Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Shoot to ill.

Ah, New York City (aka Greater Bloombergia); the city where the cops didn't get hollow-point ammunition until, like, last Tuesday. Now some elected official who has no idea what guns are about or from which end the bullet emerges is trying to meddle with NYPD policy again:
The "minimum force" bill, which surfaced in the Assembly last week, seeks to amend the state penal codes' "justification" clause that allows an officer the right to kill a thug if he feels his life or someone else's is in imminent danger.

The bill -- drafted in the wake of Sean Bell's controversial police shooting death -- would force officers to use their weapons "with the intent to stop, rather than kill" a suspect. They would be mandated to "shoot a suspect in the arm or the leg."

Look, Albert, one reason we aim for the middle of the bad guy is so that if we miss our point of aim by, say, six inches in any direction, we're still hitting something that deserves to be shot. Namely the bad guy.

Another reason is that, contrary to popular belief, the gun is not a magic wand. You can't guide the bullet to its final resting place with mind waves. In most shooting situations, you should be glad when your officers hit the suspect at all, let alone some specific part of the suspect.

Lastly, you need to rid yourself of the damnfool notion that there's a "nice" way to shoot somebody. If you blow apart a knee joint or a wrist with a bullet, or puncture a femoral artery, is that somehow kinder than putting one right in the boiler room? All that Hollywood make-believe crap where the good guy just "wings" the bad guy, and it's "only a flesh wound" is just that: Hollywood make-believe crap.

Go write laws about topics you understand well, like graft and corruption, and leave the shooting to the shooters.


OA said...

Are you trying to tell me that Little Joe wasn't that good of a shot?

Weer'd Beard said...

Been listening to Danny Glover again.

Remember kids, taking a hit to the shoulder just hurts really bad, but does less damage than falling off your 10-speed on a patch of sand.

Just grit your teeth and push on.

So sez Hollywood.

Also Anybody wearing the white hat of good-guy can totally hit a rat in the eye at 100 paces using an unsupported grip and not using the sights.

Also its totally cool to flinch up like you got nut-checked every time your prop-gun touches off a blank.

I'm Weer'd and I'm a movie buff as well as a gun-nut! : ]

Weer'd Beard said...

OMG did you see the stock-shot for the article???

Look at the dork in the rent-a-cop uniform doing that wonderful "Wrist-Brace" support hold that just screams "I have no idea how to shoot".

Anonymous said...

btw Tam, you said "...when I arrived home..." in your last post; don't think I've seen you use that term about Indy before as you return from one of your excursions. That's good. AT

wolfwalker said...

?? I remember reading somewhere that hollow-point rounds, or at least some types, can kill no matter where they hit. "Hydrostatic shock" or something like that?

WV: undumb. No, I am not making that up.

Peter said...

A shot to any limb can lead to a rapid loss of blood and shock, which leads to a cold, clammy badguy.
What needs to happen in response to the shootings of NYC'ers by trigger happy cops is more training.

Lissa said...

In these situations I like to remind people of the "I am the only one" video. Cop was a big guy, sure, but he was limping around with a shot in his leg and asking for a second gun. Add in a little coke or PCP and all sorts of fun will ensue when you shoot to wound!

staghounds said...

Why don't they use their Harry Potter law making abilities at full stretch?

I propose a law mandating that everyone make the very best decisions all the time.

That should fix things right up.

Lewis said...

Heck, in my wilder moments I think cops should be issued a nerf bat and a whistle. Bring back the hue and cry!

RobertM said...

That kind of utter stupidity calls for retroactive abortion.

Mark said...

Here's a story told to me by an old shooting buddy (since gone to that rifle-range-in-the-sky) who was a NYC Transit Authority cop (before the TAPD merged into the NYPD).

At the time the cops were still carrying .38 DAO revolvers, the TAPD was evaluating 9mm's for possible use. A couple of officers (Lieutenants IIRC) had wonder-nines and threw down on a perp on a subway platform. At a range of about 10-15 FEET, they were flinching so badly that the rounds were hitting the concrete floor, fragmenting, and peppering the front of the perps jeans with copper and lead fragments. The conclusion they drew (and I WISH I was kidding about this) was that the 9mm was unsuitable for use by TAPD because it wasn't powerful enough to penetrate DENIM.

Yeah, I'd trust these guys to hit an arm or leg. Hey, they hit the FLOOR successfully.

B Smith said...

Any other cynics out there think that this just might be another attempt to get more cops killed, in order to further the OMGTHECRIMINALSARE WINNING panic?
I just have a hard time believing that people are this stupid.

Bug said...

The lawmaker is an idiot; Tam-Fu snark chop to the neck was well delivered.

I'll add that the surest reform is to give the thugs in government costumes no more level of authority to defend himself or others than the authority given to the citizen. Then the imbalance of thugs in costumes vs. honorable cops will reach a more just equilibrium.

Tam said...


Here's the problem: Suppose something like this does go through. Do you want your local politicians thinking "Well, if shooting them in the leg is good enough for the NYPD..."

ZerCool said...

Do you want your local jury thinking "Well, if shooting them in the leg is good enough for the NYPD..."

Fixed it for ya...

Bill said...

IIRC wasn't it the lovely Mrs. Annette Robinson (D-Bed Stuy) who bit a Police Officer in a street confrontation and years later tried to run over a NY State Trooper at the capital in Albany because he wouldn't let her into a parking lot? She's a big fan of the Police!

Joe in PNG said...

You know a bill is Stupid, Stupid, STUPID! when Joe Freaking Biden thinks it's a bad idea.

Anonymous said...

Bi(nla)den is against it? Huh, it can't be all bad then; I musta missed something.

Anonymous said...

Somewhat off topic, but the NY Post carries Ralph Peters as a columnist. He is an excellent one and I enjoy reading his stuff.

On topic - I'd like NY to pass that law and watch the cops quit catching bad guys. Be interesting...

Al T.

Don said...

Wolfwalker, right but wrong. It gets complicated, but basically:

1. Gunshots to any part of the body can be fatal because they cause bleeding, and bleeding is eventually fatal if nothing stops it. Hollow points, if they expand, may cause more bleeding than you would otherwise see, and if you hit a vital organ, they may destroy more of it than a non-expanding bullet of the same caliber.

2. "Hydrostatic shock" exists, but is widely overblown. It takes a ton of velocity to make it happen, and hollow points aren't involved either way. I don't know of any handgun that causes a significant amount of damage through hydrostatic shock, and there's debate over how important it is in most rifle rounds, too.

3. Hydrostatic shock, if it occurs, usually causes more damage along the wound channel. So if your wound is in a non-vital area (though as Tam pointed out, there are fewer of those than people think!) hydrostatic shock is probably not going to be the difference between life and death.

The Jack said...

This is what happens when politicians divorced from reality AKA "the reality based comunity" make laws.

You can see it with any other policy they make that's not centered on "graft and corruption".

Of course you can make a gun shoot to wound. Of course you can fund welfare without limit. Of course you can tax buisnesses and they won't leave or close.

alath said...

Plenty of apt criticisms here of this dumb idea, but for me the key of the matter is this:

If you are in a situation that justifies deadly force, then by definition, something VERY BAD is about to happen. If you do anything other than employ the most effective possible force, then you're much more likely going to ALLOW that VERY BAD THING to happen.

If the situation isn't serious enough to require lethal force, then use something other than a gun.

Firehand said...

B Smith, it's true: there really are people that ignorant and/or stupid out there. And some of them make laws.

Never held a gun, scared of them or true hoplophobe, NO idea what's involved in shooting under stress and yet they think they can dictate crap like this.

And there are enough likeminded idiots who'll think it sounds nice that it'll have a chance of passing. Which, by the way, is not counting the fools who wouldn't mind seeing more dead cops, they'll push right along for this.

Steve Skubinna said...

Reminds me of the bit in the Clancy novel Patriot Games when the barrister (paid by the IRA) is grilling Jack Ryan about his shooting of a terrorist and asks "Did you consider just shooting him in the arm, or shooting his gun out of his hand?" (or words to that effect. Ryan, of course, takes the guy to pieces from the stand.

But I would support disarming NYPD officers, at least to the extent that the so-called "citizens" of NYC are. I absolutely believe that police forces should not be permitted to carry weapons forbidden the general population. If the citizenry cannot carry, then the cops ought not either.

Montie said...

Believe it or not, as a cop of 25 years, I AGREE that civilian cops should not be allowed to carry weapons forbidden to the general "law abiding" population. I own some NFA firearms that I bought BEFORE I went into law enforcement, obviously their possession didn't immediately turn me into some kind of domestic terrorist, and some of the tools we use are just as applicable for civilian self defense as they are for cops.

The lawmaker who came up with this gem obviously watched too much Hopalong Cassidy and Roy Rogers growing up. Hell, the reason we are all taught to shoot center mass (civilians and cops alike) is in hopes of connecting bullet with badguy SOMEWHERE on his body. In the stress of a gunfight with both parties moving, a center aim is the best chance for that. I might add, as other have pointed out, it's called "deadly force" because it can result in death or maiming to the one it is applied to, it is already a LAST RESORT and there is no way to insure that an aim for an appendage in the dynamics of a gunfight will not result in a perfect 10-ring hit, since the opposite is often the case.

BTW, all our other cool toys like OC spray, Tasers, etc.are called "Less Lethal" rather than "Less THAN Lethal" because there is no guarantee that death will not result from their use.

Hmmm, my word verification is "nowit", hope that doesn't apply to my comments :)

Anonymous said...

"Go write laws about topics you understand well, like graft and corruption, and leave the shooting to the shooters."

You are wise beyond your years :^)

This ought to be sent to all the 50 states & the DC.
Ulises from CA

The Rich Wasp said...

I don't own a gun, and haven't fired one since I was a Boy Scout thirty years ago. Even I know that if you have to use deadly force to defend yourself, you shoot for center of mass, not the head. Head shots may be more lethal, but its harder to miss the center of mass.