You’ve probably heard about the shooting that took place on August 24, 2012 in New York City. In short, a former employee killed his co-worker and was then killed by two New York City Police Officers. One officer fired his gun 7 times and the other officer fired his gun 9 times.
During this hail of gunfire 9 innocent bystanders were wounded all from shots fired by the NYPD. Luckily for the police, nobody was seriously injured by the stray bullets and all of the rounds ended up in a persons leg or arm.
Now, as any shooter knows, the fourth rule of firearms safety is “know your backstop,” and don’t take the shot if you may end up hitting an innocent bystander. And although the police obviously violated this rule, it appears that nothing is going to happen to the officers’ and they’ve already been raised by both the Police Commissioner and the Mayor.
But here’s the thing…
You and I know that most police departments are still a “good ole’ boy network” and the police are able to get away with things that you and I never could. After all, just imagine if you or I had stopped a crazed gunman but in the process had wounded 9 people with stray bullets?
Just imagine the TV headlines… The same Mayor Bloomberg who is praising his officers would be calling for more gun control and talking about how Americans shouldn’t be allowed to have guns.
Also, before I forget to mention this, there are two reasons I don’t really blame the officers for what they did. First, when you’re in that type of situation you get incredible tunnel vision and they most likely didn’t see any of the bystanders and only saw the shooter.
Most police officers are very poorly trained when it comes to shooting, and I doubt could tell you the 4 rules of firearms safety if you asked them. I know this as a fact because I was a police officer and most officers aren’t really into shooting and only go to the range every 6 months when they are forced to qualify with their duty weapon.
So the lessons that you need to learn from this incident are that you need to be aware of your surroundings in a shooting. It’s not easy because you’ll get tunnel vision like everyone, but if you end up hitting 9 bystanders you may be looking at jail time.
Also, this incident proves once again you do not want to rely on the police when your life is on the line. If you’ve ever taken any of my training courses or any of the other schools such as Gunsite, I can promise you that you’re better trained than the majority of police officers. It may not be the most comforting thing to hear, but you’re the only one who is truly responsible for your family’s safety, which is why you should train as often as time and money will allow.