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Sunday, February 3, 2013

When Seconds Count, Cops Are Minutes Away*Free War Story Enclosed

My friend Dave, a fellow copper, used to say that and laugh like a hyena. Because it's true.

This morning I was reading about the Navy Seal sniper who was shot and killed at a gun range and I was reminded of how easy it is to kill anybody. That guy by all accounts, was a serious bad ass and clearly capable of defending himself- yet he lost his life. Stateside.

I always have guns around me. This is not because I am some whack job looking to kill someone- this is because I was a cop for a long time and I know how many whack jobs are out there- self medicated and pissed off at the world.

I make no apologies for being armed. I won't waste time dialing 911.  I will use what precious seconds I have taking action- not praying like some statist that a cop car is across the street. Or worse yet, that the cop that does arrive will actually intervene right away rather than wait for help to arrive. Cops are trained to wait for help.

They teach us that. So retired old cops know that when seconds count- young cops are still minutes away. That's why we have guns.

So I thought I would tell you about an incident that happened to me. I have never told anyone this story except for a few close friends. It was not my finest moment but it could have been a lot worse. I like to think of it as a learning experience. I was about 25 when this happened. I was in my fourth year of law enforcement.

There is a desolate highway in central Idaho that carries people north from cities like Twin Falls and Jerome to the Sun Valley area which I lovingly call, Moonbat Valley. Literally thousands of workers commute to the Sun Valley area everyday- many of those workers are forced to live somewhere else. Some workers wouldn't dream of living in Moonbat Valley even though they could. It is an expensive place to live.

This heavy commute, in and then out of the valley, occurs every day. In the spring of 1986, I was in my Pontiac Gran Prix heading south at about 4 P.M. On my seat I had a loaded Ruger Ranch rifle which I was taking to a nearby gunsmith for a new stock. I also had a loaded 15 round 9mm semi auto Smith and Wesson with me. I was passing through a small town (Shoshone) when a group of 4 guys left a convenience store carrying a twelve pack of beer. I was stopped at a stop sign.

These guys looked like working stiffs, dirty, maybe sheet rockers or painters about my age. Just as I approached the store's parking lot exit, these clowns pulled out in front of me and cut me off. That would have been bad enough but the driver began driving 10 MPH in front of me, just to annoy the hell out of me. It worked. I put up with this, thinking that as we left town I would simply pass them in a passing zone just south of town. When I tried to do that, they stomped on the gas and refused to allow me to pass. By this time, they were flipping me off and turning around to look at me. I had one of those bad feelings like this was going to get a lot worse. The odd thing was- I really had no idea why this cloud of bad luck had settled on me.

So there we are, traveling at 40 MPH in a 55 zone. I can't pass them. Of course it's against the law to endanger people- or prevent a lawful pass- but it's not like this crew gives a shit. We didn't have cell phones in those days and even if we had, there was little chance of a cop being anywhere close by. When seconds count, cops are always minutes away. Even if phones had been available.

After about ten minutes of this, I was on fire. Then as luck would have it, the four morons began waving me over to the side of the road and onto the shoulder. I wasn't even going to try and pass these guys at this point. So I pulled in behind them, about 100 feet behind them, on the shoulder of the highway. They exited the car like they were going to teach me about the business end of the bull. I also exited my car. I had the Ruger Ranch rifle in my hand.

As soon as they saw that, they stopped dead in their tracks. For the first time in this 15 minute episode, it finally dawned on these idiots that they were screwing with the wrong guy. In fact, they said something which I could not hear- because they had already turned to get back in the car. They saw that gun and this event was now over. I got in my car, drove around them, and that was the last time I saw them that day.

What if they had a gun? Well, I guess it might have gotten nasty. But it didn't. And as luck would have it- this story has a happy ending.

The very next week, I was working and on patrol. I was on that very same highway, in my city, looking for a green four door carrying 4 dipshits to work. When I spotted it, it was speeding. Not much- maybe only 10 MPH over the limit- but there was not going to be any warnings this morning. They were going to get, what I lovingly referred to back then as the "full meal deal." I stole that line from Dairy Queen.

I gave that driver a total of four tickets. I never said a word outside of my business on that traffic stop. Nor did they. I am not sure they recognized me and I sure as hell didn't say anything about what had happened the prior week. I kept an eye on those tickets and what happened to them. They paid for three of the tickets, one was for a roach in the ashtray. One ticket was dismissed. I never saw those guys again. Justice was served and I squared that account.

They don't even make ashtrays now.

Carrying a gun is about responsibility. It's about saying that you are going to take a stand, maybe even intervening on behalf of others if things go horribly bad. It's about teaching your son or your daughter to shoot and to carry a gun, at work and at college. I want my family to have a fighting chance. It's all about refusing to be a victim and accepting the fact that the cops cannot save you. They are always minutes away.


Anonymous said...

Reminds me of the time I got into an altercation with some dingleberry who emerged from his vehicle with a baseball bat. Unfortunately (or fortunately), I didn't have a firearm handy, but I did pick up a couple of good sized rocks from the side of the road, which served to put the point across that I wasn't going down without a fight. The dingleberry with the bat immediately backed down and got back into his vehicle. Amazing how the threat of counter-violence quite often stops violence in its tracks, isn't it? Ah, my stupid youthful days, when pride and ego ruled the roost.

Excellent post, Brian. Wish every leftard would ruminate upon it for a moment. But what's the point? They're too brain damaged to take anything out of what you have to say. By the way, given that you were a cop and saw more shit than most people would see in ten lifetimes, what percentage of the population would you estimate is "fucked up", or has mental issues, to put it politely?

Anonymous said...

Used to live in Wendell in the early 80s. Know that piece of highway well.

Brian said...

Thanks, anon.

I used to teach mental health at our state police academy. I remember quoting statistics back then that 40 million Americans have been TREATED for depression. How many millions are untreated and out there drinking, drugging, and angry? A shit ton.

Anon2...I go thru Wendell to play golf in Buhl quite frequently. A bunch of old retired codger friends of mine live in Hagerman.

Thanks for stopping by.

Anonymous said...

Haven't been back to the Magic Valley since 2000. Have friends, former dairy farmers, living just south of Jerome. Pretty country. Miss the smell of Holsteins. Kinda.

Fredd said...

I knew a retired Los Angeles PD cop who estimated that 10% of the population are saints, 80% are decent, and the bottom 10% would eat you if they weren't constrained in some way (cops, witnesses, judges and jails, other people with weapons, etc).

Devynsdad said...

Thirty or so years ago my family was driving to Florida for vacation. Somewhere in Georgia four dipshits in an old Duster started messing with us... speeading up, slowing down, passing us, whipping the car into our lane, etc. While they were hooping and hollering my Dad reached under his seat and pulled out his 1911a. He stuck it out the driver's side window, the four asshats pissed themselves, and they got off at the next exit.

Brian said...

That's funny because this happened at the same time.
Maybe the same crew. Maybe those bastards are just slow learners.

Unknown said...

I, remember riding with my husband getting onto another freeway, It must have pissed off this guy by us. when I looked over the man had rolled down his window and then pretended to shot us. Made me think that someone would kill someone over something so trivial. but my husband also had road rage.. he drove the 45 minutes commute to seattle every day,,so you can just imagine some of nuts out there on the road. One day a man cut him off. skip being the man that he was. followed the man to a coffee stand. now heres my husband 50 years old. and this mucho man. Skip just went straight up to him and punched him in the face. then he got back into his pick up and came home. when he pulled into the drive I went to meet him.. he tossed me his lunch pail and turned around. that's when I noticed the car with a really pissed off man parked in front of our house. I am thinking bad things are about to happen.. skip walked up to the man words were exchanged and the man drove off. not sure to this day what Skip said. but that man could have had a gun. you just never know anymore about anyone.