Skip to comments.“Cops Win Gunfights Because They Show Up With Lots of Cops”
Posted on 02/17/2011 4:07:47 AM PST by marktwain
This morning, I read Paul Markels column for officer.com: Firearms Training Sanity Check; Why do we train the way we do? The answer: Rather than examine or address any deficiencies in the curriculum or training program, its much easier to simply state, thats we way weve always done it. Well thats great. We used to bore holes in peoples head to let the demons out. Im sorry folks but weve always done it like that is a crutch. Its an easy way out that requires no thought or effort. Yes, well, whats wrong with it? How should police be training? Markels article pulled more punches than a paid-off prizefighter. So I rang him up, expecting some carefully couched criticism. Nope. He let police firearms training standards have it, both barrels . . .
The vast majority of cops dont have a warrior mentality, the formerly active Marine and ex-cop told TTAG. Cops win gunfights because they show up with a lot of cops. Whenever they run into serious, motivated and trained bad guys, they get their asses handed to them.
And yet most of them have no desire to train hard . . .
Its all about their ego. They like to practice what theyre good at: standing still and slowly firing at a target thats five to ten yards away. That way they make lots of nice pretty groups and they can keep thinking that they know how to use a gun . . .
I tell them to start a string lying on their back. The groups dont look so nice but they know how to draw and shoot after someones knocked them on the ground, before the bad guy comes at them with a knife and starts using them for a pin cushion.
Markels been angry at the state of the average American police forces combat preparedness for quite some time. When he left the Gulf War for home, Markel graduated at the top of his police academy class. And yet work was hard to come by.
I was too caucasian and too male for the job, he states. When you are more interested in filling quotas than hiring warriors you end up with government workers . . .
Id say around one to two percent of police are gun guys. Theyll spend their own money on ammo and train hard. The rest couldnt care less. They just want a government job.
Gun guys. Two little words capable of trigger a major rant.
Lots of cops say it to me like theyre proud of it. Im not a gun guy. They get all lofty about it. Like if youre a gun guy youre some kind of barbarian or Rambo.
Imagine a plumber who says Im not a pipe and wrench guy. Its ridiculous. If youre a cop, you ARE a gun guy. You have to do it. Its part of your job. I'm not a gun guy. Try explaining that to a bad guy when youre lying in a ditch and hes about to blow your head off . . .
Cops arent social workers. Some people in America want them to be social workers. They think combat is too nasty and horrible. But theyre supposed to be gunfighters. They need to be gunfighters.
In the current era of fiscal austerity, firearms training is particularly vulnerable to cut-backs. Markel is not having an easy time of it. But hes optimistic that a sea change is on the horizon.
A lot of the new police recruits are kids coming back from Afghanistan. Theyve been there. They know whats real. Theyve got the warrior spirit. As they work their way up the ranks, theyll start to lobby for serious training and the budgets to pay for them.
The change of attitude and increase in real world gunfighting skills cant happen soon enough for the Mississippi-based trainer. Or for us, the citizens the cops are supposed to protect and serve.
[Note: After visiting PaulMarkel.com, I've asked the man to write for TTAG on self-defense topics. If you're up for it, please leave a comment below.]
However, it is also true that most police officers never fire a shot for serious social purposes.
When I need help at 3:00 AM I want a gun guy showing up not a doughnut guy.
these “not a gun” guys are the ones who leftists expect to protect the unprotected homes from armed intruders in under 10 minutes.
In my decade of handgun ownership, I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve seen a LEO at a shooting range. My neighbor, a Sgt in the local SO, consistently turns me down for invites to the range, and I go at least once every other week. It’s scary.
I’ve also taken several dozen practical and tactical combat courses involving guns and knives, and the classes are always filled with regular 9-to-5ers. I’ve been to two where there were officers training. Just two.
I agree with everything in this article. For men and women who are supposed to be “well-trained” and better suited for combat than the average Joe, they sure don’t act like it. The fact that legislators constantly say that average Americans shouldn’t own firearms but LEOs should because they’re “properly trained” is a frightening look into the minds of liberals.
What a breath of fresh air! We need more guys like this. I’m a Texas judge and a “gun guy” - I also carry a knife. For some reason, that makes some of my Air Force friends nervous. Whiskey Tango Fox?
The last place I want to be is near cops shooting in anger. The uncontrolled fire is simply amazing. About 20 years ago in San Jose, CA there was a barricade situation. The SWAT guys called out on the radio that they were firing teargas into an apartment. As soon the shot was fired there were 45 guns discharges. NONE hit even close to the apartment in question. it is like being in Iraq at New Years time, everyone is shooting up the air.
“The fact that legislators constantly say that average Americans shouldnt own firearms but LEOs should because theyre properly trained is a frightening look into the minds of liberals.”
Early yet, but you’ve got my vote for insightful comment of the day. Well said.
Most any “gun guy” will tell you there is no substitute for training. Besides firearms training, LEO’s must be in good physical condition as the job is not being a social worker in a blue suit. It galls me to know end when some instipid reporter comes upon a scene and begins questioning in a tone of someone using “unjustified force”.
Garde la Foi, mes amis! Nous nous sommes les sauveurs de la République! Maintenant et Toujours!
(Keep the Faith, my friends! We are the saviors of the Republic! Now and Forever!)
LonePalm, le Républicain du verre cassé (The Broken Glass Republican)
Although, there are some people who just need manhandling. Cops deal with little old ladies one minute and hardened criminals the next minute. You can't pigeon-hole all cops into a couple categories. There isn't a job description because we are asked to do it all.
Last thing we need in the police is vets just out of combat. There is a totally different role. Citizens aren't the enemy.
On the flip side, I shoot with a group of cops when we happen to be at the range at the same time, and that happens almost every week. They shoot three times a week. They're not the average cops, but they're great guys and great shooters. If things go bad, they're the ones I want to see show up.
Just take a look at what happened in Waco. The Feds fired indiscriminately into the BD compound as if they were providing cover fire for someone or something. As I recall, very few of the dead died from GSWs; it was mostly smoke inhalation and extreme heat that killed the bulk of them.
And these were supposed to be elite Federal “soldiers?”
The fact that they give local law enforcement access to high tech weaponry and then hide the incompetence of the officer behind a badge and automatic weapons indicates to me that there are very few in the upper echelon of law enforcement who actually believe that their street officers can effectively control a bad situation. I could do more damage with my .308 and ten 20-round magazines than most of them could do by spraying and praying.
They like to practice what theyre good at: standing still and slowly firing at a target thats five to ten yards away.
I had the experience several years ago of observing local city police at the range. A new range was being built for them and they used my local range to prepare for qualification.
Some (the young kids) were downright scary. Their preferred style of marksmanship was spray and pray. It wasnt unusual for the overhead target return cables to be severed. Theyd brag about how good they were because 50% of their rounds hit the silhouette target at close range.
The older cops were pretty good. The best one I saw was a female in about her early 40s. Maybe the difference was that the older cops learned to shoot with a revolver and not an automatic with only six rounds they had to be good. With 16 rounds and two spare magazines accuracy isnt deemed as important.
99.99% police on the beat are not here to serve or protect. They are revenue generators.
Just last night my wife was stopped because the light above her plate was out. She had to endure questions like: Where are you coming from? Who else is in the car? Is this your car?
Now, she was driving with my 17 year old daughter. My wife drives a ten year old Chevy.
Yes, she should have had the light bulb.
But really, the cops need better things to do. Or perhaps we should cut their staff so they can spread the “protection and service” a little bit.
I dont have a lot of use for cops. They are not soldiers. And they do not prevent crime. As the saying goes, they are there in minutes when seconds count.
To be fair, most departments have their own facilities and get free ammunition but it must be shot there. I've shot with my local SO at their indoor range.
All laws are written to generate revenue , case in point red lite cameras
-——The vast majority of cops dont have a warrior mentality——
Many that do get them selves killed by throwing caution to the wind.
Understood. However, every range I go to offers law enforcement discounts on everything in the store and on range fees. It’s one thing to be in a sterile environment shooting free ammo at stationary targets. It’s an entirely other thing to be an effective cowboy action or urban tactical silhouette shooter. I’ve done both, and they are high energy and high stress. If that’s what these LEOs go through during a shootout, I can respect their positions but would respect them even more if I actually saw them at these events.
There are a few regular LEOs in these groups, by and large, the average street cop is more concerned about making quota and getting home to the wife and kids alive.
Cops do not do it. Like they always did, the spray and pray crap by many officers is nothing more than murder by cop in many cases.
I agree with you. Most of the “Hogan’s Alley” type training in my neck of the woods involves toy guns pointed at a video screen, not a live fire course like Cowboy Action or Practical Shooting.
A warrior mentality is not the same as throwing caution to the wind.
LOL, but true
I work for a military contractor. My office was responsible for mounting a 30mm cannon on the side of a H-60 Helo. Our operations manager walked into my office a couple of years ago and saw that I had hung a silhouette target up from my last trip to the range and he ordered me to take it down. He said it might create the impression of a hostile work environment. He didn’t see the irony in the fact that we have pictures of the 30mm gun system all over the wall and we train pilots to rain fire and death on our enemies.
Most cops I know can’t hit the broadside of a barn. I had to show my ex brother in law, a San Diego Cop how to field strip and clean his weapon.
Probably not their fault. Their training is non-existant.
The last place I want to be is near cops shooting in anger. “The uncontrolled fire is simply amazing. About 20 years ago in San Jose, CA there was a barricade situation. The SWAT guys called out on the radio that they were firing teargas into an apartment. As soon the shot was fired there were 45 guns discharges. NONE hit even close to the apartment in question.”
But they are proficient at shooting dogs.
In my experience most of the cops I’ve met shouldn’t even be issued firearms. They’re barely competent with them at best, and just plain dangerous once they clear the holster at worst.
Irony is lost on those who are so concerned with PC. It’s actually kind of amusing!
I almost hate to admit it, but I usually take my silhouettes out of the trunk when the neighbors are around just to see the reaction. My wife says it’s childish. Yup. Fun, though! And reminds the neighborhood punks to pass us by.
I have heard retired cops boast that they never fired a shot in a live situation in 25 years on the force. Boasted!
Back when LEOs carried revolvers the changeover was made from blued finish to stainless steel guns. A police chief explained to me that this was because his officers never cleaned or maintained their weapons. “Even if your life might depend upon doing so!!?” I stammered. The chief merely shrugged.
Now they all carry nothing but Glocks. Scary, since it’s already been pointed out that revolver-trained officers instinctively aim and fire more carefully.
I don,t think police should be social workers, but i also don,t think they should be tax collectors either.
The job would be one of them dammed if you do and dammed if you don,t situations ( my opinion ) i would not be a police officer because i do not like to take orders even if they are right and i am sure there would be too many duties that i would have to do that i would not believe right.
And i also am sure that there would be things that i might think i should do that i would not be allowed to do.
here is an incident that brought about my attitude.
When i was a teen i was walking past a bar with a crowd of Indians out on the sidewalk, a police car pulled up at that time and two city cops who i knew got out and told me to watch their backs, they beat the hell out of a little guy with their blackjacks and put him in the car, one slammed the door on his feet while the other one slammed the door on his head.
The other indians could have came right through me if they had of wanted to but they didn,t because they were afraid of the great american police power.
What was the little guy guilty of? from what i could find out the bar tender called the police because the guy had had too much to drink, wow what a crime.
Protect and serve? the police can not protect any one unless they just happen to be there, and in some instances the police are who you might need protection from, there was no protection for that little guy because the police have all of the authority.
There were some good guys on the police force at the time but they were not there, at any rate i was made to be a part of something that i hate, just because i trusted them.
So naturally i figure if i was on the police force i would be doing something that is not right and getting paid for it, i can do enough wrongs on my own and with out pay.
Reminds me of the military saying, "If you find yourself in a fair fight, your tactics suck."
Its is refreshing isn’t it! I rather think tho it’ll be ignored. Thats OK b/c it means more ammo for me. ;)
“I also carry a knife.”
When I was a boy, I had a fascination for knives and traded stuff for knives. Still have some of my “boy” knives stored away, including one that was a combination knife/writing pen.
In the last three years my boyhood fascination with knives rekindled itself, and I started buying knives again. There’s some real junk out there. But I manage to find some good pieces at the local flea markets.
To make a long story short, I again own lots of knives. They’re everywhere - in the car, in drawers, on desks, under the mattress, etc. I’m running out of room, which is good. I also carry a favorite Italian stiletto. It was the type of knife I always wanted as a boy but could never afford.
I even got the wife interested in carrying knives. I bought her a rare, collectible Schrade but she lost it. So I bought her a scaled-down mule skinner knife that’s easier to keep track of.
Guns are good and necessary, but nothing like a fine knife for backup.
Cops aren't warriors. If this bohunk wants to be a warrior, he can re-up in The Corps.
LOL! Place where I used to live started out being a nice neighborhood, then started to slide. Buncha teenagers in the neightborhood - not really bad kids, I didn't think, but were prone to being bored 16-year-old boys. And, the girls brought their boyfriends over, as well, some who looked less than savory.
Anyway, I'm out front raking the lawn. Kids are hanging out across the street, just being kids. Mrs WBill comes home from the shooting range. I pull out her target and loudly exclaim "Now THAT'S a nice tight grouping!! Good shooting honey!"
Wife goes inside, I go back to raking. I hear one of the boys say to his friends "Jeez, don't F*** with them.".
I still chuckle when I think about it.
Are you anywhere near a college? In the college town where I live, driving a vintage of car common with students, with young adults in the car, with any equipment problem will get pulled over on Friday or Saturday nights. It has nothing to do with revenue - you generally just get a warning. It is just a way to check to make sure that people aren't driving while intoxicated.
Rin White has several comments about this:
Police Chief: “And then what happened
Cop: “I emptied my 9 millimeter weapon”
Chief:” And then what happened”
“When I need help at 3:00 AM I want a gun guy showing up not a doughnut guy.”
Um, then you had better be that gun guy. Cops are not required to show up or perform any heroics to save you if and when they do. They also take a looooooong time in fear-based minutes to show up. The majority of violent crimes are over before a cop even gets into the neighborhood. It is rare that a police officer stops a home invasion or a violent crime. It isn’t their fault, either. The simple fact is cops cannot possibly be everywhere at all times just waiting to catch bad guys. It is our own personal responsibility to protect ourselves, not theirs.
Glad to see this article as my son started A.J. classes this week, and Richard Mack is coming to a local Tea Party meet tonight.
So now I can ask some good questions.
“nothing like a fine knife for backup.”
Amen - but don’t forget to take it out of your pocket before entering the Pentagon. Had to get a Pentagon pass yesterday and almost walked in with it. Not a good introduction...
“Cops aren’t warriors. If this bohunk wants to be a warrior, he can re-up in The Corps.”
I beg to differ on that. When they face criminals who are willing to kill or beat someone, including police, then I think it helps to have a warrior mentality. I work to have one so that I am ready if needed. If you don’t have the mentality of self preservation and the ability to back it up then you should lock yourself in your home and never come out.The streets are a mean place for sheep and it is better to be ready and not need it than to need it and not be ready.
When the local deputies come to the ranges for re-certification, I have learned to not be there. Most of these guys don't know much about guns, and many are just dangerous.
Spend a few minutes talking with them.
Actually, it may be a good thing that the cops *aren’t* “gun guys.” Given their general and apparent willingness to violate the various Constitutions at the behest of politicians & illegitimate laws then it is relatively safe to say that most cops are of the “just following orders” vein.
If you'll allow me to hazard a guess: it is for the same reason that Maj. Hassan was able to shoot 30 or so people on an Army base. Simply put, and therefore slightly exaggerated, soldiers are not trusted/allowed to have weapons w/o express permission of the government. This mentality is the only explanation I have as to why an Army base should EVER become a "gun-free killing-zone."
What's even more interesting, in my opinion, is the mechanism for restricting guns on Army bases. One could argue that the buildings therein are federal buildings; however, ANY [military] order which would restrict weapons is an illegal order (because it is contrary to the Constitution's 2nd Amendment, and the constitution is the highest American law) and as an illegal order members of the military are required to disobey it.