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Being in the presence of a bad guy with a gun is a situation that cops work really hard at to avoid.

We are continually drilled through training and experience to expect that every person a cop encounters has a gun. That’s why when a cop comes upon someone on the street, one of the first things to happen is for the cop to ask permission to do a quick ‘pat-down’ of the other to check for weapons.

I guess one could claim that we’re paranoid about being surprised by a subject who unexpectedly produces a gun. The immediate reaction from the attending cop will be to shout the word GUN at the top of his lungs so everyone within a city block will hear it.

Of course, that’s followed with application of the ‘PLUS ONE’ theory. It says, “If I find a gun, I must always assume there will be ONE more.”

Look at the stats:

  • Number of guns in the United States (est) –          393,347,000.
  • Number of gun owners in the United States (est) –   132 Million.
  • Mathematically, that works out to three guns per gun owner.

The trouble with these numbers is that they are wrong. They don’t include the many millions of guns in America that are held illegally, i.e. people who are not allowed to be in possession of a gun of any kind, i.e. convicted felons.

I have read some who estimate that the number of illegal guns is equal to the number of legal guns. Likely not, but then, who knows for sure?



Then comes the real issue. I’m a cop. I pull you over on a traffic stop in a high-crime, drug-infested area. You are cooperative and polite. When I run your stuff, I discover that you are currently on probation following a gun-related conviction. Further, you are currently out on bail on another gun charge.

Uh-Oh …

So, I ask you to step out of the car, which you do.

Then, I think to myself, “What’s the max number of guns this guy is going to have on him?” That’s a legitimate question.

This is where trouble can set in. What kind of trouble, you ask?

  • The subject could do a 180 and become argumentative or downright combative.
  • I could be very near the end of working a double shift and I’m whipped.
  • Dispatch just told me to report to the LT’s office when I clear the stop and I’m wondering what I’m going to get chewed-out for, now.

The point is, a whole list of things can cause the cop to just go through the motions and miss something. Like a gun. Or, two. Or, more.

We’ve all been taught that male cops are often reluctant to perform the textbook “thorough” search of a person. What??  Yeah, they tend to be uncomfortable searching the genital area of other men.

I had an academy instructor tell the class, “If you do a proper search on a male subject, you will know how well he is hung when you’re through.” Most of us quietly cringed at the thought. Some, still do.

That may get them killed.

Sorry. It’s a fact of life.

Check out this awesome video from our own Chief Danny Watson (ret) and his colleague, Ben Weatherford. You will witness for yourself, just how many guns one person is able to conceal on his person.

Remember this the next time you are searching a subject.



“Above all, it’s about going home at the end of the shift … “

We couldn’t agree more.



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