Friday, July 22, 2011

Officer Goofus And Officer Gallant

Are they still in Highlights? Is the magazine still around? (Yes and yes).

Gallant and Goofus were two boys, appearing in a little cartoon strip. Gallant was clean, polite, honest -- in short, he had all the Boy Scout virtues. Goofus, not so much. They were always shown in parallel situations; one boy did everything wrong and the other got it all right.

Canton, Ohio gives us Officer Daniel Harless as one example of a policeman dealing with a lawfully armed citizen; for the other, let us look to Officer Matt Lyons of Oceanside, California. Both men knew they were being recorded. Both men were dealing with unknown citizens in mildly hinky circumstances.

One officer is Goofus. The other is Gallant. I'm pretty sure all of my readers -- especially the peace officers -- can tell which is which.

But I still kinda wish the artist who did that old series could make up a nice poster of these two interactions, and we could mail 'em to every PD and Sheriff's Department in the country.


Josh Kruschke said...

That is absolutely brilliant. I don't know why inbound so surprised? Must be jealousy that I didn't think of it my self.

I be linking this,
Josh :-)

North said...

I've seen these both. I would love to see the bad cop replaced with the good cop.

The ONLY thing that the good cop did that bothered me was handle a weapon that he was not familiar with that COULD have had a round in the chamber and while he was trying to get the slide back it was pointed at traffic. (from the camera perspective)

Handling it AT ALL bothered me.

Shrimp said...

True enough, but being CA, the officer has the authority to check the weapon to confirm its unloaded status--so he's going to check the weapon no matter what. While he certainly could have done a better job of muzzle control, I've seen (and experienced) far worse during a traffic stop in CO.

Tam said...


He may be required to check it.

og said...

You might be as likely to find the timbertoes living in your attic.

Nice idea, though.

I personally prefer the more proactive Politenssman, from National Lampoon's Ron Barrett; the impact of a spotless stainless hankie would make the miscreant do his job properly.

Borepatch said...

This post is so full of win that it hurts.

greg said...

The only thing that really offended me in 'Officer Gallant's' video is when the chucklehead who was filiming the video admitted to the officer that the gun wasn't loaded...he was just trying to make a point.

If you are going to 'try to make a point' about open carry, what are you proving doing it with an empty gun? I don't get it.

But, kudos to the officer for handling himself in a professional manner, even before he know 'grandma might be watching'.

Tam said...


"If you are going to 'try to make a point' about open carry, what are you proving doing it with an empty gun? I don't get it."

Because in California, it is illegal to OC a loaded firearm and, being a "may-issue" state, permits are impossible to acquire in many jurisdictions.

The people that OC unloaded in Cali are doing so purely as a political statement, as is their right.

Shrimp said...

"He may be required to check it."

I admit I don't explicitly know CA law on verifying the status of an openly carried handgun, but it is my understanding that they are able to do so, but they are not required to do so.

They will do it, of course, because they can.

From their perspective, if they let someone go and don't check it, and it turns out it was loaded, then they failed to do their job.

And to his credit, officer Lyons did not do any of the following:
demand to see an ID,
run the serial number on the firearm,
place Jeremy in cuffs for "safety."

All of those seem to take place routinely in CA, and none are required or even necessary during a "12031e check." Some are even arguing that those aren't even allowed during an e-check, simply because the justification for searches (no pc, no RAS), IDs and cuffs are not met during an e-check stop.

It is supposed to be a simple verification that the gun is unloaded. Literally, as soon as the weapon is checked and confirmed to be unloaded, it is supposed to be over. That's what makes this particular e-check so nice, because that's almost exactly what happens.

Roberta X said...

I'm not sure about what qualifies as "loaded" in CA; if you are well-drilled and have a full magazine readily accessible, the firearm can go from empty to readiness quite quickly. There are circumstances in CA that create an affirmative defense for having a loaded gun.

Not that it's a terribly useful deterrent, let alone defense, to the goblin(s) who comes racing up unexpectedly -- but it is marginally better than a sharp stick.

Davidwhitewolf said...

Roberta, here's an excellent summary of the definition of "loaded firearm" under California law. As you'll see, it wasn't until 1996 that we had a definitive court case saying that ammunition in proximity to a firearm did NOT make it loaded (i.e. an unloaded shotgun with ammo in a buttstock ammo holder was considered by many officers and prosecutors to be "loaded" until that case).

Davidwhitewolf said...

Oops forgot the link:

Ancient Woodsman said...

I remember Gallant & Goofus from Boy's Life magazine in the 70s...which one got from an association with scouting.

I'm willing to bet Officer Harless has no such connection, and probably not with Highlights, either.

I'm an officer too, and proud of Officer Lyons; not so much - hell, embarassed as hell & some pissed off - by the other twit.