Another fatal shooting by police near Ferguson and while there’s a lot of speculation on both sides of the defense argument, my question is this…
If someone was coming at you with a knife and you didn’t have a gun what would you do?
If you were an unarmed civilian you could drop to the ground and roll into his legs just as he was about to lunge. Or you could jump to the side and try to trip your assailant with an extended foot. Or you could head-butt him and push him away. Or you could run like Hell while yelling for help.
If you were a police officer and you work in the United States you should know to grab your Baton and use it to deflect the knife. Then you grab the guys arm and slap a cuff on it.
Baton training has been an integral part of police training for as long as there have been – police. First called nightsticks, police worldwide who aren’t usually armed with guns use them for personal protection and crowd control.
In fact, in 1967 the FBI got into the business of training city and state police officers in the proper use of their Batons in order to quell the rising statistics of police brutality.
Yeah, we’ve come a long way baby.
The Tea Party mentality has everyone so on edge that the lines between knowing when your life is being threatened and perceiving a lesser event as life-threatening have become blurred almost beyond recognition. They didn’t like Obama winning the White House. Fine. But instead of simply getting behind a candidate they do like, they vehemently campaign to convince the rest of us that our president is an evil monster and we need to protect ourselves from the magical day he overthrows the government and outlaws Christianity.
What’s that you say? We need to protect ourselves?
Enter the NRA, salivating at the prospect of selling guns to every single American. It’s a Wayne LaPierre wet-dream. When everyone’s afraid – we’ll sell more guns. Cool.
So now that the public is more armed than ever, the police have to up their game. It’s a self-perpetuating cycle this need to be well-armed. But it’s our children paying the price for this self-inflicted fear.
I once took my young kids camping. The campground was sparsely populated and the few other adults around had been drinking all evening. Happy times. All good. But after everyone had fallen asleep I found myself still sitting by the embers of what was left of the once ample campfire. I heard a noise and looked up.
About ten feet in front of me was a very drunk (and I suspect very high) man holding a handgun and talking to the sky as if it was talking back. He was between me and where about a dozen kids were in sleeping bags under a big oak tree. There was no one to call to for help.
The man began waving the gun in the air and shouting jibberish – but I got the idea he thought there was someone in the trees who wanted to kill him. I took off my shoes, walked up behind him and snatched the gun from his hand. Then I slapped him as hard as I could and screamed as loud as I could.
We co-existed, you and I, long before there were pistols or AK-47’s. We’ve successfully defended and protected ourselves from all manners of danger without shooting our teenage daughters in the dark because we heard a noise and thought it might be the bogey man.
I mean c’mon. My whole life I’ve heard noises in the middle of the night and a few times it made my heart race, sure, but all I ever did was pick up the closest coat hanger and switch on a light.
We need to stop giving the fear-mongers in this country a voice.
And we need to make it clear to our Police Professionals that shooting anything that moves is unacceptable. If you didn’t want the responsibility you shouldn’t have taken the gig.