This little note from the Retired Spook has much to unpack:
A recent news article seems to indicate that 103 rounds were fired by eight officers into a newspaper delivery truck. If memory serves, the range-to-contact was less than two car lengths, and that the unoffending little truck was hit some 70 times. The passengers, a middle-aged Hispanic woman, and her mother, were both hit, but the injuries were not “life-threatening.”
And yet, the liberal idiots want us to believe that only cops can be trusted with guns, since they are “trained.” If this is an indication of the level and quality of training, I think we’d all be better off if they stuck to double-barrelled shotguns, and 1862-pattern Colt revolvers. At least it would minimize the amount of damage they could do.
I really need a drink.
There are a couple of things to get out of the way, first:
Uno: Any time you see a story about the police dramatically over-reacting to something, you should remind yourself that this is prima facie evidence that the government has gotten too big, even on the local level.
Два: Any time you see a story about cops acting like morons without any hint of followup investigation or corrective action, you should not be surprised to learn it was either the LAPD or the NOLA PD. In this case, it was the LAPD looking for a blue Toyota Tacoma pickup truck who spotted a gray Nissan Titan instead, and abruptly and evidently without warning fired 103 shots into the truck, injuring both women.
And let us get to the meat of your letter: police dependence.
Many Libertarians hate the police because (a) Libertarians distrust any authority figure, which is why libertarians are such shitty voters and (b) Libertarians are not far enough removed from hippies such that they can eliminate their paranoia about the Man, man. The Czar is a small-l libertarian, and thinks that police do an overwhelmingly great job. He has many friends who are or were police officers, and certainly appreciates that the number of bad, corrupt cops out there is a vastly smaller percentage per good cop than bad, corrupt people are per good people.
But cops are ultimately human, and humans respond to stress in very understandable ways. Readers, please pay attention here.
When a cops life is threatenedwe dont know who was supposed to be in the blue Toyota Tacoma but we can bet he was really scarytheir body produces epinephrine in large amounts. You know this as adrenaline. The heart races, the palms sweat, fingers get tingly and hard to work, the eyes dart around trying not to focus on too much at one time, and the hearing goes wonky. The amygdala in the brain becomes aware that a blue Toyota Tacoma pickup truck means danger, danger, danger. Suddenly, one cop sees a gray Nissan Titanhis amygdala says pickup truck! because the amygdala does not care about name brands and optional powertrain features. The amygdala deals with shapes of dangerous things, which is why that rope on the ground suddenly looked like a coiling rattlesnake for a split second.
Another thing about epinephrine. It screws your vision up: your eyes become focused on the source of the danger to the point the lenses can change shape, producing what a lot of folks correctly call tunnel vision. You literally see whatever your eyes lock onto as if looking through tubes. Hard to describe unless you have experienced it. Also, you tend to lose resolution and detail: cell phones look like guns (thanks, again, amygdala!), belt buckles look like knives, and yes: blue trucks look gray and vice-versa.
So one cop mistakenly sees a blue pickup truck. He draws his weapon. Due to the contagion effect of epinephrine, every other cop nearby draws his weapon, too. One raises his weapon higher than another, so they all raise their weapons higher. One puts more pressure on the trigger, and so they all do. Eventually one fires. The contagion effect in shootouts is pretty well known: when one gun discharges, everybody starts firing.
Remember those tingly fingers we mentioned earlier? Another effect of epinephrine is that your body bets you will need gross physical strength more than anything, so it starts firing up the large muscle masses. This means your fine motor control and ability to produce a sequence of complex motions goes away. Instead of firing once or twice, you continue to fire until your ammo is used upand you havent hit a darn thing… even if it is only a few feet away. Or a pickup truck with two terrified women inside. As long as the brain sees pickup truck! it will continue to fire, reload, fire, reload, and fire…without hitting anything. Bullets go everywhere.
Interestingly, once one cop recognizes what is happening, he can get all the others to stop. If he realizes they are contagion firing, he can call a cease fire and almost immediately the others will reset and realize, to their horror, what they just did. It takes a few minutes for the body to calm down, but they can usually get control of the firing pretty soon.
This does not excuse the cops, and the Czar will not get into whether and how they should be assessed or penalized for their actions. But when you read these cases about innocent people being shot or cops massively firing under mistakes, they all seem to point back to this physical reaction to life-threatening stress.
Here is why this is important to you, readers. Because this can happen to you, too; although, admittedly, most Americans are fortunately oblivious to the effects of ephinephrine because their ephemeral lives are rarely so threatened.
But the Czar sees you folks at the range all the time: plinking holes in man-shaped silhouette targets from 40-foot ranges. Go ahead and have fun, but dont think this readies you for a life-threatening shooting encounter. If you have a firearm on you or in the nightstand, and suddenly there is a life-threatening stimulus, your hands shake, you get tunnel vision, your heart pounds, and you cant even see the threat very well. You just shoot, shoot, shoot, and shoot until the shape goes away.
When, back in the 1980s, a woman shot and killed her neighbors exchange student house guest because he mistakenly wandered into her identical house in the wee hours, gun control people howled because she was found not guilty, even though she shot him a dozen times at a distance where she should have been able to recognize him in the half-light. This is because she saw a shape of a man in her house, and continued to shoot because he did not fall down fast enough when hit. Maybe she could make out his face in the half-light, but she was unable to identify him until the shooting stopped.
This is how the body actually works in a gun battle: it panics, like it does without a gun. Millions of years of ingrained reflex actions common to most speciesit isnt something you can legislate away or pretend does not exist just because it wears a badge. These are all tragedies, and probably to some degree all preventable. But that doesnt mean they arent understandable.
The Czar disagrees with the author of the linked piece, insofar as his major premise is that the cops shot at those women because they dont care. Again, these types of shooting are more and more common the more powerful liberal government gets, but the author of that piece has clearly never been in a life-threatening situation and has little understanding of an actual firefight. Thank God he has the cops he despises to do that for him.
Божію Поспѣшествующею Милостію Мы, Дима Грозный Императоръ и Самодержецъ Всероссiйскiй, цѣсарь Московскiй. The Czar was born in the steppes of Russia in 1267, and was cheated out of total control of all Russia upon the death of Boris Mikhailovich, who replaced Alexander Yaroslav Nevsky in 1263. However, in 1283, our Czar was passed over due to a clerical error and the rule of all Russia went to his second cousin Daniil (Даниил Александрович), whom Czar still resents. As a half-hearted apology, the Czar was awarded control over Muscovy, inconveniently located 5,000 miles away just outside Chicago. He now spends his time seething about this and writing about other stuff that bothers him.