Hunter S. Thompson, The Professional Voice Of Law Enforcement In Scanlans Magazine
This one first appeared in Scanlans magazine Volume 1 issue 7. And was reprinted in The Great Shark Hunt. Police Chief, the Indespinsable Magazine of Law Enforcement. This article is about the perodical “The Police Chief” and Thompson’s love of weapons. He signs off with the name Raoul Duke (Master of Weaponry) Where all of Thompson Fans know about his writings in Scanlan’s some have missed this one.
You will notice at the bottom of this atricle it says “Scanlan’s Monthly, vol. 1, no. 7, JUNE 1970″ This issue was was actually printed in September 1970. (Kind of an important error I reckon)
The Police Chief
The Professional Voice of Law Enforcement
Weapons are my business. You name it and I know it: guns, bombs, gas, fire, knives and everything else. Damn few people in the world know more about weaponry than I do. I’m an expert on demolition, ballistics, blades, motors, animals — anything capable of causing damage to man, beast or structure. This is my profession, my bag, my trade, my thing. . . my evil specialty. And for this reason the editors of Scanlan’s have asked me to comment on a periodical called The Police Chief.
At first I refused. . . but various pressures soon caused me to change my mind. Money was not a factor in my decision. What finally spurred me to action was a sense of duty, even urgency, to make my voice heard. I am, as I said, a pro — and in this foul and desperate hour in our history I think even pros should speak up.
Frankly, I love this country. And also, quite frankly, I despise being put in this position — for a lot of reasons, which I don’t mind listing:
1) For one thing, the press used to have a good rule about not talking about each other — no matter what they thought, or even what they knew. In the good old days a newspaperman would always protect his own kind. There was no way to get those bastards to testify against each other. It was worse than trying to make doctors testify in a malpractice suit, or making a beat cop squeal on his buddy in a “police brutality” case.
2) The reason I know about things like “malpractice” and “police brutality” is that I used to be a “cop” — a police chief, for that matter, in a small city just east of Los Angeles. And before that I was a boss detective in Nevada — and before that a beat cop in Oakland. So I know what I’m talking about when I say most “journalists” are lying shitheads. I never knew a reporter who could even say the word “corrupt” without pissing in his pants from pure guilt.
3) The third reason for the bad way I feel about this “article” is that I used to have tremendous faith in this magazine called The Police Chief. I read it cover-to-cover every month, like some people read the Bible, and the city paid for my subscription. Because they knew I was valuable to them, and The Police Chief was valuable to me. I loved that goddamn magazine. It taught me things. It kept me ahead of the game.
But no more. Things are different now — and not just for me either. As a respected law enforcement official for 20 years in the West, and now as a weapons consultant to a political candidate in Colorado, I can say from long and tremendous experience that The Police Chief has turned to cheap jelly. As a publication it no longer excites me, and as a phony Voice of the Brotherhood it makes me sick with rage. One night in Oakland, about a dozen years ago, I actually got my rocks off from reading the advertisements. . . I hate to admit such a thing, but it’s true.
I remember one ad from Smith & Wesson when they first came out with their double-action .44 Magnum revolver: 240 grains of hot lead, exploding out of a big pipe in your hand at 1200 feet per second. . . and super-accurate, even on a running target.
Up until that time we’d all thought the .357 Magnum was just about the bee’s nuts. FBI-filed tests had proved what the .357 could do: in one case, with FBI agents giving fire-pursuit to a carload of fleeing suspects, an agent in the pursuing car brought the whole chase to an end with a single shot from his .357 revolver. His slug penetrated the trunk of the fleeing car, then the back seat, then the upper torso of a back seat passenger, then the front seat, then the neck of the driver, then the dashboard, and finally imbedded itself in the engine block. Indeed, the .357 was such a terrifying weapon that for ten years only qualified marksmen were allowed to carry them.
So it just about drove me crazy when — just after I’d qualified to carry a .357 — I picked up a new issue of The Police Chief and saw an ad for the .44 Magnum, a brand-new revolver with twice the velocity and twice the striking power of the “old” .357.
One of the first real-life stories I heard about the .44 Magnum was from a Tennessee sheriff whom I met one spring at a law enforcement conference in St. Louis. “Most men can’t handle the goddamn thing,” he said. “It kicks worse than a goddamn bazooka, and it hits like a goddamn A-bomb. Last week I had to chase a nigger downtown, and when he got so far away that he couldn’t even hear my warning yell, I just pulled down on the bastard with this .44 Magnum and blew the head clean off his body with one shot. All we found were some teeth and one eyeball. The rest was all mush and bone splinters.”
Well. . . let’s face it; that man was a bigot. We’ve learned a lot about racial problems since then. . . but even a nigger could read The Police Chief in 1970 and see that we haven’t learned much about weapons. Today’s beat cop in any large city is a sitting duck for snipers, rapers, dope addicts, bomb-throwers and communist fruits. These scum are well-armed — with U.S. Army weapons — and that’s why I finally quit official police work.
As a weapons specialist I saw clearly — in the years between 1960 and 1969 — that the Army’s weapons-testing program on the Indo-Chinese peninsula was making huge strides. In that active decade the basic military cartridge developed from the ancient 30.06 to the neuter .308 to a rapid-fire .223. That lame old chestnut about “sharpshooters” was finally muscled aside by the proven value of sustained-firescreens. The hand-thrown grenade was replaced, at long last, by the portable grenade launcher, the Claymore mine and the fiery missile-
cluster. In the simplest of technical terms, the kill-potential of the individual soldier was increased from 1.6 per second to 26.4-per second — or nearly five KP points higher than Pentagon figures indicate we would need to prevail in a land war with China.
So the reason for this nation’s dismal failure on the Indo-Chinese peninsula lies not in our weapons technology, but in a failure of will. Yes. Our G.I.’s are doomed in Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, Burma, etc. for the same insane reason that our law enforcement agents are doomed in Los Angeles, New York and Chicago. They have been shackled, for years, by cowardly faggots and spies. Not all were conscious traitors; some were morally weak, others were victims of drugs, and many were simply crazy. . .
Let’s face it. The majority of people in this country are mentally ill. . . and this illness unfortunately extends into all walks of life, including law enforcement. The illness is manifest in our National Stance from Bangkok to Bangor, to coin a phrase, but to those of us still dying on our feet in the dry rot of middle America there is no worse pain — and no more hideous proof of the plague that afflicts us all — than the knowledge of what has happened to The Police Chief, a magazine we once loved because it was great.
But let’s take a look at it now. The editor-in-chief is an FBI dropout by the name of Quinn Tamm, a middle-aged career cop who ruined his whole life one day by accidentally walking on the fighting side of J. Edgar Hoover’s wiretap fetish. Tamm is legally sane — by “liberal” standards — but in grass-roots police circles
he is primarily known as the model for Mitch Greenhill’s famous song “Pig in the Stash.” The real editor of the magazine is a woman named Pitcher. I knew her in the old days, but Tamm’s son does most of the work, anyway. . .
One of the most frightening things about The Police Chief is that it calls itself “The Professional Voice of Law Enforcement.” But all it really is, is a house-organ for a gang of high-salaried pansies who call themselves the “International Association of Chiefs of Police, Inc.”
How about that? Here’s a crowd of suck-asses putting out this magazine that says it’s the voice of cops. Which is bullshit. All you have to do is look at the goddamn thing to see what it is. Look at the advertising; Fag tools! Breathalysers, “paralyzers,” gas masks, sirens, funny little car radios with voice scramblers so the scum can’t listen in. . . but no ATTACK WEAPONS!!! Not one! The last really functional weapon that got mentioned in The Police Chief was the “Nutcracker Flail,” a combination club and pincers about three feet long that can cripple almost anybody. It works like a huge pair of pliers: the officer first flails the living shit out of anybody he can reach. . . and then, when a suspect falls, he swiftly applies the “nutcracker” action, gripping the victim’s neck, extremities or genitals with the powerful pincers at the “reaching” end of the tool, then squeezing until all resistance ceases.
Believe me, our city streets would be a lot safer if every beat cop in the nation carried a Nutcracker Flail. . . So why is this fine weapon no longer advertised in PC? I’ll tell you why: for the same reason they no longer advertise the .44 Magnum or the fantastically efficient Stoner rifle that can shoot through brick walls and make hash of the rabble inside. Yes. . . and also for the same reason they won’t advertise The Growler, a mobile sound unit that emits such unholy shrieks and roars that every human being within a radius of ten city blocks is paralyzed with unbearable pain: they collapse in their tracks and curl up like worms, losing all control of their bowels and bleeding from the ears.
Every PD in the country should have a Growler, but the PC won’t advertise it because they’re afraid of hurting their image. They want to be LOVED. In this critical hour we don’t need love, we need WEAPONS — the newest and best and most efficient weapons we can get our hands on. This is a time of extreme peril. The rising tide is almost on us. . . but you’d never know it from reading The Police Chief. Let’s look at the June 1970 issue:
The first thing we get is a bunch of gibberish written by the police chief of Miami, Florida, saying “the law enforcement system [in the U.S.A.] is doomed to failure.” Facing this is a full-page ad for the Smith & Wesson “Street Cleaner,” described as a “Pepper Fog tear smoke generator. . . loaded with a new Super Strength Type CS [gas] just developed by Gen. Ordnance.” The “Street Cleaner” with Super CS “not only sends the meanest troublemakers running. It convinces them not to come back. . . You can trigger anything from a 1-second puff to a 10 minute deluge. . . Do you have a Street Cleaner yet?”
In all fairness, the Pepper Fogger is not a bad tool, but it’s hardly a weapon. It may convince trouble-makers not to come back in ten minutes, but wait a few hours and the scum will be back in your face like wild rats. The obvious solution to this problem is to abandon our obsession with tear gas and fill the Street Cleaner with a nerve agent. CS only slaps at the problem: nerve gas solves it.
Yet the bulk of all advertising in the PC is devoted to tear gas weapons: Federal Laboratories offers the 201-Z gun, along with the Fed 233 Emergency Kit, featuring “Speed-heat” grenades and gas projectiles guaranteed to “pierce barricades.” The AAI Corporation offers a “multi-purpose grenade that can’t be thrown back.” And, from Lake Erie Chemical, we have a new kind of gas mask that “protects against CS.” (This difference is crucial; the ad explains that army surplus gas masks do well enough against the now-obsolete CN gas, but they’re virtually useless against CS — “the powerful irritant agent that more and more departments are turning to and that’s now ‘standard’ with the National Guard.”)
Unfortunately, this is about as far as The Police Chief goes, in terms of weapons (or tools) information. One of the few interesting items in the non-weapons category is a “scrambler ” for “police-band” car radios — so “the enemy” can’t listen in. With the “scrambler,” everything will sound like Donald Duck.
The only consistently useful function of the PC is the old faithful “Positions Open” section. For instance: Charlotte, N.C., needs a “firearms identification expert” for the new city-county crime lab. Ellenville, N.Y. is looking for a new chief of police, salary “10,500 with liberal fringe benefits.” Indeed. And the U.S. Department of Justice is “now recruiting Special Agents for the Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs.” The ad says they need “a sizeable number” of new agents, to start at $8098 per annum, “with opportunity for premium overtime pay to gross up to $10,000.”
(In my opinion, only a lunatic or a dope addict would do narc-work for that kind of money. The hours
are brutal and the risks are worse: I once had a friend who went to work as a drug agent for the feds and lost both of his legs. A girl he was trusting put LSD in his beer, then took him to a party where a gang of vicious freaks snapped his femurs with a meat-ax.)
Let’s face it: we live in savage times. Not only are “cops” called pigs — they are treated like swine and eat worse than hogs. Yet the PC still carries advertising for “P.I.G.” tie-clasps! What kind of two-legged scumsucker would wear a thing like that?
WHY ARE WE GROVELING? This is the rootnut question! Why has the once great Police Chief turned on its rank and file?
Are we dupes? Do the Red Pansies want to destroy us? If not, why do they mock all we believe in?
So it should come as no surprise — to the self-proclaimed pigs who put out The Police Chief — that most of us no longer turn to that soggy-pink magazine when we’re looking for serious information. Personally, I prefer the Shooting Times, or Guns & Ammo. Their editorials on “gun control” are pure balls of fire, and their classfied ads offer every conceivable kind of beastly weapon from brass knuckles and blowguns to 20 mm. cannons.
Another fine source of weapons info — particularly for the private citizen — is a little known book titled, How to Defend Yourself, Your Family, and Your Home — a Complete Guide to Self-Protection. Now here is a book with real class! It explains, in 307 pages of fine detail, how to set booby traps in your home so that “midnight intruders” will destroy themselves upon entry; it tells which type of shotgun is best for rapid-fire work in narrow hallways (a sawed-off double-barreled 12-gauge; one barrel loaded with a huge tear gas slug, the other with Double-O buckshot). This book is invaluable to anyone who fears that his home might be invaded, at any moment, by rioters, rapers, looters, dope addicts, niggers, Reds or any other group. No detail has been spared: dogs, alarm wiring, screens, bars, poisons, knives, guns. . . ah yes, this is a wonderful book and highly recommended by the National Police Officers Association of America. This is a very different group from the police chiefs. Very different.
But why grapple now with a book of such massive stature? I need time to ponder it and to run tests on the many weapons and devices that appear in the text. No professional would attempt to deal lightly with this book. It is a rare combination of sociology and stone craziness, laced with weapons technology on a level that is rarely encountered.
You will want this book. But I want you to know it first. And for that, I need time. . . to deal smartly with the bugger on its own terms. No pro would settle for less.
– Raoul Duke (Master of Weaponry)
Scanlan’s Monthly, vol. 1, no. 7, JUNE 1970