The Armed Citizen – America’s First Line of Defense

Ron Martinelli, Ph.D.

Forensic Criminologist/Police Expert

Copyright © 12-11-15

After nearly 25 years as a cop and a detective, who once worked the “mean streets” of San Jose, CA; if I learned anything, it was that it is a rare occasion indeed when police are present when a violent crime goes down. Believe me, I tried hard to be that cop. After making or assisting in over 4,500 arrests; outside of being an undercover robbery decoy officer where I got robbed for a living; I can count the number of “on-view” arrests I made for in-progress violent crimes on my hands and feet. That’s not often.

The fact is that the cops are rarely around when you need one. It’s not their fault. There are not enough of them; they are spread far too thin.  Get ready for a depressing future, because with the media and political action groups like Black Lives Matter dumping on the police and creating the “Ferguson effect;” there are going to be far less of them in the future. After all, who wants to be a cop these days? You’d have to be nuts, right?

American citizens, who have already been dealing with soaring crime rates, have now got to confront the specter of imported and home grown radical extremist jihadist terrorists. The number of citizens killed by radical jihadist terrorists has increased internationally from 2013 when over 18,000 were murdered; to 2014 when we saw nearly 33,000 killed. That’s an increase of 83% in only one year. Terrorism has now reached American shores. We might expect terrorism to strike known target areas like large cities like New York, Boston and Dallas. However, we now know that smaller towns like Merced and San Bernardino, CA are not immune to this new terrorist threat.

While terrorism might not be on everyone’s mind; consider that there are over 33,000 active, violent street, prison, narcotics and motorcycle gangs with over 1.4 million members on our streets. In California with the recent passage of Proposition 47, tens of thousands of offenders are released from our prisons and back onto the streets each year to re-victimize our citizens. Not only have California legislators not learned their lesson; they are now expanding Prop 47 programs to release even more felons.

Succinctly, my point is that cops are not our first line of defense to protect us from violent crime – you are. Terrorism, active shooters, school shootings, gang violence, home invasions, street robberies, and gun violence. How much can we take without respite? You tell me. What is your tolerance level?

A number of sheriff’s across the country are now urging citizens to arm themselves. Like me, these seasoned police administrators know that you are our nation’s real first line of defense against violence. You have got to protect yourselves, family and friends and hold down the fort until the cavalry can be called and respond to take on the bad guys. It’s just that simple.

“The only thing that stops a bad guy, is a good guy with a gun,” said Brevard County FL Sheriff Wayne Ivey recently. I know he’s right. As a cop, I’ve been that good guy many times and have survived it all. I wouldn’t have had I not been armed and well trained.

For me, “gun control” means a steady hand and laying down accurate fire upon my assailant. In this world there are sheep dogs and the sheep. You have to have a “Come of Jesus” meeting with yourself and your family members and figure out which one you are.

Real gun control is having a well armed and well trained cadre of American civilians willing and able to defend themselves and others against a life threat in a moment’s notice. While a lot of people are running out and buying guns; having that gun in your hand is a liability unless you are committed to educating yourself on gun safety, the law, and pistolcraft.

A gun in a well trained person’s hands is like life insurance. Better to have it and not need it; than need it and not have it. If you disagree; just ask the families of the victims who have perished this year alone in active shooter, robberies, home invasions and terrorist acts. If I still can’t convince you, then this is not the commentary you should be reading. Try prayer and rubbing a rabbit’s foot instead. It’s just that simple.

About the Author

Ron Martinelli, Ph.D., CMI-V, is a nationally renowned forensic criminologist and police expert. Dr. Martinelli is a retired street cop and detective who also directs the civilian firearms and Concealed Carry program at His law enforcement/forensics social media site is found at