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American Handgunner July/August Digital Edition - Page 38

COPTALK opINIoN ANd FActs FroM tHe MeAN streets MAssAd AyooB Carry By retired Cops s hortly before this past Christmas, two incidents involving retired peace officers made the news. Both experienced violent home invasions. Box score: retired cops 2, home invaders 0. WWII vet Jay Leone was long retired from his postwar career as a deputy sheriff in California when a man on parole after convictions for multiple home invasions decided to return to his old ways. Unfortunately for him, he suffered what I’ve come to call a sudden and acute failure of the victim selection process. He broke into the old cop’s home with a gun. The retired warrior was 90 years old, but he hadn’t forgotten how to fight. Wounded in the face by the perpetrator’s first shot, the grizzled hero responded by pumping three bullets into his attacker, who fled. The suspect was soon in custody, however, and survived to face trial. More important, the nonagenarian sheepdog survived also, to testify against the SOB. The story was reported by Joe Wolfcale of Marinscope Newspapers. In roughly the same time frame in Warren, Michigan a 26-year-old home invader found himself facing an armed householder: a retired cop, according to the Detroit Free Press, which did not name the retiree in its story. Once again, the exlawman shot his antagonist three times and won the fight. This time, the good once retired, many cops can guy emerged unscathed. The retired carry their beloved 1911s. here, a les officer was 62 years of age. baer and custom officer’s (by tussey Custom). the .38s of yesteryear have protected retired cops for more than a century, and through today. editor huntington carried this duo for some time on the san Diego pD. retired now, he tends toward a kahr p45 or a lightweight 1911 paired with a scandium J-frame. CHanges aw enforcement is an egoinvestment profession. What you do begins subtly, even insidiously, to define who you are. And it becomes so deep a part of you that when violent crimes happen in front of you, you will react. You may have to react…or die, or witness the brutalization or the death of your loved ones. Retirement does not kill that part of you. Stay ready. Stay sharp. Stay armed. Keep your skills. It appears from the news accounts that in the first two incidents mentioned here, one “geezer-cop” got three hits with three shots, and the other, three out of four: a roughly 85 percent hit ratio between them, better than the national average of young, active duty cops. We can be proud of them. Retired Deputy Leone was reported to have used a .38 Special revolver — the quintessential “police gun” of his time on the job — in the gunfight he recently won at age 90. We also have cops today who started with Glocks and retired with them, and carry them yet; and even retirees who revel in the fact they can now pack the cocked and locked 1911 forbidden to them for their police careers. No matter. They all know their guns, and they all remain ready to continue to protect the innocent, even in their well-earned retirement They are role models who teach a valuable lesson to us all. L Keep your skills W hen the uniforms come out of the closet and go into cardboard boxes, a cop’s instincts don’t get put in mothballs with them. The retired officers I know have all been acutely aware they were no longer on The Job — an awareness that can bring great stress relief on the one hand, and sometimes, a wistful sense of loss of identity on the other. But there’s something else they need to be aware of. The instinct to protect — an instinct that very likely led them into a police career in the first place, and an instinct constantly sharpened and strengthened over the course of their career — remains. I remember two cases from the past of NYPD officers who, thanks to the efforts of their Patrolman’s Benevolent Association, were able to be armed in the city after they retired. One was getting a haircut when a violent armed robbery took place in the barbershop. He stopped it, and prevented any loss of innocent life, with deadly accurate fire from his old off-duty/backup gun, a Smith & Wesson Chief Special .38. Another NYPD retiree was on a ferry when a guy went nuts and started hacking at people with a sword. He drew his .38, and swiftly and decisively stopped the carnage. But I remember another retired officer. He had left the job as chief of police. He and his wife were in a cemetery paying their respects to a departed loved one when he saw a mugger violently attack a woman at a nearby gravesite. The instinct of the protector took over, and he ran to help her. Unlike the four retired officers cited above, he was not armed — the attacker was. The retired chief was murdered at the scene, his final courageous sacrifice a lasting lesson to all who have worn the badge before, and all who wear it now. leosa has been a Godsend for qualified retired cops, allowing them to carry nationwide. pistol is springfield armory xD(m) Compact 9mm. * 38 WWW.AMERICANHANDGUNNER.COM • JULY/AUGUST2012

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