September 17, 2007

Miami PD Up-Gunning, But At What Cost?

The City of Miami is giving Miami police patrol officers the option of carrying assault rifles:

Patrol officers will have the option of carrying assault rifles as police try to combat the rise in the use of similar weapons by criminals, Miami's police chief said Sunday.


Officers interested in the guns will have to undergo two days of training and be certified to use the weapons. The police department doesn't yet have money to purchase the guns, and if officers want to use them now, they will have to pay for them, Timoney said.


The Miami Police Department said 15 of its 79 homicides last year involved assault weapons. This year, 12 of the 60 homicides have involved the high-power guns.

On Thursday, a gunman opened fire on four Miami-Dade County police officers with an assault rifle during a traffic stop, killing one and injuring the other three. Police killed the suspect hours later.

Officers using the weapons in Miami will shoot "frangible" bullets, which shatter after they've hit something to avoid striking bystanders or other unintended targets.

Not all officers may choose to carry the new weapon. But, said Timoney: "If I was a police officer out there in a tough neighborhood, I would want to have that in the car."

Video game makers should be thrilled now that the stage has been set for Medal of Honor: South Beach, but if I was a resident of Miami, I'd be far less than thrilled with the continuing arms race between the police and criminal elements in their city.

I sympathize entirely with the police officers that sometimes feel outgunned by criminals, but feel compelled to state that by escalating to intermediate caliber weapons, and without adequate training, the Miami Police Department is setting the stage for a much greater risk of collateral damage and potential civilian casualties, and that the casualties that are sustained have the potential of being far more lethal becuase of the ammunition being used.

Two days of training to carry an assault rifle in an urban environment is, in my opinion, unforgivably short.

By way of comparison, Gunsite offers a five-day course for urban rifle training. Frontsight offers a four-day advanced course the focuses on the urban environment, and it requires either a 2-day or 4-day prerequisite skill-builder course focusing on marksmanship. Other dedicated professional shooting schools offer similar courses of similar length. What makes the Miami PD think that two days training is adequate for their officers to carry carbines in a crowded urban environment, when courses designed for already more-qualified special operations soldiers and SWAT teams takes more than twice as long?

The fact that the Miami Police are not (apparently) receiving adequate training will only compound another problem, that of collateral damage to property and civilians when shootouts occur. Despite what Cheif Timoney says, the laws of physics dictate that bullets will go precisely where they are fired; the have no ability to "avoid" striking anyone, and the weapons he has authorized both extend the range at which innocent bystanders can be hit, and potentially increase the severity of the wounds.

It is a well-documented fact that in the overwhelming majority of officer-involved shootouts, the police miss most of the time, even at near-contact ranges. Amadou Diallo was hit 19 times from 41 shots at close range by NYPD officers armed with Glock pistols firing from just yards away. Simple math tells us that 22 shots completely missed Diallo, and of the 19 shots that hit and killed the unfortunate young man, many of those passed through his body completely and kept going before being stopped by the buildings behind him.

Now keep in mind that the pistols used in the Diallo shooting used relatively short range (typically fired at just 7 yards or less) 9mm pistol ammunition. Miami is going to allow their police officers to carry weapons shooting much longer-ranged (300+ meters) 5.56x45 NATO-caliber weapons with a far greater ability to penetrate the body of the suspect and materials. They hope to mitigate the inherent over-penetration risk by requiring officers to fire frangible ammunition.

Frangible ammunition is great in theory: if it hits the suspect or a hard surface, the bullet is designed to fragment into small pieces. But the theory can become something else in practice, when under-trained officers may empty firearms with magazines containing roughly twice the amount of ammunition they typically carry in their handguns, with more than triple the practical range. It is a proven fact that officers miss more than they hit at short range; is there any reason to suspect that this tendency will decrease even as the potential range increases?

And what of those innocents hit with frangible ammunition? There is another aspect of frangibles that the Miami Police will not likely mention in press releases: frangible bullets are by far the most deadly kind of bullet to those struck by them directly.

Purposefully constructed with thin or weakened brass jackets, frangibles blow apart into many small fragments once they hit a target. In a human being, the effect is to make many small wound channels that shred muscle, bone and organs, similar to a contact-range shotgun blast instead of the larger single hole created by typical bullets.

This is great news if the cop firing the weapon hits the armed suspect, as it will almost guarantee the immediate end of the gunfight if he hits the suspect in the head, torso, or the major part of an extremity, such as the upper arm or thigh. The downside of this is that if the officer misses the target and hits a civilian hundreds of yards away, the odds of the civilian surviving the wound are much less.

So is a change in ammunition enough to rectify this potential problem? By no means. Frangible assault rifle ammunition, for all its lethality on soft targets, is still far safer to shoot in an urban environment than hollowpoint or FMJ rounds with will more readily penetrate structures and vehicles. Frangibles will blow apart; FMJ and even hollowpoint loadings can and will blow through multiple buildings, depending on their construction.

So what is the solution?

The "simple" solution is to recognize that American police forces, no matter how bad the neighborhood, are not soldiers engaged in urban combat. Assault rifles chambered for 5.56 and 7.62 rifles are a horrible choice of weapons from the perspective of the great majority of law-abiding civilians that are not engaged in shootouts with police.

If Miami and other police forces would like to provide their patrol officers with a longer-range firearm than their duty pistols, the community at large would be far safer if these officers were armed with patrol carbines, small rifles that greatly extend the officers effective range while still using the exact same ammunition and typically the same magazines as their service pistols. Major manufacturers of police-issue sidearms such as Beretta and Ruger already offer such carbines, which provide police officers more range and potential accuracy than they have with their pistols, but with a significant reduction in the risks associated with firing much more powerful rifle rounds in an urban environment.

The City of Miami fails to mention how the militarization of the Miami police is going to make their officers and citizens safer, and does not seem to address the problems that are inherent to their stated plan of giving their officers higher-velocity, longer-ranged weapons with minimal training.

The police are contributing to the prospect of turning Miami into an urban battlefield, which I somehow suspect was not their original intent.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at September 17, 2007 10:21 AM

Well, we wouldn't like to see incidents like the one in Baghdad on Sunday when the mercena... errmm, heroes of Blackwater USA killed eight innocent Iraqi civilians after their convoy was attacked.

Posted by: Max at September 17, 2007 10:47 AM

There are two options staring the Miami PD in the face as far as CQB weapons:

1. The classic, ubiquitous 12ga shotgun.
2. A 9mm/.45 submachinegun.

Look at what specops operators use in urban situations; Is it too much to ask the Miami PD to follow the example set by the pros?

Posted by: ExUrbanKevin at September 17, 2007 11:08 AM

I worked in a rural county and what rode with me was a Marlin 1894C, a lever action carbine in .357 Mag, the same cartridge as my sevice revolver. Interestingly the longer barrel and lack of a barrel cylinder gap give the bullet out of the carbine the same velocity and energy at a hundred yards that the revolver has at the muzzle or near enough for no nevermind.

Of course I never felt outgunned with a revolver when all the kids were going over to the fashionable Glocks and Sigs.

The real problem is that most LEOs are not shooters, they carry guns but aren't all that interested in learning them. When I hired on we shot practice ammo that was handloaded by the trustees in the county jail, and every Dept with over three people had a pistol team, we got a little extra in the pay envelope for shooting matches. The new gun that would solve all of the law enforcement problems was the S&W .41 Mag with that soft lead semiwadcutter at about 900 fps. The things were so heavy that the only problems they solved was a lack of enough backaches.

The solution isn't hardware, it never has been hardware. A trained shooter can put five hits at a hundred yards just as fast with a good lever actioned rifle as he can with a semiauto. He can get three hits at seven yards just as fast with a DA revolver as with a semiauto handgun.

Why the big move from revolvers to semis? The confiscated drug money. We can't use it for saleries or training, it has to go to equipment so the Depts. with a lot of that money spend it on stuff. Much of which doesn't work as well as the stuff my grandfather carried. Toward the end of my career I would have been fired for wearing Granddad's sap gloves, instead of putting a bad guy down with a backhand I had to wale on him with a baton. Smart, real smart.

Posted by: Peter at September 17, 2007 11:09 AM

So, on one hand the right b*****s about anti-gun folks trying to outlaw assault weapons, because they're just regular rifles that look mean, while at the same time the right b*****s about the police having them, because the guns are so different and dangerous?

How many days of training does your average assault weapon owner receive? Do we not worry about them missing what they're aiming at?

A little consistency please?

Posted by: steve sturm at September 17, 2007 11:19 AM

Point taken, specially seen that the chief is indisposed to officers, drawing their weapons
at all. Timoney, is a former consultant to the
Kroll contractor, curiously enough. On the second point, when your convoy is being mortared,
particularly by Sadrists I think a little leeway
is in order !

Posted by: narciso at September 17, 2007 11:29 AM

Steven, there is zero inconsistancy here, just your williness to conflate two entirely separate issues while you play childish semantic games.

ARs are prefectly fine on a firing range, which is where your average civilian shooter is going to employ his. The police here will be using them in a high-density urban setting where the risk of hitting civilians is greatly inceased.

Posted by: Confederate Yankee at September 17, 2007 12:02 PM

The upgrading and militarization of the Local and County Police Departments is worrisome.

In Hillsborough County in FL. after a suspect shot and killed a deputy and a K-9, said perp was hunted down and was found by the Sheriffs SWAT team hiding in a hollowed log. The perp was hit with 96 rounds of 5.56mm fired by 10 officers at a near-point blank range. (Squeegee anyone?)

The amount of damage and sheer quantity of ammo means the escalation is going to get out of control very quickly. Several friends who have served as cops have told me that a number of "excessive force" lawsuits (EG: they shot the dude 40 or 50 times... waaaaay more than was necessary) are caused not by an overzealous shooting cop, but rather by a 'tunnel vision panic' that many undertrained people have... this is essentially that the cop, who may have 20 years on the force but has never been in a shooting situation, finds himself pulling the trigger as fast as he can without any concious control... fine and dandy if said panic shooter is weilding a 6 round Ruger Speed Six wheelgun... a worse situation if they are using a Glock with a 17 round 9mm mag, but an ENTIRELY different situation when sporting an M-4 Bushmaster Carbine with a full load of 30 rounds of 5.56mm... that means a WHOOOOOOOLE lotta B.B.s flying... add in another cop who may or may not know the score and decides that he needs to start pumping in the rounds, and G-Ddamn quick things go to hell in a handbasket. Just look at the shooting of that guy Bell in NYC... one cop took a shot at the car thinking they were trying to run him over... said cop shot more than 3 times and the round near missed ANOTHER cop who heard the "buzz" of the round past his head... he thought HE was being shot at so in turn he opened up, as well as his partner... end result... one unarmed civilian KIA'd and 2 wounded.... and now those cops are looking at Man-1...

And to finish off the rant... two days training? who the hell are they kidding? I'm sure when I'm home on R&R and in Dade county I'm going to be excessively careful around the "Wild Wild West"....

Posted by: Big Country at September 17, 2007 12:23 PM

This came up in a california town about 3 months
ago when it came to public attention that their
officers were issued M-16's...Lot's of complaints.
I have found a few reason.First after 9-11 the
departments wanted their Officers swat capable,
next the 9mm has it's share of problems and the number 1 reason was the LA Bank robbery shoot out.
The robbers got off over 1300 rounds and each one
was shot more than 30 times.Cop's are out guned at
almost every turn.Here in Idaho you can buy almost
anything that shoots,no full auto but anything else goes.Buy the way the cops in that
carry the M-16 in the trunk and its' a last
resort only...

Posted by: Bobby Lane at September 17, 2007 12:24 PM

Speaking of the LA Bank Robbery shoot out, how well will frangable bullets work if criminals are wearing body armor?

Posted by: BohicaTwentyTwo at September 17, 2007 02:43 PM

That might be the first intelligent post I have ever ready by CY. As a gun-owning Liberal, I completely agree. Giving non-SWAT police officers military rifles with NATO 5 ammo is a recipe for disaster.

Hardware is not the answer. The police are well-armed already. Leave the H&Ks to the special teams (SWAT, feds, etc.). With all due respect, regular officers and decs are not special ops, and to think that they are is arrogant and very naive.

There is a great book out there called Planet of Slums that explores urban combat trends for this century. And look at the firefights this year in Rio Brazil. They mean well, but the police there have become militarized death squads.

Posted by: Dhalgren at September 17, 2007 02:46 PM

Who can be trained in two days??
Former Military, we have already trained on these weapons and know how to use them. Of course this means that non vets won't be at the top of the list. I was a firearms instructor for a Sheriff's Office, and the people who needed the least instruction, was the vets. Just facts, no PC.

Posted by: Pops at September 17, 2007 02:59 PM

Bob: nice try at dismissing a legitimate question. If the police aren't to be trusted to properly use high-powered weapons, why should Average Joe, who likely has received less training than your average police officer and who is more likely to respond poorly in a stress environment? If the potential collateral damage from using these weapons is so extensive, why shouldn't they be off limits to everyone? what's the difference between a cop missing with one of these and some homeowner missing his target as he seeks to defend his castle? It's not as if Joe Average only uses them on the range, is it?

You've got to decide if you're more pro-gun or anti-cop....

Posted by: steve sturm at September 17, 2007 03:47 PM

Not to pre-empt Bob's rebuttal to your rebuttal Steve, but his point is valid, yours is not.

Officers carrying "assault" rifles carry them on the street. I don't carry my rifle around with me on the street, nor do I plan to. Most of the people who own "assault" rifles do what Bob said, they fire them at the range, not in the street. The police are now armed with more lethal weaponry in environments that serve to maximize damage.

Why shouldn't the police be "trusted" and the average Joe should? It's not Joe's job to carry it and patrol the city in anticipation of stopping criminals on a daily basis.

Posted by: Stan at September 17, 2007 05:06 PM


you, and I presume Bob, are citing (if I have the expression correct) distinctions without differences. It doesn't matter where most civilians use their high-powered weaponry, if Bob is trying to make the point that there is a danger of collateral damage from these weapons, then why shouldn't they be off limits for everyone? It's not as if they're never used outside a range, right?

Just as Bob (and you?) would never seek to ban all guns just because some people use them improperly, how can you justify opposing the police having these weapons, even though the number of times someone is killed by the police using one of these weapons is far smaller than the number of people wrongfully killed by civilians using these weapons? Going after the cops for a relatively small number of accidental deaths caused by high-powered weapons sure seems to me like someone is anti-cop and just looking for an excuse to bash them.

Posted by: steve sturm at September 17, 2007 05:36 PM

"even though the number of times someone is killed by the police using one of these weapons is far smaller than the number of people wrongfully killed by civilians using these weapons?"

Stats and source, please? And define "cilivian": Are you talking illegally obtained guns, or the people who line up next to me on the range with their AR-15's and AK's?

I don't think anyone here is objecting to elements of the police having Evil Black Rifles (EBR's) who know how to use them and are trained to do so. Ever since North Hollywood, rifle-caliber longarms are becoming standard-issue to SWAT and special response teams, but I'm not sure they're a cure-all to this situation.

What I do object to is a cop on the beat having firepower he can't handle. If there were a rash of speeding tickets in a neighborhood, would you advocate all the patrol cars getting upgraded to muscle cars, or would better training in pursuit tactics be the optimal solution?

Training, not firepower, is the answer here.

Posted by: ExUrbanKevin at September 17, 2007 06:25 PM

Steve, I shall deal substantively with your "issue" not because it is deserving of a single byte of my bandwidth, but merely as an exercise in demonstrating your absolute stupidity and idiocy.

Members of the police force are recruited from the general population, not from Mars or some other place. When they take off their uniform at the end of the work day, they become little different from the "Average Joe" you speak of. They go home, eat a meal with their family if their work schedule and lifestyle allows it, and when they go to bed they take their pants off one leg at a time.

Therefore, your placing of the police force and "Average Joe" in two different categories is a false premise, and one that should be apparent to anyone with a working prefrontal cortex. All the rest of your false conclusions flow naturally from that false premise, as well.

In point of fact, if we can trust our police forces with these weapons, we should be able to trust the "Average Joe" with them--given equivalent firearms training, of course--and vice versa.

Posted by: C-C-G at September 17, 2007 07:04 PM

Being a former SWAT cop, I can clear up a few things.

1. 2 days is not a long enough training period for anyone who is not already prepared. Many, though not most, cops are prepared through previous experience and training and can be trained in that time.

2. With modern tactical ammo, 5.56 is less likely to over penetrate than the projectiles from pistol caliber carbines or SMG's are. In urban environments they fly just as far, that is they both fly until they hit something. Most of the larger police SWAT teams these days have replaced their sub machine guns for short barreled 5.56mm rifles for defeating armor. Long guns, of any caliber, are far easier to use under stress than pistols are and officers qualify with higher scores on the range and miss far less often on the street.

3. Given the example of Ca agencies I worked with that made rifle qualification voluntary, maybe 20% of the patrol officers bothered doing it. These were the more motivated officers, and were far more likely to have sought training at schools like Gunsite. The qualification course could be made appropriately hard because, unlike with the pistol and shotgun, taking it was voluntary and failing it did not cause disciplinary action against the officer.

4. My experience with them in combat and in police work leads me to believe that with modern ammo the M16/AR15 makes a fine police rifle. Shotguns are short ranged, and many officers find using them intimidating due to heavy recoil. SMG's and pistol caliber carbines have all the drawbacks of a 5.56mm rifle with fewer of their advantages over a pistol.

Posted by: karlj at September 17, 2007 07:09 PM

To jump in as an owner of said "EBR" and many many others, and as ExUrbanKev stated:

"Training, not firepower, is the answer here."

In the off chance something were to happen untoward in my domicile, the first thing I'd grab would be my 12 Gauge loaded prgressively with #7 Shot(2 Rounds), Single Ought Buck (1 Round) and then Double Ought Buck (3 Rounds) the first two are so that IF and I mean IF it became necessary for me to fire inside my house, the first two rounds are more for the 'noise and sting' rather than out and out penetration... #7 will barely penetrate sheetrock and really won't kill anyone short of a point blank shot... (figure anyone who sticks around after the first blast from a twelve gauge and the last thing I'd worry about is the neighbors and penetration of my walls... after all at that point all bets are off...thus the increase level of lethality) but as stated: because of my TRAINING the LAST weapon I would grab to stop an intruder would be my M-4 or MP-5 SBR, primarily b/c of the fact that a bullet really doesn't differentiate from hostiles or nonhostiles... Once fired it truly is an 'equal opportunity employer'.

Posted by: Big Country at September 17, 2007 07:19 PM

CY finally says something I agree with.

But this post makes me wonder: You think that LEOs--who have a lot of other firearm and crisis training, and are also highly likely to be National Guardsmen or Reservists with military training--cannot effectively use a certain type of weapon in a certain environment.

But you think that a bunch of college kids--most of whom have no firearm training, and many of whom haven't yet mastered driving a car--can effectively respond to crises on college campuses and stop mass killers from terrorizing classrooms.

Sorry. This does not compute.

Posted by: R. Stanton Scott at September 17, 2007 08:51 PM

RSS, there is nothing to "compute."

Police officers carrying intermediate-power duty weapons in an urban setting with minimal training is not, in my opinion, a good idea. And yes, while many have military training, I know quite a few with either no military training, or a MOS where they have touched a weapon very infrequently (not everyone is an infantryman, not by a long shot). I've also sadly known several police officers who were among the most gun-ignorant people I've ever known, and did just enough to qualify. I think police agencies need to provide more than 2 days training to weed out such officers.

CCW holders, unlike police officers,are not tasked with saving others. They have only to defend themselves. We're not asking them to go out of their way to go after criminals, and in fact, doing so would be illegal.

Surely you can understand such differences.

Posted by: Confederate Yankee at September 17, 2007 09:11 PM

The answer to Bob's persistent question is Color of Authority.

The cops shouldn't be entitled to own any weapon a citizen cannot own. Likewise cops should be able to use any weapon posessed by civilians. The huge gaping difference is the standards we expect each group to abide by.

If I decide to use my AR in lawful self defense, but in doing so manage to kill or wound some innocent bystanders due to the long range/ high penetration capability of the weapon I am in a world of hurt. Civil and criminal.

Your ordinary patrol cop? Not so much. Sure his/her municipality shells out big bucks to the estates or next of kin, but will he see the inside of a prison? Not a chance.

And never mind the differing degrees of likelihood between joe citizen and joe beat cop actually using said weapon.

I'm all for LEOs having the proper equipment, and in some cases a carbine may be the answer. But they need proper training to go along with it. Anyone remember back in the 80s when all those cops started getting souped up pursuit vehicles? Remember how many ended up in ditches or wrapped around telephone poles?

Issuing intermediate caliber weapons to your average cop - without proper training - is akin to giving your seven year old a straight razor.

Oh and Bobby Lane - full auto (along with most other destructive devices) is legal in Idaho, as long as you abide by all NFA regs and go through a class III dealer. Hell, in 2003 the Ninth Circuit court said it was legal to manufacture your own homemade machine gun (but that got overturned by Raich in 2005 though.)

Posted by: ThomasD at September 17, 2007 09:32 PM

why should Average Joe, who likely has received less training than your average police officer and who is more likely to respond poorly in a stress environment?

Average joes miss less than cops in shootouts. This is a statistical fact. Starting out with a false premise is tacky, very tacky.

Posted by: Purple Avenger at September 17, 2007 09:34 PM
Average joes miss less than cops in shootouts. This is a statistical fact. Starting out with a false premise is tacky, very tacky.

Have any evidence from a reputable source to back that up?

Saying something is a statistical fact without providing evidence to that is tacky, very tacky.

Posted by: C-C-G at September 17, 2007 09:55 PM

Lawdog posted a month or so back about an alternative to the Eeevil Black Rifle... which, I think, would also reduce the training gap - inasmuch as his proposed alternative should seem quite familiar to cops already handy with the Remington 870.

Frankly, I'm not convinced of the value of assault weapons in policing, except in the hands of properly trained specialists. Frangible rounds or not, bursts of 5.56mm rounds in an urban environment are a heightened risk to bystanders. At the end of the day, it isn't about the weapons - the police should have whatever gear is deemed appropriate - it's about law enforcement policy and manpower imposing a predictable effect on the crooks.

If would-be villains can reasonably predict they'll be caught and convicted or shot, many will become either more-or-less law-abiding or move elsewhere. Law enforcement needs to produce outcomes which are predictable by those who would breach the law.

Posted by: hiraethin at September 17, 2007 10:54 PM

Hiraethin, outcomes are not really in the hands of the police. It's the courts that decide outcomes, frequently letting the guilty go free or not imposing harsh penalties, so would-be criminals feel that the risk is not overly burdensome in light of the reward.

Posted by: C-C-G at September 17, 2007 11:10 PM

This is part of an article,North Hollywood
shootout...patrol officers should have had small caliber rifle capability. Had they been issued this essential piece of equipment, head shots were a possible solution for them. Without a Ruger 9MM or 40 S&W rifle, or an AR 15 or M16, head shots that could have ended the threat were out of the question. The political environment in the City of Los Angeles borders on a third world mentality and it may never be possible to provide this easy to use and accurate weapon.
Safariland's distributor in San Diego, Don Hacklander, regularly demonstrates the safety and ease of the urban rifle by taking a police academy's poorest shooting cadet and in 15 minutes having that cadet shooting 50 yard head shots. This simplicity of training, citizen safety through accuracy, and low cost can only be achieved through an urban rifle such as the Ruger 9MM or 40 S&W. Agencies large and small should consider deployment of this weapon, not as a replacement for the shotgun, because it can't, but as an enhancement of officer capability and accuracy which it can.

Posted by: Bobby Lane at September 18, 2007 09:04 AM

CY: I can indeed understand such differences. Don't forget: I was a combat soldier. I get the value of weapons training.

I also know that after the Virginia Tech shootings you argued that college students should be armed because they could act to limit the carnage when these things happen.

As I said, I agree that giving police officers more powerful weapons without properly training them is a bad idea.

But you cannot logically make this case while arguing at the same time that a bunch of untrained civilians--19 year old college kids who can scarcely muster the courage to talk to each other half the time--can act to stop criminal behavior when it confronts them just because they carry sidearms.

Am I really the only one who sees the contradiction here? If so, it's worse than I thought.

Posted by: R. Stanton Scott at September 18, 2007 08:22 PM

Having an M-16 or M-4 (semiauto) in the trunk of at least some patrol cars strikes me as a good idea for when things escalate, if the officers are properly trained. Having officers carry these weapons on regular patrole - well, it strikes me that she a practice is appropriate in Baghdad. How would the weapon be carried? In the shoulder, in a tactical sling or slung ove the back? How to keep positive control if it is over the back?

I don't even know how one would carry a long rifle on a normal police patrol - when I was in the Army the proper way to carry a rifle was "guns and eyeballs" - I'm pretty sure this would not go over well in among civvies.

Much better to pay for more range time and bullets with the current weapons, including more tactical shooting and jungle lanes. If the cops have a higher confidence that they will hit what they shoot at, they'll be less likely to fire an excessive number of rounds.

Posted by: holdfast at September 18, 2007 08:51 PM

Some of the commenters here are comparing apples and oranges and claiming to find a paradox. Most of the flaws in this reasoning have already been addressed, but I would like to point out that there have been school shooting situations ended by armed citizens, students and faculty, and in none of these situations did these citizens need to fire their weapons.

Posted by: triticale at September 18, 2007 09:30 PM

RSS, when is the last time you saw a 19-year-old with a CCW?

While I don't claim to have comprehensive knowledge of all state's policies, I suspect that you have to be 21 to be eligible, meaning that it would be upper classmen, graduate students, faculty and staff carrying if anyone did.

Of course, the profile of your typical CCW carrier seems to skew, in my anecdotal experience, to be just about anyone other than the mythical 19-years you keep persisting in portraying. Among those shot at were faculty members that could have held CCW licenses.

Posted by: Confederate Yankee at September 18, 2007 09:34 PM


Have any evidence from a reputable source to back that up?
Saying something is a statistical fact without providing evidence to that is tacky, very tacky.

Oddly, Purple Avenger is correct: although I don't have the citation readily at hand (locked up in storage), I believe its from Lott's "More Guns, Less Crime."

I know it seems counterintuitive, and it would certainly be an interesting study to determine why it's so, but there it is.

Posted by: EW1(SG) at September 22, 2007 12:08 AM