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Sethis
BRONZE Member since May 2005

Sethis

Pooh-Bah
Location: York University, United Kingdo...

Total posts: 1762
Posted:I was wondering why police ever carry lethal weaponry around. I know it's much more common in the states than it is here in the UK, and I was musing about it.

Out of curiosity, what situation do they actually think will happen where they will be required to use lethal force? Say someone is mugging someone with a gun (the mugger has the gun, rather than the other way round wink), and the police intervene. Are they going to shoot the guy? Why wouldn't tasers stop him? Hell, tasers would work in just about every situation I can think of, and rubber bullets would work in most of the rest.

I know I feel very intimidated by police carrying either pistols or automatic rifles... It would be so easy to accidently kill someone. Why take the risk? And if we've outlawed capital punishment, then surely there is no ethical justification for killing crimminals at the scene of the crime, with no trial?

The police always seem to me to be members of the community, helping to solve problems and look after residents to the best of their ability. As soon as they pick up asault rifles though, then they become these impassive killing machines that you're afraid to go near or look at. That isn't a helpful transformation to make, in my opinion.

Any opinions?


After much consideration, I find that the view is worth the asphyxiation.
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pounce
SILVER Member since Jan 2003

pounce

All the neurotic makings of America's lesser known sweetheart
Location: body in Las Vegas, heart all a...

Total posts: 9831
Posted:i think we've already covered the armed vs. unarmed society bit. ideally, yes, it'd be a wonderful peaceful world (psh) and no fights are always better. but the reality, guns aren't going anywhere in america. hence the discussion on understanding the difference in lethality of a gun versus knife fight. education...

i took a self-defense against an armed assailant class. before that class i was more afraid of guns as well, unless i actually had to fight both a gun and a knife fight and learned the statistics on the two. knives scare the [censored] out of me since then. there are several things we learned in that class, including how to disarm. when you think about it, disarming a gun is much less scary and easier. you can grab it in nearly any place without fear of getting hurt. and all it takes is a slight angle and you're out of harms way if it discharges. the same can't be said with knives. when you're disarming against a knife, there's nearly nowhere to grab to disarm without getting cut. and it doesn't matter where you're holding or what angle, you are bound to get hurt regardless. and there are ways to hold a knife that make it near impossible to disarm without serious injury. i had one fight where the attacker was barrelling at me full force while slashing. i blocked his swing but then got stuck pushing against his knife wielding arm against my throat. the only thing i could focus on was if i move even in the slightest to get a strike in, the knife was likely to come slashing right into my throat. had he been holding a gun at that moment, it'd be a WHOLE different scenario.

i'm not trying to convince anyone that they may feel better against one versus the other, only trying to educate. because there's nothing worse than going into a situation without the facts.

**note...sorry if my post isn't as clear as i normally would have liked it to be, but it's late and i've had a really rough day**


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Lurch
BRONZE Member since Nov 2003

Lurch

old hand
Location: Oregon, USA

Total posts: 929
Posted:Written by: FireTom
Lurch, I have little experience with guns and I can close shoulders with the majority of people who I met and also have experience, to say that (especially) a (lethal) gun gives one the sensation/ feeling of power/ control and superiority (to an individual extent).



If anything, firearms give a feeling of security and safety. I know that the safest place for my weapon is on my hip, because then *I* am in control of it, and it is *my* responsibility. It doesn't give me a superiority complex, if anything it puts a greater responsibilty on me to end any sort of conflict peacefully, however it is reassureing to know I can defend myself.

Written by: Sethis
So why is Lurches confidence in his ability with a gun any different to my confidence in my ability in close combat?



Because my confidence has nothing to do with my ability. Even if I were unarmed I'd still prefer gunfight over knife fight. My confidence comes from the general suckiness of criminals at marksmenship. If I'm past about 10' or if I have cover, the chances are in my favor to not be hit at all. Close combat, hand to hand, face to face, is the most violent, most aggressive type of fighting you can do. Especially if it is to the death. There is a huge difference between a knife fight and a fist fight.

That said.... if someone stabs me, they're going to get stabbed right back biggrin

If you've had some training with knives, or if you want some more training, I would highly suggest finding a place that uses shock knives. Shock knives are an amazing self defence training tool that the police usually use, and are far superior to the standard red rubber knife. The 'blade' will shock you, depending on the setting it can feel like anything from a static shock, to a nasty papercut, but it's definatly eye opening to be going through the moves and actually feel the pain and realize just how many times you'd be cut. People tend to have a much healthier respect for the blade after that wink

Written by: FireTom
Also you do not want to imply that youngster gang member will be less likely to solve a conflict with words than with guns (if they carry)... but maybe all of them are sociopaths?



If they are youth gang members, than there is no way they could be possessing those weapons legally.. As I've said before many many times. I have NO problem with you taking guns away from the criminals. In fact I would love it if you did. But until you do, I'll keep mine thank you very much.

And no, I do not believe that by me having a weapon, it forces the criminals to arm themselves better. The logic of that is mindboggling. Someone is hurting me, I can defend myself 'too well,' so maybe if I don't fight back as hard they won't hurt me as much... I don't see how that helps stop or prevent any sort of crime. If anything it encourages it as the criminals know there will be less chance of them getting caught or injured in the process.

Back to the police issue..

Written by: Sethis
And curiously, your figures don't seem to coincide? You say the majority of situations take place at a range of 4-10'... why then is the hit ratio 15%? Also, your previous figures on CCWs vs Guns at certain distances (21'?) is slightly contradictory about the argument for carrying guns. If the vast majority of times your attacker is going to be within 21' and armed for close combat then why is it a good thing to have a gun? Surely it would be more effective to pull out your baton at that range?



Police have to qualify with their weapons. Most agencies require at least 85% proficiency in their pistol course. 80% or so with a shotgun, and rifles can be upwards of 90%. Those are all give or take, some are "easier" some require 97-100% efficiency. That however, is at a range. Not in the street, with someone screaming at you, or actually trying to kill you. Target don't shoot back. The stresses, and the (sad) lack of training in dealing with those stresses cause the increased rate of misses. This is why force on force training is so critical.

One model generally accepted by the LEO community is this..

There are four "conditions" you are in, relative to your stress level. Heart rate, breathing, etc etc. I can give you actual numbers for this in a bit if you're interested but since I'm writing this while I'm in class (shhhhhhhhh) I don't have my books with me.

Condition White: Would be your most relaxed state, this is when you're laying in bed right after you woke up.

Condition Yellow: Your everyday waking state. They liken it to a dog, up and yapping around, ready to do something.

Condition Red: This is your stressed state, reflexes are at their peak, response times are cut down, and adrenaline is pumping. However because of that you lose fine motor control, suddenly you can't do something simple like tie your shoes because your hands are shaking so bad you can barely control your fingers.

Condition Black: This is basically when you snap. People often don't remember what happened when they get to this state. Very very bad place to be, especially when you have to defend yourself.

*note* CCW (along with CHL) refers to Carry Conceal Weapon, generally talking about the permit to carry a handgun. Sorry I guess I should have clarified that, in general it's not related to knives.

The Tueller Drill (the 21' thing) is an armed attacker, vs a defender with holstered weapon. If the police arrive on scene, and there is someone with a weapon, the very first thing they will do 95% of the time is draw. That doesn't mean they have to be aimed at the suspect, but their weapon is out and in their hand. If the suspect charges or something, that is when they would shoot, and they would be within that 10-4' range. The "trick" (if you read that article) is knowing how close is too close.

Legally speaking, there are three requirements to the use of deadly force. The ability, the opportunity, and the intent. If someone has a knife, they have the ability to kill me. If they are pissed off and screaming 'I'm going to kill you!' then obviously they have the intent. However if they are 20' away, the don't have the opportunity. Then the question becomes at 10' do they have the opportunity? 7'? 2'? Many many many officers wait too long to fire, and many officers lose their life over it.

If someone is attacking you with lethal force, why would you respond with anything less?


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Lurch
BRONZE Member since Nov 2003

Lurch

old hand
Location: Oregon, USA

Total posts: 929
Posted:Woops, missed one wink

Written by: Sethis
Do you see (when the hit ratio is 15%) why I don't like officers with automatic rifles in tube stations? If they get into a melee fight, the weapon will get in the way. If they have the opportunity to shoot, then it's much riskier than if they simply chased after them with a taser.



15% is for handguns. Handguns by their nature are difficult to aim and shoot accurately. Rifles on the other hand, are surprisingly easy. You're right, full sized rifles suck at close quarters. However if you're anywhere where a significant distance might have to be taken, rifle is the way to go anyday. At 20 yards you probably wouldn't hit a mansized stationary target with a handgun. at 50 you might be lucky hit a car. At 100 you'd be lucky to hit a barn. However I know many people (my own grandpa included) who could put shot after shot through essentially the same hole at 200 yards with a rifle and keep his groupings well within 2".

Noone would go into battle with just a handgun. Look at the military, look at SWAT teams, handguns are *side*arms, they are backup weapons of last resort. Rifles are far superior save for very specific circumstances. For the most part, except for very special circumstances all rifles, both civilian and police over here are semi automatic.

You're right in that melee combat is difficult with a rifle, although you might be surprised how easily a buttstroke will put someone down wink That however is generally when most people would switch to their side arm as opposed to using a full sized rifle. I'm assuming that for the most part the soldiers in the subways are for show rather than for force.. I could be wrong though, it's been a long time since the one time I was in europe frown

Remember tasers only have a range of about 20' and are attached with wires. Running hits don't always work, or if they do the person generally falls, and pulls the probes out or breaks the wires in the process, and thus not being shocked for very long, if at all, and requires being shot again... You only have two shots before you have to reload.

I'm all for using tasers, and you'll be hard pressed to find cases of police shooting people for merely running away (unless they've already killed or severly injured someone and they could be a threat to whomever else they may come in contact with)


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ducky2108


ducky2108

A little bit of a board whore
Location: Glasgow

Total posts: 147
Posted:Written by: Lurch

If someone is attacking you with lethal force, why would you respond with anything less?




This seems to be about fear more than anything else. I know that in the UK, if you asked people if they think they'd ever be attacked with "lethal force", then a lot less 1% would reply yes. And the reason for this is that it doesn't happen very often at all.

Now Lurch has said it doesn't happen very often in the states either, but then he goes on to use the minute chance of this happening as a reason to own a firearm compared to a reason not to need one.

Is this a result of the media. I know it's been discussed (and somewhat unfairly dismissed), but Bowling for Columbine seems to suggest that all they see in the states is violence on the news. I'm not sure how true this is, but what little I've seen of US news certainly supports this idea of media induced fear.


Ancient wiseman say "It is very strange person, who, when left alone in room with teacosy, does not try it on"

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Lurch
BRONZE Member since Nov 2003

Lurch

old hand
Location: Oregon, USA

Total posts: 929
Posted:It doesn't happen very often here. In relation to police however they are dealing with the worst of the worst. So as a result they're going to be facing that .001% of the population who would be perfectly willing to kill someone, for whatever reason.

I don't like Bowling for Columbine. As I said before it is a farce, and a mockery of American society. I'm saddened that you guys actual view that as a fair portrail of us =\ However I won't argue that the media is a severe problem in this country. They do 'advertise' violence, not to mention their poor ability to get facts straight. European media, and even Canadian (the little bits that I've been exposed to of both) are far kinder. I don't know if that is a good thing or not however, covering up crime (by not discussing it) does little to 'protect' the people. If there are repeated violent crimes in a given community I would like to know about it.. However I think the media's obsession with it is definatly a negative influence.


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Sethis
BRONZE Member since May 2005

Sethis

Pooh-Bah
Location: York University, United Kingdo...

Total posts: 1762
Posted:ubblol ubblol

Thanks for pointing that "CCW" thing out Lurch, because I played Wargames for several years, and I got used to "CCW" being shorthand for "Close Combat Weapon". That's why I might have used it in a different sense to you. biggrin

Written by: Lurch

Because my confidence has nothing to do with my ability. Even if I were unarmed I'd still prefer gunfight over knife fight. My confidence comes from the general suckiness of criminals at marksmenship.



But surely you have to have some confidence in your own ability? Else why do you go to the range? Or if you're not confident in your ability to use a gun efficiently then why do you carry? (Rhetorical question)

Thanks for the clarification of statistics. I'm still not happy with police officers with pistols averaging 15% hits, especially when that is (by far) the most common sidearm that you will see in Britain. More so in the aforementioned Tube Station (of course there was a lot of panic after the London Bombings). Even if the officers with rifles were only for show, it still remains that they were wandering around with semi/automatic rifles.

I know pistol marksmanship is difficult, which is why I don't like security/police personnel with them. If they have problems hitting anything at 20 yards, then why even bother?

Written by: Lurch

No-one would go into battle with just a handgun.




Several points:

1. The vast majority of armed police here have only a handgun.

2. The vast majority of police are not expecting to "Go into battle". They are expecting to arrest people. That's generally what happens. Any police who are expecting a battle are generally Special Forces or similar, and as I said before, I have no problem with them and accept they are sometimes necessary.

Written by: Lurch

Remember tasers only have a range of about 20' and are attached with wires. Running hits don't always work, or if they do the person generally falls, and pulls the probes out or breaks the wires in the process, and thus not being shocked for very long, if at all, and requires being shot again... You only have two shots before you have to reload.



Well, also remember that the effective range of pistols is more or less similar if you're running/moving target. Tasers have less risk of killing innocents, have less risk of killing the criminal, and put them on the ground. It doesn't really matter how long for, because you'll be on them with a baton and cuffs before they can get up and start off again. After 30,000V or however much they are nowadays, I'd be disinclined to try to get up when I knew they had another shot... wink

I'm still waiting for them to develop better non-lethal weapons for the police, but then I wonder if that kind of research is getting any funding... For all I know the government is very happy with it's arms contracts shrug


After much consideration, I find that the view is worth the asphyxiation.
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I may disagree with what you have to say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.

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Lurch
BRONZE Member since Nov 2003

Lurch

old hand
Location: Oregon, USA

Total posts: 929
Posted:Exactly, police *aren't* going into combat, that is why they only carry sidearms. Like I said, it is a last resort weapon. It is extremely extremely rare that you'll find an officer other than SWAT just walking around with a long arm. Many do have shotguns, or rifles, or both in their car, but they don't carry them around.

As for the 15% accuracy I'm sorry, the more looking I do it looks like that number is closer to 50-65%, but it is very dependant on the situation, different sources site different numbers frown. I agree that missed shots are disheartening, but they are going to happen no matter what. Luckily many agencies use fragmenting bullets or hollowpoints to help with ricochets and overpenetration.

I would agree that there needs to be more research into less-lethal weaponry, and there is. However that doesn't change the need to maintain the ability to go to a lethal level if needed. Lethal force is needed sometimes, that is the sad fact of society. Tasers are nice, but as I've said before they don't always work, and if you actually watch officers deploy them they don't shoot them, then jump on them with cuffs and an asp. They are shocked repeatedly until they give up and stop resisting, or until backup arrives to do the actual restraining. Like I said you'll be hard pressed to find many righetous shoots where the suspect was running away, unless they are actively engaged in some sort of violent act during the process. If someone runs during a traffic stop they don't just draw and shoot. tongue


Random interesting tidbit about perceptual distortions in combat..


This is taken from a survey of 141 officers involved in deadly force encounters.

* 85% reported Diminished Sound (auditory exclusion)
* 16% Intensified Sound

* 80% Tunnel Vision

* 74% Automatic Pilot ("Scared Speechless")

* 72% Heightened Visual Clarity

* 65% Slow Motion Time
* 7% Temporary Paralysis

* 51% Memory Loss for Parts of the Event
* 47% Memory Loss for Some of Your Actions ("Preservation")

* 40% Dissociation (detatchment)
* 26% Intrusive Distracting Thoughts

* 22% Memory Distortions

(Role of fear and past associations)
(Role of videotaping)

* 16% Fast Motion Time

I can go over any of those and/or the condition levels in more depth if anyone is actually interested... I figured I wouldn't bore you with those details though since they're a bit off topic ubbloco


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FireTom


Stargazer


Total posts: 6650
Posted:I neither regard "Bowling for Columbine" a proper portrait of ALL Americans, nor "American Psycho"... wink tongue

But I regard it as a appropriate portrait of "a number" of Americans... and that's only more scary than knowing of that equivalent of Germans/ Europeans, because I know that (naturally) this number in the US is higher and that your fellow citizens just have the means to realise their "dream" of a Machine Gun if they like to....

"With 8 I started pistols, at 9 I got to rifles and now, I am into machine guns..." Comment of a 11year old after emptying his rounds into a car-wreck at the local NRA club of Los Angeles after the R.King riots... They even had a 20mm anti-aircraft gun there...

Having been to the US and lived there for short periods of time I KNOW that way over 95% are local news and of those way over 80% is about violence (inside the US, or inside the local area)... L.A. news reports are just fuelling paranoia (in an otherwise peaceful city... wink ) Lurch, we're discussing this from two completely opposite views (of the Atlantic) - I doubt that we will reach a consense on this one.

By the time I have to arm myself, because the police can't provide proper "protection" - Europe will not see me again.

And Lurch I give you 20 Million bucks - no worries, but maybe you wire me the money first?... wink

However I'd love to see this discussion turn to the point where we try to discover ways to create an environment that doesn't require police (and civilians) to be armed at all...

Do you reckon that something like this will be likely? And if (generally) - what would you suggest suitable/ necessary steps into this direction?


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ducky2108


ducky2108

A little bit of a board whore
Location: Glasgow

Total posts: 147
Posted:Stop guns being made available would be a start. Yes, by all means let those with the guns keep them, but stop selling them in shops like Gun'o'Rama, Gun Mart and supermarkets etc. And the bullets too.

Or you could do what Chris Rock suggests. Make the guns as available as you like, and make the bullets 10,000 each.


Ancient wiseman say "It is very strange person, who, when left alone in room with teacosy, does not try it on"

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Lurch
BRONZE Member since Nov 2003

Lurch

old hand
Location: Oregon, USA

Total posts: 929
Posted:I never said the media wasn't blowing violence out of proportion. I despise the media and they're making it worse, I fully agree.

You guys keep saying that you'd rather live in a society where there are no armed people. That is nice, it will never happen in our life times, but its nice. I'd rather live in a society where I have the choice, and the ability to arm myself if *I* deem it appropriate.


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