CNN reports that all 9 of the citizen casualties in the Empire State Building incident were shot by police officers. Sebastian at Shall Not Be Questioned has some questions for Mayor Bloomberg, and the citizens of New York City deserve to hear him answer them.
How do you expect to have police that know how to shoot when you’ve done everything possible to extinguish any kind of responsible shooting culture in your city?
How many police officers do you think learn to shoot because they interact heavily in the civilian gun culture by taking part in competitions, belonging to shooting clubs, and generally shooting for recreation?
NRA has an entire division dedicated to law enforcement training. Have you ever considered inviting them to New York?
Law enforcement is a profession that tends to run in families. Indeed, a good many gun bloggers come from law enforcement families. Part of that is indoctrinating the next generation in the ways of the gun. If there is no civilian gun culture, how are the martial arts of this profession going to be passed down?
What if there is a Mumbai style attack in New York City? You’re now advertising to the world that your officers can’t shoot. The terrorists are listening.
The bad guy fired a total of 5 rounds. All of them hit his victim.
The cops fired 16 round and hit 9 bystanders. What kind of training standards does the NYPD have for its officers? And these cops were from the Anti-Terrorism unit; aren’t they supposed to be trained to the highest standards?
Pistol shooting is a skill, but it’s not that hard. I haven’t carried a gun for a living since I left the Army, but I still practice. I’m 64 years old, and my eyesight isn’t what it used to be, but the picture on the left shows how I did the last time I went to the range with my .45. All of the hits, even the fliers, are within the area of the target that counts for a full credit hit on most police qualification courses. If an old man can keep his skill up, we should expect cops to do so as well.
UPDATE—From the NYT:
From a distance of less than 10 feet, the officers, Craig Matthews and Robert Sinishtaj, answered in unison; one shot nine times and the other seven.
There. can. be. no. excuse.
UPDATE 2—Bob Owens at PJ Media wonders if NYPD officers should be issued firearms at all. Or if they do carry guns, should the amount of ammunition be limited? Perhaps a single round normally carried in a shirt pocket? That kept Barney Fife out of trouble.