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Old March 30, 2017, 08:42 AM   #1
Loosedhorse
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Warning Shots??? Shooting to Wound???

NPR ran a story a couple of days ago. In the aftermath of well-publicized "police shootings of unarmed suspects", apparently several items are now being re-evaluated as possibly re-entering police "use of force" policies:
  • Warning shots
  • Shooting to wound
Special treat: one of the commenters that NPR chose was Massad Ayoob. Very unusual for NPR to have a real gun and self-defense expert commenting, in my opinion.

Story: Police warning shots may be in for a comeback

  1. What do you think of changing the police policy?
  2. If the policy does change, does that mean that private citizens should also adopt these deadly-force options for lawful self-defense by private citizens?
  3. If police policy changes, and private citizens do no follow suit, do they then become vulnerable to the charge, "You didn't have to shoot to kill: you could have fired a warning shot, or shot to wound"?

My take, FWIW: I understand, especially in the wake of what might seem to be "too many" shootings by police, deciding to review police use-of-force policies. I even understand starting the review process with "all options on the table for discussion." Having said that, I think that "shooting to wound" is a VERY bad idea for all the reasons usually discussed. I also think that "warning shots" that were both safe and necessary would be so rare that changing policy to allow them is another bad idea.
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Old March 30, 2017, 09:00 AM   #2
FITASC
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The way the cops (especially in NYC) shoot, the first 50 shots seem to be warning shots...........

Seriously, fire a bullet in the air, it comes back to Earth I know not where.........

If the mere presence of a gun doesn't deter the bad guy, a warning will probably not either - JMO, YMMV
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Old March 30, 2017, 09:02 AM   #3
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I agree Loosedhorse. Makes for good entertainment in theaters but it would open up a big can of worms in reality.
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Old March 30, 2017, 09:18 AM   #4
Lohman446
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If you are pulling the trigger on a firearm it better be with the understanding that it may be lethal to the target. No you don't intend to kill the target but you do intend to stop him or her as quickly as possibly.

Let's not muddy the waters on this one. The police are already second guessed (and they are not blameless) but I do not need to hear about how "he could have fired a warning shot" or "he should have just shot him in the leg". No. Let's not muddy the waters further.
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Old March 30, 2017, 09:25 AM   #5
15plus1
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What exactly is the warning shot supposed to go into? The air? Nearby car? Building? Maybe bounce a round off the pavement by your target's toes?
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Old March 30, 2017, 09:25 AM   #6
K_Mac
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Complete nonsense that will get good men and​ women killed.
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Old March 30, 2017, 10:29 AM   #7
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These efforts only put police and innocent civlians in danger. Just recnelty an Okalhoma Polcie officer was killed after he tased a suspect who then shot the Policeman three times. The Officer was able to return fire, but I wonder if he had his gun ready instead of the taser if he might have prevented the initial shooting.

http://wreg.com/2017/03/27/oklahoma-...wn-with-taser/
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Old March 30, 2017, 10:38 AM   #8
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Really ???

Quote:
Complete nonsense that will get good men and​ women killed.
I don't want my police force to be trained to fire warning shots and have him protect myself or family, not to mention that it just got him killed. .....

How do you train for this and legally support??? .....

Shoot straight and;
Be Safe !!!
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Old March 30, 2017, 11:08 AM   #9
Tony Z
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Saw a cartoon yesterday, woman defending herself with a gun, said "first two were into his chest, third was the warning shot".
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Old March 30, 2017, 11:10 AM   #10
O4L
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BarryLee View Post
These efforts only put police and innocent civlians in danger. Just recnelty an Okalhoma Polcie officer was killed after he tased a suspect who then shot the Policeman three times. The Officer was able to return fire, but I wonder if he had his gun ready instead of the taser if he might have prevented the initial shooting.

http://wreg.com/2017/03/27/oklahoma-...wn-with-taser/
Exactly!

If he was trained to draw his gun instead of his taser first, he may be alive today to tell about it.
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Old March 30, 2017, 12:09 PM   #11
K_Mac
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Pahoo the OP asked about shooting to wound and warning shots. My reply was to those tactics. Firing a warning shot or shooting to wound is nonsense that will get good people killed. What part of that don't you understand?
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Old March 30, 2017, 12:22 PM   #12
mete
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You may need that wasted round !

You've also wasted critical time !
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Old March 30, 2017, 12:28 PM   #13
T. O'Heir
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"...way the cops (especially in NYC) shoot..." Isn't just NYC. Spray and pray seems to be the prevailing training doctrine up here. No mandatory practicing either.
Warning shots are excessively dangerous. YOU are responsible for where every shot you fire ends up. Including said 'warning' shots.
Shooting to wound requires much greater shooting skills and knowledge of anatomy. A leg shot is just as likely to hit the femoral artery(Bleed out in 3 minutes) as it is to miss altogether. Shooting to wound usually leads to law suits too.
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Old March 30, 2017, 12:33 PM   #14
jersurf101
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" Never point the weapon at anything you don't intend to shoot".

So what would the intended target be with a warning shot?

I dont think most officers are trained to a level that wounding shots are a possibility. Center mass is a more realistic target.
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Old March 30, 2017, 12:54 PM   #15
Lohman446
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Victoria Snelgrove.

I'm going to suggest the concept of using a firearm as a "less-lethal" weapon is a bad one. Even less-lethal weapons are not non-lethal.
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Old March 30, 2017, 02:33 PM   #16
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Quote:
Let's not muddy the waters on this one. The police are already second guessed (and they are not blameless) but I do not need to hear about how "he could have fired a warning shot" or "he should have just shot him in the leg". No. Let's not muddy the waters further.
This!^^^

These are my thoughts too. I sometimes wonder if there are folk that WANT to muddy the waters...so they have even MORE reasons to second guess the police.
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Old March 30, 2017, 03:10 PM   #17
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There are some of us who live where a warning shot would not be excessively dangerous to anyone around. However, it a really poor idea, almost as stupid as deliberately shooting to wound.

Neither one is certain to end the threat, and ending the threat is the only reason for shooting someone.

If it comes out of the barrel of a gun, it IS DEADLY FORCE. And we, as citizens are only justified in using deadly force if we honestly believe no other option will stop the threat.

Deliberately shooting "to wound" is a de facto admission you did not believe deadly force was the only option, and that means you are NOT justified shooting. Legally, you have just blown away any claim of self defense, and opened yourself up to assault with a deadly weapon charges.

Seeing it done (often) in movies and tv doesn't mean its a smart thing to do in real life.
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Old March 30, 2017, 03:12 PM   #18
jad0110
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Quote:
If it comes out of the barrel of a gun, it IS DEADLY FORCE. And we, as citizens are only justified in using deadly force if we honestly believe no other option will stop the threat.

Deliberately shooting "to wound" is a de facto admission you did not believe deadly force was the only option, and that means you are NOT justified shooting. Legally, you have just blown away any claim of self defense, and opened yourself up to assault with a deadly weapon charges.
Exactly.

For me, the gun is only drawn when no kidding, my only choices are to defend myself or wind up very, very hurt - or worse.

There will be no time at that point to dink around with warning shots and other such nonsense.
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Old March 30, 2017, 03:43 PM   #19
357 Python
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For warning shots I would like to know who is going to explain to the family of someone hit by one of those "warning" shots. Consider that a .38 Special can travel about a mile in the air. There is a big potential for an innocent bystander no where near the site of the incident to be hit. A shot fired but misses has the same potential but consider the willful shot designed to miss the suspect. The potential legal trouble is immense.
For shooting to wound. This is the real world not some Hollywood movie. They could do that easily with Roy Rodgers, John Wayne, Gene Autry and guys like them. If I have to shoot I am shooting to stop a threat from potentially killing me, my family, or those I am charged to protect. I am not concerned with their health only the ones I am protecting.
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Old March 30, 2017, 05:09 PM   #20
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Horrible ideas, both.
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Old March 30, 2017, 06:01 PM   #21
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It's just a silly news story
I don't foresee any changes to police procedures, and no one should be taking the suggestions seriously.
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Old March 30, 2017, 06:32 PM   #22
Pahoo
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Did not mean to confuse you

Quote:
What part of that don't you understand?
Mac,
You misunderstood my replay as I am in complete agreement with your sentiments. My comment was directed at those who endanger LEO's lives and the lives of others. Recently there was a female LEO who had such reservations or thoughts and wound up in the hospital. I work indirectly with LEO's and they are always in my prayers. .....

Be Safe !!!
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Old March 30, 2017, 06:57 PM   #23
Loosedhorse
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Snyper
It's just a silly news story
Perhaps.

There is no doubt that the media prints many silly stories. Having watched NPR stories for some time, I suspect it's even a bit worse than that.

The next time that we have an "unarmed suspect" shot by police, I won't be surprised if the NPR story contains a passage along the lines of, "Unfortunately, the So-and-so Police Department has refused to consider authorizing warning shots and shooting to wound, so its officers may feel they have no choice but to shoot to kill."

Let's just say their coverage of previous media-blitz police shootings has not (in my opinion) been very concerned with the practicalities of officer safety or the concepts of armed self-defense. It has, in fact, felt quite agenda-driven to me.
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Old March 30, 2017, 07:03 PM   #24
K_Mac
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My apologies Pahoo. My response was snarkier than it should have been, especially if my meaning was unclear.

I have read a couple of opinion pieces about this subject this afternoon. There is incredible pressure on police to use non-lethal force in all but the most violent encounters. Police don't always get it right, but attack a police officer physically with or without a weapon and you have crossed the line. Police are sworn to protect and serve. They can't do that if we tie their hands.

Take care Pahoo.
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Old March 30, 2017, 07:12 PM   #25
lefteye
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1. Absolutely HORRIBLE police policy!

2. Absolutely HORRIBLE self-defense policy!

Bullets are much faster than rational thoughts regardless of the situation. This, of course, includes bullets from the criminal's firearm. Shooting to wound rather than center of mass is far more difficult and is much more likely to cause unintended harm in some situations, i.e., an innocent victim of the officer's shot.
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Last edited by lefteye; March 30, 2017 at 07:21 PM.
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