Friday, March 24, 2006

Equal Treatment for All...Even Retired Cops

The 2006 San Diego County Fair opens June 10, and still unresolved is whether off-duty law enforcement officers can carry their weapons inside the fairgrounds.

Off-duty law-enforcement officers routinely carry their weapons and are expected to respond to a disturbance or other situation. Fairgrounds officials are concerned that an off-duty officer responding to an incident in civilian dress could pose a threat to other officers and to the public's safety.

The Deputy Sheriff's Association of San Diego County and the San Diego Police Officers Association, along with the police officers associations in Escondido and Oceanside, disagree.

"An off-duty officer should be able to carry weapons anywhere," said James Duffy, president of the deputies' association. "We're an asset to public safety."

Jeff at Alphecca makes this comment:

These anti-gun types actually consider off-duty cops to be a threat to public safety! Folks, if I was one of those cops, I'd be posted day and night outside the fair, and the organizer's homes just waiting for some traffic violation.

I'd also be so insulted that I'd make sure that if a call or alarm went out from either, I'd first stop at the nearest Krispy Cream to fortify myself before answering the call.

While I have a hard time arguing with that, I also have a hard time justifying letting retired law-enforcement officers carry but not California concealed-carry permit holders, even if federal law says to let retired peace officers carry. The deputies may well be an "asset to public safety," but so, too are the people who go through the arduous process to get their license to carry -- and that's been shown to be the case in pretty much every state that has gone to shall-issue, in the form of lower rates of certain violent crimes after the respective states passed their concealed-carry laws. It would be wise to let the retired peace officers carry, I think -- but it would be wrong not to let concealed-permit holders do the same. I know, I know...they have special training civilians don't, they have more experience with their firearms, andonandonandon (and actually, that last thing isn't always the case)...but it reeks of favoritism, and elitism too. Such isn't exactly rare in California when it comes to how civilian gun owners are regarded vs. the good folks behind the badges, but still, it's wrong, and Californians should not stand for it...but, of course, they probably will...