Jews For The Preservation of Firearms Ownership, Inc.
P.O. Box 270143
Hartford, WI 53027
Phone (800) 869-1884
Fax (425) 451-3959
November 8, 2000
Updated November 9, 2000
Feedback on the Mancus Letter
After CCOPS posted the letter from Peter Mancus that described his conversation with a local police officer, CCOPS received feedback.
Some people couldn't believe that the story was true.
One wrote: "I can't find that the [officer] in the piece even exists, much less participated in the conversation...especially with that anti-civil-rights, anti-American attitude."
Another wrote: "[The interview] may or may not have happened. In any event it seems like pretty weak, undocumented hearsay."
A few others accused CCOPS of manufacturing the story to create hysteria.
Now, however, even the critics who checked the facts have had to admit (1) the officer named did and does exist, and (2) the conversation took place. Moreover, Mr. Mancus has offered to provide sworn testimony under cross-examination that what he wrote is true.
The letter was published to raise Americans' awareness that some folks who wield government power would not shrink from using it to disarm citizens. The letter does not attack all law officers, and reports a single conversation with one officer. Those who criticize the letter have misunderstood its purpose.
If eternal vigilance is the price of liberty, then we all must be vigilant. We all must watch our leaders, officials, and yes, even police officers, to be sure they stay within bounds of the Constitution and Bill of Rights. Nobody else will do it for us.
One final note to consider. Most Americans would not want their police officers to harbor racial hatred and prejudice. If one or more officers were found to be members of race hate groups, for example, we believe most Americans would want the officers taken off of the force. Some otherwise fine law officers have been disciplined severely just because they used a racial epithet or told a racial joke while on duty. CCOPS asks that Americans be just as careful and concerned about officers who do not understand their solemn oath and duty to uphold the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, including the right to keep and bear arms.
Many callers and correspondents congratulated CCOPS for publishing Mr. Mancus' letter, and some added their own experiences to confirm it. Below are excerpts from a few of the messages CCOPS received:
"The incident you described is not an isolated one! I had two very similar conversations, one in Reno and the other with my younger brother. ... [The two officers said] if the order came to arrest the person and seize the offending contraband through regular channels (and they had sufficient backup), they would have no problems forcing their way into the home of a citizen and killing them in front of their children if they resisted. One of these officers was my own brother!"
"I hate to sound overly simplistic, but the root of that conversation is that Officer Smith was never trained or told that his Oath demands that he disobey illegal orders...this attitude within law enforcement of not understanding what the Oath really means is a problem. Waco and Ruby Ridge are perfect examples. However, I believe these incorrect attitudes are to be expected, and one should plan accordingly... I know, personally, many peace officers who understand exactly what their Oath demands of them. [They] will always be on the side of Freedom. ... It would be very interesting to watch a police department disintegrate over the issuance of a Freedom threatening illegal order. I doubt there would be any way to carry it out, after the smoke clears."
"After reading Mr. Mancus' piece I have to say I am not surprised. The German civil servants probably said something very similar to Jews as they loaded them on rail cars. 'I'm sorry, I don't agree with this, but I am only 2 years from retirement, and I don't want to lose my job.'"
"This is exactly the position I've alluded to in my recently published book, LINES OF DEFENSE, Police Ideology and the Constutition (Institute for Police Training and Management - N.Florida State University.)"
A former police officer wrote: "This is MUCH more common than we want to believe. In my experience in a very "progressive" urban area, it's the rule rather than the exception. I can't name many "old school" holdouts anymore. (I think I was among the last anyway). ... Agencies have been very selective in avoiding certain groups in their hiring, preferring applicants who don't share our familiarity with liberty and guns. Many of us will surely discover this the hard way."
"...be advised that the personality of people and departments is vastly different between city police departments and sheriffs departments. The sheriff is elected by the people and the chief is appointed by a city council - this makes a LOT of difference in what kind of people work there, and to what extent the leader and his employees are willing to extend themselves to protect citizens."
"Excellent work. Keep it up."
A military veteran wrote: "Thank you sir for that disturbing, but, unfortunately true account of what is going on in this 'Land Of The Free And Home Of The Brave'. Keep up the good work."
"My father passed away not to long ago. Yesterday My Mom called because the police were at her door to pick up the guns that were registered to my Dad in that house. They had a list in their hand and wanted everything on that list.
"After I spoke with them, they went away empty handed. Mom was so frightened that she had forgotten that she also was on the permit, meaning she now held sole ownership and they could not have them, as they are registered to HER. If my father had not had the foresight to add her name [to the registration form], she would have lost a lot of guns to the [Massachusetts] government. ...
"Her name was right on the paper the officer read to me ...So, in effect, they tried to pull a fast one my Mom and take HER guns."
The Following Text Added November 9, 2000
Unfortunately, the idea of law officers implimenting a formally valid firearm confiscation -- despite its illegality -- strikes me as all too credible, especially if any particular officer is in it as no more than just a job. Are you familiar with Arendt's concept of the "banality of evil," that she expressed in her Eichmann in Jerusalem? Norman Podhoretz criticised this, with the phrase, "... perversity of brilliance," because he apparently refused to believe that participants in the Holocaust could be anything less than zealots motivated by subjective viciousness -- but a lot of that part of the Holocaust intermediate between round-ups and the perimeter of the death camps, depended on ordinary people simply doing their jobs (e.g.: A train is a train is a train; who cares what the train contains? Orders say switch this one east?).
I think the thesis of this book has validity in many other cases besides simply that of the Holocaust; hence the book ought to be recommended reading.
While most and I do mean most, gun owners sit on their duffs, the election bears this out, truly believe that the good old USA would never attempt to take away their guns they in undoubtedly live in a difference world. You see, the interview with police officers to find out their reaction to dealing with gun confiscation is nothing new. Back about I'd say 6-7 years ago the Marines at Twenty-Nine Palms were asked that same question in a questionnaire. I guess the results weren't so favorable, but the idea that >our government, regardless at what level is "testing" the grounds for possibilities. Therefore, it is my contention the way around "citizens" having to encroach the rights of their fellow citizens is to authorize the 6000 man force to the UN to bypass brother-to-brother, son-to father and citizen-to-citizen confrontations in the future. I mean who has less emotional ties! So as I always say keep your primers dry and your shelves stocked the day is coming.
The Liberty Crew
PS: We have a NEW POLL on the CCOPS page: http://www.ccops.org/
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