Mr. Policeman is Not Your Friend.

Neither is Mr. District Attorney, thousands of Law & Order episodes to the contrary notwithstanding.

Also, there are times when open carry is dumb. Unless you’re trying to be a cause célèbre, in which case knock yourself out…

This incident happened several weeks ago in Philadelphia to Mark Fiorino, a 25-year-old IT worker who carries a gun on his hip at all times for self defense. He got the gun after several friends were mugged.

But he didn’t count on attacks by police:

On a mild February afternoon, Fiorino, 25, decided to walk to an AutoZone on Frankford Avenue in Northeast Philly with the .40-caliber Glock he legally owns holstered in plain view on his left hip. His stroll ended when someone called out from behind: “Yo, Junior, what are you doing?”

Fiorino wheeled and saw Sgt. Michael Dougherty aiming a handgun at him.

What happened next would be hard to believe, except that Fiorino audio-recorded all of it: a tense, profanity-laced, 40-minute encounter with cops who told him that what he was doing – openly carrying a gun on the city’s streets – was against the law.

Judging from the voices on the audiotape, the gun-waving Dougherty didn’t believe himself in any particular danger. Maybe if Fiorino had brought a small dog. No, Fiorino’s threat to the community was not what Mr. Policeman was concerned about. What he was concerned about was the threat to the monopoly on violence.

Let’s face it: It’s gotta be a rush (to certain types) to be the only one allowed to walk around with a gun on your hip. It makes you special. You get to be all edgy and dangerous, and know people are going to get out of your way on sight. I sometimes wonder how many boys dreamed of becoming cops after being raised on too many Dirty Harry movies. And now along come real common sense gun laws, by which people are actually permitted by law to carry means of effective self-defense. It’s got to be a real let-down to the cops, not to be able to see themselves as dangerously special anymore.

Well, not to worry, Mr. Policeman. I still think you’re special. I carry a special place in my heart, just for you.

About Joel

You shouldn't ask these questions of a paranoid recluse, you know.
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To the stake with the heretic!