Friday, September 12, 2008

Less than lethal, a comprehensive text

So I found this Brit text about alternatives to likely lethal weapons, a.k.a. firearms.
The article contains a lot of information concerning these less than lethal alternatives, such as their capabilities and flaws. A great read if you're new to the subject, or would just like to see what kind of bean bags are around and such.

Much more interesting to me were the comments both in the article and those added by readers.
Here's a nice conclusion:

  • The limitations of Tasers and impact rounds mean that firearms officers cannot be instructed not to consider the use of anything except "less lethal weapons".

    "It would be inappropriate for commanders or supervisory officers to attempt to restrict the deployment of an authorised firearms officer to a particular less lethal technology or personal safety tactical option,"

In plain English: A less than lethal only policy is a recipe for disaster. Police officers should not be restricted to such gizmo's, not without the availability of a normal likely lethal weapon as backup. Why you ask?

  • "Additionally, it has been shown that it is possible, in certain circumstances, for some individuals to maintain enough control to aim and fire a weapon while under the effects of Taser."

A taser does not always stop a violent attacker. A gun isn't guaranteed to do so either, but you get multiple shots, and each one has a fair chance of stopping a lethal attacker. I'd venture to say that a single 9mm round (cops carry glock 17's over here) isn't guaranteed to stop an attacker, I'd even say one may very well survive it, even if the shot incapacitates him. But with such a weapon, you can easely have up to a dozen rounds available.

What? Do I shock you? (no pun intended) Yes I am talking about killing people. No, I do not like the prospect, I vamue life and dream of a world free of violence, still I talk about cutting life short, why? Let me quote some commenters with whom I completely agree:

  • As a former Police Firearms officer I believe that short of many police offiers losing their lives in such incidents there are no other alternatives but to shoot a person dead if he or she will not lay down their firearm when ordered to do so, if they fail to lay down their arms they know the consequences of their actions. (...) (The Police Officers) are protecting their own lives as well as members of the public.
  • Let me get this straight: Your officers have to put their lives on the line for you and then fumble through 3 or 4 options while a criminal is endangering their lives and those of the truly innocent people around them. If the criminal happens to die in the police response, it's the fault of the officer? You don't deserve them. Defend yourselves.
A truely interesting read.

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