Why do law enforcement officers have guns? Do they use their guns as offensive or defensive weapons?
According to Ken James, Chief of Police in Emeryville, California:
“One issue that always boggles my mind is that a gun is a defensive weapon. That is a myth. A gun is not a defensive weapon, a gun is an offensive weapon used to intimidate and used to show power.”
Listen to Chief James in the first 36 seconds of this video:
I have family and friends that have been in law enforcement and they all tell me that their weapons are for defensive purposes only to defend themselves, others or property. It is illegal for a police officer to use their weapons in an offensive manner as that would place them as the aggressor which flies in the face of everything a police officer stands for. When police have used their weapons offensively, they generally end up in jail and prison with the rest of the criminal offenders.
If guns are not defensive weapons, then what about all of the reports we’ve seen lately of people using their guns to defend themselves from robbers and home invaders? From a 12 year old girl shooting intruders to 86 year old lady who shot at an intruder, we hear about guns being used for self-defense all the time. There were two cases in Detroit where teenage robbers were shot by their intended victims who were armed and had conceal carry permits.
In America’s early years, almost every home had a firearm to protect them against Indians, outlaws and the tyrannical government of the British. Today, many homeowners still have firearms to protect them from criminals and the tyrannical government of Obama.
Chief James’ statement is so outlandish and ludicrous, that one California deputy sheriff responded by sending the following email to the Emeryville Police Department:
“To whom it may concern;
I recently watched your Chief of Police, Ken James, make a speech during a press conference where state legislators announced sweeping new gun legislation (the first 36 seconds of this Youtube video http://youtu.be/-pN2gzeG0MU). During his speech, Chief James displays an utter lack of knowledge of both the California Penal Code and of case law regarding use of force. His claim that firearms are not defensive weapons, and that they are used only as offensive weapons used to intimidate and show power, is both shocking and entirely inaccurate. As a Deputy Sheriff in California, I am astounded by the ignorance of the law he displayed publicly, and solely for the purpose of backing a political agenda.
Just for a little refresher, since it has clearly been a very long time since he has reviewed the applicable penal code section, I have attached it below.
California Penal Code Section 835a:
Any peace officer who has reasonable cause to believe that the person to be arrested has committed a public offense may use reasonable force to effect the arrest, to prevent escape or to overcome resistance.
A peace officer who makes or attempts to make an arrest need not retreat or desist from his efforts by reason of the resistance or threatened resistance of the person being arrested; nor shall such officer be deemed an aggressor or lose his right to self-defense by the use of reasonable force to effect the arrest or to prevent escape or to overcome resistance.
Despite what Chief James thinks the role of law enforcement is, the law clearly states that force may only be used to overcome resistance, not as an offensive tactic. All of our actions, including the amount of force we use, up to and including deadly force, are predicated by the amount of resistance given by the offender.
In the civilian world, his statement is even further removed from reality as firearms are actually used in self-defense on a daily basis around this country. If Chief James is unaware of these daily instances of self-defense use of firearms, perhaps he needs to find a new source for his daily news intake as many of the mainstream media outlets fail to report those very instances of self-defense as they prove counterproductive to their anti-gun agenda.
Not only should Chief James be ashamed for making such a heinously inaccurate public statement purely for political purposes, but if I lived in your jurisdiction, I would be calling for his dismissal as he clearly is ignorant of the very laws he is charged with upholding.
A very concerned citizen, and fellow law enforcement officer,
Not only am I glad I don’t live in California, but I’m especially glad not to live in Emeryville, California who has an idiot for a police chief. If I did, I would agree with Matt S. and demand James be removed from office for reasons of ignorance of the law.