Thread: Gangbangers?
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Old August 10, 2008, 04:56 PM   #33
Erik
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Join Date: December 24, 1999
Location: America
Posts: 3,479
The link LanceOregon provided, a synopsis of a more detailed FBI report from a few years ago, is worth a read. It is current enough, and relevent enough.

It is all relevant, but some exerpts for those who won't take the time:

Familiarity:
Several of the offenders began regularly to carry weapons when they were 9 to 12 years old, although the average age was 17 when they first started packing "most of the time." Gang members especially started young.

Nearly 40% of the offenders had some type of formal firearms training, primarily from the military. More than 80% "regularly practiced with handguns, averaging 23 practice sessions a year," the study reports, usually in informal settings like trash dumps, rural woods, back yards and "street corners in known drug-trafficking areas."

More than 40% of the offenders had been involved in actual shooting confrontations before they feloniously assaulted an officer. Ten of these "street combat veterans," all from "inner-city, drug-trafficking environments," had taken part in 5 or more "criminal firefight experiences" in their lifetime.

One reported that he was 14 when he was first shot on the street, "about 18 before a cop shot me." Another said getting shot was a pivotal experience "because I made up my mind no one was gonna shoot me again."

Concealment:
The offenders said they most often hid guns on their person in the front waistband, with the groin area and the small of the back nearly tied for second place. None regularly used a holster, and about 40% at least sometimes carried a backup weapon.

Shooting Style:
Twenty-six of the offenders [about 60%], including all of the street combat veterans, "claimed to be instinctive shooters, pointing and firing the weapon without consciously aligning the sights," the study says.

"They practice getting the gun out and using it," Davis explained. "They shoot for effect." Or as one of the offenders put it: "[W]e're not working with no marksmanship... We just putting it in your direction, you know... It don't matter... as long as it's gonna hit you…if it's up at your head or your chest, down at your legs, whatever... Once I squeeze and you fall, then... if I want to execute you, then I could go from there."

Hit Rate:
More often than the officers they attacked, offenders delivered at least some rounds on target in their encounters. Nearly 70% of assailants were successful in that regard with handguns. (Efforts of offenders and officers to get on target were considered successful if any rounds struck, regardless of the number fired.)

Davis speculated that the offenders might have had an advantage because in all but 3 cases they fired first, usually catching the officer by surprise. Indeed, the report points out, "10 of the total victim officers had been wounded [and thus impaired] before they returned gunfire at their attackers."

Just as cops generally blade their body to make their sidearm less accessible, armed criminals "do the same in encounters with LEOs to ensure concealment and easy access."

Mind-set:
Thirty-six of the 50 officers in the study had "experienced hazardous situations where they had the legal authority" to use deadly force "but chose not to shoot." They averaged 4 such prior incidents before the encounters that the researchers investigated. "It appeared clear that none of these officers were willing to use deadly force against an offender if other options were available," the researchers concluded.

The offenders were of a different mind-set entirely. In fact, Davis said the study team "did not realize how cold blooded the younger generation of offender is. They have been exposed to killing after killing, they fully expect to get killed and they don't hesitate to shoot anybody, including a police officer. They can go from riding down the street saying what a beautiful day it is to killing in the next instant."

"Offenders typically displayed no moral or ethical restraints in using firearms," the report states. "In fact, the street combat veterans survived by developing a shoot-first mentality."
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