Armed and dangerous

THE DAILY BLADE: The day Christopher Jordan Dorner was fired from the Los Angeles Police Department four years ago, armed guards were posted at his disciplinary hearing because “was a hulking, muscled man” and “[i]t was clear… that he was wound way too tight,” a police official tells Los Angeles Times.

Dorner was fired after the disciplinary board determined that he made a false accusation of police brutality against Teresa Evans, a training officer with whom he was partnered who had recommended that he be removed from the field because he had not demonstrated common sense and good judgment on several occasions.

While serving in the Navy, Dorner received “extensive combat and counter-terrorism training and earned commendations for his marksmanship with rifles and pistols.” In a 6,000-word  “manifesto” published on Facebook, Dorner threatened to “bring unconventional and asymmetrical warfare to Los Angeles Police Department officers, on or off duty” and to “terminate” their families. Among the rogue cop’s first victims were the daughter of an ex-LAPD captain who represented him at his discipline hearing, and her fiancé. Dorner has also murdered one officer and injured two others, police say.

Police officers throughout Southern CA are so spooked at the thought of Dorner hunting them and their families down “in a twisted campaign of revenge,” they got itchy trigger fingers and indiscriminately shot three innocent citizens who were just going about their business in pick-up trucks that “fit the general description” of Dorner's gray Nissan Titan.

When El Segundo police reported spotting a pickup truck that looked like Dorner’s headed in the direction of an LAPD police captain’s home, officers guarding the residence  opened fire on the vehicle, “unloading a barrage of bullets into the back of the truck,” Los Angeles Times reports

When the shooting stopped, they quickly realized their mistake. The truck was not a Nissan Titan, but a Toyota Tacoma. The color wasn't gray, but aqua blue. And it wasn't Dorner inside the truck, but a woman and her mother delivering copies of the Los Angeles Times. …

Glen T. Jonas, the attorney representing the women, said the police officers gave "no commands, no instructions and no opportunity to surrender" before opening fire. He described a terrifying encounter in which the pair were in the early part of their delivery route through several South Bay communities. …

[The older woman] was shot twice in her back and is expected to recover. Her daughter escaped with only minor wounds from broken glass. …

Photographs of the back of the truck showed at least two dozen bullet holes.

Torrance police officers stationed nearby rushed to the police captain’s home. On the way, another pickup truck that looked like Dorner's drove toward them and the officers “purposely collided” with it and shot at the driver, who managed to avoid the bullets that “ripped through his windshield,” Los Angeles Daily News reported.

If liberals had their way, only the police and soldiers would be armed (“I can no longer justify a society that allows concealed handguns in schools and on the streets or that allows people other than military and police to buy assault weapons”) – just what the Founding Fathers didn’t want.  The Constitution established neither a professional armed police force nor a standing army. Volunteers acted as magistrates or constables to enforce local laws, and all men between the ages of 18 and 45 were required to own guns and be prepared to be pressed into service as a militia – an army of the people – when necessary to enforce the law or repel a foreign invasion.

Liberals and their gun-grabbing law-enforcement allies like to claim that unlike citizens, police are specially trained to handle firearms responsibly and safely. For instance, in this New York Times op-ed former Chicago cop Michael Black explains that [p]olice officers must go through psychological screening and a lot of training before they’re allowed to carry a weapon” and relates an incident that occurred the year before he retired (emphasis throughout, The Stiletto):

We responded to a report of two men arguing, one threatening to shoot the other. My radio blared, “Shots fired! Man with a gun.” When I reached one man, running in the darkness between two houses, he had already been shot by another officer. When the officer had ordered the man to stop and identify himself, the man had pointed a pistol at him. The officer ducked behind his car door and fired half the bullets in his Glock 21 before finally hitting the offender once in the left buttock. We eventually found the shooter’s silver semiautomatic deep in a snowdrift.

Notice how the “highly trained” police officer had hit his target only once. The LAPD is just as “highly trained.” Los Angeles Times reports that “at least seven officers opened fire” on the pick-up truck making newspaper deliveries, and that “the street was pockmarked with bullet holes in cars, trees, garage doors and roofs.”

The truth is, too many police officers can’t hit the side of a barn with a standard-issue handgun, and end up wounding or killing innocent bystanders (emphasis in the original):

Records from major police departments like New York and Chicago clearly show that the “hit rates” (percentage of shots fired by cops that actually hit suspects) are nothing short of abysmal. Cops typically miss far more often than they hit offenders, in most cases at distances of 10 feet or less! … Contrary to the claims of politicians like New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, and the fantasy world of television, where law enforcement characters spend endless hours at the gun range honing their skills, in reality most police officers go to a shooting range only ONCE OR TWICE A YEAR. And when they get there, they usually fire no more than one box of ammunition – a mere 50 rounds. …

Compare that to civilian handgun permit holders, many of whom practice monthly, if not weekly, and firing hundreds of rounds at each session. … As a result, civilians often have higher “hit rates” in altercations with armed assailants, and seldom hit innocent bystanders.

But even more disturbing is research by the FBI that has shown that violent criminals (those most likely to get into a shootout with police) practice as much at TEN TIMES MORE OFTEN THAN COPS:

Not surprisingly, the same study shows that the “hit rates” of the criminals are more than DOUBLE those of the police.

And when the police manage to hit the person they are aiming for, too many times, it’s the wrong person. Fortunately, the three people shot by the LAPD during the Dorner manhunt were not seriously injured, but this is not always the case. In what the NYPD called “a tragic accident,” a 20-year-old bodega clerk in The Bronx running from an armed robber accidentally smashes  into a police officer outside the front door of the shop with his gun drawn, and both men fall down:

A pool of blood appears to form on the ground the instant Cuevas lands on his back. The officer is kneeling and pointing his semiautomatic at Cuevas when the [surveillance] video clip ends.

Investigators believe the impact of Cuevas running into the officer caused him to fire one round, striking the 20-year-old victim in the left shoulder, police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said at a news conference. Cuevas died later at a hospital. …

The fatal police shooting, one of two in the city on Friday, came two weeks after two police officers wounded nine people by shooting a total of 16 rounds at an armed murder suspect, leaving him dead in the shadow of the Empire State Building. The bystanders all were struck by police gunfire, ricochets and fragments.

On his blog, Eric Puryear, a black attorney who grew up in a Chicago-area suburb takes issue with “the recurring anti gun argument … that gun owners will end up shooting an innocent person (such as a child, bystander, etc.) when trying to defend themselves against a criminal. The fact is that armed citizens are about 5.5 times less likely than the police to accidentally shoot the wrong person.”

Puryear notes that the police may be more trigger-happy than an armed citizen, because “police officers who use force tend to run less of a risk of facing criminal charges than ordinary citizens who use force.” He adds that “police have less of a personal stake in the outcome of the shooting” than a civilian who is forced to use his weapon to protect his or her life or the lives of family members.

The Stiletto agrees with Puryear’s observations, and would like to add that an armed citizen is far less likely to take wild shots or to shoot the wrong person than the police because he or she is usually acting alone in a dangerous situation. This means thinking strategically and acting deliberately so as to improve the odds of survival against a violent attacker who may be a practiced killer, a cold-blooded sociopath or high on drugs that enhance aggression and suppress the perception of pain. In contrast, police commonly act in groups of two or more, and if one gets spooked and pulls the trigger the others also start shooting in case the first is reacting to an imminent threat that they were slower to recognize.

For many reasons, the police are no substitute for armed citizens when it comes to crime prevention and self-defense.


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  • February 11, 2013 lemonfemale wrote:
    And only hit his target once. Well, now we know why anyone would need a high-capacity magazine. I confess the inaccuracy of police shooting compared to civilian shooting was a surprise. One other reason police are no substitute for armed citizens is obvious. They aren't there when the crime is going down. The victim is - and if that person is armed - she may not end up a victim at all.
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