Wednesday, May 26, 2010

New York legislature has seen too many movies

Members of the legislature of the late, great state of New York apparently want to turn law enforcement in that state into a cinematic comedy.

I'm sure that at some time or another, you have seen one of those movies where someone shoots the gun out of the hand of the other guy? While New York's legislature hasn't gone that far, they aren't that far off.

From the New York Post:
City cops are livid over a legislative proposal that could handcuff the brave officers involved in life-and-death confrontations every day -- requiring them to shoot gun-wielding suspects in the arm or leg rather than shoot to kill, The Post has learned.
I know some politicians are often removed from reality, but this takes that notion to new heights, and it pains me to even have to go into detail on why what the NY Assembly wants to pass is such a ridiculous idea.

When a police officer is confronted with a life-or-death situation that requires him to use his firearm on another human being, by definition, he is using that firearm to kill the perpetrator. Guns are made to kill, not wound. If the perp lives, great; but in the end, the reason for the police officer to shoot at the perpetrator is to end a threat to the officer or to an innocent citizen, and the threat must be stopped as quickly and as safely as possible.

The police officer doesn't have time to take aim at a narrow, often flailing, target like an arm or a leg. He only has a split second to take aim at the center of a perpetrator's mass and keep pulling the trigger until that perpetrator is no longer a danger. Shooting at an arm or a leg provides no guarantee that the officer will actually hit his target, leaving the bullet to keep traveling down range until it runs into something else; an innocent bystander perhaps?

In another example of the NY Assembly apparently watching too many movies, what makes them think that a bullet wound to the arm or leg is less deadly? One of the most massive arteries in your body runs down each of your thighs - the femoral artery. Similarly, running down both your arms is the brachial artery.

When a bullet is fired at another human being, you have no idea what kind of damage is going to happen to the bullet's recipient. Limiting the police officer to shooting at a perpetrator's limbs is not only more dangerous to the officer or other people at the scene, it is no guarantee that it will be less deadly.

The intention of the Assembly is undoubtedly to save the life of the perpetrator, but the result of this bill would be to further endanger the lives of police officers and innocent citizens who might receive in the head, a bullet that was meant for a bad guy's arm.

"If a nation expects to be ignorant and free... it expects what never was, and never will be." -Thomas Jefferson

No comments: