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Old November 28, 2010, 11:41 AM   #101
Erik
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DT Guy,
I forget a don't, apparently. Funny how a word left out effects the thought.

I edited my post to:
"The Four Rules are the Four Rules, by the way, regardless of who you are and your occupation. The civilians *don't* have one set, LEOs another, and military personnel a third are missing the point. Safe is safe, after all."

And I think that we are in agreement, here.

Which leaves:
"The rules that are be different, depending on the circumstances? The rules of engagement; i.e. when, why, where and how. That necessarily effects Rule 2, but does not change it."

Rule 2: Never let the muzzle cover anything you are not willing to destroy.

It does not say: Never let the muzzle cover anything until you are ready to kill it.

The point at which civilians, LEOs, military personnel, etc may perceive that they are willing to destroy something may vary. Once that point is reached, the muzzles may come on target. Rule 2 is being adhered to.
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Last edited by Erik; November 28, 2010 at 11:49 AM.
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Old November 28, 2010, 11:49 AM   #102
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That does narrow it.

But my question becomes-was the officer in the original post 'willing to destroy' the person he was aiming at?

It's parsing a single word (a sort of scary, Bill Clinton-esque situation ), but important. To me, 'willing to destroy' means I'm OK with the gun discharging and killing my target. I am, essentially, ready to shoot it.

When you point a gun at an unarmed, but previously dangerous felony suspect, are you really 'willing to destroy' him? Would it be just the same to you if the gun fired?

IMHO, the meaning of 'willing to destroy' is just that; are you OK with that person/object getting hit by a round? If not, I'd submit that you're NOT 'willing to destroy' it. By extension, I'd say you should not point your gun at anything you aren't willing to immediately kill, since that's what you're risking by pointing a gun at it.


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Old November 28, 2010, 12:18 PM   #103
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"But my question becomes-was the officer in the original post 'willing to destroy' the person he was aiming at?"

The industry answer is yes, so I'll default to that.

"To me, 'willing to destroy' means I'm OK with the gun discharging and killing my target. I am, essentially, ready to shoot it."

To me, "willing to destroy" means I'm OK pointing a firearm at it. I am prepared to fire as necessary, but will not absent a separate cue.

"When you point a gun at an unarmed, but previously dangerous felony suspect, are you really 'willing to destroy' him?"

Another industry answer, yes. Drugs = guns. There are no "unarmed, but previously dangerous felony suspects" at the point the shot was fired.

"Would it be just the same to you if the gun fired?"

The gun should not have been fired. I'm not arguing that it should have been. And... Had I fired it, I'd be guilty of a Rule 3 violation, and do my best to diagnose and explain how it happened so that others could learn from my mistake.

"IMHO, the meaning of 'willing to destroy' is just that; are you OK with that person/object getting hit by a round? If not, I'd submit that you're NOT 'willing to destroy' it. By extension, I'd say you should not point your gun at anything you aren't willing to immediately kill, since that's what you're risking by pointing a gun at it."

I hear what you are saying, acknowledge that many believe the same, but do not believe that is the intent of the Rule. I'd argue that neither would the Rule's author.

Per Col. Cooper at http://dvc.org.uk/jeff/jeff6_2.html :
"Rule 2: NEVER LET THE MUZZLE COVER ANYTHING YOU ARE NOT PREPARED TO DESTROY
You may not wish to destroy it, but you must be clear in your mind that you are quite ready to if you let that muzzle cover the target. To allow a firearm to point at another human being is a deadly threat, and should always be treated as such."

In reading that, I feel very comfortable in my position on Rule 2 violations. Very comfortable, indeed. It also speaks to my point concerning Rule 2 and rules of engagement. Different people are authorized the threat and use of deadly force at different times under the law.

Best - Erik
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Last edited by Erik; November 28, 2010 at 12:32 PM.
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Old November 28, 2010, 12:42 PM   #104
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Lets see, people get confused under stress.

Lets set up an experiment.

Can you pat your head and rub your belly in syncopation and resume the rhythm after the red light blinks and it is time to punch a button ?

If you do, you get a cookie. How many people will always win the cookie after the red light blinks?

If you are armed with a squeeze cocker and pull the trigger first, than the front strap, you get a round down range. Or if you pull the trigger and the front strap at the same time, you get a round down range. (At least that is what I read)

Instead, if you are armed with a cocked and locked M1911 and pull the trigger but forget to take the safety off, OOPS, no go bangie.

Or you take the safety off and forget about it and later pull on the trigger, gun go bangie at wrong time.

And how many departments allow squeeze cockers and M1911's anymore?

Things with too many flippers and levers are too complicated to use in stress full situations.

It all got too confusing when they took away the pointy sticks and issued iron tipped spears
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Old November 28, 2010, 01:29 PM   #105
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Uh oh, you poker fun at the 1911 platform. They'll be coming for you. ;-)
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Old November 28, 2010, 01:41 PM   #106
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having the triggerfinger able to use the light in very close proximity makes accidents like this more able to happen. the goal should be to have that avoided more or at least stay neutral.
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Old November 28, 2010, 03:36 PM   #107
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The shooter's trigger finger was not intended to actuate the light. He was using a pressure switch as pictured on the first page. Had he not been using a pressure switch, he arguably would not have negligently discharged his pistol in reaching forward to use the light's rocker switches.
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Old November 29, 2010, 02:41 PM   #108
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When you shoot someone, you commit a crime. There are various defenses such as "self defense", but the bottomline is you committed a crime. In all likelihood, the matter will eventually be vetted through a "grand jury" which will decide if it goes further.

Manufacturing a device that gets someone killed is a civil tort.

The moral of the story is you want to avoid that and departments want to avoid that. Its not in anyone's best interests to shoot someone. So train hard, avoid faulty devices and when you have a concern like the officer in the story then bring it to the attention of someone else. Write a letter to the flashlight maker. If I was on a jury, then I would wonder why the officer did not bring the matter to the attention of his superiors or the flashlight maker. Why was he using the flashlight if he knew it was a faulty design or was not properly trained with it? He could have removed it. I don't believe a good excuse is because he was issued it. Thats like would you still drive the patrol car if there was oil leaking on the roadway and the brakes were squealing?

If the department issues a piece of equipment, then they have to devote some time training the officer on it. The department also has the obligation to follow-up to see if the officer has any complaints or issues with the equipment.

BTW, I love the 1911 because of its levers. If someone snatches the weapon or gains access to it, it is much more difficult for them to figure out how to "turn the gun on". All those switches and levers prevent the wrong person from firing it or firing it quickly. The 1911 is an example of a piece of equipment where the inventor carefully thought out all scenarios.

Last edited by Jt1971; November 29, 2010 at 02:46 PM.
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Old November 29, 2010, 02:55 PM   #109
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Jt1971 "All those switches and levers"

You mean all those "one"?
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Old November 29, 2010, 02:59 PM   #110
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You know what I mean
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Old November 29, 2010, 10:21 PM   #111
Erik
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I've seen shooters violate Rule 3 with 1911s and negligently fire upon swiping the thumb safety. A single lever/switch, a bit of pressure, a rule violation, and a negligent discharge. It was a training issue. And I bet that no 1911 fans will argue other wise. I certainly won't.

This thread is about the same thing: A single lever/switch, a bit of pressure, a rule violation, and a negligent discharge. It was a training issue.
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Old November 30, 2010, 11:19 AM   #112
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Quote:
This thread is about the same thing: A single lever/switch, a bit of pressure, a rule violation, and a negligent discharge. It was a training issue.
Except a gun works just fine without a light attached.

You have added an accessory and it is designed to operate in a foolish (at best) manner.

You do NOT have good control over sympathetic movement.

There is left right sympathy AND other fingers on the same hand.
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Old November 30, 2010, 03:27 PM   #113
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Except a gun works just fine without a light attached.

You have added an accessory and it is designed to operate in a foolish (at best) manner.

You do NOT have good control over sympathetic movement.

There is left right sympathy AND other fingers on the same hand.
As much as I would like to believe that is the case, it may not be. Officers have shot people with their duty weapons, with no lights on them, when attempting to use their Tasers. We have had numerous posts of officers having NDs with guns that don't have lights on them. We have numerous ones with non-officers committing NDs with handguns and no lights on them.

The light's activation may not be a good design, but whether it actually contributed to this officer's ND is purely speculative. He says it did - no doubt.
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Old November 30, 2010, 11:28 PM   #114
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An interesting comment I read today in an article by a popular gunwriter who shall remain nameless:

"A quality, firearm-mounted light can be a life saver. First, illuminating a potential threat is the best way to make sure it is really a bad guy and not your wife or child."

I have to disagree. I do not believe that the "best way" to identify someone who might actually be your wife or child involves pointing a gun at them.
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Old December 1, 2010, 01:32 AM   #115
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I've recently done a bit of low-light training so this is very much on my mind.

The story is missing some important details. Obviously, a handgun was pointed at someone and the trigger was unintentionally pulled. The results were horrifying. The change to a different weapon-mounted light with a different activation system is implicated as a major factor.

I think it's important to note that the officer apparently isn't blaming the presence of the weapon-mounted light, rather the mechanism of it. The implication from the story is that, had the officer been using the "old" pressure pad switch, the unintended discharge would not have happened. The officer was familiar with the pressure pad.

What's missing from the story is exactly how the trigger was pulled. Did the officer have the index finger inside the triggerguard? I know someone who, upon reading the story, suggested that the officer may have actually had the index finger in the correct position but the middle finger was on the trigger due to stress and unfamiliarity with the light activation. It's not clear to me that the DG switch was really in use -- maybe the officer was trying to activate the light with the trigger finger in front of the guard and slipped. There's just not enough detail to say for sure.

I would humbly suggest that many of the arguments against a weapon-mounted light could easily be stretched into arguments against guns entirely. Used improperly, they are a liability. It's very easy to assume someone will use the device improperly. The risk can be greatly reduced by good training and strict safety practices. With the training and safety in place, the benefits outweigh the risks.

Only a few months ago, I was very skeptical about handgun-mounted weapon lights until (1) someone taught me how to use them correctly and (2) I was given plausible scenarios where having one would be very helpful.

The key things I learned were:

A weapon-mounted light is not a replacement for a separate handheld light.

It should not be operated with the trigger finger. The trigger finger has one job and one job only.

Modern lights are bright enough and have a wide enough beam to illuminate a room even with the muzzle down. It's not necessary to point the gun at something to identify it. If you really need direct light on something that you aren't sure needs a gun pointed at it, that's what the handheld is for.

If you are holding someone at gunpoint and need the other hand to work a phone, grab a child, or whatever, the weapon-mounted light helps a lot.

If you are using a long gun in low light and have to transition to a handgun, the weapon-mounted light is a lot faster and less cumbersome than other techniques.

I'm by no means an expert. I've been a long time skeptic of handgun lights for many of the reasons already cited in this thread. However, I've changed my mind based on training and conditions where they prove very helpful. Take it for whatever it's worth.
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Old December 1, 2010, 10:04 AM   #116
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Cruncher Block,

It seems you are advocating the use of a weapon mounted light in conjunction with a separate, handheld light. I could see that.

I am not in favor of a handgun light as the sole light.

I do have a light on my AR, but a) it is actuated at the foregrip by the non-shooting hand, and b) it is difficult to use a separate light with a long gun.
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Old December 1, 2010, 10:36 AM   #117
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Yes, this is why many Depts. do NOT allow their LEOs to hang ANYTHING on their pistols.

The tactical and actual shooting reasons are so vast and wide it's astonishing they have not been eliminated completely from LE work.
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Old December 1, 2010, 02:48 PM   #118
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As much as I would like to believe that is the case, it may not be. Officers have shot people with their duty weapons, with no lights on them, when attempting to use their Tasers. We have had numerous posts of officers having NDs with guns that don't have lights on them. We have numerous ones with non-officers committing NDs with handguns and no lights on them.

The light's activation may not be a good design, but whether it actually contributed to this officer's ND is purely speculative. He says it did - no doubt.
No one is saying that their are other things that have caused accidental shootings, just that this is one more item that has not had its ergonomics well thought out.

Putting a switch that requires finger pressure to activate, especially form the hand already holding a lethal weapon that is discharged by ... finger pressure... is just a poorly conceived thing.
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Old December 1, 2010, 04:28 PM   #119
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OTOH, that is the exact same place for the switches on the CT grips on my 442 and the CT LaserGuard on my PM9, and neither of those have caused me to inadvertently pull a trigger.

My problem is with the handgun light as primary identifying light, not with switch position.
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Old December 1, 2010, 06:27 PM   #120
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No one is saying that their are other things that have caused accidental shootings, just that this is one more item that has not had its ergonomics well thought out.
That is good. I wasn't saying those other things caused the officers to have NDs either. I am glad we agree. What we are agreeing on is that the NDs happened anyway and whether or not this ND happened because of the perceived poor ergonomics hasn't been justified.

Quote:
Putting a switch that requires finger pressure to activate, especially form the hand already holding a lethal weapon that is discharged by ... finger pressure... is just a poorly conceived thing.
Interesting. I can't believe that we let the hand with the trigger finger grip the gun at all. After all, gripping the gun requires finger pressure from the hand holding the lethal weapon, so it would appear then that the current grip instructed from firearm manufacturers to gun schools to police departments is a poorly conceived thing as well.

How many hundreds of years have we been doing it wrong?
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Old December 1, 2010, 10:42 PM   #121
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It seems you are advocating the use of a weapon mounted light in conjunction with a separate, handheld light. I could see that.
Definitely. If you are in the dark, you need a flashlight. If using the flashlight requires violating gun safety rules, you need another flashlight that doesn't have a gun attached to it.

Heck, I even suggest a second handheld flashlight (like an E1E) for when flashlight #1 burns out or gets dropped.
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Old December 2, 2010, 10:49 AM   #122
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Interesting. I can't believe that we let the hand with the trigger finger grip the gun at all. After all, gripping the gun requires finger pressure from the hand holding the lethal weapon, so it would appear then that the current grip instructed from firearm manufacturers to gun schools to police departments is a poorly conceived thing as well.

How many hundreds of years have we been doing it wrong?
I can only assume you are being dense on purpose.

When you grip the gun you are not moving your fingers around, except to pull the trigger.

Moving other fingers around for a task like turning on a light is asking for the trigger finger to move sympathetically.
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Old December 2, 2010, 11:04 AM   #123
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Hm. I see from several posts on this thread that a lot of people don't understand how those pressure switches work.

Here's the important factor: if a light is actuated by a pressure switch, you don't move other fingers around to light it. You simply tighten your grip to turn the light on, loosen it to turn the light off. It's a fast and intuitive system that provides absolutely no possibility of moving your trigger finger a full inch from where it's safely indexed on the frame. It's also far (far!) safer than a flip switch in a similar location, because it requires no real movement of any fingers, trigger or otherwise. Simply a tightening and loosening of one's grip.

On the other hand, if your trigger finger is stupidly resting on the trigger while the firearm is pointed at something or someone you're not willing to shoot, a sneeze could fire the gun for you. So could a cough, getting startled, tripping, a sudden noise, or someone bumping into you. And, of course, tightening your overall grip while your finger is resting on the trigger could become noisy, too.

Knowing these basic facts means we know the problem isn't the pressure switch or its location. It's either

a) the shooter didn't know how to use a pressure switch and tried to use it like a flip switch,

or

b) the shooter thought he was doing such an important job that the safety rules didn't apply to him.

In both cases the solution is training. (Well, and in the second case maybe a dose of humility.)

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Old December 2, 2010, 07:51 PM   #124
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"I see from several posts on this thread that a lot of people don't understand how those pressure switches work."

Agreed. And as an aside, quite a few folks don't seem to understand how the the rocker switches work, either.

---
He likely had no idea he was committing a Rule 3 violation. And then he squeezed. Guess what? If he were running his old light, the result would have likely been the same. But since his light and means of actuating it were new to him, that HAD to be it, right? Wrong.
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Old December 2, 2010, 10:19 PM   #125
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Now that I think of it, either squeezing the grip or flipping a rocker switch is a different action then pulling the trigger. Somehow I think the guy that made the shot should come up with a better excuse. Even with my eyes closed I can tell the difference.
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