Locking Up the Roscoe

My Dad was a New York City cop for thirty years. As a young boy I would watch him get ready for work, the last thing he did was snap his gun to his belt. I still remember  smell of the holster leather, it was old, weathered and scuffed. Safety on, strapped in tightly.

At night, he would come home, take off the gun, and put it in safe at the top of the closet. He would say to me, “I’m locking up the roscoe for the night”. Cops called guns a roscoe back then. I don’t know why.

In over thirty years he never fired the weapon on duty, except in mandatory target practice exercises. Mt father despised violence of any kind, the only reason he became  cop was because the job was available after the war and I guess he liked the idea of a pension and benefits.

One time when I was very young, maybe five or six, he took me to a public pool to see some friends. I was with the parents of friends, but couldn’t find my father for over an hour. It turns out, that some wild man, jacked on booze and amphetamines, waving a broken bottle was terrorizing people at the pool. My Dad, off duty, and then about fifty years old with a heart condition, held this animal down until the cops came.. The maniac took a four inch bite out of my fathers arm, and I still remember my father, that night, laying on the sofa with an ice pack after receiving a monster size tetanus shot.

I asked him why he didn’t use his gun, and he said there were too many innocent people around. He had disarmed this psychopath of the broken bottle at this time.

I could easily put yesterday’s shooting tragedy in Connecticut right up there with 9/11. Fewer folks were killed, but the theme is the same, the lives of innocents were inexplicably snuffed out. Defenseless human beings just going about their daily lives. Poor, sweet children. Innocents were terrorized.

Unfortunately this will become political fodder for the anti-gun and pro-gun people. All I know is that we need to do better. How we get there?  I have no idea.


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