The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > Hogan's Alley > Tactics and Training

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old November 19, 2010, 09:28 PM   #1
JohnKSa
Staff
 
Join Date: February 12, 2001
Location: DFW Area
Posts: 18,570
Gun-mounted flashlight blamed in fatal shooting

This happened in a suburb near where I live.

The officer claims he meant to activate his gun-mounted flashlight and pulled the trigger instead.

http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcont...g.3d7023f.html

If you are using a gun-mounted light you need to train to be sure that you are being safe. It goes without saying that if you're pointing a gun-mounted light at someone to identify them you are breaking one of the rules of firearm safety since you are pointing a gun at something you don't yet know if you intend to shoot.

The police spokesman is right on target:

McDonald said officers should attend training when they receive the new lights. ... "It doesn't take the place of a flashlight," he said. "You don't draw a weapon to use a flashlight."
__________________
Did you know that there is a TEXAS State Rifle Association?
JohnKSa is offline  
Old November 19, 2010, 09:59 PM   #2
therealdeal
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 15, 2010
Posts: 627
wow john thats bad! yeah, you know the training comment from the dallas police spokesman is coming out after something like that. I do agree its a good idea, but that is ridiculous. I watch the women police of dallas sometimes- weirdest cop show I have ever seen.
__________________
NRA Distinguished Life Member

"Abraham Lincoln freed all men, but Sam Colt made them all equal." (post Civil War slogan)
therealdeal is offline  
Old November 19, 2010, 10:07 PM   #3
Erik
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 24, 1999
Location: America
Posts: 3,479
"Surefire brand X200 flashlight with pressure switches on each side of the grip of the gun; however this summer the Plano Police Department issued me a Surefire brand X300 flashlight with the pressure switch under the trigger guard and no pressure switch on the grip."

Anyone aware of a pressure switch thus described; i.e. one mounted under the trigger guard?
__________________
Meriam Webster's: Main Entry: ci·vil·ian Pronunciation: \sə-ˈvil-yən also -ˈvi-yən\, Function: noun, Date: 14th century, 1: a specialist in Roman or modern civil law, 2 a: one not on active duty in the armed services or not on a police or firefighting force b: outsider 1, — civilian adjective
Erik is offline  
Old November 19, 2010, 10:30 PM   #4
MLeake
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 15, 2007
Location: Outside KC, MO
Posts: 10,128
For a flashlight, no...

... but that IS the standard position for a CrimsonTrace laser pressure switch.

Wonder if a flashlight maker is now using a similar switch?

Note: This incident is one of the two reasons I don't like gun mounted flashlights on pistols; the other being that the light gives away one's own position.

At least, with a hand-held flashlight, you can hold it away from your body, and still shine it where you want to see.

On a shotgun or rifle, a gun-mounted light makes a little more sense, since one doesn't really have a free hand. Even so, I'm not overly comfortable with those, except for a HD scenario (where I know that shouldn't be a friendly in my hallway).
MLeake is offline  
Old November 19, 2010, 10:33 PM   #5
redstategunnut
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 14, 2009
Location: see name
Posts: 405
The pressure switch is the DG switch from Surefire.
redstategunnut is offline  
Old November 19, 2010, 10:52 PM   #6
MLeake
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 15, 2007
Location: Outside KC, MO
Posts: 10,128
What redstategunnut said...

... just looked it up on the SureFire website, for the SureFire X300 LED weapon light. http://www.surefire.com/X300-LED-WeaponLight

Quote:
Optional pistol grip switches permit operation with the top grip finger, leaving the index finger free to operate the handgun trigger.
Sounds just like a CTC switch layout.
MLeake is offline  
Old November 19, 2010, 10:58 PM   #7
HorseSoldier
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 27, 2006
Location: OCONUS 61°13′06″N 149°53′57″W
Posts: 2,282
Anyone with a shred of competence (or just common sense) should have seen there was a very nasty worst case scenario implicit in having the gun fired and the light activated by similar squeezing movements. On the street I ran an X200 with the normal ambidextrous toggle switch on the back and there is no way whatsoever I could have ever mistaken activating it for pulling the trigger, no matter what my stress level.
HorseSoldier is offline  
Old November 19, 2010, 11:09 PM   #8
Jimmy10mm
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 16, 2010
Location: Greenacres, FL
Posts: 906
Not long ago there was a case where an LEO shot a fellow when he thought he had pulled his taser. He just was sentenced to a prison term. Tragic for all parties concerned.

I've shot a pistol equipped with a crimson trace and though the switch is under the trigger guard it is activated by the grip of your second finger. In that case I don't see it as a hazard. I don't know about the flashlight mentioned.
__________________
Quote:
"the 380 in your pocket is better than the 45 you left at home." posted by, mavracer
Jimmy10mm is offline  
Old November 19, 2010, 11:29 PM   #9
trooper3385
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 8, 2005
Location: South Texas
Posts: 797
He wasn't pointing a gun mounted flashlight to identify him. He was pointing the gun at him because he was making a felony arrest on a drug dealer. That is very routine for officers to draw down on a subject when making a felony arrest. However, he obviously didn't have enough training with operating a gun mounted flashlight. That's going to cost the city big bucks.
trooper3385 is offline  
Old November 19, 2010, 11:36 PM   #10
FM12
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 5, 2007
Location: Monroeville, Alabama
Posts: 1,607
I was right. I knew this would happen sooner or later.
FM12 is offline  
Old November 19, 2010, 11:37 PM   #11
shooter_john
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 11, 2002
Location: ALABAMA
Posts: 1,472
I use a weapon mounted light quite frequently clearing crack houses and such, and I am yet to accidentally (negligently) shoot someone. There is no reason to EVER activate a light with the trigger finger no matter where the switch is. (If you're working the light with your trigger finger, how are you gonna work the trigger?!)

Every gun I carry (on duty and off) is equipped with a light. TLR-1's on "duty guns" which are the Glock 22, 23, 35, and a TLR-3 on my Kel Tec PF9.

In addition, I ALWAYS have a flashlight in my pocket, and the gun light is only used in cases where I might actually need the gun.

I know a lot of you guys here at TFL are anti weapon mounted gun, but in my opinion they are worth their miniscule weight in gold.
shooter_john is offline  
Old November 19, 2010, 11:53 PM   #12
JohnKSa
Staff
 
Join Date: February 12, 2001
Location: DFW Area
Posts: 18,570
Quote:
I know a lot of you guys here at TFL are anti weapon mounted gun, but in my opinion they are worth their miniscule weight in gold.
They are a useful tool, just like firearms are a useful tool.

They can be used safely and they can be used unsafely just like firearms.

The problem isn't gun-mounted lights, it's the improper use of gun-mounted lights. Those who plan to use them should be properly trained to use the lights safely and need to understand that, as the spokesman says, "You don't draw a weapon to use a flashlight."

I think a lot of folks who advocate weapon lights and own weapon lights never fully appreciate the truth and importance of that last sentence. I think some folks have never even thought about it.
__________________
Did you know that there is a TEXAS State Rifle Association?
JohnKSa is offline  
Old November 20, 2010, 12:32 AM   #13
Jeff22
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 15, 2004
Location: Madison, Wisconsin
Posts: 582
weapon mounted lights

The weapon mounted light is an aid to shooting, not an aid to searching.

This issue came up when many of the local PDs were revising policy and training to allow the use of weapons mounted lights, particularly on the handgun.
__________________
You can only learn from experience if you pay attention!
Jeff22 is offline  
Old November 20, 2010, 11:55 AM   #14
swinokur
Senior Member
 
Join Date: April 17, 2009
Location: Bethesda, MD
Posts: 215
A light is an inanimate object. If you can't blame a gun for shooting someone, how can you then blame a light for the same thing?

Training, training, and training.

.
swinokur is offline  
Old November 20, 2010, 02:01 PM   #15
Blue Steel
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 10, 2009
Location: Oklahoma
Posts: 183
Keep Your Finger Off the Trigger.

The Surefire X300 has a pressure switch that is located on the front strap of the grip, just below the trigger guard. This would be activated by squeezing with your middle finger. IMHO, knowing only what was provided in the news articles I read, is that this officer had his finger on the trigger and in the stress of this confrontation he had squeezed the trigger unintentionally. This could have been because of an attempt to activate the pressure switch for the gun, or because of some other circumstances, such as being startled.

I find it a bit frustrating that he is trying to deflect responsibility by blaming Surefire and his department. Activating the light doesn't cause the gun to go bang. Also, if you are not comfortable or competent with a piece of issued equipment, THEN DON'T CARRY IT.

Whether the weaponlight played a part of not, whether the officer was familiar with his gear or not, the paramount issue is the need to KEEP YOUR FINGER OFF THE TRIGGER.

__________________
"I don't make jokes. I just watch the government and report the facts." -Will Rogers

Last edited by Blue Steel; November 20, 2010 at 02:07 PM.
Blue Steel is offline  
Old November 20, 2010, 03:33 PM   #16
comn-cents
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 18, 2008
Location: Pac.N.W.
Posts: 1,804
I must say I love having a weapon mounted light for my house gun, I also have a free standing flash-light right next to it. I use my trigger finger to activate the light when searching my house if needed, while using my other hand to open doors. If I am using a two hand hold I use the thumb of my off hand to activate the light. I have many firearm classes under my belt including dark houses and when I mounted my first flashlight on my gun I almost pulled the trigger a few times instead of activating the light. So off with the flashlight until I trained with it. Sometimes you don't have a choice but to only use one hand. I had someone break into my house once. One hand on the phone the other holding a gun. No choice but using one hand.
__________________
Be Smarter Than A Bore-Snake!
comn-cents is offline  
Old November 20, 2010, 08:40 PM   #17
DT Guy
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 4, 2001
Posts: 725
I've avoided gun-mounted lights for this very reason. I want exactly ONE thing to 'turn on' on a pistol, and it's the bullet launcher.

While we can all agree that 'keep your booger hook off the bang button' would have prevented this, the problem (for me) is when you have your booger hook doing 100% more tasks than another pistol requires.

The idea of pointing a gun directly at someone, finger off the trigger or not, is something the police became comfortable with a long time ago-unfortunately.


Larry
__________________
He who fights and runs away had better run pretty damn fast.

Government, Anarchy and Chaos
DT Guy is offline  
Old November 20, 2010, 09:21 PM   #18
comn-cents
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 18, 2008
Location: Pac.N.W.
Posts: 1,804
DT Guy "The idea of pointing a gun directly at someone, finger off the trigger or not, is something the police became comfortable with a long time ago-unfortunately".

Why is this unfortunate? What does that mean anyway? Finger off or not? I don't understand, what other option is there?


What the heck is abooger hook? I think that is the dumbest saying I've ever heard.
__________________
Be Smarter Than A Bore-Snake!
comn-cents is offline  
Old November 20, 2010, 09:58 PM   #19
Mike38
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 28, 2009
Location: North Central Illinois
Posts: 1,188
Quote:
What the heck is a booger hook?
Your index finger. You must not have picked your nose as a kid?
Mike38 is offline  
Old November 20, 2010, 10:12 PM   #20
Erik
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 24, 1999
Location: America
Posts: 3,479
My take: he squeezed sympathetically and it attempting to divert blame from a blatant rule 3 violation by citing a new equipment defense. If he did the same with his old X200 arrangement, he'd have come up with something else. But... I could be mistaken.
__________________
Meriam Webster's: Main Entry: ci·vil·ian Pronunciation: \sə-ˈvil-yən also -ˈvi-yən\, Function: noun, Date: 14th century, 1: a specialist in Roman or modern civil law, 2 a: one not on active duty in the armed services or not on a police or firefighting force b: outsider 1, — civilian adjective
Erik is offline  
Old November 20, 2010, 10:30 PM   #21
JayCee
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 20, 2001
Posts: 439
I have always thought mounting a light on a handgun was a VERY BAD idea, since it becomes real easy to think of your gun-mounted light as a general purpose flashlight, instead of an aiming device for your firearm. Flashlights and guns serve different purposes, and trying to combine the two will inevitably lead to tragic results like the incident described.

I have the same problem with guys who use their riflescopes as spotting scopes, and I've seen that done frequently. The riflescope is intended only to aim the rifle, not to scout for game or look at other interesting objects. That's what a spotting scope or binoculars are for. When you're looking through the scope, you're not watching where the muzzle is moving, and that could lead to tragic consequences.
__________________
“You may all go to hell and I will go to Texas.” – David Crockett

“If I owned Texas and hell, I'd rent out Texas and live in hell.” - General Phillip H. Sheridan
JayCee is offline  
Old November 20, 2010, 10:46 PM   #22
comn-cents
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 18, 2008
Location: Pac.N.W.
Posts: 1,804
Massad Ayoob has an article in the most recent Guns magazine all about this. It all comes down to training just like everything else. It's scary that so many armed people don't seem to believe in training, are they using osmosis to learn to be responsible gun owners? I don't know how many times I've read how the safety on a 1911 will slow you down or you might not take it off in a stress situation. TRAIN I SAY PLEASE TRAIN!
__________________
Be Smarter Than A Bore-Snake!
comn-cents is offline  
Old November 20, 2010, 10:51 PM   #23
Crazy88Fingers
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 20, 2010
Location: Florida
Posts: 940
I'd have to agree with DT Guy. It seems most police departments have adopted an almost "shoot first, ask questions later" policy when it comes to pointing loaded firearms at people. And, unfortunately, it can lead to incidents like this.
Crazy88Fingers is offline  
Old November 20, 2010, 11:03 PM   #24
DT Guy
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 4, 2001
Posts: 725
Well, I have trained. In fact, I'm a pistol instructor, as well as an instructor in lots of other police and defensive topics.

Former LEO, also, where I was a gang officer and departmental training officer.

I say it's 'unfortunate' that the police have become comfortable with pointing loaded guns at people for the simple reason that it's a bad idea. It was a bad idea when Col. Cooper described the four rules, and nothing has changed to make it a good idea.

The police, however, have come to accept that pointing a loaded firearm at someone who MAY be a threat is acceptable. If you want to find out what a great idea this is, do some research into accidental police shootings-you'll find that many involve guns pointed at people in direct violation of the 'four commandments.' The question becomes, when did the police become exempt from safe gun handling?


Larry
__________________
He who fights and runs away had better run pretty damn fast.

Government, Anarchy and Chaos
DT Guy is offline  
Old November 20, 2010, 11:21 PM   #25
comn-cents
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 18, 2008
Location: Pac.N.W.
Posts: 1,804
So a cop pointing their gun at a DG is breaking one of the rules of safety? I don't think so, if the good guy is okay with destroying the BG it seems appropriate to me. So it seems DT that you have more training than I do according to your post, yet I've been in a stressful situation and I didn't seems to have a problem not shooting the kid who broke into my house. Just like I was trained to do, yet I was willing to destroy my target if needed.
__________________
Be Smarter Than A Bore-Snake!
comn-cents is offline  
Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 08:46 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2014 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent: thefiringline.com
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.13302 seconds with 7 queries