When You’re Holding a Hammer…

You probably saw the title of this post and thought, “everything looks like a nail.” Anyway, I’ve been thinking about the common attitude among many LEOs that perceive themselves to be part of an elite class. Don’t get me wrong – I have many dear friends who work in law enforcement. I don’t mean this to be a blanket statement to cover them all. However, with the crap going on in LA I’ve been reminded of some of my less pleasant interactions with law enforcement.

I had to serve jury duty several years ago. I thought that I wrote about it, but I can’t find any more than a passing mention in my archives. I was out of work for three days, reading a novel and waiting. I never even got interviewed for a case. It was pretty much horrible. The afternoon that they released me, I exited the courthouse with a skip and a jump and proceeded to the office to see how badly they’d screwed up my work in my absence.

Each of those days I’d drive to the parking building where I was supposed to leave my car, I’d unload and stash my gun, and proceed into the courthouse. Just inside the front door there was a metal detector and armed security with wands. The courthouse was attached to the jail, so security was pretty tight. One day on my way in, this little female officer was searching me. I’d emptied my personal effects into a bowl along with my shoes and belt which they put through the X-ray. The officer was wanding me down and stopped at my jacket pockets.

“What’s that?” she asked.

“What’s what?” I returned.

“There’s something in that pocket,” she explained, “What is it?”

By this point I was beginning to run short on time, and was losing patience, “It’s a little cedar block,” I explained, “There’s another one in this pocket and yet another in this one.”

“Let me see,” she demanded.

So, I pulled the cedar blocks out of my pockets and handed them to her. “See?” I said, “Now can I go?”

She then asked, “Why do you have cedar blocks in your pockets?”

“I’m just trying to keep the moths out of my wool,” I explained, “this is an Armani suit and I’d like it to not get eaten.”

“You know,” she said with skepticism, “people like to take these and burn their drugs on them.”

“I wouldn’t know anything about that,” I said resolutely, “They are moth repellent to me.”

“It’s suspicious for you to have them in your pockets,” she pushed.

“No it’s not,” I posited, “it’s responsible ownership of good wool.”

She finally let me go and I did make it in time for check in. I’ve had other experiences similar to this where a LEO was treating me as an inferior, but this was the worst. For whatever reason, I never think to get the officer’s badge number and name at the time. Anyway, what strikes me is that this officer had dealt with so many convicted criminals that she had become jaded to the point of it being impossible to see a law-abiding citizen for what they were. She just knew that there was something wrong with me. She was going to figure it out, even though there was nothing there. This is a problem. I should not have to justify a harmless piece of cedar in the pocket of my Armani jacket. The very thought of it is asinine. I see this as a manifestation of the same problem that the trigger-happy cops in LA displayed last week. They’ve been so screwed in the head that everyone and everything looks like the boogeyman to them. In my opinion, if you get to that level of paranoid delusional, they should have long since taken your badge away before you shoot someone or harass someone reporting for jury duty. The little deputy who submitted me to that grilling didn’t draw on anyone that day, but she was showing a gross lack of judgment all the same.

10 thoughts on “When You’re Holding a Hammer…

  1. People use cedar to burn drugs on? I had no idea. That really seems like if would interfere with the enjoyment of said drugs, smelling the cedar burning? I’d prefer just the cedar sans drugs ;)

    Just a quick aside, I sent an email to your holstersite address a couple of days ago asking about a couple of holsters, did you get that?

    Thanks!

  2. God, that angers me, and reminded me of the last time I had an ‘oops’ with court security…

    Our county clerk handles pistol permitting stuff, and I needed to go visit her to make some changes. Her office is in the county courthouse, and therefore behind security. I parked, dumped my pockets of knife, revolver, leatherman, etc, and headed in. As I walked through the door and before I got to the metal detector, I gave myself the last quick pat-down, and found the speedstrip of .38 in a coat pocket that I’d missed. I had just said “hi” to the deputy as I found it, and smiled and said, “I’ll be right back, need to go put this in the truck” – this before I’d taken anything out of my pocket.

    He chuckled and asked what I had. I told him I had missed my reload when I emptied my pockets. He laughed, grabbed a property envelope, gave me a receipt, and kept it at security until I came out – whereon we had a great discussion about autos vs. revolvers, and how no one seemed to carry a revolver anymore.

    In other words: how it should be.

    • It warms my heart to see you refer to your revolver. My week of jury duty, I was either carrying my 586 or Jennifer’s 640. I don’t carry my revolvers as much anymore just because I don’t care if I mess up my M&P. Still, I’ll whip them out on occasion.

      • I tend to carry the M&P40c most of the time, or a PM9 if I need to be a bit more discreet, but the 642 definitely comes out from time to time. It’s my absolute favorite for pocket carry in khakis.

    • Oh and, yes. That is just almost as it should be. Except that I personally believe that we should be able to carry in government buildings even. I can kind of understand when there are convicts present and gun retention becomes a real issue, but short of that, why restrict our rights?

  3. Had an OK run in with security at the hospital a little bit ago, had to bring the wife in at 0 dark 30 to the ER for abdominal pains (scared the carp outta us as shes carrying kiddo #3 right now, long story short shes fine, just a bum gall bladder that can wait until after #3 makes its debut)

    In my neck of the woods, hospitals are disarmed victim zones, so I dropped her at the door where she was helped in, left the carry piece in the car in its holster, and headed in.

    Was stopped at the door by three police officers working security for the usual wand sweep. Tossed my pocket knives (i have a flipper folder, clipped to my pocket, and carry a “gentleman’s folder” as well to not scare people who may need to borrow a knife) in the key bin, which freaked out the wand officer who thought i was trying to sneak weapons in. Other officers chuckled, said “we see that all the time, when someone mentions removing any weapons, thats not the first thing you think of, now is it”. I replied “not really, I left the real weapons elsewhere” where they handed me the usual numbered envelope, and asked for the leatherman too and sent me in after wifey.

    Glad the other two had a sense of humor, I think the wanding one was ready to put me up against the wall.

    • I’m glad everything turned out okay! Do you suspect your wander was wet behind the ears, or do you think he was tense for other reasons?

      Here, it’s up to the discretion of the facility, but with the way the progressives have infiltrated medicine, pretty much all of the hospitals have signs posted. Funny thing though, the law says that it has to be posted in a highly visible location on the entrance. If the facility has multiple entrances, they don’t necessarily have them all posted, a required. Also, if they have a potted plant in front of their sign, it is null and void.

      • I suspect the wander was just jumpy. She seemed the youngest, and was the only one not behind either a desk or a partition…

        She was possibly reacting to the “If he had wanted to do me serious harm with those, he probably could have before I could have stopped him” rather than the more accurate “He just dropped those off in a bin, rather than try to conceal, or harm me with them” thought.

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