Definition of positive encounter?
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Thread: Definition of positive encounter?

  1. #1
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    Definition of positive encounter?

    I have been reading through some of the good and bad encounters posted. Obviously a bad encounter is one where a legal citizen carrying is harassed. While positive encounters are just when they aren't being harassed...

    Is that what a positive encounter is? Not being a bad encounter? The way I see it right now, not being harassed for carrying is a neutral encounter, not bad...not good...neutral. Maybe someone can post a viewpoint to enlighten me some more.

    I would expect to label an encounter good or bad, would need to encompass the whole encounter. For example:

    I read about a poster who was going 59 in a 45. While you are lucky to be given a warning, was it lawful for the officer to let you get away with speeding?

    - (Personal experience) I wasn't harassed for carrying, but was given reckless driving (trooper said I did a wheelie). Trooper lied in court, and I was convicted (I had 2 witness, Trooper did not bring the video). Overall this was a bad encounter even though I wasn't harassed.

    Are encounters labeled good/bad based on 2nd amendment violations only? What is your definition of a good encounter?

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  3. #2
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    In addition, I would like to add one of the actual positive encounters I have come across. A post about an instructor in a convenient store, for some reason (i dont remember, printing/barrel poked out the shirt/open carry), another customer saw his gun. There was an officer in the store as well. The customer told the police officer, "That man has a gun." The officer said, "Yes, and that's legal here. Have a good day." While this is not a direct encounter with a ccw holder, it's a positive non-encounter.

  4. #3
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    A positive encounter (IMO) is one that limits the interaction to the bare minimum. I don't make idle chit chat w/ cops, if you have to interact with me state your business and be on your way.
    See, it's mumbo jumbo like that and skinny little lizards like you thinking they the last dragon that gives Kung Fu a bad name.
    http://www.gunrightsmedia.com/ Internet forum dedicated to second amendment

  5. #4
    In my opinion - as long as I don't wind up incarcerated, as long as my gun doesnt' wind up confiscated, and as long as the officer and I show each other mutual respect...that is a positive encounter.
    S&W M&P 45; Ruger GP100 .357 Magnum; Charter Arms .38 Undercover
    http://www.usacarry.com/forums/members/phillip-gain-albums-phil-s-photos-picture3828-reciprocity-map-29jun11.JPG

  6. There can only be one way to have a positive encounter with LEO's and that is....on second thought there is no such thing!
    I don't necessarily mean everything I say, I just do it to see the [email protected]@K on your face - HueMan 1998

  7. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Firefighterchen View Post
    I have been reading through some of the good and bad encounters posted. Obviously a bad encounter is one where a legal citizen carrying is harassed. While positive encounters are just when they aren't being harassed...

    Is that what a positive encounter is? Not being a bad encounter? The way I see it right now, not being harassed for carrying is a neutral encounter, not bad...not good...neutral. Maybe someone can post a viewpoint to enlighten me some more.

    I would expect to label an encounter good or bad, would need to encompass the whole encounter. For example:

    I read about a poster who was going 59 in a 45. While you are lucky to be given a warning, was it lawful for the officer to let you get away with speeding?

    - (Personal experience) I wasn't harassed for carrying, but was given reckless driving (trooper said I did a wheelie). Trooper lied in court, and I was convicted (I had 2 witness, Trooper did not bring the video). Overall this was a bad encounter even though I wasn't harassed.

    Are encounters labeled good/bad based on 2nd amendment violations only? What is your definition of a good encounter?
    1. Everybody knows and obeys the law.
    2. Nobody lies.
    3. Nobody makes any impotent threats.

    1. is met if somebody doesn't know the law, but is willing to learn it on the spot without a richard waving contest.

    This sort of encounter is indicative of an LEO who's in the law enforcement field to serve the public interest rather than to stroke his ego. There are some whom that describes. Unfortunately, there are far too many whom it doesn't.

  8. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Firefighterchen View Post
    Are encounters labeled good/bad based on 2nd amendment violations only? What is your definition of a good encounter?
    First, just because a firearm involved does not make the issue a 2nd Amendment issue. I read a lot where just because the word gun appears, people automatically think 2nd Amendment when, actually, 99% of what we talk about with LEO involvement is 4th Amendment, and the 2nd Amendment really has very little to do with it.

    Given the totality of circumstances, I would consider a positive encounter to be one in which LEO is on the side of the person who is doing nothing against the law. For example, person calls 911 about a MWAG doing something normal like getting gas at a gas station or eating dinner/lunch in a restaurant. Police officer shows up, sees the MWAG doing nothing out of the ordinary, approaches the 911 caller and explains to them that there is nothing suspicious happening and no investigation is warranted. Or we've read stories of where an anti will actually come up to the gun carrier and the discussion ends in the anti saying, "Well, I'm calling the cops," and the MWAG gun says, "Go ahead, I'll be right here!" Then the dispatcher or the LEO proceeds to tell the 911 caller that they have no reason to even call 911. To me those are positive encounters.

    Like you said, I think there are neutral encounters. LEO gets a 911 MWAG call. LEO shows up, sees nothing wrong, signs it off, goes about their business. Or, LEO shows up, maybe even approaches the MWAG (but I would rather they didn't), says they got a MWAG but notices nothing wrong, and goes about their business. I would call that neutral.

    I consider anytime a LEO "investigates" or "questions" a person without lawful authority to detain the person to be a negative encounter, EVEN if the encounter is consensual. Here's why. Let's say LEO gets a 911 MWAG call. LEO approaches the MWAG and asks for ID. The subject consents, gives LEO ID, LEO checks for warrants, there aren't any, everybody goes about their business. Here's why that is negative, IMHO. First - it displays to the general public that legally carrying a firearm warrants suspicion and investigation. That is a negative image that we need to attempt to get away from

    Second - the subject may not understand that they have rights and may unknowingly be just playing into the whole, "just do what the nice officer says" routine. Depending on the circumstances that may be entirely the subject's fault for not knowing their rights, but the demeanor, the tone of voice and the totality of the circumstances may lead the reasonable person to conclude, erroneously, that they have no choice but to comply.

    Third - as each encounter like this happens, I think it reinforces the idea that LEO have the authority to demand ID just because there is a gun - absent any indication of anything illegal. So the officer approaches three people, asks for ID, they comply. What if the 4th person chooses to exercise their 4th amendment rights? Did the prior 3 people encourage the officer to now DEMAND ID from the 4th person rather than ask for it to be voluntarily produced?

    That's why I think a lot of encounters that are labelled as positive, if as Phillip Gain suggests, "as long as I don't wind up incarcerated, as long as my gun doesnt' wind up confiscated, and as long as the officer and I show each other mutual respect" do, in fact, cause negative impact upon the citizens' ability to exercise all their rights unmolested in circumstances where "investigation" is simply not warranted.
    Anyone who says, "I support the 2nd amendment, BUT"... doesn't. Element of Surprise: a mythical element that many believe has the same affect upon criminals that Kryptonite has upon Superman.

  9. #8
    NavyLCDR, I think you really spelled it all out very well. I can think of nothing to add.

  10. #9
    Ha! a good encounter is when the sheriff of your county pulls up in your yard and says -- lets go for a ride.

    Then you notify him you have your gun on you concealed, and he says --- cool jump in! then you both go for a ride and he shows you his private shooting range, and says you can use it any time you want

    Now that is a great encounter.

    Sorry guys! eat your heart out, I will stay in my little town and be happy.
    Crime has no boundaries - Carry Safe!

  11. #10
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    NavyLCDR is 100% correct. In particular the second point he makes about "just do what the nice officer says". Doing that can get ANYBODY in alot of trouble. Many leo would like you(or everyone for that matter) to think they MUST comply with what they(leo) say and forget a couple of things called the 4th and 5th amendments to our Constitution. Many leo use bully tatics, others pretend to be your friend; saying help me understand and you can go, or lets make a deal. I am not suggesting an 'in your face' attitude but a firm commitment to your rights. Your rights, USE THEM OR LOSE THEM. And congrats NavyLCDR on your promotion.

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