Friday, July 31, 2015

Trained Cop vs. Untrained Civilian

Washington Post


  1. Trained Cop vs. Untrained Civilian

    Cops, unless they're MPs, are "civilians." Don't go complaining about the "militarization of law enforcement," while at the same time inventing a distinction between cops and "civilians."

    Secondly, yes--proficiency tends to be greater among the trained than among the untrained. Those ridiculous laughingstocks at NGVAC needed a study to determine that? But you do realize, do you not, that cops don't have access to training any better than is made available to other civilians?

    1. You are a case of a little knowledge being a dangerous thing in your expositions of the law. a civilian in US usage is one not on active duty in the armed services, a law enforcement officer, intelligence officer, or a firefighter.

      The word "civilian" goes back to the late 14th century and is from Old French civilien, "of the civil law".

      Police Forces are organised along paramilitary lines (i.e., they have ranks and a chain of command). In Europe, there are Gendarmes, which are internal military services, but the Anglo-American tradition usually distrusts this (although the colonial police were militarised). In fact, US law generally prohibits the use of an actual military body for law enforcement.

      Additionally, the word "Law Enforcement" should clue you in that these people are paid to enforce the laws (and there is a difference between law enforcement and private security as well, but I will guess you don't know that one either). Since their job is to enforce the law, they have a little more latitude than "other civilians" to their action, but that does not allow them to become Judge Dredd--although Scalia and his ilk may make that happen.

      While "cops don't have access to training any better than is made available to other civilians", they usually are better trained than "other civilians" since that is their job. Not to mention most "other civilians" can't spend that much on training.

    2. Who are Considered to be “Police” Under the Law?

      Police forces are usually considered to be non-military organizations that operate under the authority of the government. Their only task is to police domestic issues, not fight foreign powers overseas, which is a military function. While in the common vernacular “police” usually refer to officers of a city police department, from a broader legal standpoint “police” can often refer to any person or organization involved in law enforcement. This can include an organization authorized to operate under federal, state, or local laws. Examples of various law enforcement agencies that exercise police powers on behalf of the government include sheriffs, state troopers, city police, U.S. marshals, FBI agents, and many more.

      The Role of Police in Society

      The main role of police in any civilized nation is to preserve order. As such, their whole reason for being is to enforce criminal laws, reduce civil disorder, and protect people and property. To accomplish this goal, police are granted certain unique powers that other citizens do not have, like the legitimate use force in preventing crime and the power to impose fines for criminal behavior.


    3. Thanks, Laci, for pointing out the obvious to Kurt who just loves to be contentious. Imagine the petty mind-set that prompts him to argue over whether cops are really civilians or not.

      Police have mandatory training, that, although insufficient, is a thousand times more than what's required of civilians.

    4. If you only train for your job, then you do the minimum that's required by you. If you actually enjoy guns, and like shooting, and take self-defense seriously, then you constantly training and practicing as time and funds allow. These are the people commonly called "gun nuts". So they're not the ones you have to worry about, right? I'd be more concerned about the Laci and Dog Gone permit holders if I were you.

  2. Apparently they sedated all the "untrained civilians" first.

  3. Well, nothing like coming right out and declaring your prejudicied position right at the start of the video.

    "They recruited 77 volunteers with varying levels of firearm experience and training, and had each of them participate in simulations of three different scenarios using the firearms training simulator at the Prince George's County Police Department in Maryland."

    I didn't see any mention of any of the participants having a carry permit. In fact, the video seems to come out and say that the persons in the video are untrained, except of the police officers of course.
    They also seem fixated on the NRA training process when there are many other good schools out there that teach defensive skills. This "study" has so many holes in it, that it appears that the people who ran it don't know a whole lot about what they're studying.
    Perhaps its a function of the number of available subjects considering its a very anti-gun state. A shame they didn't also try the study in a pro-gun state, or even managed to include some permit holders.

    1. Ah, so we're watching the worst four performers out of 77 civilians they pulled off the street. I wondered how many "untrained civilians" did well enough for Elliot Fineman to leave their footage on the cutting room floor. Sounds like the answer is 73.

      Also, I love how when a cop shoots one suspect in an armed robbery, the other one immediately lays down his gun an puts his hands up. When an "untrained civilian" shoots one suspect, the other immediately turns around and shoots him dead... because training.

    2. "Also, I love how when a cop shoots one suspect in an armed robbery, the other one immediately lays down his gun an puts his hands up. When an "untrained civilian" shoots one suspect, the other immediately turns around and shoots him dead... because training."

      Actually TS, I read about that sim in the text of the study. In regards to shooting suspects, if you shoot the guy with the rifle, the guy with the pistol gives up. If you shoot the guy with the pistol, the guy with the rifle turns and shoots. My guess its to teach officers to go for the most dangerous threat first.

    3. It is a bit confusing. First we have "untrained civilians" to describe them then we have "varying levels of firearm experience and training,."

      The point is clear though, isn't it? Training is important and to allow people to own and carry guns with little or no training is wrong.

    4. Though the guy with the handgun was closer. So which one was the bigger threat? The simulator says the same answer every time, but reality wouldn't.

    5. To "allow" people to own guns? Thats very cute!

    6. Well, in the sense that we allow prople to own cars or toasters, we allow them to own guns. It's a free country.

    7. I would very much like to meet the person(s) involved in "allowing" me to own anything. Cars and toasters included. In other words, who is "we"?

      Your right about one thing, it IS a free country. I am only restricted by my income that allows me to own what I choose, not you or anyone else.

    8. Oh, you're such a big man, Newcasle. There are many things you cannot own because the MAN says you can't. Deny it all you want, but you're not nearly as free as you pretend to be.

    9. Big man? Why thank you Mike for the compliment. Now would care to explain some of the many things I cant own? Just an example please? And who "the MAN" would be that says I cant?

      Anyone is only as free as their pocketbook. I am more free than others, not as free as some. But for you to think I am not as free as you would like to believe, your just barking up the wrong tree, big man.

    10. Are you free to own a shoulder held rocket launcher? You might conceivably need on for home defense one day. Is it only your pocket book preventing you from getting one? How about some really nasty biological weapons? Can you own those too, I mean, being as free as you are and all?

    11. Yes Mike. With enough cash anyone can own them. And I have news for you Mike, several people already own shoulder held rocket launchers and legally at that. As far as bio weapons? Yes. Most people own them already. Just look under your sink or where ever you keep your pest control products.


    12. "Anyone can own them?" Are you kidding? You say whatever you want, don't you? You have no concern for honesty or correctness, do you.

      The fact is there are many things that you cannot own legally, regardless of how much money you have. You're idea of freedom is way off.

    13. No, my idea of freedom isn't way off. Your desire to control is, however. Why don't you go look up real facts before you go spouting off what someone can and cant own in this country. My freedom, Americas freedoms extend way, WAY beyond the freedoms afforded to you in Italy. I am betting the reason that you choose to live in Italy is that you are one of those that cant handle real freedom and too afraid to be around those that have freedom.

      Honesty and correctness doesn't require any concern. You still haven't proven any point about how my freedoms are restricted by this mythical "MAN" that you speak of. What freedoms are restricted and by who. I am concerned about those who wish to believe that they can control a free man, any free American and you are the one that fits that description. At least you would like to anyway. Good luck with that. Big man. LOLs!

  4. It's not like Fineman supports training. He was all on board with Chicago banning training facilities. His message isn't "get training". His message is "don't get trained- don't get a gun".

    Another thing, according to the gun control crowd, most people are against carrying guns in public. Even if it were a small percentage, it wouldn't be hard to find four people out of 77 who would actively throw this "study" to not show carry in a positive light. However, these people looked more apathetic to me. It's funny because they said the "untrained civilian" shot at the box throwing guy out of "fear". He didn't look scared to me. He looked like he didn't give a crap and was taking this exercise about as seriously as we take Elliot Fineman in general. And what's a CCW person doing approaching a guy unloading a storage container and asking for ID anyway? Obviously this simulation is appropriated from police, and is not a self-defense training simulation.

    1. They mentioned that they had to change this situation around a bit because some of the officers remembered using it before, but when they used it previously, the guy would pull a gun out of the box.
      The FATS simulater is a cool training aid. I've gotten to use the military version that has additional weapons and military situations. It is limited in the number of possible outcomes.

  5. Sorry, I know I'm going off here, but this video is too target rich- so many ways to rip it apart. Let's look deeper at the first one (with the heavily sedated car jacking victim).

    For one, if you replace her gun with any other weapon, she still dies (because she just stands there until the guy shoots her). If you replace her gun with a phone to call that trained police officer who did so well right before her, she still dies. Heck, if she tries to hand the guy her keys saying "take the car, just don't hurt me!", she still dies. This is because the video is only a police training exercise on when to shoot a suspect who has their hand on their waistband. If they're saying she needs "training" to know to point her gun at someone who is yelling "give me your keys or I'll kill you" with their hand on their waistband, then she probably needs training on how to walk.

  6. Unfortunately, this experiment was tried by concealed carry holders:

    Even "The Truth About Guns" had similar results to the study here.

    Even "well-trained" civilians fucked up in a script they were prepared for: contrary to your wishful thinking.

    1. Hi Laci,

      Yep, you're right, sometimes the cards you're dealt is a losing hand. But that in no way negates the utility of attempting to defend yourself when such a situation presents itself. What it does suggest to me is to train harder if and when you can.
      There are still many examples of citizens successfully defending themselves against violence. I'm still waiting to hear if either the Marine Sgt. or the Navy officer scored on the terrorist at Chattanooga.

    2. The answer is "to train harder if and when you can," but we can't make it mandatory. That would ruin everything.

    3. "The answer is "to train harder if and when you can," but we can't make it mandatory. That would ruin everything."

      Mike, keep in mind that most consider bearing arms to be a right. And in most states that require carry permits, there is some level of training required. This training for the most part is covers the use of deadly force and the laws that apply to permit holders in the issuing state.
      Often, though always, there is a basic marksmanship test. As far as I know, there is no state which requires a test along the lines in the "study" we are discussing. If you want to somehow make a shoot/don't shoot exercise a requirement you're welcome to give it a try in any state of your choosing.
      However, you need to keep in mind that in regards to situations in this video, a citizen who has a carry permit isn't required to get involved in any of the scenarios with the possible exception of the car jacking since that is a one on one assault.
      Law enforcement, as Laci says is tasked with at least the expectation that they will engage with those committing criminal acts, though they aren't legally required to. If they don't, they might be fired, but that's it.
      There are many opportunities out there for additional training to include tactical training and competitions. Some go that route and some don't. As TS said, the scenarios in the study are set up for law enforcement and is a training tool. That means that officers are expected to make mistakes and learn from them. It wasn't used that way in the study.
      I'm wondering if the civilians in the study were given any instruction in the rules of deadly force. Considering that one person in the video shot at a fleeing criminal suggests they didn't. If the civilians in the study didn't have a carry permit, its quite unfair to put them in scenarios where they would need the knowledge a permit holder would have.

    4. Most states do have mandatory training. You just say it's not good enough. And you're already saying the police training isn't good enough. It's clear that whatever you get, you'll keep asking for more as a way of deterring armed self defense. And even if someone were to have "enough" training, you want carry to be impossible in practice by having a patchwork of places they can't carry while not allowing them to keep guns in cars. And you laud training, while at the same time supporting chicago's ban on training facilities. I know what you're up to.

    5. "There are still many examples of citizens successfully defending themselves against violence."
      Is that gun violence? And what are the police numbers on those who successfully defended themselves against gun violence, with their guns?

    6. C'mon, ss, how many states have Constitutional Carry now? No training required.

    7. "Is that gun violence?"

      Yes, but self defense is an acceptable use of force.

      "And what are the police numbers on those who successfully defended themselves against gun violence, with their guns?"

      No idea Anon. And not really my concern at present.

    8. You mean like Vermont? As with any other law such as assault, homicide, etc. Its the responsibility of the person carrying to know the laws that pertain to his actions. As I said in my last comment, for the most part, the marksmanship component is a simple test that shows a minimal skill level. For my permit test, I put all required rounds center mass of a target at 21 feet. Not really a challenge.

    9. MikeB: "C'mon, ss, how many states have Constitutional Carry now? No training required."

      Not most. But since there are a handful, you should be able to statistically prove that those states have higher rates of mistakes from permit holders that training would prevent. Can you?

    10. "No idea Anon. And not really my concern at present."
      Of course it's not your concern. It's also not true, but you keep using it anyways. Thanks for proving your dishonesty.

    11. TS, I did prove it in my recent post about Louisiana (not a constitutional carry state that I know of, but one with plenty of guns and loose gun laws). Your defense was pretty weak, remember, that it's all about the behavior of people whether they end up shot or not.

    12. "Of course it's not your concern. It's also not true, but you keep using it anyways."

      Not really sure what you're talking about Anon, which isn't unusual. Are you referring to my comment about the differences between civilian use of arms and law enforcement? What part of my comment don't you think is true in regards to these differences?

    13. Oh, Mike. Mike, Mike, Mike… what are we going to do with you?

      Your idea of “proof” that constitutional carry states have more safety mishaps while carrying is to point to a state that doesn’t have constitutional carry and say “look how many guns deaths they have!” (the bulk of which are suicides and murder by non-permit holders). As you just said, Louisiana is not a constitutional carry state and they do in fact have a training requirement to obtain a permit:

      D.(1) In addition to the requirements of Subsection C of this Section, an applicant shall
      demonstrate competence with a handgun by any one of the following:
      (a) Completion of any National Rifle Association handguns safety or training course
      conducted by a National Rifle Association certified instructor within the preceding twelve
      (b) Completion of any Department of Public Safety and Corrections approved firearms
      safety or training course or class available to the general public offered by a law enforcement
      agency, college, or private or public institution or organization or firearms training school within
      the preceding twelve months.
      (c) Completion of any law enforcement firearms safety or training course or class
      approved by the Department of Public Safety and Corrections and offered for correctional
      officers, investigators, special deputies, or any division or subdivision of law enforcement or
      security enforcement within the preceding twelve months.

      Mike, you are supposed to show that Louisiana is better than states like Arizona, Alaska, Vermont, Arkansas, Kansas, and Wyoming because they require training. Showing that it is the worst, makes a case against your claims (again, that’s just one point. If you actually want “proof” then you have to do a comprehensive study of all available data, not just cherry pick one state). Even still, in your recent post about Louisiana, you were talking about all “gun death” (no surprise), and not CCW safety mishaps that could have been prevented with more training. So you still have a chance here. Why don’t you show us how Louisiana has fewer CCW safety mishaps that could have been prevented with more training than Arizona does?

    14. You like to play dumb SS, either you are lying, or dumb, or both. You seem to lose the point from comment to comment, but thanks again for proving your dishonesty.

    15. TS, the difference between the training requirement in LA and that of a Constitutional Carry state (zero) is minimal. It might as well not even exist.

      Plus, in the Louisiana post there was talk of overall murder rates. I guess you missed that, huh?

    16. Wait, you are saying Louisiana’s high murder rate is because of a lack of training? People just need a more training not to murder each other? And what does that have to do with CCW? A huge, HUGE majority of Louisiana murders are committed by people who don’t have CCW, and even still aren’t even allowed to own or possess firearms. This post is about training. So you need to point to statistics that have something to do with training if you are going to tout the benefits of it (like accidents and judgment mistakes). Murder and suicide are not training issues.

      But, if you are going to say Louisiana’s training requirements are so minimal that they might as well not exist, then why do you guys flip out over states going constitutional carry? You say it doesn’t make a difference- so let’s go constitutional carry in all those “minimal training” requirement states then. Fine by me. Maybe you could use it as leverage for true compromise on something since it doesn’t make a difference to you. That’s the dirty little secret to compromise- give up something you don’t care about.

      Still, I find it funny that you think an 8 hour training course, on laws, safe handling, self-defense, with tests and live fire demonstration is useless. Some training is useless, but more training is better Really, how do you get there logically? Popular opinion is that training (any training, not just gun training) has diminishing returns. Anything is better than nothing. Two hours are better than one, but not twice as good. A week is better than a day, but not five times as good, etc. And obviously you can reach a point where the value added for more training time becomes zero. Even you should agree that you can reach a point where sitting in a class room for another day simply doesn’t add any more value (other than the value of making it harder to buy guns). Look, when I take a new shooter to the range, we spend about an hour going over safety rules and gun handling before supervised live shooting. You’re telling me that is useless? I might as well just hand them a loaded gun, and not even mention muzzle awareness, keeping their finger off the trigger, how to clear it, etc. Do you really think that?

      How do you feel about California’s Firearm Safety Certificate (FSC)? This used to be just for handguns, but now they applied it to all firearms to much applause by gun control advocates. This is a 30 question test with a safety demonstration using dummy rounds in front of an instructor on how to clear and safely handle a weapon, and is needed to be able to purchase any gun. No live fire, no 8-hour class. You have to consider that useless, right? It “might as well not even exist”. Do you really want to go down this path, Mike?