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The Community’s Response to Line of Duty Deaths: RIP Deputy Gumm

by Steve Warneke

When I first heard the awkward, high-pitched, horn-like sound emitting from a bagpipe, I questioned the musical integrity of the instrument. I couldn’t exactly envision myself sitting back in an armchair, wearing my smoker’s jacket, sipping a fine brandy, listening to the LP of “The World’s Greatest Bagpipe Hits.” But after 15 years in law enforcement, I now have come to understand the magic, beauty, and emotion that free flows from these amazing instruments.

When large numbers of Irish immigrants came to the United States in the 1840s, many had difficulty finding work. They were only able to apply for unwanted, dangerous, and difficult jobs, including those of firefighter and police officer. So it follows that when one of them was killed in the line of duty, the Irish community would hold a traditional Irish funeral, which included the beautiful bagpipes. Over time, this tradition spread to all of those killed in the line of duty, regardless of their heritage.

Unfortunately, you will have an opportunity to hear bagpipes this Friday if you listen to, watch, or go to the services for Adams County Sheriff’s Deputy Heath Gumm. While attempting to question a suspect involved in a dispute in Thornton, Colorado, he was killed after being shot several times in the chest. Gumm is one of eight officers to die in the line of duty, five of them by gunfire in America, since the beginning of the year.

Here’s why the death of a peace officer is so significant to our community.

Police officers are the defenders of our society. They are symbols of peace and justice. They are the reason we are afforded our quality of life. If all police officers left the job right now, there would be rioting, looting, and anarchy within hours, all over America’s streets. We have seen just how quickly that scenario can materialize after major events like Hurricane Katrina. Police officers are the reason we can sleep peacefully, voice our opinions, or take our Louis Vuitton bag out in public to go get a latte at Starbucks.

The most valuable thing any of us have is our life. It’s more valuable than money, possessions, or knowledge. Surely even Steve Jobs would have traded in all his billions of dollars to continue to live. We as a society recognize and acknowledge the sanctity of human life, and this belief is reflected in our laws and religions. Yet police officers go out everyday and literally gamble their lives for the peace and prosperity of strangers. They drive INTO the chaos, violence, and danger while everyone else is running AWAY.

For these reasons, the death of a police officer deserves our time, respect, and attention. It’s important to pay tribute to the men and women who are the modern day heroes of our world, especially when one of them is ripped away from their family, friends and loved ones by a criminal intent on disrupting our beautiful way of life.




I had a tough time after OIF and OEF attending funerals. As a police officer in our Nation’s Capital there were quite a few more to attend. I played bagpipes with the Metropolitan Police Pipe and Drum Band, honoring my fellow officers and my Irish heritage. I stood in tac vest and a ski mask in August for over an hour holding a salute on a median strip as the procession to honor a fallen Maryland trooper passed. See, his part time job where he was gunned down in the back was at TGI Friday’s on the other side of the shopping center where I guarded a grocery store. Neither one of us made enough to live in the area without part time jobs.

I continue to serve my community today as a rural lawman in Arizona. The Blue Line is thin and at times it breaks. Ordinary, law abiding citizens, Minutemen really, step in and fill the breach.  A preacher in Florida assisting a trooper fighting for his life on the side of a highway, a Texas NRA Instructor who ran barefoot with his AR to a rapid motion murder in a rural clapboard church and saved dozens from death, a mom performing CPR in a Walmart until paramedics arrive.  First aid training, medical kits in cars, CCW permits and lawful carry.  Victim or sandbag?  Yours to decide.  We need you though.  Honor the fallen, be prepared to assist if called by a cop, your neighborhood, state or country.  We need you. – Squatch



The Community’s Response to Line of Duty Deaths:  RIP Deputy Gumm

Brian “Squatch” Krogmann is second from the right, standing next to TX NRA Instructor Stephen Willeford, the man who stopped the killing at Sutherland Springs, TX by grabbing his AR and running, barefoot, toward the sound of the gunfire – a true example of what the Founders expected of all Americans, in the finest tradition of the Minutemen.   On the left are Army Ranger veteran Ivan Chaplinsky and his wife Margarita, and on the far right of the photo is John, a local Texas Oath Keeper volunteer.  They had the honor to meet Mr. Willeford while working a security detail for the church while the community healed.






  1. As Brian pointed out, it is not just the current serving cop alone who keeps the peace and keeps a lid on things during breakdowns in social order, or who saves lives when disaster strikes. It is also the retired cops along with us military veterans, as well as patriotic gun-owners who may have never formally served, but are still willing and able – like Stephen Willeford – who keep the peace and keep the wolves at bay, when the chips are down.

    In the end, when crap gets TRULY FUBAR, it takes all of us in the American warrior class to preserve life, liberty, and the Constitution.

    We saw that in the wake of Katrina, Harvey, and many other hurricanes, with volunteer teams such as those in “the Cajun Navy” saving thousands of lives. We were honored to do our part in three hurricanes in 2017 alone, in TX, FL, and in Puerto Rico.

    When it comes to civil unrest, we saw that (and did that) in Ferguson, MO in 2014, where both military and LEO Oath Keepers volunteers stood watch with rifles on rooftops every night to prevent murderous arsonists from being able to burn down occupied buildings (there were apartments above the shops with families living inside).

    And we saw that, again, in person, in 2017 in Berkeley, CA (twice), in Boston, MA, in Portland, OR as well as at dozens of other events across the nation, when Oath Keepers retired cops and military veterans worked closely with current serving LEOs from the various local PDs to keep a lid on Antifa and prevent them from violating the rights of other Americans (and credit also goes to numerous Three Percenter groups who also helped across the nation).

    And as Brian noted, we most recently saw the spirit of the Minuteman in the action of every-day Hero, Stephen Willeford. He was not prior service military or police, but he sure as shootin is an American warrior who knew what needed done and knew how to do it, and above all, answered the call and ran toward the gunfire when fate came knocking.

    It takes all of us to be willing to answer the call, and our turn may come at any moment, on any day. May we be ready to respond with honor, courage, integrity, and love of our fellow Americans to do the right thing. And may we accept the risk that we may fall while doing so, and be willing to pay that price if that is what it takes.

    And on that point, while I appreciate the perspective of Officer Warneke, the author of the above article from Law Enforcement Today, I have to respectfully disagree with his statement that “The most valuable thing any of us have is our life.” Actually, the most valuable thing any of us have is our honor. And there are some things worse than death – and the dishonor of failing to act, when duty, honor, and country calls, is one of them.

    Death before dishonor.

    1. God Bless, and I am sorry for his death. My heart goes out to his family.

      “it is not just the current serving cop alone who keeps the peace and keeps a lid on things during breakdowns in social order, or who saves lives when disaster strikes. ”

      Then why was OK members on rooftops while the “thin blue line” stood by? Why was it only the people who came to assist the Bundy’s from unlawful government actions? Why was there both state and federal cops at the pre arranged roadblocks and MURDER of Lavoy Finicum?
      What about the other rancher that was murdered after he was called in to put down his bull that had been hit by a car and those “law” officers murdered him when he was putting down his bull? What about all the UNLAWFUL breaking and entering of homes? Etc, etc, etc.

      “… where both military and LEO Oath Keepers volunteers”

      Yeah, key word being “Oathkeepers”.

      Basically, we have no lawful officers today because they stand by or assist when these unlawful and unconstitutional things occur.

      “… it takes all of us in the American warrior class to preserve life, liberty, and the Constitution. ‘

      All who took that Oath, KEEP IT. Because at this time you are not, and those actions do NOT “preserve life, liberty, and the Constitution”. Stop working against our LEGITIMATE government. You are the problem, and you are the solution. Keep that Oath. (Before you get all ticked off, those are my family members I am describing and they did/and do worse – and yes, I do tell them, send them the US Constitution, and the Oaths they took – military and Le). I agree that today the choice to be a LAWFUL and CONSTITUTIONAL Officer, and military, is very difficult. But did you not choose that profession for whatever reason, knowing that your life may be on the line? Is it so difficult to do the same for your country LAWFULLY and CONSTITUTIONALLY, instead of working against it by “just following orders” and “just doing the job”?

      Please choose your country, the US Constitution because if you are not aware, do the research. Know the homes, the cars, the weapons, the “toys”, etc that you all own at this time, or plan to own? You will own nothing, not even the clothes on your back; nor any choice of what you will eat or drink, and lots of other things if the USA, the US Constitution and each state’s Constitution falls.

      We are “at war” unLawfully with many foreign nations with military who took the Oath to “SUPPORT AND DEFEND” the US Constitution, not take and follow unlawful orders from military brass or the President (who is ONLY the Commander in Chief after the Congress declares war and calls out the military – no one else has any LAWFUL authority to call out the US Military unless we are attacked on US soil, then the President can take action). So why are you following those unlawful orders? You are needed here to assist in the charging of crimes against all branches (yes, including the military brass), prosecute, etc. You should also be witnesses in some of those trials because YOU RECEIVED UNLAWFUL ORDERS. There has not been a LAWFUL, constitutional war since WW2 (and some question it).

      Right now, I know of no officer that keeps the Oath. Not one. Show me one. Because you are REQUIRED to NOT follow and carry out unlawful orders, your Oath is to that document, and if state LE, to your state’s Constitution. There is NO person or office above those documents. SWAT – unlawful, TSA – nothing lawful about that agency let alone who enforces and carries out the “duties”, NSA – same, etc.

      OK needs to teach people who take the Oath what it requires of them. Then they can actually make an intelligent choice of either to continue to work against our nation and legitimate government, or to start to work FOR it and the American people.

      Before you say what about me, I do what I can, even if it ticks off the people I love – and it does. Mobility is difficult for me, but when I can, I do. And, as all of you know here, I never shut up about our country, the corruption within it though I too am paying for those actions.

      BTW, different subject – anyone supporting, or involved int, the split up of California into three different states – Jefferson (Calif and Oregon counties), Northern California (lower northern Calif to just before Sacramento), and California (Sacramento and southern)? That would give the Union 2 more states that are constitutional, and the commie rest of the state wants to leave the Union. Because, for any interested, in that state it is San Francisco/Bay area and LA/surrounding area that controls the votes in that state because of the masses of humanity that are crammed there.

      1. Cal, you paint with far too broad a brush, and do a great disservice to our cause by doing so.

        “Right now, I know of no officer that keeps the Oath. Not one. Show me one.” Are you kidding? How about Brian Krogmann, who is still current serving in Arizona as an Arizona Ranger? You saying he is not keeping his oath? He has traveled with me, as an unpaid volunteer, all over the nation and has put himself in harms way over and over – twice in Berkeley, standing up to Antifa, then in Boston, then in Portland, then again in Dallas when he and I, along with a retired Federal officer and a Texas combat vet all worked together as a PSD for a speaker who had death threats from jihadists. He was also with us in Texas for hurricane relief, and most recently at the church in Sutherland Springs, TX after the attack there. Are you saying Brian is not keeping his oath?

        Or how about Greg McWhirter, who is a current serving sheriff deputy in Montana, and is on our national BOD? Is he an oath breaker too? Please explain how.

        And at Berkely, twice, we had several current serving California LEO members of Oath Keepers who were with us, again as unpaid volunteers, helping defend free speech and assembly from radical anarchist and communist violence. Please don’t try to tell me they are oath breakers as well.

        Or what about that ICE officer that President Trump recognized the other night during the SOTU address? The one who has spent years hunting down MS13 illegal aliens. How, exactly, is he violating his oath? Please explain.

        It is fine to say that some, or even many, cops don’t honor their oath, but it is wrong to say that none do. Because we know some who most certainly do, every damn day.

        And one last point – the local cops in Ferguson did NOT stand down. They were busting their asses to keep a lid on things, but were overwhelmed. They welcomed our help, and were very friendly toward us. It was the county sheriff who was a political sell out and oath breaker, who had his men stand down and do little or nothing, while the Ferguson PD continued to bust their asses.

        And it was the Governor of Missouri who had the NG protecting only government buildings and the homes of the wealthy, while leaving the rest of the town to burn, who also violated his oath and dropped the ball. That was the real vacuum we were there to fill. It was the National Guard as the militia who should have been on those rooftops, like we said in our open letter to the Governor. We were there to fill in for them.

        And we were there to show the people of Ferguson what they needed to do for themselves, as the rest of the militia -and some did do just that. You may recall the photos of young black men standing guard with rifles and shotguns outside of stores to stop looters.

        But there were simply not enough cops on the Ferguson PD to do it. They were overwhelmed. That doesn’t make them oath breakers. It just makes them too few to get it done without we the people.

        And that was my point. It takes all of us.


      2. Cal, you are more correct than most of the postings I have seen even among Oathkeepers. Don’t be convinced otherwise, patriot.

  2. As a police officer in a rural community in Central Florida I was fortunate to have a community for the most part that truly supported the Law Enforcement, firefighters and EMS. They saw us a an important part of their community and made sure we knew it. When we did have a Officer death the whole community turned out in support of the family and the departments. In this way I was very lucky compared to some of my friends and brothers in law enforcement that worked and served in communities that saw them as the enemy and treated them as such. Even so they got up every morning, put on their uniform, and went out into that same community and put their life on the line for people that could really care less if they lived or died. That my friends is what is defined as Duty, Honor, and Selflessness. They do not do it to get rich as anyone in law enforcement can attest too. They do it out of a desire to serve and protect the community they and their families live in.

    These same people that hate and despise cops are the first to call them when they need help and these LEO’s always show up and deal with the darkness that many people refuse to believe exist.

    In the U.S. we are in the middle of a culture crisis that views the police as the problem and not the people that are out to do harm to people in their own community and are killed when they attack police. They claim the police were at fault and when the police officer is killed they cheer the death as justified and he deserved it. This is the crisis of culture that we have to win or all will be lost.

  3. Lt Col Dave Grossman, PhD, has opined that if all the doctors were killed, people would, of course, die. But in 2 or 3 generations, we’d be OK. If all the engineers were killed, bridges would fall. But in 2 or 3 generations, we’d be OK. But of the thin blue line was taken way, society would collapse into chaos, & it would take perhaps a thousand years to recover.

    1. Well, I have to disagree with that. As much as I respect my brother Oath Keepers who are cops, this nation had no professional police forces until the late 1800s. In the early days of the American Republic, it was the people themselves who kept the peace, as the town militia, and then also as a posse for the sheriff (and outside the major cities, such as NYC and Chicago, that was how it was into the 20th Century – most towns had a sheriff, and maybe one or two deputies, and had to rely on the local citizens to back them up).

      If all the professional police were to walk off the job today, we the people would fill that vacuum very quickly, out of necessity. I don’t say this to disparage what current serving police do. I am just pointing out a fact, and a historic fact at that.

      Just like in my small rural Montana community we don’t have a professional, paid fire department, but instead rely on volunteer fire-fighters (with my son being one of them), we would also provide for law enforcement to back our sheriff on a volunteer basis if we had to.

      And in many rural areas of the US, they do in fact still rely on volunteer LEOs The Arizona Rangers are an example – and Brian Krogmann is one of them. As far as I know, they are all unpaid volunteers. I’ll let Brian chime in on that.

      And we all need to recognize the reality that even right now, there are simply not enough police to keep the peace during serious social breakdown or natural disaster. We see again and again that they will be overwhelmed. And it always, ALWAYS, falls to the people themselves to provide for their own security or for their own rescue and relief when that breakdown and overwhelm happens.

      Truly, what we need is a full restoration of the militia system in this nation, because only that will provide the manpower- as in raw numbers – to get the job done in actual emergencies.

      The recent response of the “Cajun Navy” volunteers who responded en mass to Hurricane Harvey is just the latest example of that reality. There were not enough Texas lawmen, or Texas search and rescue, or, in fact, enough “professionals” even from nearby states to get that job done, and the Texas Governor knew it, which is why he specifically called for the Cajun Navy to come from LA. What was the Cajun Navy? The militia of the people of the state of Louisiana. That is what they really were. Not officially, but in reality, hell yeh.

      And the Cajun Navy from LA was joined by every day hero volunteer Texans, again in the finest tradition of volunteerism in America. The men who fought at the Alamo were also volunteers, who came from all over the nation, including back East, and few of them were “professional” soldiers or lawmen. Most were simply frontiersmen, adventurers, and just simple patriots.

      I am all for recognizing the sacrifices and risks of current serving police. But let’s not act like they are the only thing holding civilization together, while the rest of us sit on our asses. That is not how it is, or how it should be.

  4. 1. Death is not the enemy of those who are in Christ Jesus.
    2. There should be no mercy on those who kill others with intent and in wickedness. They should have their lives taken. Otherwise society will become armed camps. Oh, it already is

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