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Off Duty Cops with guns at NFL games. Your thoughts?

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You specified NFL. November 13, ISIS tried to enter a soccer game in Paris to detonate explosives and were stopped by the guards.

How does an off duty cop with a gun sitting in the stands help with, or aid in, preventing someone with a bomb from entering the stadium?

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You specified NFL. November 13, ISIS tried to enter a soccer game in Paris to detonate explosives and were stopped by the guards.

Did the piece of garbage ISIS clown blow himself up right after they didn't allow him into the game? I thought that is what I read.

Did anyone see the interview with the band, "Eagles of Death Metal"? They talk about the night of the attacks.

n74HBrrFnIc

Edited by nd1377

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Also, this is a solution for a problem that doesn't even exist. After all, when was the last time someone shot up an NFL game?
How does an off duty cop with a gun sitting in the stands help with, or aid in, preventing someone with a bomb from entering the stadium?

As someone who generally falls on the side of pro-guns and pro-police, I think these are valid questions to be asked.

What does allowing an off-duty cop to carry his piece into a stadium gain?

Bombings or mass-shooting are generally going to be stopped outside of the stadium. It seems unlikely that:

a.) Anyone will be able to smuggle a bomb into a stadium

b.) Anyone will be able to smuggle guns into a stadium

However, even if someone is successful at doing A or B... it's very unlikely that an off duty cop will stop a bomb that gets smuggled in. S/he may be able to stop a mass shooting or at least reduce the number of victims of a mass shooting if a person gets a gun into the stadium, but that would depend on where the shooting started and where the cop was.

I guess I personally don't see much of a benefit, if any, to allowing an off duty officer to carry his or her gun into a stadium. The the potential for problems, while also probably small, is still real as well. Everything from a cop drinking (even though s/he's not supposed to) to the random fan who sees a gun on an officer but doesn't know it's an officer and panics causing a huge issue.

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The police chief in the town I grew up in shot himself in the foot. While in his office.

I'm not sure he would make things safer.

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I guess I personally don't see much of a benefit, if any, to allowing an off duty officer to carry his or her gun into a stadium. The the potential for problems, while also probably small, is still real as well. Everything from a cop drinking (even though s/he's not supposed to) to the random fan who sees a gun on an officer but doesn't know it's an officer and panics causing a huge issue.

The only benefit I can think of is to give white people, who make up the overwhelming majority of attendees to an NFL game, the illusion of safety. And I'm specifying white people not to be pointlessly provocative, but because I honestly believe that hardly any brown or black people are going to be soothed by the sight of more armed police roaming around.

In that way, this would be implemented for the same purpose that security theater at the airport, which even law and order types acknowledge is farcical, has been ramped up. It's all about optics, because optics are arguably more important than the reality.

The quality of a free society is measured by the ability of the people to move about with as few encumbrances as possible. But free societies are not guaranteed to be safe literally all the time for literally everybody. A balancing act must be achieved between optimum levels of freedom and security, because you can't have maximum levels of both. A free society depends on practically everybody maintaining an acceptable level of behavior, the most basic of which is not causing harm or death to people around you. And in this country especially, we achieve that ideal the vast majority of the time, way over 99.9999% of all times and places. In practical terms, all of us can be trusted in public, and with only a few obvious exceptions we should feel perfectly safe moving about anywhere in the world in our day to day lives.

But all it takes is news of a bad actor acting out in some part of the world to have too many of us clamoring to give up as much of our freedom as we can to make us feel impenetrably safe. And we don't even need to see or hear about a horrific incident happening in our midsts. All we have to do is to think that something might happen, and suddenly it seems that everyone is on board with maximizing police presence, arming as many civilians as possible, and maintaining ubiquitous surveillance everywhere at all times. It's a uniquely American asininity.

We're supposed to be a free society, godammit. We have to draw a line some place, and this one is a no-brainer. No to armed police at sporting events. A thousand times, no.

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The only benefit I can think of is to give white people, who make up the overwhelming majority of attendees to an NFL game, the illusion of safety. And I'm specifying white people not to be pointlessly provocative, but because I honestly believe that hardly any brown or black people are going to be soothed by the sight of more armed police roaming around.

But isn't this specifically NOT about optics? I mean these are off duty cops who are presumable just watching the game as fans who also have a gun just in case it proves necessary. They aren't in uniform and they aren't being paid to provide security, so they wouldn't be seen. They wouldn't be showing themselves as officers in any way except if you saw their gun.

If they WERE in uniform that would actually make me lean a little more towards supporting the idea as just the presence of seeing a cop would presumable make people a little less likely to get into a fight or try to pick-pocket or something like that.

We're supposed to be a free society, godammit. We have to draw a line some place, and this one is a no-brainer. No to armed police at sporting events. A thousand times, no.

I don't think having armed officers in a stadium is a restriction on freedoms at all, so I don't fully agree with your argument here. I suppose one could make the case that having a known police officer sitting right near you in a game might make you more reserved and less likely to act out in legal and acceptable ways like booing a team/player or shouting at refs. But that seems a bit minor to me.

My feelings again are based on a (admittedly simplistic) benefit analysis. In my non-expert opinion the potential benefits of allowing off duty police to carry their weapons into a stadium are pretty minor and virtually, if not completely, eclipsed by the potential issues it could create.

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I agree with this.

So far I think the discussion has been pretty tame, civil, and on point. So I haven't moved the thread yet. But I am keeping an eye on it.

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But isn't this specifically NOT about optics? I mean these are off duty cops who are presumable just watching the game as fans who also have a gun just in case it proves necessary. They aren't in uniform and they aren't being paid to provide security, so they wouldn't be seen. They wouldn't be showing themselves as officers in any way except if you saw their gun.

If they WERE in uniform that would actually make me lean a little more towards supporting the idea as just the presence of seeing a cop would presumable make people a little less likely to get into a fight or try to pick-pocket or something like that.

I don't think having armed officers in a stadium is a restriction on freedoms at all, so I don't fully agree with your argument here. I suppose one could make the case that having a known police officer sitting right near you in a game might make you more reserved and less likely to act out in legal and acceptable ways like booing a team/player or shouting at refs. But that seems a bit minor to me.

My feelings again are based on a (admittedly simplistic) benefit analysis. In my non-expert opinion the potential benefits of allowing off duty police to carry their weapons into a stadium are pretty minor and virtually, if not completely, eclipsed by the potential issues it could create.

If everybody knows that the NFL has implemented an armed police presence at the stadium—if they specifically promote that point—then it is most definitely about optics, even if they are undercover throughout the crowd. They would never treat it like a secret because, after all, their goal is to inhibit your behavior, not to facilitate the free expression thereof. So darn right they're going to let it be known. Given that, I doubt the NFL would not graduate the concept to being uniformed police posted at every concourse entrance around the stadium, because they believe their fans like a show of force, because it makes them feel even safer than the complete safety they already have, regardless of whether you and I both agree they are not.

When I was in Cuba at baseball games, there were armed soldiers with pistols and rifles stationed throughout every stadium, even though almost certainly no one comes there to commit mayhem. Cuba has an excuse, though: they're a police state. We're not supposed to be.

You're talking a little at cross-purposes when you say having armed officers in a stadium is not a restriction on freedoms "at all", then acknowledging in the same paragraph that knowing an armed policeman is near you might lead a fan to act out less even in acceptable ways, like booing or catcalling. That's not nothing at all, though—that's literally something. And you say that's no big deal, but in my view, that's a VERY big deal. Because why should anybody even have to consider the presence of the armed cop posted right near them before they choose to yell, boo, act like a loud fan, or whatever? That constitutes modification of benign behavior resulting directly from a show of force, and by definition, that's fascism. Nothing free about that.

In the end, the presence of armed cops at places where we're supposed to be able to cut a little loose and have some fun makes them feel much less like a celebratory event. It feels instead like a stadium is a somewhat dangerous and vulnerable place, and gets me thinking about how much we welcome the notion that we allow random bad actors throughout the world to directly **** with our everyday life, which of curse is exactly what they want. I get that some people, lots of people, too many in my opinion, are not only perfectly OK with that, but really like that and actually want that. I don't. I can only cross my fingers and hope that my side wins the day.

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The only benefit I can think of is to give white people, who make up the overwhelming majority of attendees to an NFL game, the illusion of safety. And I'm specifying white people not to be pointlessly provocative, but because I honestly believe that hardly any brown or black people are going to be soothed by the sight of more armed police roaming around.

In that way, this would be implemented for the same purpose that security theater at the airport, which even law and order types acknowledge is farcical, has been ramped up. It's all about optics, because optics are arguably more important than the reality.

The quality of a free society is measured by the ability of the people to move about with as few encumbrances as possible. But free societies are not guaranteed to be safe literally all the time for literally everybody. A balancing act must be achieved between optimum levels of freedom and security, because you can't have maximum levels of both. A free society depends on practically everybody maintaining an acceptable level of behavior, the most basic of which is not causing harm or death to people around you. And in this country especially, we achieve that ideal the vast majority of the time, way over 99.9999% of all times and places. In practical terms, all of us can be trusted in public, and with only a few obvious exceptions we should feel perfectly safe moving about anywhere in the world in our day to day lives.

But all it takes is news of a bad actor acting out in some part of the world to have too many of us clamoring to give up as much of our freedom as we can to make us feel impenetrably safe. And we don't even need to see or hear about a horrific incident happening in our midsts. All we have to do is to think that something might happen, and suddenly it seems that everyone is on board with maximizing police presence, arming as many civilians as possible, and maintaining ubiquitous surveillance everywhere at all times. It's a uniquely American asininity.

We're supposed to be a free society, godammit. We have to draw a line some place, and this one is a no-brainer. No to armed police at sporting events. A thousand times, no.

You do realize the Detroit police, who wants this, is majority black with a black chief of police? Of course leave it to you to make it about race.

Edited by Motown Bombers

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You do realize the Detroit police, who wants this, is majority black with a black chief of police?

That doesn't matter. Cops are more blue than they are either black or white.

By the way, even though I have been talking about the idea of the NFL implementing something like this, I recognize that the NFL actually banned off-duty cops from entering with their sidearms and now several police departments, not only Detroit's, are asking for them to rescind it. But my points about armed police presence at stadiums, which you in this thread have said you want to see, still stand. Me, I hope I never live to see anything like that. I feel safest and freest when there are no guns in a stadium.

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That doesn't matter. Cops are more blue than they are either black or white.

By the way, even though I have been talking about the idea of the NFL implementing something like this, I recognize that the NFL actually banned off-duty cops from entering with their sidearms and now several police departments, not only Detroit's, are asking for them to rescind it. But my points about armed police presence at stadiums, which you in this thread have said you want to see, still stand. Me, I hope I never live to see anything like that. I feel safest and freest when there are no guns in a stadium.

I never said I wanted to see armed police at the stadium.

Edited by Motown Bombers

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I never said I wanted to see armed police at the stadium. Of course leave it to you to make it about race.

Actually, you did not say exactly that. You said, "If the objective is to increase safety, then just add more on duty police officers to work security." Parsing it closely, I have to agree, this is not an explicit expression of desire for police presence at stadia.

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Actually, you did not say exactly that. You said, "If the objective is to increase safety, then just add more on duty police officers to work security." Parsing it closely, I have to agree, this is not an explicit expression of desire for police presence at stadia.

If the premise is to add security, than add on duty police. I'm questioning why they don't add on duty police. It's not my desire. I never even thought of making this a race issue. My thoughts were that this is an ego trip and this group of people are the types that want to carry their guns in school and government buildings and it is really not about security.

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If everybody knows that the NFL has implemented an armed police presence at the stadium—if they specifically promote that point—then it is most definitely about optics, even if they are undercover throughout the crowd. They would never treat it like a secret because, after all, their goal is to inhibit your behavior, not to facilitate the free expression thereof. So darn right they're going to let it be known.

Okay, I can see that. I guess I approached it from a different angle. I guess I was looking at it as off duty cops just wanting to be able to have their piece with them rather than the NFL looking at it and/or promoting it as another safety feature. Having said that, I'm probably being naive not to think the NFL would take that angle.

Given that, I doubt the NFL would not graduate the concept to being uniformed police posted at every concourse entrance around the stadium,

I would have less of an issue with this as 1.) These people would actually be hired to be protecting and therefore would provide more of a measure of a protection (granted, minor, but still more) vs. people who were paying attention to the game rather than security issues. And 2.) Uniformed officers wouldn't have the effect that maybe you're being spied on discretely. And 3.) Uniformed officers would be obvious sources of support IF something bad went down and no one is going to panic if they see and officer with a gun vs. an off duty officer who looks like a civilian.

Cuba has an excuse, though: they're a police state. We're not supposed to be.

I'm sure you don't think that any visible officer = police state. At the same time I would agree that too many officers at any event tends to look like a police state. So the question is this: What is the right number at an NFL game?

You're talking a little at cross-purposes when you say having armed officers in a stadium is not a restriction on freedoms "at all", then acknowledging in the same paragraph that knowing an armed policeman is near you might lead a fan to act out less even in acceptable ways, like booing or catcalling. That's not nothing at all, though—that's literally something.

Well, I was saying that I would view the infringement as negligible and really more of a perceived infringement rather than actual.

I mean if I'm driving down the road I tend to obey the laws for the most part, but I might be a little sloppy and certainly I'm not the most careful I could possibly be. But if I happen to notice a police officer behind me you can bet I'm on my best driving behavior. Is that an infringement of my rights? Not really... (but if said officer followed me around town as I was driving I could certainly perceive it as targeting me or harassing me).

That constitutes modification of benign behavior resulting directly from a show of force, and by definition, that's fascism. Nothing free about that.

Again, I don't want to put words in your mouth, but I think you'd agree that having no visible police force/security at games is not ideal either. So, what's the happy medium? At what point does security/police become too much? I'd guess that this is different for different people. Should we only have security at the lowest level so that the person with the lowest acceptable visible security stops feeling infringed? Or are we willing to say to some people: Sorry, your infringement is perception, not reality. "I'm sorry if you feel like you can exercise all your rights, but we need some level of security and until someone is actually detained for booing, well, deal with it."

It feels instead like a stadium is a somewhat dangerous and vulnerable place, and gets me thinking about how much we welcome the notion that we allow random bad actors throughout the world to directly **** with our everyday life, which of curse is exactly what they want. I get that some people, lots of people, too many in my opinion, are not only perfectly OK with that, but really like that and actually want that. I don't. I can only cross my fingers and hope that my side wins the day.

Okay, I can accept that that your opinion, and I don't totally disagree with it. I think we're more on a difference of degree than anything else... unless I'm miss reading you and you'd advocate for zero security or the very least possible security to make sure the most sensitive individual doesn't feel infringed.

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I never said I wanted to see armed police at the stadium. Of course leave it to you to make it about race.

You read his entire piece and came away with the idea he was making it about race?

Sometimes you try too hard, Cecil.

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If the premise is to add security, than add on duty police. I'm questioning why they don't add on duty police. It's not my desire. I never even thought of making this a race issue. My thoughts were that this is an ego trip and this group of people are the types that want to carry their guns in school and government buildings and it is really not about security.

And this is why I'm sorta looking at this from the other direction.

I don't think the NFL wants this. I don't think they view it as added security. It seems to me that this is the police saying: We would feel better if we could keep our guns, and hey... we might just provide more "free" security with it!

And the NFL is responding (much like I said above): We really don't view this as any added security and whatever little bit we might gain is removed by the associated complications.

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I never said I wanted to see armed police at the stadium. Of course leave it to you to make it about race.

It's a legitimate issue to bring up here because the talk is about what, if any, added security off duty police would bring and how the audience would perceive it. Opinions on police, whether they are correct or not, are quite often split along racial lines.

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You read his entire piece and came away with the idea he was making it about race?

Sometimes you try too hard, Cecil.

He specifically mentioned white, brown, and black people in his first paragraph. He stated white people would feel safer than black people if more people were armed. How is that not about race? Meanwhile he totally misrepresented what I said. I guess you won't use the Cecil meme on him.

Edited by Motown Bombers

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It was a very small part of his larger point and you know that.

And I wouldn't use the Cecil meme on him because he isn't Cecil. It wouldn't make sense to do so.

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I don't think the NFL wants this. I don't think they view it as added security. It seems to me that this is the police saying: We would feel better if we could keep our guns, and hey... we might just provide more "free" security with it!

Honestly, why should the NFL care that a sub-group of off duty cops want to carry a gun or would feel safer carrying a gun?

It isn't their job to change their policies to make a tiny percentage of their fans 'feel' safer should they have other reasons to not change them. On some level they have to see the big picture and if not allowing off duty cops with guns into stadiums is part of that, then it is.

Edited by Mr. Bigglesworth

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It was a very small part of his larger point and you know that.

And I wouldn't use the Cecil meme on him because he isn't Cecil. It wouldn't make sense to do so.

He said the only benefit was basically to appease white people. He made this a race issue by saying it's being driven by whites when in reality it is being pushed by a majority black force. Doesn't seem like a small part to me. He's saying this whole thing has even started because of white people. I didn't have any disagreements with what else he said.

I'm not Cecil, don't know who he is, yet it still doesn't stop you.

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Ok I see the issue. The post where I said he was making it about race was directed toward his first post and not the one I quoted. I edited my posts to correctly rectify that.

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Honestly, why should the NFL care that a sub-group of off duty cops want to carry a gun or would feel safer carrying a gun?

It isn't their job to change their policies to make a tiny percentage of their fans 'feel' safer should they have other reasons to not change them. On some level they have to see the big picture and if not allowing off duty cops with guns into stadiums is part of that, then it is.

They should care *IF* it makes a noticeable impact on customer safety.

Clearly I, you, most people in this thread, and the NFL don't feel this is the case, and therefore don't seem to be in any hurry to change policy. That's fine. That's exactly how I would approach the problem:

Police: "We'd like to carry our weapons into stadiums when off duty because of x, y, and z..."

NFL: "Hmm... thanks for the input. We don't think think x, y, or z will really change much, if at all. And we're concerned that you bringing in weapons might contribute to a, b, and possibly c. So thanks, but no thanks."

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Surely they are a better judge of that than some off duty cops, and the fact they turned them down, the NFL seems to me to have expressed their thoughts on it.

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