Monday, August 27, 2012

Ah, those "highly trained" Only Ones...

It's a little disheartening to hear some otherwise knowledgeable people making excuses for the performance of the NYPD cops who wound up killing this character who shot his boss with one of those things that you're not supposed to have in NYC (you know, handguns).

You know, the two cops who approached to within ten feet or so of this guy, on a busy New York street, and fired sixteen rounds, missing him completely with nine, and hitting him with seven--and hitting several other people with the errant shots, complete penetrations, and fragments.  Just watch the climactic moment:

I've been informed that I should cut the poor coppers some slack, because 1) it's tough to hit someone that's moving, 2) it's tough to hit someone when you're moving, and of course the old saw 3) the Only Ones have had training From On High, of such quality as no mere peon could hope to attain, and so any thought that they could or should have done better is mere "keyboard commando" posturing.

Sorry fellas, that dog won't hunt, and there's several reasons why.

#1.  Grandpa can do it.  With a puny little .380.  And it wasn't two on one, it was one on two.  And both of these bad guys, up to the point of confrontation, carried much more aggressive body language than the "suicide by cop" posture of the NYC shooter above. 

Grandpa had complete control of this situation, and dominated it throughout, with no damage to bystanders. 

#2.  One word:  accountability.  See, here's the big difference between cops and Mundanes when it comes to engaging in a street fight:  we will be held accountable for every round we fire, from when it leaves the barrel until it comes to rest.  We can, and most enthusiastically will, be held responsible for any errant shots that find innocent bystanders.  Make no mistake:  a private citizen would be simply crucified if he performed like NYC's "finest" here.   The anointed enforcement class, however, can spray any quantity of ammunition over the busiest streets in the country, and will not be held accountable for what those errants do at all.  Invariably their actions are found to be "within policy" and above even question, much less reproach;  if you happen to get hit when the shit goes down, well, that's just tough.  See?  They have absolutely no reason not to open fire early and keep on shooting with whatever they've got, to ensure that they "can go home at the end of their shift".   Is it any wonder that private citizens fire fewer rounds and hit their targets more reliably than cops, in street fights?

You gotta love, too, all the ballyhoo that goes along with the selection of police ammunition that is least likely to penetrate the body of "the offender", and endanger someone else on the far side.  What good is any of that when you miss the target completely on a busy street at very nearly tag-you're-it range?

#3.  That "training" of theirs practically guarantees this result.  This is related to the accountability part--how the hell could it not be?--but it goes right to that vaunted "training" of theirs that we're so often reminded separates them from us.  Think, for a moment, of the training mindset that would accept, ethically, breaking a shot on a busy street that you cannot guarantee will hit the target.  As the old saying goes, "you can't miss fast enough to win";  if you are not perfectly sure that you have the shot in hand, you bloody well hold the goddamn shot.  And this is not a matter of marksmanship, either--we can be quite sure that these nine misses came from people who have documentably demonstrated marksmanship beyond the problem of a whole human body at ten feet.  Rather, this is a problem of attention under fire, and of an institutional acceptance that because it is difficult to keep your cool in a firefight, that taking errant shots is a tolerable tactic.

Oh, and when you're trained to "fan out" to make it more difficult to hit the both of you before one of you can hit him back:  the idea is that you do that before he draws down on you.  These two cops came in single-file, and only separated when he visibly produced his pistol, which is awful late in the game.


I'm sure I'll be castigated at some point for being insensitive to the poor enforcers, because it's hard to keep your cool and make good shots when someone is pointing a gun at you.  Well, no shit, Sherlock.  We little people have that problem too, and that's without access to backup, with hardware we usually have to hide, and without a legal system that will bail us out no matter what we do to passersby. 

You can't have it both ways.  If you're going to make yourselves out as better than us because of your elevated status and hi-speed, lo-drag "training", then suck it up and hold your ranks accountable when they underperform;  if on the other hand you're going to try and justify that nobody can do any better when the chips are down, go the fuck home and let those of us who are willing to do so, fend for ourselves without hassle.

If the day ever comes when I fail to avoid a fight, I certainly hope I'm up to the task I've tried to prepare for.  I'll certainly take that gamble over betting my life that one of "the finest" will do a better job for me.

1 comment:

Kent McManigal said...

"You're so mean to our police officers! Have you ever sat down with a cop to have a drink and discuss these things?"