Sunday, June 19, 2011

Think You're Going to Shoot Someone?

What with all the screeching about CCW coming to Wisconsin, we find here a very handy and brief lesson on shooting bad guys. Yes, it's really about police procedures/policy--but there's plenty of cross-over which should be absorbed by a civilian.

(The article is written about the Guerena shoot in Pima County, and the author is very skeptical of the claims made by (among others) Sheriff Dupnik--the man with the 'stupidmouth' problem in the case of the Gabrielle Giffords shoot.)

The proper way to respond—and we’ll assume for the purpose of this example that the officer involved is unquestionably justified in shooting—is to start any confrontation from the “ready” position. In other words the officer should begin with his weapon in his hands, in a proper shooting posture, his finger “in register” (straight and in contact with the frame of his weapon, outside the trigger guard and away from the trigger) and pointed downward, roughly at the beltline of the bad guy. This is absolutely necessary so that the officer can actually see what the bad guy is doing. If his weapon is extended straight out from the shoulders in front of his face, he can only see his sights and that portion of the bad guy’s head above them; he can’t see what the bad guy’s hands are doing.

When it becomes obvious that he must shoot, he raises his muzzle several inches, simultaneously putting his finger on the trigger, and if he is well trained, he fires no more than two shots into the center mass of the bad guy as the muzzle comes on line. He immediately returns to ready to assess the effectiveness of his shooting. If necessary, he fires again, but notice that he is not simply emptying his magazine. If his weapon is not in ready, he can’t see what effect he is having, and he is likely, if the bad guy falls, to keep shooting until he runs out of ammunition even though his target has long since dropped below his line of fire.

(That happens to describe a variant of the "point-shoot" method popularized by Fairbairn and Applegate.)

Going to ready, assessing, and reengaging takes only fractions of a second. Some continue to suggest that once an officer starts to shoot, he should actually empty his magazine before checking the effect of his fire, firing as many as 15 rounds.

That "empty the mag" technique remains as my objection to the UW-M campus-cop shooting of a fellow some years ago. The DA's inquest cleared the officer, but I cannot understand how that happened. By the way, some sources suggest that the Milwaukee Police Department adopted that method several years ago; it's called "spray and pray." One hopes that the method has been discontinued.

Think very carefully, and practice what you see above. You'll have a lot less 'splainin' to do.

1 comment:

Billiam said...

I am so glad I learned to shoot with a revolver. You had to make each shot count. Spray and pray is stupid and careless. It's a good way to get innocent people killed.