Novel take on the Empire State Bldg shootings
The Palm Beach Post argues that if a police officer wound up shooting nine bystanders, it must be that CCW holders would have done worse.
I suspect that actual, departmental training is modest, at best. That's not illogical, since it's training for an event that will never happen to most officers, so far more time is spent on what will be routine for them. But since the great majority of LEOs are gun enthusiasts, they get their real training the way all gun enthusiasts do, on their own time. In NYC, tho, opportunities for sport shooting are not easy to come by. One officer, I'm told, handled it well. The other seems to have done very poorly -- but then, his training and practice may have been miniscule.
One of the problems of police is that they always come into these situations after the situation is already well advanced, and there's the inevitable delay as the policeman entering a situation that's already in progress tries to figure out what happened and who's the bad guy. That delay can make a situation worse and place yet more people in harm.
When you are dealing with an ordinary person carrying concealed, who is present when a situation develops, they already know who is the bad guy, and what needs to be done. They don't need to try to figure out what is going on. They can take action immediately.
If someone in that office had been carrying a defensive weapon, the bad guy in this instance probably would not have even made it to the street in the first place. He would likely have been held and/or shot right in the office or in the lobby, and that would have been it.
Obvious counter-example to this article's conclusion is the previous defensive shooting in the internet cafe in Florida, where one good guy with a concealed gun instantly ended an armed robbery or worse immediately, with no innocents harmed at all. A policeman entering that store could have turned it into a real bloodbath.
Posted by: K at August 30, 2012 06:28 PM
It's not that police firearm training is modest, it's really not. I have a good friend that's an instructor for a major metropolitan police department and we've talked for hours about training. It's more that shooting, especially pistol shooting, is a perishable skill that requires a lot more than semi-annual or even quarterly qualification to maintain proficiency.
Posted by: deadcenter at August 31, 2012 12:57 AM
SOME police officers receive excellent training and practice regularly. MOST police officers receive basic marksmanship (and occaassionally safety) training once, during their time at the academy. After that, there are the periodic qualifications, for which some departments provide both ammunition and paid time to practice beforehand. Like everyone else, police officers are loathe to do anything they are not personally interested in, and moreso for anything that will cost them both personal funds and personal time.
SOME non-police practice shooting regularly, and some of them practice shooting in what are called "dynamic situations" - IDPA and IPSIC are possibly the most attended.
I am curious where you got that [quote]the great majority of LEOs are gun enthusiasts[/quote]. My experience, and reports from most cop blogs and message boards, is that the majority of cops carry a gun only because they have to, and have no interest in guns outside of work.
The truth, as best it can be discerned, is most likely that neither the majority of cops or non-cop carriers (CCW or Open Carry) are going to be able to pull off highly controlled shots under the stress of a situation such as the Empire State Bldg. shooting. The difference is that the cops are "required" to shoot while non-cops have the opportunity to not get involved. That bering the case, cops should be required to be better than their current bullseye marksmanship training prepares them to be.
Posted by: Anonymous at August 31, 2012 05:32 AM
Weak. Maybe it's because I'm military trained--
I was struck in security video how all the participants literally stood tall, never seeking some sort of available cover, and slugged it out to last man standing.
Nothing like hitting a wave head on.
Posted by: Mark-1 at August 31, 2012 10:10 AM
My experience is that most police are no more "gun enthusiasts" than they are "ham radio operators". Carrying a gun or a radio, receiving rudimentary training in their operation, and expecting that one may need to use it one day before they retire, doesn't make them enthusiasts or experts any more than the piano in my living room (on which I took lessons decades ago) makes me a concert pianist. I don't know about other jurisdictions, but Massachusetts' police qualification standards can be met by brand new shooters with a single day of training. Most police never bother spending the time and money to advance beyond that level.
Posted by: Ken M at August 31, 2012 04:36 PM