Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Bear With Me a Minute

I'm grateful to have a broad demographic of readers to this blog.  Some are friends and family, some are fellow bloggers and/or gun nuts, and some are people who have only a passing interest, if any, for firearms.  It's that last group of people I want to address today.

I'd like you to take the time and watch this video.  It's a bit long, but I think you'll find it worth the view.  What we have here is Canton, Ohio police officer Daniel Harless pulling behind William E. Bartlett, and beginning an interaction.

Please note, this video shows the two main characters as they interact.  Both Harless and Bartlett are armed.  One is acting reasonably, the other is clearly not.  This incident could have ended in a shooting, but not for the reasons you may imagine.  Further note:  please understand that the language is atrocious, as is the attitude.  Even if you are offended by this language, you really need to take the time and watch it. 

For those who believe only police officers should have guns, you need to reconsider.  Moreover, this is one officer who should NEVER, NEVER, NEVER wear a badge again.

Officer Harless, who has been suspended, was a police officer in Virginia for four years.  Over the last 11 years, there have been 16 complaints against him.  One of the incidents involved a failure to activate the dash-mounted camera.  I can only imagine the result in this case if the camera video would not have been available.  One man's word versus the officer's.  To their credit, the police department, and the police union, are distancing themselves from the incident.  City Council president Alan Schulman blames the incident on concealed weapon carriers and uses the incident to call for more control of guns.  As to what I and my gun have to do with this incident, I have no clue, but apparently, he will feel better once my rights are limited.

I am not police bashing.  I have relatives in the police force.  I have had the privilege (or misfortune, depending on the specifics) of interacting with more police officers than I care to count.  I have only had one instance (a story I may have to tell later) where the officers were less than professional.  In the last few encounters in recent memory, the fact that I was carrying a firearm occupied no more than a few seconds of the officers' time, unless the conversation revolved around guns in general.

Officers are human.  In this case, this human acted irresponsibly, and frighteningly irrationally.  To think that his badge somehow makes him safer around guns is ludicrous.

One final point, I really have not been able to read blogs this week, so if you have already posted this video, let me know and I'll post a link so that we can all join in the conversation.  This post is more for the benefit of those friends who don't read other gun blogs, so this is likely new to them.

H/T Ohio CCW


J. Curtman said...

Very enjoyable article. To the point and extremely truthful. Here is my reaction to the incident and to Mr. Schulman's comments.

Lawyer said...

Thanks for the response! I'll link your video in another post.