There are arguments that can be made that betray someone’s complete ignorance on matters tactical.
Longtime shooters have heard them all, and they almost always cause a chuckle and an eye roll.
Former Vice President Joe Biden parroted one of the more common misconceptions just the other day, when he suggested that police should be trained to shoot someone who is “unarmed” with a knife — yep, unarmed with a knife — in the leg as opposed to center mass.
Everyone with even a shred of tactical training just rolled their eyes, again.
It’s not the first time the good Veep has shared his vast tactical expertise with America.
The last time he advocated shooting two warning shots out the back door with a shotgun if the bad guys come.
The fact that he’s surrounded by a heavily armed Secret Service detail 24-7 didn’t enter into the conversation.
Just fire two rounds outside the door, he said, and the bad guys will skedaddle.
Anyway, back to his latest ramble …
Police are taught to shoot center mass to stop a threat, which can include unarmed dudes with knives.
They’re not trained to shoot to kill. They’re trained to stop the threat, and the easiest way to stop a threat is to shoot center mass. Why? Because it’s the biggest target — the easiest to hit.
Unfortunately, most police officers are not true pistoleers. Their training is rudimentary at best, and held far too infrequently to do any good. If they want to get better, they have to train on their own, at their own expense.
Therefore, asking a young officer who’s mainlining pure adrenaline, whose shooting arm feels like a big piece of licorice, to make a leg shot while someone’s charging him with a knife is a great way to get a cop stabbed.
Also, the good Veep must be a believer in the magic bullet theory— the one-shot-stop myth.
Their are far too many bad hombres out there who could shrug off a single leg wound an bury their knife into the officer up to the hilt.
Human beings can absorb a lot of punishment. There’s no guarantee one shot — especially delivered to a leg — will stop the threat.
Can the Veep not understand this? Does he like hearing Amazing Grace on the bagpipes?
I’ve fielded a lot of training questions over the years, most often from well-meaning souls. Shooting someone in the arm or leg was a common topic, as was disarming them with a single bullet.
“I can’t shoot a gun out of someone’s hand,” I’d say. “I’m not the Lone Ranger.”