Sunday, January 25, 2009

Guns in church?

So today when I was in church, a lady gave me a big hug and when she did, she immediately noticed that I was carrying my off-duty sidearm in an IWB holster. And not being shy about such things, she asked me why I felt I had to bring a gun into church.

"Well let me tell you," I said. I explained that I had not always done so, because it just didn't seem right to bring a weapon into God's house. Surely God can protect his flock, right? But then I thought about it one day, and I realized that maybe God's plan for protecting it was me.

I went on to explain to her that I was trained and commissioned to protect the public, both when I'm on duty and off. While I only get paid for 40 hours or so, I, like most cops, am never really truly "off duty" and I'm expected to take action when emergencies arise. Granted, serious crimes in churches are rare, but they're not unheard of in this country, especially these past few years. Armed crazies have attacked church congregations before, often with devastating results. And while such a thing will probably never happen in MY church, I could not live with myself if it did and I was unable to do anything about it because I'd made the decision to leave my primary lifesaving tool at home. Sorry, but as a trained professional, I owe a duty to the public and to those around me, and that includes my friends and fellow church members, and yes, even God Himself. I would not want to have to stand before Him some day and try to explain why I'd let His sheep get slaughtered by a wolf because I'd chosen to make His church the one place that I did not go prepared to respond to evil. By department order and by my own choice, I carry my firearm virtually everywhere else "just in case" and I'm always ready to defend perfect strangers if the need arises; how could I shirk that responsibility in a place filled with people that I know and love?

So yeah, I carry my pistol to church. I don't apologize for it, and I have it there so that I won't ever have to apologize for not having it there.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Some criminals make it easy

Some criminals are so dumb...

German Castillo comes to mind as a perfect example. When police in Anchorage, Alaska went to the motel that he was living in to arrest his stupid ass for misdemeanor assault and underage drinking charges, he fled.

He didn't get too far, though. Seems that his parents didn't teach him to look both ways before darting out into traffic and when he bolted into the roadway, he ran squarely into the path of an Anchorage Police cruiser which--naturally--wasn't able to stop before it struck German.

He survived and is now in custody. Whiny cop-haters and liberal criminal apologists will no doubt begin screaming about this shortly.

Bottom line: it happens. Crooks run, we chase them in cars...sometimes they zig when they should have zagged and we accidentally hit them with our cars. Call it an occupational hazard of being a fleeing criminal pedestrian in the roadway.

I remember the first time I accidentally clipped a fleeing criminal back when I was still a rookie officer. The guy ran right in front of my cruiser and even though I slammed on the brakes, my bumper tagged him on the leg and sent him sprawling. I was in shock for a second--I'd just hit this guy with my car in front of the public and other officers. I saw my job evaporating like steam from a grate. But as it turned out, it didn't hurt him. It just knocked him down and I and other officers picked him up and put him in the back seat for transport. I even got an "atta boy" from my sergeant for being on the spot and stopping the guy.

Of course looking back, that probably sent the wrong message, because when I accidentally clipped two more fleeing suspects in the next couple of months, I got another talking-to from my sergeant, and this one wasn't quite so complimentary. I haven't accidentally hit any more since. Ah well...We all gotta learn somehow, right?

Here's hoping that German learns to quit running from the police.