I read the Mail Room letter from a NOPD SWAT member, and was surprised by one of his comments in this paragraph regarding gun confiscation in post Katrina NO:
Was that officer unaware of these scenes from New Orleans, when he made that statement?
NO Gun confiscation Scroll down to "Cramer has a copy..." Then click on the video clip.
And the more famous video of Patricia Konie in her kitchen.
While I don't doubt this officer's statement that "Officers, including myself, gave firearms to those who stayed behind," I was disappointed that SWAT's response was purely one of an "attaboy" for this officer (although it was certainly deserved in his case), without also providing some context and some of the details from the accounts of gun confiscation and mishandling of NO citizens by California Highway Patrol officers.
On another internet forum that is dominated by active and retired military, LEO, and independent contractors, I asked a question about the response of an IC, if given an order that appeared to be unconstitutiional, as this gun confiscation order was. Although I was interested in finding out the legal ramifications of an IC response in a relatively new situation on domestic ground, I took an internet asskicking by a couple of the members for even daring to question these orders.
One of the LEO's suggested that I'de wetting my pants if I had to spend time in New Orleans, knowing what was taking place there (thereby justifying that order, I suppose). My response was to ask what course of action any current LEO or military member would take, if a family member called them from NO to say "The city is in chaos, there's no law and order, and now the police have told me to hand over my firearms. What should I do?" How anyone could defend that order is beyond me.
I recognize that many of SWAT Magazine's readers (unlike myself) actually are SWAT members and LEO officers, so I'm guessing that the behavior of the CHP officers in question may be a topic that your magazine may not want to touch. That said however, those incidents have provided some very instructive lessons for Americans in any number of topics from disaster preparedness to self defense, and in some cases, will be fought out in courts of law for some time. While I applaud that officer's actions, I was disappointed that your magazine left the reader with the impression that every officer on the scene was there to help, when in fact we now know that wasn't the case.
I hope this doesn't begin a new "cop bashing" thread, and while I'm sure I'll get flamed over some of these comments, I felt these were points worth making.
Thanks for the response Denny. I don't doubt this officer's sincerity in his letter at all, and applaud him for doing what he did. It's too bad more stories like that didn't surface, as opposed to the response I got on that other forum. That LEO's position was essentially that once an order is given (regardless of it's illegality), it's going to be carried out. That's more than just a little disturbing, as were those video's.
I share the opinion of Claire Wolfe, also put very well in the March issue, that "Many people who criticize police are actually pro-police... that want policing to be all it can be." Thanks for another well written and insightful issue, one that gave me my money's worth.