The 9/11 memorial, like many museums these days, doesn't allow guns inside; after all, 9/11 is a big reason why so many more places now have metal detectors and the like. But many of the first responders the memorial is meant in part to honor are retired or off-duty cops, who like to carry guns with them as a matter of course. (The gun ban doesn't apply to on-duty officers.)
One retired detective, who'd been part of the rescue efforts ten years ago, was stopped from entering the memorial because he was packing heat. He's taking the rule as a personal affront.
"I still can not believe the disrespect I felt, and feel now," Reardon wrote in an e-mail to DNAinfo after the Sept. 18 incident. "We are retired members of the NYPD. We all have permits to carry our weapons. We are not criminals. We are not terrorists."
The memorial will make an exception to the ban on seven days that are dedicated specifically to honoring first responders, an inconsistency that only has the cops even more angry. "It's as though law enforcement feels we're more of a threat on some days and less on other days. It makes no sense," one retired officer said.