Anti-Gun D.C. Police Chief Wants Citizens to ‘Take Down’ Active Shooters

D.C. Police Chief

D.C. police chief Cathy Lanier does not have a good record when it comes to supporting the rights of law-abiding citizens to carry concealed outside the home.  (Photo: 60 Minutes

(Editor’s note: This article was a submission from freelance writer Mike Doran)

In a most unexpected comment, Washington D.C. police chief Cathy Lanier advocated for ordinary citizens to “take down” active shooters if they have the opportunity, CBS reports.

The remarks were made in a Sunday 60 Minutes interview where Lanier was asked what people should do if they find themselves in the middle of a Paris-like attack.

“Your options are run, hide, or fight,” the D.C. police chief said. “If you’re in a position to try and take the gunman down, to take the gunman out, it’s the best option for saving lives before police can get there.”

Washington D.C. has some of the most restrictive gun laws on the books and was one of the last bastions for a ban on handguns until a landmark Supreme Court decision overturned the law in 2008 (Heller).

Today, the district requires all firearms to be registered with the Metropolitan Police Department and ammunition may only be purchased for the caliber registered to the buyer, according to the NRA-ILA website. There is no castle doctrine law on the books.

Police chief Lanier presides over of an arduous may-issue concealed carry standard, meaning she is directly responsible for approving applications and is given sole discretion to determine whether one can carry a firearm outside the home for self-defense.

In the past, Lanier has been an outspoken proponent of limiting handgun ownership, and banning magazines that hold over 10 rounds of ammunition but the chief insists that her anti-gun position does not conflict with her call to “take action.”

“That’s kind of counterintuitive to what cops always tell people, right?” Chief Lanier told CBS. “We always tell people, ‘Don’t … don’t take action. Call 911. Don’t intervene in the robbery’ … We’ve never told people, ‘Take action.’ It’s a different … scenario.”

Lanier made it clear that her stance is not about paranoia, but preparedness. Ironically, an argument frequently made by pro-gun advocates.

“You can be prepared and you can have a society that is resilient and — alert and conscientious and safer without scaring people. It’s not about scaring people,” she says.

The police chief seems to have reached the conclusion that so many of us already know, that carrying a handgun is not about intimidation or fear: it’s about being prepared for events that can and do happen.

Do you think Cathy Lanier will allow more people to carry handguns in D.C. in the wake of the Paris attacks?

{ 40 comments… add one }
  • Don May 26, 2016, 6:59 pm

    There are a lot of people in this country that live off the rest of us. They have proven that they believe that we should give them free everything. One day we are going to run out of money to pay for their needs. We will have to choose to defend ourselves from savages running amock or being slaughtered by them. What will you do to protect yourself and your family? Will you do it yourself, or cower under a table and hope that the police will arrive in time to save you.

  • Jerry November 30, 2015, 2:49 pm

    I’m not sure if I would even go into a fight with 10 rdns. or LESS! Especially against an AK-47. It would definitely have to be someone I know or love. If this bytch wants citizens to do her fighting for her, then lift the restrictions.

  • Geof November 29, 2015, 9:50 am

    Perhaps, Chief Lanier is suggesting civil disobedience?

    As a trained police officer She obviously understands that it is not possible to confront an armed enemy with bare hands. She is not a legislator, She cannot change the law, or as Police Chief openly tell you to break it.

    She can suggest and it seems may have suggested here that you and I can disobey laws, and go armed in effort to defeat this threat to our nation. Yes, of course risking punishment for civil disobedience, but if this is what is necessary until people wise up to the seriousness of this threat – then so be it.

    • Bill in Lexington, NC February 6, 2017, 7:35 pm

      Then, if that is what she means, she also needs to make it plain that there will be NO prosecution for the proper use of a firearm.

      In DC, you could take out a whole brigade of ISIS warriors converging on an elementary school with a .380 and a stack of 9 round magazines and STILL wind up in prison and bankrupt because you were within two miles of a school yard.

      Hey Lanier .. if we cover YOUR back, will you cover ours?

  • AT November 28, 2015, 11:53 pm

    Advocating simultaneously for potential terrorist victims to “take out the gunman”, while denying the victim the most available and effective means of doing so, is insane hypocrisy. It is analogous to banning water hoses and then asking people to run into burning buildings to put out fires by spitting on them until the fire department arrives.

    It would be laughable, except the French aren’t laughing now.

  • Texan November 28, 2015, 1:15 pm

    Chief Lanier is what I would call a true liberal. She wants to take away our Second Amendment rights, but when she and he vaunted police force can’t handle an active shooter, she wants the citizens to “take ’em out”. Yeah, right, Chief. What should we use for weapons? Sticks? Chairs? Baseball bats? With all due respect, Chief, you’re an idiot!

  • Gregg November 28, 2015, 11:02 am

    Hmmm, and woe to the person that takes out a criminal committing havoc if your weapon is unapproved in DC.

    • Bill in Lexington, NC February 6, 2017, 7:36 pm

      And, for the most part, they are ALL “unapproved” … some of them even WITHIN the confines of your own home.

  • Geof November 28, 2015, 10:05 am

    You guys just don’t get it.
    Chief Lanier is asking for help from citizens, the police cannot neutralize this threat and know it.
    The dialogue has to start somewhere. Make a suggestion rather than criticize every move. In other words be constructive!
    Call you rep and tell him you are ready to volunteer for unpaid anti-terrorist duty! During WWII their were many civilian groups involved in both armed and unarmed guarding of national infrastructure. Demand the opportunity to get involved!
    So, instead behaving like pre-madonnas and expecting the police to protect you – protect yourself. Support your country by taking action. Help the police! There are alot better shots amongst American shooters than the police anyway – heck some of us even practice.

    Hey, you might even volunteer.

  • James M. November 28, 2015, 8:01 am

    Sounds to me like she was either drunk or stoned. “When confronted with someone smoking a reefer cigarette take one for the team. Dispose of it as quickly as possible. Preferably by lighting it up, but don’t not inhale.” This lady is a moron.

  • Ken November 28, 2015, 6:23 am

    Before, I suppose we were to fend off attacks with our purses. Hypocrite. Though it appears she is coming round to the pro 2A argument.

  • alex November 27, 2015, 9:45 pm

    They won’t let you have a gun ,what does she want the people to do,spit in their eyes.

  • norman November 27, 2015, 7:46 pm

    Just like a politician, talking out of both sides of her mouth! She doesn’t want DC citizens to own or carry guns, but she wants them to “take out” criminals with their non-owned guns! Makes perfect sense-to a brainless liberal!

  • Mike Sachkowsky November 27, 2015, 5:20 pm

    “Take down”, a mass shooter? Maybe as in Paris, armed with a full auto AK? With what? I am surprised the police are armed in DC. This imitation of a real police chief has lost her grip, Maybe she doesn’t want her officers to confront a mass shooter so some unarmed citizens (preferably conservative) should “take down” the shooter with…..? Maybe throwing balled up unapproved handgun permit applications?

  • Gary November 27, 2015, 5:20 pm

    does she even listen to herself talk? She wants the citizen who she and her police do not want them to have weapons to do their job for them and shot because they do not have the tools to do it the right and safe way. Yah and Rosy only want her body guards to be able to carry.

  • -stevecarson4454 November 27, 2015, 4:09 pm

    These”rat bastards” will Never wake up!

  • Geof November 27, 2015, 3:37 pm

    My hat is off to Chief Lanier,
    “Run, hide or fight”
    Let’s fight

    It is refreshing to hear a law enforcement officer state in public what seems obvious. The police cannot defeat this threat. You must make your own decision to act and work with your fellow citizens armed or unarmed. Obviously, what follows is that a armed population facing the threat is much more potent that a disarmed one.

    Citizens of the United States taken as a whole constitute the largest armed force in the world, lets act like it.

    • Julio November 29, 2015, 3:38 am

      Geof, you are correct. Without doubt. But, do you realize the incredible damage the leftist media would go out of their way to inflict in the event that an armed citizen might try to intervene and, God forbid, commit an error? Hell, If white cops are being sent “to the chair” for shooting black hoodlums, can you imagine the repercussions? I have a carry permit, but in all fairness, I rarely carry. I carried a Colt at my waist for almost 5 years and honestly its a bit of a pain in the ass. I have an SW mod. 49, much lighter, still a nuisance. The only carry gun I like is my 1903 Colt .32. And still, its a pain in the butt while I drive. However, I have a 14″ lucite beer tap handle, very handily poised next to my seat belt release. I hope I never need it and should I, that I haul it out fast enough.

  • Blankovich November 27, 2015, 12:17 pm

    To be blunt, Cathy Lanier is literally talking out of both sides of her hypocritical mouth. While she did not propose or pass them, her public support for the draconian and evil restrictions on the self evident right of any breathing life form on the planet to self defense make this newest utterance of hers a complete sham. In her twisted world, if she had her way, you would not be allowed to carry a gun or a knife or a cudgel, but if you were in the situation those poor souls in Paris at the concert were in, you SHOULD hurl your unarmed body at the devout Muslims with the AK’s. WOW. What a hypocrite. I’m not going to waste any more words on this so-called “police chief.”

  • Larry November 27, 2015, 12:02 pm

    I think the chief will do whatever she is told to do by the crooked, leftist mayor & city council in this most left of all leftist cities in our country.
    If you’re out there, “Snuffy”, what do you have to say? (“Snuffy” is retired DC detective who thinks the sun rises & sets in Ms Lanier’s gun grabbing, Constitution violating posterior.)

  • Abner T November 27, 2015, 10:31 am

    What a hypocrite. Yea, you can’t carry a weapon to defend yourself, but be sure to throw yourself into the link of fire as cannon fodder until (if) the cops show…


  • elbowroom November 27, 2015, 9:56 am

    i guess she wants you to do her cops job for them just unarmed. what a dumb ass. although this will give you an idea of how obamaland will be when he gets your guns and his horde come down your street looking for people to butcher. there is a real for what obama does

  • Randy November 27, 2015, 9:37 am

    She never said anything about a gun, and I don’t think she will be any easier to get a permit from. I think she expects people to just run up and tackle them or hit them with anything they can find. That alternative is the new way police are saying to react to an active shooter, if you can’t get away. That is what they told our university students. One of them also stated if they came to an active shooter call and anyone had a gun they would kill them.

  • Bob November 27, 2015, 9:37 am

    I am thinking this wench has an armed security detail that is with her at all times even if they are just parked outside her house. Real easy for her to tell unarmed citizens that they should take down active shooters…

  • rev_dave November 27, 2015, 8:55 am

    Yeah, the irony of her statement while she is still refusing to approve gun permit applications from citizen residents was not lost on me. I suppose she thinks you’re supposed to throw cans of soup at the shooters?

    If you’ve changed your mind Chief, say so – and to into your office Saturday morning and approve ALL those permit applications. But right now you just look like one of the anti-gun hypocrites. Right now, you’re like some anti-gun senator who wants to disarm citizens but says citizens should defend themselves against these guys – only you’re in uniform and they are in suits. Nobody is being fooled here.

  • marstil November 27, 2015, 8:35 am

    I wonder if Chief Lanier carries. And if she doesn’t and there are a couple of guys shooting and she thinks an unarmed person should charge the shooter I say to her; “you first”.

    • DC November 27, 2015, 9:25 pm

      Ryte.. What exactly are the citizens supposed to take down an active shooter with if no-one is allowed to have they’re firearms outside of they’re homes maybe they’ll finally wake up and realize that us legally armed citizens are a great help not a hindrance

  • Chris Baker November 27, 2015, 6:20 am

    I like to hope that she has had an epiphany and has begun to see that armed citizens are not the problem and that our right to bear arms (not just firearms) is being infringed upon by the liberals in government. It is my contention that if you have to ask permission (get a permit) that is an infringement on the right. If they can tell you where you can carry your weapons, that is an infringement on the right. If they can tell you how you can carry your weapons (open or concealed) that is an infringement on your right. If they can tell you how many weapons you can have it’s an infringement on that right. If they can tell you what ammunition you can buy or how much, that is an infringement on the right. The second amendment is absolute in it’s wording of the last phrase, “…shall not be infringed.” The only legal gun control laws are the ones against committing violent crimes with them. The second amendment is truly your carry permit. All the other laws are unconstitutional.

  • Darryl November 27, 2015, 4:58 am

    with 30 years working for the DOD as civilian this is want we are school to do. hide if you can, barricade if you can, fight back when other 2 don’t work. now this is while at work so when away from work have the means to protect yourself and use it. thank God i live in a state that lets us protect ourselves.

  • totolesniper November 27, 2015, 4:35 am

    Hello, i’m french, i don’t understand this opinion….

    You can’t take all guns of citizen in one hand and ask them to fight against terrorist in another…

    In France, you can’t have guns at home, except if you are a register shooter…in this case, your gun should be in a safety box…In this special case of terrorism attack, terrorist had French notionality. Shooters who take his gun to shoot terrorist, would kill in fact french citizen, and intentionnaly, and could be attack in justice by terrorist family…

    It’s stupid, but it’s the result of many years of politics without any courage…it’s easier to take guns to regulars shooters than bad people, mostly when those peoples are comming from immigration…

    America, look at French situation about terrorism, keep some firearms at home for good citizen, hightly punish incivilities with firearm, and it will be safer for everybody..

    Kiss from France..

    • Tom Horn November 27, 2015, 7:01 pm

      Thank you for your regards, Mr/Ms. French.

      We are sorry that the Country that gave us Lady Liberty, and the frame work of our U.S. Constitution, has lost so much of her liberties and freedoms. Let it be a wake-up call for us in the States, as to what can happen if we are not vigilant about protecting our Constitutional Rights.

      Best Regards,

    • Joachim Diedrichsen November 29, 2015, 3:38 pm

      C’money monami, the French bring the goddamned terrorists all over the world. Why do you think every time there is terrorism going on they start in franch? Cause of the French Colonies? The French Legions etc.etc. if anybody does it right it’s Switzerland, I’m shore everybody knows how the gun laws run there!? Definitely not the French. I like the fact that yiu guys had the guys for Revolution centuries ago, but that’s pretty much it. Give me a brake……

  • Dave H November 27, 2015, 4:04 am

    It sounds like what she suggests is for unarmed citizens to subdue a gunman by swarming or jumping him/her/them before being shot. Hey, it could work!…….if the first 5-6 unarmed citizens don’t mind being shot in so doing. But hey, it’s for a good cause. Be a sport. When it is vogue for unarmed police to ‘subdue’ gunmen, then we’ll talk about it. What a crock of double-speak.

  • John November 24, 2015, 9:52 pm

    With denying the citizens of the District their Second Amendment rights. How does this un-American, idiot, expect people to take down an active shooter? I don’t recall her giving that answer during that interview.

    • Blasted Cap November 27, 2015, 5:27 am

      And they never asked. I guess it wasn’t in the script.

  • Tom Horn November 24, 2015, 9:46 pm

    Awwwwrg! Sorry, I just gag on a mouthful of gall. So, these dips are just waking up to the fact. America, choose your weapons against terrorist armed with high capacity, semi-auto weapons:

    a. a rat-tailed comb (Oh wait, the NSA won’t allow it) just a regular comb.
    b. Grandpa’s old single shot, shotgun (fire it up in the air, in V.P. Biden’s prescribed manner).
    c. a nail file
    d. a high capacity, semi-auto weapon

    If you didn’t pick “d,” don’t worry. Hillary will be telling you the right choice for you.

    • Steven November 27, 2015, 6:33 am

      With Hitlary in charge “d.” won’t even be an option.

    • Donald November 29, 2015, 9:44 am

      ANTI-GUN D.C. POLICE CHIEF WANTS CITIZENS TO ‘TAKE DOWN’ ACTIVE SHOOTERS with what she doesn’t believe that any America should have a gun to protect themself or their family, There it is the Police that is Armed so it has become their job to protect the citizens of D.C. And no American is going to walk up to a armed idiot without something to protect themselves with and that is GUN.

      Every true and legal American should own a gun, know how to use it, know how to store it safely. Because idiots like this Chief and others in D.C. are total morons and are forcing citizens to become sheep. Anyone for lambchops?

    • Concerned Citizen December 7, 2015, 12:31 pm

      She probably meant tackle the gunman rather than shoot him/her. After all, almost all of the successful stops of these incidents have had more to do with people overpowering the shooter physically, than shooting them. Even the heralded CCW holder in the Gifford incident ended up helping by assisting in the physical restraint of the shooter (after almost shooting a bystander who had already grabbed the shooter’s gun).

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