A quick followup on a topic that got some serious readsthe anatomy of police shootouts.
I’m well aware of human stress reactions (trying being 17, scared of heights, and being one of two Air Force pukes in Army jump school!) but it’s not like this is an unalterable condition. The secret to either overcoming the stress reaction, or learning to make it work for you is TRAINING. Yes, it takes a lot of training, and, yes, training costs money. So do lawsuits that come from shooting up the wrong vehicle and two innocent bystanders. But with adequate training, periodically reinforced, it is indeed possible to learn to at least manage the stress reactions. However, if your agency is more concerned about training for social issues than proper applications of practical force, or if practical training is forced to take a backseat (or get off the damned bus entirely, in many cases) in order to fund classes in gender awareness or racial sensitivity, well, you get what you pay for.
And I did not get the impression from the article that the author was so much attacking the cops involved, as pointing out the utter disregard that the department leadership showed in acknowledging the problem, and total unwillingness to take some steps, even baby ones, to try and prevent a recurrence.
Just my take on it, with apologies for being disagreeable this early.
No problem, and thanks for unpeeling the next layer.
Yes, proper training can indeed overcome much of those physiological effects. It is, of course, undesirable to turn off the human fear response: the amygdala does not enjoy outside tampering, and its ability to recognize danger in a microsecond is a life-safer more than it is an annoyance.
But many intensive training programs understand this, and work with the bodys natural weaknesses to great effect. The push-pull grip, the tendency to back away while pushing the hands forward (resulting in modified Weaver and modified isosceles stances, and pushing the gun forward when drawing the weapon as opposed to swinging it up cowboy-style) take advantage of these weaknesses that result in ordinary folks turning into quick-draw shooters.
Additionally, there are simple tricks to overcome the others. For example, repeatedly training yourself to look left and right after firing has proven very effective at breaking tunnel vision as well as determining if there are other threats to you besides the one you just fixated on. Pretty much there is a way to overcome or utilize every one of the seemingly harmful effects we described yesterday.
Howeverand this is a beef of the Czars with which Retired Spook will largely agreepolice departments are generally not training their officers accordingly. Especially large departmentsmost cops need only swing over to the range once a year and shoot holes in paper targets for a few minutes in order to re-qualify. Seriously.
This next comment is crazy but we need to say it: the average civilian who takes a defensive handgun course is better trained for these situations than most cops. Not all cops, certainly: we know many who are well aware of the bad stuff that happens in a real shootout and complain bitterly that cadets are basically taught how to load, fire, and re-holster a weapon and little more. A good many police officers are ex-military, too, and all branches (even the Navy!) have excellent training programs for those able to get into them. But the United States military is not quite the law enforcement feeder program it used to be: most ex-military make lousy cops because the battlefield and downtown Muscovy are two very different things.
Now, the LAPDfor examplewill tell us that this is probably well and true, but there are 10,000 officers or so qualified to carry pistols. If a proper training program for them costs $500 each (even over the cost of their existing training), then the Czar is suggesting that the LAPD cough up $5,000,000 to do this. Are we crazy?!?
The Czar suspects the LAPD will settle with Ms. Carranza and Ms. Hernandez for a lot more than that. And the LAPD could probably get an outstanding training program for less than $500 an officer.
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.