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.
Unlike some professions, people do not realize that when a cop misbehaves, they can be punished more than the average citizen in many cases. Cops who do wrong on purpose are even fewer, but when caught, they can be punished by their department, by the courts, and fined civilly in court also. Losing their job is not unheard of, either. All one has to do is look in the news for examples of cops that have done something wrong and been arrested or punished.
In Florida, we have the Criminal Justice Standards and Training Commission that governs all police officers in the state at all levels. If a cop screws up in Florida, they “go before the board” to sentencing of anything from not guilty and no punishment to losing their police license for life. We try to do a good job of policing our own, and we like to think we do a fairly good job of it.
But just how many cops really screw up and get in this kind of trouble? There were roughly 550 officers in Florida that were disciplined for some kind of offense in 2015, per the FDLE/CJSTC Officer Discipline Report. Even with that many, I still think that the men and women in law enforcement as a whole are good people. When I call 911, I want one of them to respond.
So, what does this have to do with anything? What could this possibly have to do with concealed weapons license holders or self-defense?
Many of the arguments opposing things like “campus carry” and “open carry” are based on the belief that there will be tons of people waving guns all over the place. People will be getting in shootouts left and right, and God forbid we pass “campus carry” so our drunken “children” in college will be shooting it up at frat parties! I have to laugh when I hear people say how such incidents will be the norm if we pass such laws.
What they fail to realize is that the citizens who obtained a concealed carry permit are even more law abiding than the police officers they call for help. In fact, not just more law abiding, but by a FACTOR OF 6 TIMES MORE LAW ABIDING! What? You mean that concealed firearms license holders are more law abiding than our cops? The simple answer is yes, by far.
After reading the above information on our police officers and their discipline, we looked at the number of officers that were disciplined for committing a crime that would result in their certification as a police officer being revoked, and compared this statistic to concealed carry firearms license holders, and how many of those have had their CWL taken away because they committed a crime. What we found was very surprising: CWL holders are 6 times LESS LIKELY to commit a serious crime than the police officers you trust with your life and that of your family’s.
So, why are so many of the anti-gun types fearful of those that carry firearms lawfully, if statistics contract there being anything to be fearful of? It’s because they do not look at the entire set of facts before making a decision on something. I would be willing to bet that CWL holders are one of THE MOST law abiding demographics in the country. Here is a group of people that have gone through background checks, spent money, been fingerprinted, sworn that they do not abuse drugs or alcohol among some things. How many of your friends that are not CWL holders can you really confirm to have clean backgrounds?
I find it seriously flawed logic and thinking when a business owner posts a sign on the front of their business saying that they do not want lawfully carrying and licensed firearms owners in their stores. First, any of their customers with a CWL has been screened as mentioned above. What can they say about their other customers? In addition, the business owner is announcing to the criminal world that the chances of one of the customers in the store being armed and able to fight back is slim. Better for the criminals, don’t you think? Might as well post a sign that says, “Criminals Welcome, no one here will fight back or shoot at you, so feel free to rob us!”
Instead, some businesses have gotten smart and posted pro-CWL signs, even going to the point of offering discounts to CWL holders to attract more of them. Why? It shows solidarity with the segment of people that believe in your rights, but even more important, it’s a warning to the criminal element that “Our customers may be armed, it’s even a good chance they are, and if you try to rob us, you may very well be shot!”
I know which store I am going to spend my money in. And maybe if business owners thought it out a little more, they might not be so quick to alienate the 1.7 MILLION CWL holders in Florida!
Chris Wagoner is an OpsLens Contributor and U.S. Army Veteran . He has been in law enforcement the last 35+ years. He specializes in LE Firearms Instruction, and is in charge of a large Police Academy in North Florida. In his spare time Chris is a free-lance Military Reporter and owner/founder of the Largest Military Videos Channel on YouTube “3rdID8487”.