Law Enforcement and the Survivor
A big part of the enforcement of laws, rules and regulations is discretion on the part of the enforcer. It is the first lesson of almost every police academy. All police are taught the lesson that it is impossible and impractical to enforce all laws on all people all of the time. A law enforcer of any kind is fully expected to exercise discretion in enforcing the certain laws in certain situations. You as the survivor should endeavor to conduct yourself in a manner that puts you on the better side of the discretion of the enforcer.
The average enforcer's attention has three focuses. First is the severity of the violation. Second is the likelihood of finding compelling evidence of the violation. Third is the likelihood of successfully dealing with the perpetrator of the violation. If the enforcer sees these elements justify action, the enforcer will then make that action a priority. Police will not commonly pursue minor infractions of the law, they will not pursue difficult cases without easily obtained evidence, and they will not pursue cases against people who exercise influence in the "system".
Remember that there is a major human element in this. Pride runs deep with law enforcers, along with what is usually a strong social conscience. A true sense of justice may or may not play a role in their decision making, but we often pray that it does.
Another player is the enemy who will attempt to focus the attention of the enforcer against you. This enemy is commonly a known as a "snitch" Anybody can decide to be a snitch or a scout for enemies and thieves. Snitching as a form of personal attack is a common weapon in totalitarian societies. People will align themselves with the power of the state and use state enforcement as a weapon against personal and political enemies. False accusations can be the most dangerous weapon in a totalitarian society.
A very dangerous player of this type is the professional informant. These people make a career in the private sector building cases against people and organizations. In many cases, these careers can be very lucrative. Asset seizure and forfeiture laws are commonly constructed to pay a portion of seized assets to the informant. In other cases, there can be simple cash rewards, or the furtherance of a political agenda.
A very common way the snitch makes a lucrative career is from the implicit license to commit certain types profitable crime, then enjoy immunity from prosecution as payment for testimony or information. Certain thieves and contraband dealers are commonly allowed to operate by the authorities as long as they "cooperate" when called to do so. A strong example of this is the Yakuza in Japan. As an organized crime syndicate, they are practically licensed to handle certain illegal businesses in Japan.
So called "watchdog" organizations are the quasi-political informants who will often investigate and spy on individuals and groups to provide damaging information to both law enforcement and non-governmental enemies. Two of the most well known "watchdog" umbrella groups are the Southern Law Poverty Center, which targets "white supremacists", and the ADL (Anti Defamation League of B'nai B'rith) which targets perceived threats to Judaism. These organizations have extensive access to the media and enjoy a relatively high level of credibility with law enforcement. Neither organization carries out acts of enforcement, although the ADL has strong links to the Israeli military, police and intelligence establishment. Both organizations raise tens of millions of dollars annually through a variety of means, mostly by donations through direct mail fundraising efforts and lawsuits.
One newer organization that is sure to be a major player in the coming years operates a web site called the Militia Watchdog. It was started by Mark Pitcavage of Ohio State University and has received multi-million dollar grants to study the militia movement, hate groups and survivalists. SPLC and Militia Watchdog both focus their efforts on monitoring organizations whose membership is primarily white, Christian and armed. Generally speaking if you are white, male, Christian and own guns, you will be a target of their investigative efforts. It does not mean that those efforts will result in you being listed with the FBI as an enemy of the state. These organizations generally look out for their credibility and will not set out to smear someone unless they have a reason. They will, however, have no respect for your right to hold private views they deem objectionable.
Many other "crime watch" organizations that work more directly with law enforcement deal with non-white groups and individuals. "Gang watch" groups and intelligence arms of law agencies often target any groups of blacks or Hispanics that are believed to posses weapons. In many cases, special legislation that has been enacted to deal with the 'threat' of gangs has been crafted to provide the legal groundwork for actions against "members" of these groups. This includes added monitoring, enhanced punishments for minor crimes, and enhanced funding for the prosecution and incarceration of these people.
Among the most difficult and enigmatic groups for the "watchdogs" do deal with are immigrant and exile communities. Many immigrant and exile communities include former police and military personnel who have not given up their role or the means to protect their peers. In some cases, they profess to maintain arms and train to liberate their country from it's current government. Others, after being pursued and persecuted have developed self defense organizations to deal with attacks from within and outside the law. In some cases, arms of the intelligence and military organizations of the home country operate clandestinely in the host country. They will commonly be under the surveillance of the state security apparatus of the host country but diplomatic considerations will limit actions taken against these groups.
Another difficult class of survivors and owners of combat firearms are military and police personnel who obtain private collections of weapons and equipment, both legally and illegally. Many shooting clubs in the UK were predominately clubs for off duty police and military personnel and they often represent a tolerated class of lawbreakers in regards to highly restrictive British gun laws. It is common for such gun enthusiasts and collectors to gravitate toward the same kinds of weapons that they use professionally, i.e. cops who accumulate guns tend to accumulate handguns, while Infantrymen tend to accumulate rifles. That is why it is relatively common for war veterans and retired policemen to have secret stashes of weapons. Their arsenals are generally tolerated by the authorities as long as they are not so large as to represent a threat to public safety.