Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Meditations on gun control

I don't work patrol anymore, haven't in a while, truth be told.

These days I work in the Toadstomp County Jail as Semi-Important Knuckle-Dragger and First Assistant Bottle Washer ... most of the time.

Since I work inside the secure perimeter with the inmates, there are rather strict rules about what I can take in there with me -- any sort of weapon is a no-no, as well as anything that can be modified into a weapon: metal buckles on my duty belt, soft-drink cans, that sort of thing.

Guns are a definite no-no, as are knives, clubs, etc., etc.

While there are Less-Lethal tools on-site -- OC spray and TASER -- they are locked away, only to be brought out for certain situations and only by certain officers. Usually me. In addition, just about every part of the facility that it is legally possible to have video surveillance, has 24-hour/7-day recorded video monitoring.

In other words, the Toadstomp County Jail -- and other similar facilities around the State of Texas and the United States as a whole -- is pretty much just as close to the liberal dream of a total gun control Utopia as you can get.

No guns allowed, ever. No guns, no knives, no weapons. Full gun control. Period. Full stop. End of story.

I bring this up, because the tragedy in Aurora has brought the Usual Suspects out of the woodwork, circling on the metaphorical thermals as they grunt about the lack of gun control on TeeVee and hiss "common-sense gun-laws" all over the Internet.

I have this terrible urge to snatch up the next numpty whining about the lack of gun control and dump him in SHU for a couple of shifts.

Granted, the Toadstomp County Jail Special Housing Unit isn't the gun control Mecca that, say, San Quentin or Pelican Island are, but one of my officers did get stabbed (non-fatally) with a golf pencil by an inmate in SHU some time ago.

He was stabbed by this inmate, as a point of fact, because he was "The kindest officer" on shift that day. My paw to Freyja, that quote is the absolute truth.

Alternatively, an hour or so in a 40-man Max pod could be instructive. Again, while our Max pods have the same stringent gun control as Attica Correctional or Angola, we're not quite the Gun Control Paradise those places are. Only a hands-full or so of our inmates have needed medical care after inmate-on-inmate violence. This year.

So, I have to ask: if gun control is the panacea these folks think it is, why aren't they clocking in to the safety, peace and quiet of a boring shift at Sing-Sing or ADX Florence? Complete and total gun control means those should be amongst the safest places in the world, right?

Pfagh.

LawDog

18 comments:

Gaffer said...

Well said, Sir!

RCHJR said...

Love your response to all the "Gun Control" fruitcakes out here. In the 70's I was a deputy in the felony end of the local Jail. I felt safer walking in some of the worst areas of our crime ridden city than clocking in to work. Stay safe

Armed Texan said...

I understand the policy (not wanting a weapon or items that could be made into a weapon to be taken from an inattentive guard), but that leaves individual guards with only their skills in boxing, wrestling, and French warfare (run away) to deal with a suddenly violent inmate. Wouldn't at least a baton or club of some sort that would give a guard striking capability while providing some distance be useful to have?

BobG said...

"If you want total security, go to prison. There you're fed, clothed, given medical care and so on. The only thing lacking...is freedom."
- Dwight D. Eisenhower

armedandsafe said...

If total disarmament is all that's neccessary for a totally peaceful and safe environment, why don't the peaceniks take all the guns and weapons away from our military before they send them into a combat zone? Instant peace, right?

Anonymous said...

Brother Dog,

You are so right , as usual. Maybe the people who think gun control is civilized should see what it's like in my workplace, where the only guns are the ones on the perimeter, usually aimed inward. Is it any more civilized to smash somebody's head with a padlock in a sock? Is it more civilized to stab someone with a sharpened toothbrush?

Stay safe,
Your sister behind the badge

Jeff Wood said...

Would some kind soul explain "Max Pod" to this Brit in Italy?

Anonymous said...

"Max Pod"
While I haven't heard the term before either, I infer from the context it to be the "Maximum Security Section" of the referenced Drunk Tank and Felon Hotel.

Old NFO said...

Because it simply proves if you take guns way, they will STILL find a way to injure/kill someone... sigh...

Chris said...

Visit the Esienhower musem in Abaline Kansas.
There, in at least 10 inch letters, is the quote:
"If you want to feel safe, live in a prison..."
Pardon my spelling errors and possible butchery of that great man's words.

Morris said...

It never ceases to amaze me how the gun control people seem to have an inability to see the truth that it's evil people doing evil deeds that's the problem. Such people doing evil acts will find *some* kind of tool to do such deeds, even if its just their hands. It's not the thing that's the problem, it's the evildoer. Bah!

robert martin said...

I think the way it goes is in a prison you have

1 The Day pass section (going somewhere ELSE)

2 General population (rank and file cons)

3 Special Population (the more Interesting cons)

4 Max Pod (this is the Serious Critter Pound aka You Must have a Record This Long to Enter)

5 Solitary Confinement (literal Cages for Dah Freaky Critters)

in some cases 3 may include Death Row

but of course any actual LEOs can chime in

Mikael said...

Armed Texan said...
I understand the policy (not wanting a weapon or items that could be made into a weapon to be taken from an inattentive guard), but that leaves individual guards with only their skills in boxing, wrestling, and French warfare (run away) to deal with a suddenly violent inmate. Wouldn't at least a baton or club of some sort that would give a guard striking capability while providing some distance be useful to have?


I'm thinking an armored gauntlet would be ideal. Padded on the outside, under the steel, thin leather on the inside for dexterity.

I've seen medieval re-enacters drive cars wearing their platemail gauntlets, and fine-tune the car radio.

Also it would be damned hard to get off an inattentive guard. Heck you could construct them to lock in place, needing a key.

tweell said...

The no weapons policy is why Arizona CO's have held on to their obsolete monster walkie-talkies. Grab this radio by the flexible 1' antenna, and it is a rather nasty club. Some heavy rubber bands around it help it from coming apart when used in this manner (the rubber bands are there purely to keep the battery attached and making a good connection, yep).

Skip said...

'Course there's always the eye poke.
"Sorry boss, I meant push 'im back".

Joe in PNG said...

Sadly, many leftist would be more than happy to turn this nation into one big prision- with them as either the trustees or guards, of course.

Unknown said...

I was Chaplain at LawDogs facility for a very long time, but haven't been there for more than a decade. I began my ministry before the current facility was built, and the previous one being on the 3rd floor of the Sheriff's building over by the Post office).

In my many years, I saw plenty of violent offenders being wrestled down by Detention Officers.

I remember one fellow, probably 6'5" and 220lbs (built like a linebacker) who had just murdered his wife with a shotgun and been brought into the facility for the first day of what would turn out to be the rest of his life. He had attempted "Suicide by Cop" out on the street, and now that he was in the facility, tried it again.

He punched the guy trying to get his fingerprints, then kicked him. He started yelling "KILL ME, KILL ME, KILL ME". Before too many seconds had further passed, there were no less than 8 Detention Officers on him; 2 per limb plus others. All told, I counted 14 responders. There was no pepper spray, no Tazer (hadn't been invented yet). They got him into the restraint chair (Lawdog will explain) and bundled him into the padded room (there were 2, both pink).

He cannot hurt himself or anyone else while in the, restraint chair and padded room. After everyone got calmed down and cleaned up, the shift Sergeant asked me to go visit with the guy.

But thats a waste of time when he is so agitated. I knew that he was going nowhere else so came back after a couple of days. He was in solitary and suicide watch, of course. But he turned out to be an pleasant, intelligent guy. He was a drunk with an anger problem that caused his young children to lose both parents. A few weeks later, he was given a life sentence without the possibility of parole.

But the answer to your question about the weapons allowed inside the facility; not many, not much, and not often. Alert Detention Officers are the best, and sometimes the only, way to handle violent offenders.

Some prisons (I do not know if this is true for jails) have a specially designated group of DO's specially trained as kind of an internal SWAT team. Their main weapon is a Lexan shield which they use to pin a violent inmate to the wall, floor or anything else handy. Tasers and pepper spray are used as a last resort, and only by follow-up teams. The reason for this is simple; when wrestling with a violent inmate, the DO's are more likely to be hit as the inmate is. There are 8 or 10 of them and only 1 of him.

The usual procedure is to press the inmate down HARD with the weight and strength of 8-10 men, and get the handcuffs/legcuffs/straight jacket on him.

Business Strategy Consulting said...

I believe that this is one way to prevent from further crimes. Good thing about it!