Warning: NSFW or kids.
Watch this video and then read the comments on Youtube.
Look at how many people are whining about overkill, five shots is too many, should have shot him in the leg, should have retreated, etc. I understand their emotional response but it is misguided, at best.
- Close quarters against a knife is a horrible place to be. The only advantage the officer has is that his weapon is already drawn and aimed. If his weapon had been holstered, his odds of surviving a sudden attack would have been terrible (and he knows it, LEOs train for this situation.) If you don’t believe that, watch the video in this post.
- Even with his weapon aimed, there is still no guarantee that he will be able to stop the guy, should he suddenly charge. There just isn’t enough time at that distance. If five shots seem excessive, consider 21 not being enough to do the job. Granted that is at the far end of the scale, but attackers routinely don’t go down when they are shot. Bullets aren’t magic solutions: they don’t make the problem suddenly disappear…
- As for retreating: if the officer retreats and the guy gets out of the house, the situation become more difficult to control. The guy could start attacking his kid or anybody else who happens to be passing by. Or he could end up killed himself. Don’t believe me? Watch this video:
- Don’t forget that the officer is responsible for each bullet he fires. Inside the house, he has a better shot at hitting the target (the man can’t run around) and avoiding collateral damage (no bystanders, no crossfire, walls and furniture to serve as backstop) at the same time. Outside, anything could happen.
- Notice how the guy is advancing, despite having a gun aimed at him, despite the officer yelling at him to drop the knife. A regular, sane person doesn’t act that way. A normal person would drop to the floor immediately when anybody points a firearm at them and orders them down, let alone a police officer. I think we can agree on that. So if the guy isn’t in a normal mindset to begin with (the kid called the police because he was afraid the guy might “hurt himself with the knife.”, remember?), then it isn’t a stretch to assume he might be willing to attack the officer, right? His refusal to comply to the order of dropping the knife under the threat of lethal force tends to confirm that. Hence the suspicion that this is a “suicide by cop” incident. Of course, we’ll never know for sure now…
- Then the whole “shoot him in the leg” thing. People who say that are just as ignorant about the realities of firearms and their use under stress than those who say “shoot the knife out of his hand.” Certain things only work in the movies and on TV… If you think it’s possible, go to the range and train your ass off until you can consistently make leg shots at a paper target. Then, sign up for a Simunition course and have them put you through their scenarios. Before each one, vow to yourself to only aim for the leg. Let me know how it goes…
- Even if you do manage to get this proficiency at hitting the leg every time, how does that guarantee stopping the attacker at that distance? Just because you shoot him in the leg, doesn’t mean he can’t stab or cut you anymore. Watch the Dan Inosanto video again, see how quickly he closes the distance. Then consider the guy with 21 bullets in him before he went down. Are you sure a bullet to the leg will do the job? If you aren’t, there is no reason why the officer should even try such a thing. It’s his responsibility if the guy goes through him because he refused to use lethal force. Whoever the guy kills afterwards would be on the officer…
I understand how people are shocked by watching such a video. Death is never fun to watch, unless you’re a sociopath. It’s entirely understandable to react with an emotional response. And of course, people are entitled to their opinions. But just because you have an opinion, that doesn’t mean you are right. If being right matters to you, then it behooves you to have an informed opinion. You can only get that by getting experience (slap on a badge and go walk a beat) or asking those who have it (talk to a LEO sometime, it’ll open your eyes). If you don’t want to do that, then your precious little duck feelings are more important to you than being right.
In which case I shake my head and walk away.