(If you are a LEO I would ask that you chime in on this discussion and let the public know what the reality may be.)
I am listening to local talk radio discussing the story of the 12 that was shot with the realistic toy gun. I am not interested in discussing that case. Rather, I am interested in discussing comments made about police response.
The host stated the police responded to this situation as an “active shooter” scenario.
In this case the gun was a toy, there were no shots fired (nor could there have been). If someone has a gun (the child had it tucked in his belt at the time) and the police are called, does that make it an active shooter scenario?
A short while ago I complained loudly about a news story reporting an active shooter on a Kansas campus. In reading the story, toward the end, I learned no shots had been fired. It was just a situation where police were called because a man was seen with a gun.
If it is standard procedure to treat everyone with a gun as an active shooter scenario, I’m in trouble. I carry everyday. I do so legally. I have a permit to do so. But even if I didn’t, I can carry a gun in Virginia openly with no permit as protected by the Second Amendment.
So, if I follow my constitutional right to carry a weapon and someone freaks out and calls the police. Am I then to be treated as an active shooter?
If this is the response being trained into our officers, something must change. You can’t assume active shooter because of a gun sighting! You can’t assume someone is a murderer when they are doing something perfectly within the law. (Again this is not about the case, not about pointing a gun at someone, not about real or fake or deadly force.) This is a question about how we are training officers to respond to legal possession of a firearm. The police should know the law and should approach a gun owner as a regular citizen and satisfy curiosity as needed but not guns drawn with adrenaline pumping.
So LEOs what is the response trained to you for a call about a man with a gun?