Monday, August 15, 2011

The Novi Michigan Police Department's CCW Class Is Harmful To Your Freedom

At first blush, it may seem that the Novi Michigan Police Department's newly sponsored CCW Class may be a great idea. For starters, its mere creation at least means that the police in that community are candid enough with their residents to inform them that law enforcement officers can't be everywhere to combat crime.

Thus, by sponsoring a class in which their residents can be certified as applicants for a Michigan Concealed Pistol License (CPL), the Novi Police Department are open to the idea of law-abiding citizens exercising more involvement in their personal safety.

In contrast, it appears that other law enforcement agencies - such as the Detroit Police Department - view firearms as a cause of criminal behavior and do everything in their power to discourage its residents from becoming responsible firearms owners and legal gun carriers.

Despite the enlightened mindset of the Novi Police Department which is willing to train citizens how to be safe operators of firearms, I would strongly advise that citizens do not take them up on their offer to enroll in their sponsored class. In my professional opinion, doing so could be injurious and harmful to the enrolled students' freedom and Constitutional protections.

A police agency led CPL Class has a huge conflict of interest with respect to the students. Persons enrolled in a bona fide CPL Class are supposed to be taught how they should act in the aftermath of a self-defense incident. Accordingly, some time must be devoted to their actions when responding law enforcement officers arrive to the scene.

Police officers are trained professionals who have a job to do: collect evidence, interview witnesses, and arrest suspects. As such, any person who lawfully uses lethal force to protect himself from a predator will be criminally investigated. Attending officers can use trickery, subterfuge, and promises they are not capable of keeping to get a suspect to confess to a crime.

As such, the best tactic for a victim of a violent attack is to exercise his rights under the law to remain silent until he has had the benefit of legal representation. Lethal force is authorized for self-defense but there is a narrow band of circumstances for which it is a valid legal defense.

A person who has just undergone a significant event - such as a carjacking - is not in the best frame of mind to be making any official statements to the police. One mis-step by the victim could lead to him being imprisoned for a very long time because he lacked the ability to clearly articulate the legality of his actions at that time. Any revised statements later made with the advice of counsel would be discounted and ignored.

Therefore, it is fool-hardy for a person to learn how to protect their Constitutional rights during the aftermath of a violent encounter from a police officer. Police officers teaching a CPL Class could not trusted to inform their students not to cooperate with police before their attorneys arrived to the scene.

If citizens of Novi desire to seek out training to qualify for a Michigan CPL, they would be best served if they located and trained under a credible Firearms Instructor who did not have a hidden agenda: confessions obtained with the benefit of legal representation.

So, I applaud the Novi Police Department for suggesting that their residents assume more responsibility for their safety. However, I believe that cops have no business teaching CPL Classes. Doing so, can be harmful to the freedom and the rights of the students.
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