Bad Apples & Only Ones Close to Home
Boulder City, Nevada is just a bit south of Las Vegas. It’s one of only two places in Nevada where gambling isn’t legal and until recently was also one of the few places where firearms not being carried with a concealed carry permit were required to be unloaded and cased – unless you wore a uniform. Statewide preemption of firearms laws a couple of years ago allowed for the open carry of firearms by civilians, but not much else has changed.
So, you ask, what’s this got to do with bad apples? Well, it just so happens that one of those people who were the only ones previously trusted to carry firearms openly due to his wearing of a uniform has just been arrested and charged with multiple felonies. One of those felonies was burglary while in possession of a firearm.
According to lasvegasnow.com, Chief Constable Larry Markotay was arrested back on 22 February 2010 for driving under the influence and leaving the scene of an accident. During the course of his arrest, the arresting officers found a few guns in the car and traced one of them back to a recent burglary.
Folks, I’m one of the guys out there who actually likes cops for the most part. Remember – Dad was California Highway Patrol for over thirty years. I’ve heard both sides between Dad, his co-workers, and the kids at school. Quite a bit of the time, I look at both sides of an issue and side with the cops. If you’ve never read LawDog, you should. He’s a Texas LEO (Law Enforcement Officer) with an interesting background who tells it like it is with a sense of humor. Often they’re out there either by themselves or with only one partner and backup is a long ways off. They’re doing a tough job that lots of people would shudder to think of taking on themselves. They’re the ones running to the sound of trouble. They go door to door in wildfires to make sure residents have evacuated.
Still, like any group out there, you’ll find a few bad ones in with all the good ones. This goes for law enforcement just as much as it does for your co-workers or the population of your high school.
David Codrea’s blog, The War on Guns, features many stories of the bad apples in the bunch. He’s not out to say that cops are evil or that all cops are bad. As David says on his blog:
I emailed David a link to the story and he published his take on it along with including a link over to this blog for which I’m very thankful. I can’t say I disagree with David at all.
I’ve been known to carry a 9mm on my hip quite often lately and most places it gets about as much attention as a black hole in a distant galaxy. Heck, in Bass Pro Shops the only reason I knew anybody even noticed it was that they thought I was an employee and asked me questions that I did my best to answer. But this is Nevada and the people here seem to have a bit of common sense.
That thousands of people in Nevada and other states do the same thing on a daily basis without any “blood in the streets” or “gunfights at high noon” doesn’t matter to groups like the Brady Center (you’ll have to google it – I’m not giving them a link) who would have you believe that government agents such as police and military members should be allowed to carry guns and then only while on duty. I’ve never agreed with this and I’ll continue to fight that idea as long as anyone tries to advance it.
One of the best examples I can give you, aside from stories like former Chief Constable Markotay and David Codrea’s Only Ones, is the following video of a law enforcement officer in a school classroom.
That officer’s name is Lee Paige and he was (and possibly still is) a member of the DEA. A good article on the incident can be found at The Smoking Gun along with Mr. Paige’s lawsuit against the DEA. He didn’t like the fact that he was the butt of jokes and the target of ridicule after the tape was released. Oh yeah, my heart bleeds </snark>. And before anyone says I don’t know what that’s like, I can assure you that I most definitely do. One of these days, I’ll post the whole story about yours truly, a shotgun, a couple of co-workers, and a kitchen sink in the desert. Nobody was seriously injured (they didn’t even require a band aid), but I’ll never forget the lessons I learned from that incident nor will anyone ever let me forget it, either.
But at least I never said that I’m the only one who should carry a means of defense. I hope everyone who can come to terms with the ultimate responsibility of carrying a firearm and who is committed to doing so in a responsible manner actually does so.
I’d have to say that while I’m appalled at Mr. Markotay’s behavior, I applaud the Boulder City Police for doing their job regardless of who the person might be who’s on the wrong end of the law. Just because someone is a cop or a politician doesn’t mean they’re not subject to the same laws as an average citizen who works in construction, hospitality, tech support, or any other field.
There’s no reason for them to be the only ones with regard to much of anything. The only ones with lights and sirens? Sure. They need to get to the scene of the crime or accident as quickly as possible – I have no problem with that. The only ones with badges and uniforms? I’ll go along with that – there are a few things cops do for us that the average citizen can’t – like serving search warrants and pulling over speeding motorists in which case official identification is a good thing.
But allowing them to be the only ones with a legal means of effective of self defense against those who don’t care about the law in the first place? No, sorry, I can’t agree with that. It’s just plain stupid and goes against my interests in self preservation and has proven to be a source of easy targets for the bad guys.
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