Thursday, October 3, 2013

Training Has Not Made Police Safer with a Weapon

      What happened at the White House today with the chase, shooting and killing of a woman who slammed her car into the White House barricades is instructive for several reasons. It seems senseless to try to ram a car through barricades designed to repel just such an act, for one. Go around, idiot. Go around, to borrow from B. Cosby. When the cops decide to shoot they exercise that military cliche', kill 'em all. Let God sort 'em out. Check lockers for that T-shirt. Firearms training for cops either doesn't stick, isn't very good or unintentionally enables the gunslinger found in some cops.
      In D.C., L.A., N.Y., and who knows how many other towns and cities cops can't hit what they're shooting at, don't care what they might and do hit and seem to think the badge gives them the power and right to spray and pray out in a very public place.
       It seems that the one correct move the cops made today was that this car had to be stopped. A speeding car, possibly loaded with explosives, chemical or biological weapons leaves No time to assess the situation for purposes of bringing a dangerous situation to a peaceful conclusion. Even though the cops handled their weapons very poorly, the judgement to use them in the heat of the moment was more than likely the correct one.
        If the numerous examples of police mishandling of firearms is an indication of the resulting safety, then formal training will not make the private bearing of firearms any safer. I contend that the training, badge, uniform and attending authority brings out the gunslinger in most cops. Instead of making them more careful, it makes them go a bit wild. Why would that be? Because the consequences of a legal but wholly unsafe use of a firearm has only minor repercussions.
    Unlike the repercussions of a private citizen who, for perfectly defensible reasons, brandishes and fires even one shot, even finding its mark, God help you if you miss and hit an innocent, a cop who shoots an innocent during a legal use of his weapon is usually immune to any criminal prosecution or civil liability.
      What then prompts a rare post from Naut Right? The gun grabbers persistent demands that private gun owners must undergo training to a level somewhat like the police, that's what prompts this post. The liability of private citizens acts as a brake on gunslinger attitudes. Maybe even the relative legal safety of an attacker is a factor in prompting a considerable reluctance of the private citizen to use firearms in self defense. The Martin-Zimmerman case reflects that phenomena. A cop is not immune to human impulses because of firearms training. As previously stated, a set of circumstances unique to police work seem to prompt quite an opposite effect once a justifiable use of a weapon is decided upon, than the training intends, which is a careful use of firearms. 
      Therefore firearms training isn't the panacea for the safety concerns of the gun grabbers. It only acts as a screening device, taking put those who can't afford the money or time to get the training. The cops prove it more than occasionally. 
       Let's push back on their demands for training that doesn't impact the problem. Let's flesh out and refine the narrative that the present legal environment supplies the private citizen with the necessary brake upon any tendencies to go all gunslinger and tame the wild west.