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Old February 20, 2019, 12:43 AM   #54
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Join Date: November 6, 2004
Location: Georgia/Afghanistan
Posts: 314
Originally Posted By Frank Ettin: 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.
It’s completely subject, I’ll admit, but it has occurred enough to become an issue that should be address in training on both sides…simply my opinion.

Your last point is why I think it’s imperative for those who CCW to get training that includes actions post-self-defense shooting. I would in no way accuse a LEO from using deadly force when an armed or perceived-armed individual refuses to comply with directives. However, even cops are human and the incident with the man in Minnesota (Castile), who told the officer he was legally in possession of his CCW, proves that. If you listen to the tape, you hear the cop tell him to put his hands on the wheel and follow up telling him to get his wallet…a confusing statement that led to the fatal shooting of an innocent man. Who's to blame? I blame it on inadequate training.

Or we could discuss the Chicago guard shot by police holding down another man (suspected shooter) following a shooting in the establishment. Everybody was screaming at the police who arrived that he was a security guard, he wasn’t an immediate threat to the police officer; the officer shot and killed him. I’m sure there are actions the guard could have taken, but was this a “good shoot”?

Originally Posted By Frank Ettin:
And do you have any actual evidence to support that conjecture? What do you know about perception and reaction times?
Well that’s the issue at hand; if everyone is perceived as a threat due to potential reaction times, it’s an easy case to support and substantiate a “good shoot” isn’t it? My point is, if you’re involved in a shooting and law enforcement shows up while you have a firearm in your hand, you’re at risk. Your actions prior to that are just as important as obeying the directives of law enforcement.

Dr. Lewinsky's full report is quite good and helps provide a defense for law enforcement using lethal force. But it only addresses the perceived, direct threat to oneself. What happens when an officer spots an armed gunman that isn’t directly threatening him; possibly hiding behind cover, with what looks like a woman a couple kids huddled behind him? It’s all conjecture on my part, but I still think it’s a paradigm shift in how LEO first-responders assess an active shooting scene, and it’s even more imperative for CCW owners and practitioners to practice and train their own actions, before, during, and after a self-defensive situation.

Originally Posted By Frank Ettin:
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.
I fully agree with that assessment. But I still think there are TTPs that could and should be developed for both law enforcement and armed civilians. While the decision time is a critical factor, I was interested in talking to a couple of Atlanta PD officers I was training with. They have an 11-step protocol before using lethal force; I'm surprised more aren't shot in the line of duty considering downtown Atlanta. We all know that gets condensed in certain, dynamic situations. While I think the majority of officers would prefer to avoid using lethal force, and they too want to come home at night, it’s just as important for them to know the probability of a legally armed civilian may be involved, and not everyone at a scene should be presumed a threat. I don’t know what the right answer is and it’s a difficult situation for both sides. Like I said, I am looking forward to Tom Gresham’s deep-dive into working with the LE community and addressing some training aspects for both sides.

My son is 20 and has been legally carrying concealed for over a year (state of GA). I’ve had him take several classes with me and talked with numerous LEOs. There are several things he can and should do to minimize his perceived threat to law enforcement (whether he’s openly armed or not). I do personally think a large percentage of lethal force by LE could be eliminated if society simply complied with their instructions, but that’s a cultural issue for another discussion. My concern of course, is always the adrenalin and stress involved in a self-defensive situation (be it a fist fight or use of lethal force, heck, just getting pulled over can be nerve-wracking to some); I’m just a firm believer that realistic, scenario based training is the best way to mitigate accidents or negative perceptions. I can only focus on my part and my actions, as well as hope the LE community is doing theirs as well.

There’s more than anecdotal evidence to support both sides. I just think there’s enough evidence to support a shift in training for both police and those who responsibly CCW.

Originally Posted By FireForged:
some of the most common problems: a good-guys failure to follow police issued commands, failure to follow repeated commands, undue delay in following commands or seemingly hostile articulation of a handheld weapon.

Its a terrible thing when someone is harmed due to a misunderstanding but POLICE are not mind readers and when they must make a critical decision in a split second they often times do not have the luxury of having all the information and context that they would like. I think that the best thing we can do as armed citizens is not make it more difficult to understand.
I fully agree. However, what happens when a LEO gives you conflicting directions? One moment, he tells you to put your hands on the wheel, the next he tells you to get your ID? Both parties are likely stressed, but you mitigate stress through training. I know it might sound condescending, but I’ve rehearsed this with my son; you talk slow, loud and clear enough for them to hear, and your repeat what they ask you to do. It is impossible to determine body language or intent, which is why verbal communications is important. Of course, not dropping your handgun or taking any action with a firearm in your hand or even concealed is justification for you being targeted.

Scenario training is extremely helpful. What do you do if you’re engaged in an active shooter situation or any defensive situation where you’re armed and behind cover, and you hear someone behind you yell, “drop your gun”. Most here would say, you immediately comply, but go act out the scenario and many will turn around, gun still in hand, to visually identify who gave the command; it’s a simple reflex, and as @Frank Ettin pointed out, you just forced the LEO to make a decision that may not end well for you.


Last edited by ROCK6; February 20, 2019 at 12:54 AM.
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