"Only persons in authority should carry firearms"

This video reminded me of a comment made a few months ago by Dante Jimenez, founding chairman of the Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption (VACC). Mr Jimenez believes that only persons in authority should be allowed to carry firearms in public.

Around the time of the extended gun ban debate, Jimenez said, "Let us put a stop to this stupid idea of giving special treatment to special citizens. It should be the police that should carry firearms."

Anyone with half a brain can spot the the logical inconsistency of this argument: police officers are by definition special citizens with extra powers. However, my main dispute with the comment is that it propagates the myth that those operating under an official capacity, such as a policemen, are automatically immune from the faults that plague 'normal people'.

Watch the video and see what happens after the cop proclaims that he's the only one in the room professional enough to carry a firearm.

Policemen are not super-beings and should not be treated as somehow naturally imbued with special traits. They are human like the rest of us and are prone to the same mistakes. In fact, I would say that by virtue of their authority over other citizens, police officers should be given a stricter mandate. Good people can turn bad when given power.

If only policemen are armed, quis custodiet ipsos custodes? ("Who will guard the guards themselves?"). An armed citizenry is vital to a free society.

Note: some have claimed that the video is fake or staged but the incident has been established as true by several sources.

Comments

VACC people carry guns

Lauro Visconde, founder and right hand man of Jimenez and the VACC, was caught several years ago during the height of the Hubert Webb trial, carrying a pistol in a restaurant. He claims that he was carrying to for self-defense due to the death threats that he had allegedly been receiving in relation with the case.

So Dante Jimenez better carefully check what he's saying lest he condemns himself and his organization.

Regarding the video, that cop is one dumb idiot. In addition to shooting himself in the leg, through his own stupidity, he even tries to worm his way out by saying that "see that accidents happen. God did not intend (sic) guns. That could happen to anyone and you could get blown away." Well you fool please do not impute to us responsible and safe gun owners your own idiocy. I personally have not had any such accidental discharge, and so have millions of others. So maybe you THE POLICE should RE-THINK your capability and competence to hold firearms yourselves. So goes our trust for police competence.

Stupid cop

What was known as AD or accidental discharge is now called ND or negligent discharge.

Police vs. Civilians-who is the best shot?

The perception is that law enforcement professionals and military personnel are always the best shots in the country. But it seems to be a myth than a reality. It is a fact that in terms of equipment, most civilian shooters have the best firearms, ammunition and accessories, while our policemen and military personnel are sorely lacking with such necessities. Most civilian shooters have either an American or European branded firearms. Most of us who have 1911s would have it modified significantly by the time it is a month old and most of our magazines are either Wilson or Chip Mcormick's. Seldom one can see a civilian shooter using a Mecgar or an ACT magazine. When it comes to automatic weapons, civvies have their HKs, Olympic Arms, DPSMs, Bushmasters, Ster, Sig Sauer etc., while those in uniform have their martial law era Colt licensed Elisco M16A1 automatic rifles.

On the other hand, a new graduate from the Police Training Schools or a rookie would have to spend his own money so that he can buy his new Armscor 1911 or a Norinco, both chambered in .45 ACP as his service firearm because the Philippine National Police cannot issue him one. Good for him if the local government where he will be assigned would be generous enough to provide him with one; Quezon City supplies its police units with Taurus, Makati is always with the Jericho and Marikina, surprisingly, Beretta 92FS. Before, a rookie can always procure one under a salary deduction scheme but this was discontinued and disallowed by the PNP because lack of money always makes them prone to graft and corruption. Other rookies may be fortunate enough to have a well to do relatives that will be willing to buy a pistol for them or loan them the equivalent amount. I remember one policeman in Region 4 while he was escorting a prisoner during trial. He was carrying a Para Ordnance 45 caliber limited series pistol with three spare magazines tucked inside a Safariland duty rig complete with an asp baton, hand cuffs and a Motorola radio. Making my mental math work, I approximate that what was wrapped around his waist was worth more than Php150,000.00! How can a rookie like him can possibly afford one? I asked myself, but of course, the best way to know it was to ask him directly. Afterwards the policeman obliged to answer me, said he, "Padala po ng tatay ko, retired LAPD po siya" Of course, the pistol or the money used to buy it was also from his old man considering its cost would be prohibitive if not impossible for him to afford. I reminded him to secure his firearm properly because it cost alot and the agaw armas boys will not think twice to snatch it.

A civvy would shoot a minimum of one hundred rounds a month, a rookie will shoot  none. Not because he is too preoccupied with work, he does not have the sufficient funds to buy ammunition to familiarize himself with his firearm of choice. It is such a sorry sight to see some of our policemen in the shoe capital would go around each bay of the Armscor Shooting Ranges asking for spares or left over ammunitions from civvies in order for them to have their own target or proficiency shooting sessions. Sometimes, affluent shooters will readily give them a box or two of ammunitions to spare them from the embarassment of practically begging for bullets. I personally experience seeing the "homeboys" in the shooting range recycling target boards so that the policement who will be arriving later would have something to shoot at. You can imagine that? a target board worth Php 10.00?

We all know that trigger finger itch is best cured by constant target practice. It also builds confidence and discipline in the handling of our firearms. How can a rookie cure his trigger finger itch if he cannot fire his weapon? This is perhaps the best reason for some stories of negligent discharge or left of center shooting among our rookie policement. No one will definitely forget the failed hostage rescue attempt inside a provincial bus station along EDSA, Pasay City. It was such a revealing situation for most of the responding PNP personnel. Once in Rizal, a veteran police sergeant chased a robber along Ortigas Avenue Extension and when the malefactor suddenly turned around as if to shoot the policeman, the veteran cop pulled the trigger of his then newly issued Beretta 92FS but it did not fired! But. Lo and Behold! the malefactor hit pavement and was knock down, what a miracle, the sergeant told himself. It turned out that as soon as the robber turned around he tripped and lose his balance, hitting the cold pavement . Upon inspection, the veteran cop discovered that there was no bullet inside the chamber. A revolver shooter that he was he forgot to chamber a round. These stories might make us grin or smile but in reality these are horror stories that happened in real life that placed the life of our policemen in danger and that of the victims of the convicts.

Civilian shooters are members of the best shooting ranges in the country. If authorized to carry firearms, their ammunition is the best in the industry, mostly frangibles to prevent over penetration. How about our law enforcement officers or the neighborhood rookie policeman? good for him if he carries an Armscor full metal jacket ammunition, at least it will fire, but what if he chambered the dread Government Arsenal ammunition or the teka-teka bullets again, remember the footage of GMA news of an ambush against a marine contingent in Mindanao, their government supplied mortar rounds did not fire or explode on the target! He does not get to shoot in the best firing ranges even the one inside Camp Crame which are always filled to the brim because of the PNP officers who are shooting their newly acquired "babies", the security complement of congressmen and senators who are so spendthrift they cannot send their bodyguards target shooting inside their own shooting clubs. The policemen in the provinces are far more better than their counterparts in the NCR because, they were adopted by the local shooting range that provides them free practice ammunitions.

Lack of equipment, lack of training and absence of any support structures, it can be said that the only motivation of our policemen is no other than his dedication to serve and protect.