I have heard a sheriff deputy say once that police cannot shoot someone running from them, unless it is at night, unless they first call out to them once or twice, and then fire a warning shot in the air and then shoot them. Now, warning shots have their place I'm sure although the way they are required today on police seems a bit absurd as between the time it takes for you to call out again and again and fire a warning shot the criminal has put more distance between you and him making him a much harder target to hit and increasing the chance of missing him and hitting something or someone
else. (remember the scene in It's A Wonderful Life in the end when alternate universe Burt the Cop pulls out is OP and yells "Stand Back!" and opens fire on George Bailey ACROSS THE TOWN SQUARE where people are walking all over the place
) But as far as warning shots themselves go, how would you do it safely. Firing it in the air, as I understand police are allowed and even required to do, seems to be dangerous to me as that bullet has to come down somewhere (or one someone
). Seems to me it would be better placed in the back of the criminal. Perhaps a warning shot fired into the ground would be better...then again, in urban areas there is so little actual ground around you can't really do that. You certainly can't fire it into the concrete as it will ricochet into something (or someone
). So unless I am in a front or back yard or in a fieldor wooded area, I really can't employ firing it into the ground. I could fire it into an object like a car or a tree, but as far as a car goes, that is damage to property. And a tree, you have to take aim and even then it could ricochet.
So what about warning shots? In my view they are a bad option (or requirement) for police and an equally dangerous option for the rest of us.