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An Illinois Policeman's Perspective


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I posted the following on my personal Facebook page, and it went somewhat viral. Between it and the page for the company where I teach, it has been shared over 800 times. My purpose is certainly not to talk about my own credentials, but compare and contrast them with those who have virtually none. I know many people on here, from IGOLD events, rifle matches, and just old friends. Feel free to share the quoted text if you see fit:


"With all the uproar over gun control, semi automatic rifles, and 'high capacity' magazines following the San Bernadino and Orlando terrorist attacks, I feel obligated to chime in. My opinion - unlike most of the agenda driven pundits with little or no background in guns, training, and criminality - is based on three decades of actual EXPERIENCE in all three areas.


As this is Facebook, some of you know my history, many don't know the details. I taught firearms for over a quarter century as part of my duties with the Illinois State Police. For almost half that time, I was a member of the state police SWAT team, and served as an entry operator, sniper, team commander, and tactical firearms instructor. In that capacity, I trained roughly 1,000 city, county, state, & federal law enforcement officers in pistol, sub machine gun, sniper rifle, shotgun, patrol rifle, and Close Quarters Battle (CQB), plus related subjects. The continuum we developed was based on joint training we participated in with the most elite counter terror teams from the US military, law enforcement, and a few foreign entities. The very best in the world ... bar NONE. I would add my Russian friend Gri Dmitry and his colleagues to that rare group. As a result, students we trained have been undefeated in nearly 30 gun fights that I'm aware of - with all types of weapons listed above. I was armed with them in raids of hundreds of crack houses and meth labs, rescued hostages, and arrested or guarded the most violent &/or notorious criminals in the United States. My guns PROTECTED United States Presidents, the Pope, Civil Rights dignitaries, and a great many private citizens.


Since retiring, I've taught pistol and rifle courses to private citizens, plus members of law enforcement and the US military who have sacrificed their personal time and money to travel from across the country to train. A few of them have been forced to use what they were taught. ALL have survived the encounters.


In recent weeks, shrill opinion articles by hopelessly inexperienced pundits, and blurbs by even more pathetically ignorant politicians, have screamed for bans on certain firearms and the devices required for their proper function. The rifles they demonize are SEMI automatic variants based on the design of the US fielded M-16, and the Russian AK-47. These designs are 60 and 70 years old, respectively. The military variants are select fire, meaning they have the capability of shooting fully automatic: that is the gun continues to fire as long as the trigger is pressed. These are restricted to police, military, and a few highly restricted civilian permitees since the 1930s. To my knowledge, the exact number of times civilian permitees have used full auto in criminal acts - in 80 years - is exactly ZERO.


The M-16 was modified in the 1960s for civilian use by removing the full auto feature, rendering it semi auto ONLY. That is, one bullet is fired when the trigger is pressed. Contrary to highly partisan (or ignorant) articles and politicians, they do not 'spray' bullets. One trigger pull, one bullet. They are known collectively as an AR-15. Similar caliber, VASTLY different function. AK-47s have been similarly modified to semi auto only. Contrary to the lies spewed by President Obama, Hillary Clinton, and some members of the media, these are NOT weapons of war. I challenge them and others to show me one major military force who fields semi auto only rifles as their front line infantry weapon. Don't believe the politically driven narrative. FBI data shows that semi auto rifles are used in only a fraction of 1% of US homicides., and the largest poll ever taken of American law enforcement (17,000 respondents) revealed that a whopping 91% supported civilian ownership and carry of firearms - including semiautos.


Following extensive ammunition testing several years ago, the FBI confirmed that with soft point and hollow point ammunition, the 223/5.56 NATO caliber ammunition utilized in AR-15s penetrated LESS in tissue and building construction material than ANY duty handgun round. The caliber is simply a 22 caliber bullet propelled in a larger case, at higher velocity. It is effective against humans with hits to the heart/ lungs and central nervous system, but at distance it is marginally effective to the point that many states don't even allow it to be used to hunt white tail deer ... let alone elk, bear, or similar. In the AR-15, police agencies found a very lightly recoiling round, in an easy to shoot (and hit) caliber, with good range, and limited penetration. It is easy to add lights and optics to identify viable targets, and is beginning to replace the hard recoiling and inaccurate 12 gauge shotgun that was a staple of police for nearly a century. The term 'patrol rifle' was born, and even SWAT teams performing entries replaced shotguns, pistol caliber carbines, and machine guns with AR-15 variants.


Many of the same features that police agencies liked in AR-15s appeal to private citizens. Rifles such as this are more effective, accurate, and efficient at every distance compared to handguns. In many areas of the country, criminal home invasion crews are hitting homes in broad daylight with 4-10 attackers. How would a small statured person fare with a six shot revolver or even a semi auto with a restricted 7 or 10 round magazine? The Korean store owners in the Los Angeles riots of the 1990s? Home and business owners in New Orleans after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita? The same features also appeal to sportsmen who hunt smaller predators and varmints: accurate, lightweight, reasonable capacity, and soft recoil. My 11 year old daughter (pictured above) enjoys shooting it...unlike a shrill effeminate author in the 'New York Daily News' who hilariously claimed it "bruised his shoulder" and caused "temporary PTSD". NO, I'm not making that up. Could it be that their outrage has more to do with diverting the narrative and blame to Conservative white male NRA members from who was REALLY at fault: a bisexual Muslim terrorist who happened to be a registered Democrat??? Who is their constituency, and what is their motive?


For those reasons - and more - the AR-15 is THE most popular rifle type in America. Tens of millions are in the hands and homes of US citizens and police agencies. Politicians, included many in Illinois, are calling for an outright ban on them and the magazines needed for their operation. Similar bans have gone into effect in New York state, Connecticut, and Los Angeles. The compliance rate for those laws has been in the single digits, meaning millions of private citizens who are wisely exercising civil disobedience are now at risk of arrest and prosecution for felonies. Even with that threat, they choose freedom and protection above totalitarian thuggery. In the big picture, the 2nd Amendment has been confirmed by the US Supreme Court to apply to private citizens. Although many know the basic language, few know the second line, "...being NECESSARY to the security of a free state" the Right of the PEOPLE to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed. Necessary. Not optional, in any way to do with hunting or 'sport, subject to political whim or public opinion polls, and most importantly - to counter a totalitarian government run amok, and invasion by foreign hostiles.


If widespread bans go into effect, recent history and facts show that American citizens will REFUSE to comply. That leaves the government with limited options. Either ignore those in violation, or order police and military units to forcibly search private American homes to seize arms and ammunition and to imprison citizens. What does that sound like to you?


To me, it sounds alot like 1775."

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Great post!


Anyone else facepalm, when they see a Military or Police member (or spouse) saying they support gun ownership, but don't believe in "weapons of war" in the home. I've seen a few claim, that after their husband retired from Police force (or Military), they gave up all their weapons. These families must live in a very safe gated community. Or the White House.


I'm starting to believe these people are lying and their husbands are still looking for their pair.

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