Even in gun-friendly Virginia, where it is perfectly legal to carry a holstered firearm openly, it is a crime to ‘brandish’ that firearm in the hand except when there is a serious reason (like, for example, to deter an attack by a violent criminal). In Washington, D.C., it’s not even legal for a normal citizen to carry a firearm at all . . . so all the gang-bangers and criminals carry anyway because they don’t care, and we law-abiding citizens get to be totally defenseless when we face them. Nice.
Gun owners like myself take our rights and our responsibilities with regard to firearms very, very seriously. We don’t carry guns to scare people or to hurt people, but to defend ourselves and our loved ones in the most dire of situations (situations we hope we will never have to face). We respect the police and the important work they do, but recognize that they cannot be everywhere and are unlikely to be able to help us fast enough when we’re faced with violent crime. That’s why we carry. The old saying goes, “When seconds count, the police are only minutes away.”
Detective Mike Baylor of the Washington, D.C. Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) is the moronic schmuck who, in a city where responsible gun owners have to go completely unarmed, pulled out his service handgun and waved it around semi-threateningly to deter a bunch of people throwing snow-balls around in the Blizzard of 2009. This is a huge no-no in the most gun-friendly of places, and you would think that in gun-hating Washington it would be a capital offense. If I had done this on U St. & 14th NW back in December, I’d probably be in prison right now.
Baylor, however, is apparently above the law since he is the law. He will not be charged with any crime. In fact, MPD Chief Cathy Lanier has announced that Baylor’s actions, while ‘inappropriate,’ won’t even result in his termination. While he may be subject to administrative punishment, Baylor will keep his job with the MPD and will be put back on duty. “I don’t think this is a termination offense,” Lanier said.
How can it not be a termination offense for a police officer when it’s a felony for everybody else? Love to hear your thoughts on this, Chief Lanier.