company I drive for has a NO WEAPONS policy, knives or guns, I carry both, I have a CCW permit from my home state & travel the lower 48states.
Great post!!!!
This is my home defense collection,

Burnout said...

Love it! that's what we tell people out here is to just buy a gun and go to the range, we tell them on average it'll take us 10 minutes at minimum to get there even if it's a high priority call unless they call dispatch directly.

Raji said...

Nice blogs.Your sense of humor, straightforwardness and dedication to duty are to be praised.

Thanks for sharing a lot of nuggets of information.


Officer "Smith" said...

@ Burnout - I'm sure you know the risks of violating your company's policies, and I'm sure you take those risks into consideration when choosing to have to ability to protect yourself. You have decided that your life is more important than your job, and I agree.

As long as you comply with the law in your carriage of weapons, I have no objections to truckers being armed.

Tazi said...

Great Post! I wish there were more officers with the same attitude. @ riverrat57 I got pulled in at Cordelia for an inspection. Not thinking I opened my door and forgot to take my bayonet out of the map pocket. I learned a knife with a blade over I believe 3" is illegal in CA. if carried on your person. Naturally I had to honestly answer the next question, Yes there were other weapons in the truck 40 cal. auto in the back of the sleeper. (I did think to toss it as far back as possible! In the end Large knife in truck OK just don't carry it. Weapon was returned with LARGE zip tie through mag well action and barrel. I was from CO at the time and could carry exposed weapon most anywhere. Was told to keep weapon and ammo in SEPARATE compartments,can't access ammo and weapon at the same time ????? Asked if his was loaded and if so why? Was curious why I couldn't have ability to protect myself and 40,000lbs of steak? Told them my unloaded gun was Very inaccurate when used as a rock. Was let go with warning to not get caught again. Uncomfortable two hours. Be careful in CA with any weapon!

Caitlin Ricci said...

Absolutely well said. I refuse to be one of those people laying there after an attack. I've been there. I'm not doing that again. Erica