11 April 2007

Damned if you do.....

...And damned if you don't comes to mind. Did anybody see the national news the other night? I don't see it every night but there was bit on there about armed officers & whether they are too quick to kill. Im aware this is a big fat can of worms but I have opinions on the subject, whether they are right or wrong is a different matter, I don't pretend to know about this subject & I would not want to be in that situation, but they are my opinions.
The bit I saw was basically a report on how easy/difficult it is for a person to be in that situation & make a split second decision on whether to kill or not, no matter how much training you give someone it will never, ever compare to real life. This reporter was given a taste of the training armed officers recieve & was basically set up with a laser gun & imaginary scenarios on a reactive screen in front of him, scenario's ranging from a school shooting to a violent argument between a man & woman at home. Results being rather than focusing on the whole situation he tended to focus on one person/point & shoot when he felt threatened. His comments at the end were basically you have to have your eye & mind on everything & everyone, not just the person who is waving a loaded gun like the national flag or the one who you think is dangerous & it is by no means as simple & clean cut as he thought it was, let alone anybody else. Therefore it is not just a case of being trigger happy but having to make an educated & balanced judgement & then acting on it, without the luxury of being able to sit back & risk assess every single point, which most educated people know & understand. It's the ones sat at home who have watched a report on t.v or read a story in the paper who then sit back & say ''I would have done this, he shouldn't have done that, that should have been done, he's a murderer''
All of that is extremely easy to say when you are sat in your favourite armchair with
tea & biscuits, a safely locked front door & sooty on your lap, not so easy when you are trying to keep people safe, yourself safe, your colleagues, prevent any shots being fired, watching everything around you, trying to keep the panic & noise out of your head & concentration going, to decide the next step to take, whether you are able to get that person under control without shooting or whether for your's & others safety the risk is too great & you need to shoot.
Im not even going to try to comment on the specifics of the Jean Charles De Menezes shooting because I don't know enough about it but the fact remains that the officer/officers who fired those shots had to make that decision going on the fact he was a possible suicide bomber, unfortunately he wasn't so the officers involved were branded, by the public, incompetent & should be given the sack immediately, without a professional investigation & without the chance to explain because apparently ''they should have known'' maybe they should but going on the advice they were given & the position they were in they had little choice. If he HAD have been a bomber & the police hadn't shot they would have been branded incompetent, not fit for the job & given the sack immediately because the police should do their job properly, hmmm, a no win situation then really, please refer to post title!
The simple push of a trigger can have far reaching effects, but it applies to both parties, the person who is shooting to kill in cold blood & the person who is shooting in a controlled way to save others.
I suppose my basic point is that it is impossible to judge what you would have done in that kind of situation unless you face being in it or were there & that decision rested on your shoulders, you just cannot do it because there are so many factors & considerations that it is impossible to say ''if it was me I would have done....etc etc'' because it wasn't you & in all probability never will be you, especially as your reading it from a paper or watching it on tv in the comfort of your office/home/car etc because the danger is not there at that very second.
I just think the report on the news made a change from the usual ''police in the wrong again, damn them to hell'' reports & actually trying to understand & make other people aware that it isn't as black & white as they might like to think.
As I said at the beginning, all of this is my personal opinion & I'm aware it's a very sticky subject but one I'm quite interested in. I also know what I've said has probably in one way or another been said before & will be said again but feel free to comment, however constructive or not it may be just don't swear or tell me I have no idea, I already know that ;o)


thoughts running through my head.... said...

You so need to join up you know!!!

My opinion on this is if you carry a a gun,prepare to be shot-I have no sympathy for anyone who carries guns,imitation or real,if you go flashing it around,why does anyone moan when the offenders are shot?

GirlNextDoor said...

Lol, the more I think about joining up the keener I get, & reading about it/hearing about it makes me even more decided so watch this space as it's something thats becoming more & more of a definite rather than a maybe :o)
Even with all the government red tape etc Im still not put off, looks like Im madder than I thought!

Yes that's my point exactly, if you are going to carry a gun/machete/any other dangerous or lethal weapon then you need to accept the consequences of that. If you ignore armed officers or give them suspicion/reason to shoot then you need to accept that as well.

If the police DO shoot somebody then they are labelled hot headed triggerhappy cold blooded killers who are nothing but meatheads with a gun. We should have more suitable people employed to do the job, stricter testing, be held more accountable for their actions, give an indepth question/answer interview as to why they did shoot, issue an apology to the deceased's family & preferably have guns that shoot rubber pellets as opposed to real life bullets in future.

If they DON'T shoot somebody then they're classed as not fit for the job, scared of responsibility/their actions, cowardly, need somebody who's less 'scared' to pull trigger if they have to, give a question/answer interview as to why they didn't shoot & to apologise to any injured individuals &/or dead persons relatives & family & also to the public for failing them in their line of duty.

The words Can't & Win come to mind unfortunately....!

dickiebo said...

If u join 'em, then u will become one of 'em. Mark my words.

Annette said...

I find this a very interesting blog. Personally I love guns....but I would never use them to actually shoot someone.I don't want to harm anyone.
What I would like to do is join a club and learn how to use one, with no threat to anybody.
The police however are in a no win situation.
As you said in the blog if they shoot someone, even if that person has a gun and is a threat to other people, then they are called trigger happy.
Well, personally,and this might come across as hard, but I think that if someone is threatening others with a weapon, be it a gun, knife, sword, they have got to be stopped. If that means shooting
them then let it be. They have given no thought to the person/s they are threatening, have they?

The police are highly trained officers so they would weigh up the situation and take it from there.

I'm sure that if they don't need to shoot......they wouldn't.


Good Blog, I wish you all the best in whatever you do hopefully it will be in a country that regains its pride and dumps socialism.

totallyun-pc said...

As a man who carries a gun on a daily basis... well three actually (I'll be back asshole).... I concur with what you say, but it would never stop me doing what I do now,,,... I'd have to go back into custody otherwise anyway... ha ha... But, you are right... overwhelmingly, the people I work with, are the right people for the job. The training is hard, and harsh. If you don't cut it, well frankly, you don't do it.

I can't talk about specific jobs as people could work out my secret identity, but, suffice to say, there have been incidents where I have all but made the decision to shoot... and something has told me to wait that nano second longer... thats not to say if I had shot, I would be wrong.... but that ability to judge is something that firearms officers hold, and if they don't know they have it, the instructors find it. If you haven't got that ability, the instruction will find that too and your out.

we haven't always got it right with shootings.... but of the thousands and thousands of gun incidents a year, (in my force alone) a shot fired is a rare cookie indeed. That speaks volumes.

PC Dogberry said...

There are 2 reasons why I am not a firearms officer.
1. I haven't applied for it
2. I don't have a problem with using force on non-compliant people so I'm probably not the right man for the job.

TUPC has my respect (on many levels), personally, I wouldn't want the huge responsibility of carrying a gun....I'd be too tempted!

Girl next door, I wish you luck with your application to the job, it's the finest career anyone could have. Best job in the world (and it pays OK too!).