By: Friedrich Seiltgen
In the aftermath of the Parkland, Florida shooting, the gun control hysteria rages on. The blame has been put on President Trump, Dana Loesch, the NRA, Republicans, and even the rifle itself.
The Obama administration told us it was about gun control after the Sandy Hook and Pulse Nightclub shootings. Cries for more gun control likewise reached a fever pitch after the Las Vegas massacre last October. And the Florida legislature told us it’s all about gun control when they passed a feel-good bill last month denying adults under the age of 21 their right to purchase a firearm.
It’s not gun control or the lack thereof that’s to blame for these tragedies. We had laws in place to prevent the Parkland atrocity. It was the failure of local, county, state, and federal agencies to do their job that created the perfect storm for shooter Nikolas Jacob Cruz to carry out his heinous acts. The office of Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel responded to the Cruz home repeatedly. Had they done their job and arrested Cruz on domestic violence charges, his gun-owning privileges would have been revoked via the Lautenberg Amendment.
Israel, who should know better, told us it’s about gun control as he tried to cover up his department’s failures after the shooting. His statements are in line with the International Association of Chiefs of Police’s (IACP) Position Paper on Firearm Violence – a gun grabber’s dream.
IACP’s position calls for a firearms purchase waiting period, eliminating the so-called “gun show loophole,” and an assault weapons ban. Included in this paper is a claim that the 1992 assault weapons ban worked, which even the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) admits is not true. A CDC review found the ban had no measurable impact on gun violence, and when the ban expired, the violent crime rate and the homicide rate continued its downward trend.
As a retired law enforcement officer (LEO) and firearms trainer myself, I can tell you the majority of rank and file LEOs are pro-gun. So why do these police chiefs and sheriffs repeatedly profess support for gun control?
It’s because with few exceptions, they are no longer LEOs, but politicians. They are no longer concerned with law enforcement, but are looking to advance their power, prestige, influence, and paychecks.
Former Orlando Police Chief Val Demings was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 2016 after 27 years with the Orlando Police Department and immediately started calling for more gun control.
In May 2017, after Demings called for more gun control, a Facebook commenter made a reference to Demings’ service weapon being stolen from her unmarked city vehicle in 2009, and her response was telling:
Demings also recently introduced a new bill, the Safe Communities and Safe Schools Act, which would prevent the Trump administration from using anti-terrorism funding to give guns to educators. If teachers want to be armed and are trained, they would be a formidable force against active shooters. As the saying goes, “When seconds count, the police are minutes away.” But it’s clear Demings cares more about the optics of her actions than she does about keeping kids safe.
During my 20 years as a policeman, I can happily tell you the likes of Scott Israel and Val Demings are the exception. As I said, most LEOs are pro-Second Amendment. Why, you ask? First of all, they swore an oath to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution. Secondly, any LEO who is honest will tell you there aren’t enough officers to cover the areas they’re assigned to patrol.
Police are outnumbered, and citizens may be forced to defend themselves until law enforcement arrives. The police generally appreciate concealed weapons permit holders who go through training and know when LEOs arrive, they should secure their weapon to prevent any confusion of problems. I have responded to burglary calls in which citizens have scared-off criminals because they were armed and willing to use deadly force if necessary, and I can honestly say I appreciate those citizens who took the proper initiative.
The number of citizens with concealed carry licenses has grown, and H.R.38, the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act, is working its way through Congress. The law would allow concealed carry permit holders reciprocity in all 50 states, which I think would be a great thing. While on duty, I frequently asked people why they carried concealed. The majority cited personal protection as their main reason for carrying. My favorite answer came from a man who told me, “I carry a gun because a cop is too heavy.”
If progressives really want to do something constructive about gun violence (they don’t), then they need to punish criminals. The same leftists who profess a desire to eliminate gun violence are the same people who have deliberately broken the justice system. According to records, the Broward County Sheriff’s Office dealt with Nikolas Cruz at least 45 times. Young criminals do not fear law enforcement, because the juvenile justice system is completely broken, and offenders get off with a slap on the wrist.
To be effective, the criminal justice system needs leaders. It needs sheriffs and chiefs of police who are dedicated to serving, protecting, and upholding the law, and making our criminal justice system effective, not furthering their own political career. The next time you hear someone like Israel or Demings profess the need for more gun control on TV, or make other, similar politicized statements, remember that he or she is in an elected position.
Friedrich Seiltgen is a retired Patrol Officer with 20 years of service with the Orlando Police Department. He currently conducts training in Lone Wolf Terrorism, firearms, and law enforcement vehicle operations in Florida. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photo Credit: WikiCommons