My apologies but there will not be photos with this week’s Rambling post due to computer issues.
By Hal Collier, LAPD, retired
Hal is a thirty-five year veteran of LAPD. We are pleased he is sharing his stories with us.
This may be political and of little interest to non-police but it’s a true concern to anyone who ever wore a badge. Due to the recent deaths of individuals in Ferguson, Missouri and New York,a threat to cops all across the country has become apparent. Some media posts have actually suggested that people go out and kill cops, even retired cops. Two New York police officers were shot to death as they sat in their car!
Ok, I live in Los Angeles, not a small town without it’s share of crime. When I was an active member of the LAPD I carried my loaded handgun off duty all the time. The reason was not so much to stop a crime but to protect myself and my family. I once carried a loaded gun to a wedding. Heck, I saw crooks on every corner back then.
After I retired I carried my gun for about a year then slipped into that retired mode. I only carried it occasionally and it depended on where I was going and what clothes I was wearing. Huh? Clothes?
Yea, try concealing a loaded handgun under a tank top and tucked into your shorts. You might as well slip a red brick into your waist band. I once put my six shot .38 caliber revolver in my waist band to pick up a take-out order. While standing in the restaurant lobby my gun slipped down my pant leg. I had visions of being prone out by the local cops.
There were occasions when my wife carried my gun in her purse! She was a pretty good shot but I’m not sure how my department would have felt about my wife shooting a thug with my gun.
Ok, back to today’s dilemma. After retirement and a few years of easing out of the cop mentality, I stopped taking my gun everywhere. I always know where it is but I only take out my gun to clean and oil it. I also check to make sure the bullets aren’t turning green.
Last week my wife informs me that we need to go to the credit union for some Christmas cash. No problem, our local branch is at the LAPD Police Academy. I’ve been to the academy about a half dozen times this past year, without my gun.
I suddenly remember the stories of people targeting cops, even retired cops. I shift into my cop mode: I’m leaving the bank at the police academy with a pocket full of cash. I’ve got cop written all over me, I’m loading up.
My wife looks at me as I slip my fully-loaded 9 MM auto between my legs as I back out of the driveway. I’m wondering if I should have brought another fifteen round magazine of ammo. As we leave the credit union I’m watching for cars following us. We make it home, but I’m wondering, should I now carry all the time or slip back into my retired mode?
Once a cop always a cop! Let the bad guys guess when I carry my gun!