What’s My Mission?

Picture the scene. It’s a Sunday afternoon in a crowded local arcade/eating establishment, which caters to young children and their families. You’d think it would be a safe place for divorced parents to make the court-ordered exchange of kids, right? So, could anyone have predicted a father would decide this would be the place to shoot and kill his ex-wife? And in the process, also wound two children? It happened. I know, because I got the call.

Realities Of Life

One of my collateral duties with my agency is assistant range master. During a recent training session we covered off-duty/concealed/backup gun carry, and the methods of deploying the firearm from whatever mode of carry the officer wanted to practice. Before I instructed each class the proper techniques of drawing a gun from concealment, I asked three questions: Do you carry a gun off-duty? If so, what kind of gun? What method of carry do you use?

As you can imagine, several officers admitted they don’t even bother carrying a gun while off-duty. There were a variety of excuses given, but the most common argument was “there’s no crime where I live.” I’ll bet if you asked teachers and students at any number of schools across the country, when was the last time some nut jumped a school fence and started cranking off rounds at the kids on the playground, they’d probably answer, “I never thought it would happen … until it did.”

Why do I carry a gun to a family arcade or to my kid’s school? Is it to hold off a hoard of hard-charging terrorists, carrying automatic weapons and grenades, hell-bent on commandeering an elementary school? Is that the mission I realistically see unfolding? No, it’s not; but I’ll be ready to stop the aforementioned guy who decides to jump the school fence. And I’ll be ready for the disgruntled parent who’s had it with the constant custody battle and decides the kid’s school — or local Chuck E. Cheese — is the best place to end it all.
By John Thomas Grohn


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