Here are seven things that as a cop, I wish more people knew and understood.
1. We don’t shoot people in the legs on purpose.
One of my articles titled “10 reasons why cops don’t aim for the legs” got a lot of attention. It’s worth reading. Cops don’t aim for the legs. We don’t shoot people in the legs or the arms on purpose because that wouldn’t work well, and in fact, it may get us killed. Civilians, military personnel or anyone else interested in self defense shouldn’t aim for appendages either.
2. We don’t “shoot to kill.”
Despite what some people may think, bullets don’t always kill people. In fact, I’ve heard that there are more deaths by edged weapons in the US than by gunshot wounds, and I believe it. Cops don’t shoot to kill; we shoot to stop the threat. Unfortunately, sometimes people die. And, although it may sound a little calloused, sometimes that’s okay. Some evil people should be stopped by lethal means if it will stop innocent people from dying.
3. When it comes to use of force, we can use what is “reasonable and necessary”.
A lot of people don’t understand what is “reasonable and necessary”. The old case law was damning to an officer who did anything to “shock the conscience”. Well, that’s old school. That phrasing didn’t work.
4. We don’t start off our shift hoping to hurt anyone.
I don’t know a single officer who’s been involved in an officer-involved shooting who started off his day hoping to shoot someone. No. Cops react. Cops are defensive in nature. We are not murdering; we are defending ourselves and others from injury.
5. Tasers and pepper spray don’t always work.
Sure they’re nice less lethal options, but Taser guns and OC pepper spray don’t always do the trick. As far as less lethal goes, I’d much rather have a 40mm. I’d even want that over a 12 gauge less lethal round. Bigger is bad-er and it hurts more.
6. Cops aren’t trying to mimic the military.
Some people complain about the cops being too militaristic. When guns and gear match the military, some people get nervous. But as I’ve said before, all the cops I know are for your rights. We want you to own guns (I do anyway). We just want to protect ourselves and win gunfights. And, frankly, a lot of the lessons we’ve learned come from our military experience.
7. Knives and edged weapons are deadly weapons.
Yes, someone who has a knife, is within close range and shows the possibility of using that knife as a weapon, will likely get shot by any officer who’s been trained on edged weapon survival. Using an unarmed defensive move or a Taser or pepper spray isn’t always the right move. Sure, as cops we try to not use lethal means, but we are not obligated to get seriously injured before we use lethal force ourselves.
The views and opinions expressed in this post are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the position of Guns.com.