Saturday, March 1, 2008

Do NOT support AZ Fraternal Order of Police

First of all, let me specify that I have great respect for the majority of Police Officers who put their lives on the line on a daily basis for all of us, and I do have friends who are Police Officers. Not all Police Officers are members of an FOP organization, and not all members of the AZ FOP are against AZ SB 1214. With that out of the way, I'll continue:

Last night I received my annual phone call from the Arizona Fraternal Order of Police requesting my usual annual donation. Due to the fact that I had only recently in ASTONISHMENT listened to the Arizona Fraternal Order of Police President Bryan Soller speak AGAINST Arizona SB 1214 on behalf of the AZ FOP on Feb 18th, in so doing trampling under foot the preexisting but Second Amendment PROTECTED Right to bear arms of all law abiding Arizona Citizens, I respectfully declined their request, and stated my reasoning for their record.

Bryan Soller's testimony against SB 1214 took place at the Feb 18th, 2008 Arizona Senate Judiciary Hearing. His testimony begins at the 0hr:40min:10sec mark of the archived video. Or you can listen to the audio of just his testimony in mp3 format: Bryan_Soller.mp3. During his testimony he also answered questions from members of the AZ Senate Judiciary Committee: Senator Johnson, Senator Gould, and Committee Chairman: Senator Gray.

Until the AZ FOP reverses this stance against the Constitution that its members have all sworn to protect, I can in no way continue to support it. If the organization will reverse its current stance, then I will gladly resume contributions. I urge any of you who are in favor of protecting your right to bear arms to contact your local FOP organization & find out exactly how they stand on the critical issues relating to the 2nd Amendment before you give any further donations.

Below is an E-mail that I sent to AZ FOP President Bryan Soller via the e-mail address listed on their site. If I receive a response I'll post it here as an update:

As a long time supporter of the Arizona FOP & Police Officers in general I was astonished to sit in the Senate Judiciary Hearing on Monday Feb 18th & hear you testify against SB 1214 on behalf of the entire Arizona FOP, joining with the Chiefs of Police in essentially saying that only the Police & Criminals should be allowed to be armed in Arizona school "gun free zones" (yes, I know criminals can only be armed while breaking the law, but surprise - that's what criminals & crazies do), essentially stating that law abiding American Citizens who are not Police Officers do not deserve their 2nd Amendment protected right to bear arms for use in defense of themselves & their families or friends while in so-called "gun free zones". The speeches of yourself & those of the Chiefs of Police reminded me a bit of Gorge Orwell's "Animal Farm" where a certain class of the animals in charge changed the Bill of Rights to read "All animals are equal but some are more equal than others"

One question I have is the following - who was involved in the decision for AZ FOP to be officially against SB 1214? Was it brought to a vote of the entire Arizona FOP membership, or was it simply a vote of the Arizona FOP board members?

Police Officers carry weapons for protection of themselves, their families, and the community, & many choose to have their weapon with them at all times on duty or off, at home or while visiting a school. Why should I be required to rely only on my cell phone & 911 with a response time of 3 to 15 minutes while I'm in a so-called "gun free zone"? When seconds count, the Police are only minutes away, so by the time Police arrive all that may be left to do is make chalk lines & gather evidence. I carry my weapon everywhere but gun free zones because it is easier than carrying a Police Officer. In an emergency I will dial 911 to request assistance, but if the Police are not able to arrive in time I will protect my family myself the best I can with the most effective tools at my disposal. If I happen to be in a "gun free zone" the only tool I'll have is a MOP or a BROOM from the janitorial closet. I've always thought it is unwise to bring a MOP to a gunfight, but that's just my opinion. I'm the true first responder to a situation that happens to me, Police will arrive 2nd.

I'm not expecting to change your mind on this issue, but I did want to share with you the viewpoint of myself and many of my fellow citizens who support the Bill of Rights. I have a high respect for Police Officers, and have multiple friends who are (2 are officers for the City of Peoria, 1 for City of Surprise, and 1 AZ DPS officer). My Police Officer friends are avid supporters of the 2nd Amendment and although I have not yet specifically discussed SB 1214 with them I would be surprised if they are not in full support of SB 1214. I expected the Chiefs of Police to say what they did as they are merely politically appointed employees of the universities they represented & were required say what their employer wanted them to say. All of the Police Officers that I know on the other hand support the Constitution as well as its second amendment, something I don't expect from a University run by elitists or their appointed Chief or Police, but I do expect it from the Police Officers that walk the streets putting their life on the line to protect all of us as well as the Constitution they are sworn to protect, real every day Police Officers which I would expect to be comprising the majority of an organization like the AZ FOP.

Today I received my annual call from the AZ FOP asking for my usual monetary donation. I respectfully declined for the first time & specified the AZ FOP stance against my beloved US constitution, specifically its stance against AZ SB 1214, as my reason why I will no longer be supporting the AZ FOP organization. The caller then actually asked me "What, do you want everyone to be able to be running around with guns at schools?" & My answer was "YES! If they're a law abiding citizen 21 years or older, and have gone through the process to get their CCW permit, why not?"

Thanks for your time & consideration of my viewpoints.

PS: Many who testified against SB 1214 argued that Police would be confused or have too much time wasted when arriving at the scene to find more than one person with a gun. Here are my counter points:

1) Police are already trained on how to engage someone with a weapon & know that they can't assume a person with a gun is the "bad guy" (it could be an armed citizen or an off duty or undercover Police Officer for example). I don't know the specifics, but I imagine rules of engagement are something like this: "Freeze! Drop your weapon!" - the good guys or gals will obey, but the perp will likely do one of three things:
a) Run
b) Start shooting at the Police
c) shoot him or herself

2) Most likely the "gun fight" between one or more civilians & the perp will be over before Police arrive, as most gun fights last less than a minute. Either the perp will be subdued or shot, or the armed civilian or civilians will be among the victim count. But at least they will have had a fighting chance. Even if Police do happen to arrive before the fight is over, see #1 above.

For examples of #1 above look at the Principal in Pearl Mississippi who stopped the perp before he could hit the 2nd school he was driving to next. Look at the law school in Virginia where 2 students got their guns from their cars, challenged the perp to have him drop his weapon, after which a bunch of unarmed students subdued the Perp & held him down while waiting for Police to arrive. Or the CCW permit carrier at the church in CO who stopped the perp with her concealed weapon & the perp then shot himself before Police could arrive.

For an example of #2 above look at the off duty police officer in the Utah Trolley Square Mall who kept the perp busy in a gun fight until Police arrived to take the bad guy out. Think of how many lives these examples of armed people in the right place at the right time saved. So vastly different from VT, Columbine, etc. where all the good guys & gals were disarmed by a foolish "gun free zone" policy and left to fall victim to the perp or perps until the perps decided they had killed enough victims & decided to take themselves out either before Police went in, or when they knew Police were coming in.


Robocop said...

No surprises here. Most of the people running the FOP are police chiefs, who are appointed by liberal mayors.

Dustin said...

That is interesting due to the fact that the Police Chiefs already have their own organization, and the AZ FOP President stated that his group represents the "rank & file officers" - if it is true that the AZ FOP is run primarily by Chiefs of Police than it would seem to cast doubt on his statement that he represents the rank & file officers of the AZ FOP. I still have not received a reply to my E-mail with the question of exactly how the AZ FOP came to oppose the legislation (vote of all AZ FOP members or only a vote of the board of directors)

Anonymous said...

Just prior to reading your blog, I sent an e-mail to the AZ State FOP president concerning the rude and intimadating tactics used by the soliciters for the FOP.

When unarmed and faced with an armed attacker, my weapon of choice is an ABC Fire Extinguisher it has a range of Twenty feet and will blind the bad guy.

Never the less my weapon of choice is my 1911 which I carried as a sworn law enforcement officer for over 12 years.

I support your effort.


Dustin said...

Hi Bob, Thanks for the comment, and thanks for visiting. I've talked to some of the same solicitors - they definitely can be rather rude. :)

Anonymous said...

No, the Fraternal Order of Police is NOT run by police chiefs. The FOP is an organization of rank-and-file police officers and, as such, does not generally support the liberal causes and candidates that other police unions and the IACP support.

That said, not all FOP members support position taken by the board. I have been an FOP member for 15 years, and yet I strongly support allowing citizens with CCW permits to carry in "gun free zones." Personally, I think the whole idea of a "gun free zone" is idiotic. Does anyone really think that a criminal with murder on his mind is going to be deterred by a "gun free zone"? Typical liberal idiocy.

As for the solicitors, those calls do not come from the FOP. They come from solicitation companies hired by individual FOP lodges to raise funds for the lodge. I NEVER contribute to them because the lodge typically only gets about 10% or 20% of the money these companies raise.

Anonymous said...

As a former member of the Az. FOP I have alway had concerns about their positions with respect to guns. The leadership always blamed the perception on the national organization.

Turns out they are liars. If you look deeper you might even find more lies and possibly even collusion with upper management within said departments.

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Anonymous said...

Please actually read the 2nd Amendment before you go off spouting about how it supports whatever fits in with you and the NRA. Read the entire thing, not the edited version the NRA uses in order to suit their agenda. It is not a legal right to own guns, it is a legal right to take up arms in the case of a tyrannical, unstable government. The NRA doesn't get to edit it, and put periods into run on sentences because that makes it look good to them. It was also written at the time when we were breaking away from England, and most likely is in response to the threat that they would try to run our government. It isn't the right of silly cowards to have hoards of guns because they've been talked into thinking that everyone is out to get them. The fact that you people love guns more than the safety of your fellow humans says loads about your morals, or lack of them, in the case of the NRA. Because you people thinking the world would be safer if we all carted around dangerous weapons is childish at best. It's dangerous and ignorant. It's putting your personal wants above the safety and well being of everyone around you. It shows just what a coward you are that you have to hide behind a gun in order to feel like a man. There isn't a single story about one of you protecting anyone because you get to threaten the rest of us with your weapons. Mostly you people just contribute to what is already a bad situation by waving your gun around. The wild west is thankfully long in the past. You people don't need to bring it back. -Stacey E.