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Old February 18, 2019, 07:29 PM   #52
Frank Ettin
Join Date: November 23, 2005
Location: California - San Francisco
Posts: 9,289
Originally Posted by ROCK6
....First, Law Enforcement must adjust to the idea that citizens are armed and not everyone with a gun in their hand is a threat....
What makes you think that LEOs, as a rule, will consider anyone with a gun in his hand a threat -- or at least immediately shoot him?

With regard to the incident reported by the OP, we have no idea how the guy who was was behaving. He might very well have been acting in a way that would have led the reasonable person to believe that the guy with the gun in his hand was an imminent threat.

Originally Posted by ROCK6
...I just don't buy the irrational excuse that seeing a handgun in the hands of an individual marks them as an immediate threat...that's a lame excuse....
And do you have any actual evidence to support that conjecture? What do you know about perception and reaction times?

On the other hand, about 5 years ago in Sonoma County, California there was a [tragic] shooting of a boy by a deputy sheriff. The incident was investigated in depth by the Sonoma County District Attorney's Office which submitted this Report.

As part of that investigation the DA retained Dr. William Lewinsky of the Force Science Institute, a leading and independent and objective expert in the field of human perception and critical incident decision making involved in lethal force encounters to render an opinion about various aspects of this shooting. In the Report some of Dr. Lewinsky's finding were summarize as follows (at page 48):
....Dr. Lewinsky noted that research over the last decade has found that the average time it takes for an assailant to move his weapon from a bootleg position (held down, beside the leg), raise and fire it, is just over a quarter (0.25) of a second to 0.59 seconds. Also, long barreled weapons such as an AK-47 "can be shifted from a low, off-target position (pointed down to the ground) to an aimed point and fire position" in an average time of one second. He concludes that if Andy Lopez "had the weapon he was perceived to have (AK-47) and the intent to fire on the officers as was perceived and Deputy Gelhaus had not responded, but waited until Mr. Lopez had actually started to point or point and fire his perceived AK-47 -by the time Deputy Gelhaus could respond with gunfire, if Deputy Gelhaus was still able to -he could be shot at multiple times before he could respond back and fire one shot."...
Dr. Lewinsky's full report is included as Appendix D to the DA's Report.

Not everyone with a gun in his hand is a lawfully armed private citizen just trying to help out. And the time available to assess, decide, and act, given normal perceptual and decisional delays is probably less than you appear to believe.

These sorts of events do happen with alarming regularity. They happen when the guy shot has a toy gun, an unloaded gun, or something that looks like a gun but isn't. And they seem to happen largely because the guy who gets shot is acting in a way that can't reasonably be distinguished, in the time available for decision, from being a real, imminent threat.

None of us wear visible halos. None of us have neon signs reading "certified good guy" on our foreheads.

Originally Posted by HiBC
...The previous post by ROCK said it very well. Better than I did. He nailed it....
Nope, see above.
"It is long been a principle of ours that one is no more armed because he has possession of a firearm than he is a musician because he owns a piano. There is no point in having a gun if you are not capable of using it skillfully." -- Jeff Cooper
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