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Thread: “Shoot to kill” vs. shoot to stop threat

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    See, the Thing is... Cow Poke's Avatar
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    “Shoot to kill” vs. shoot to stop threat

    I know I'm being a stickler about this, but in this day and age, this is a hot topic in law enforcement.

    As Sparko has so eloquently noted - it's idiotic to demand that police "shoot to wound", as in shooting somebody in the leg or arm.
    Actually, though, some city councils and other legislative bodies are pushing for just that -- "shoot to wound".

    It's a fact that, EVEN when aiming for body mass, only 17% of the shots will hit their target in a real life encounter.
    (part of this is because an officer often fires without discipline, and "throws away" a number of bullets)

    The frequently touted "police are taught to shoot to kill" is just as incorrect.

    The fact is that the police are trained to "shoot to stop the threat".
    It may result in a dead body, in which the threat is stopped.
    OR "shoot to stop" may involve a subject collapsed on the ground with a bullet through his lung, but at least "the threat is stopped".

    After an officer-involved shooting, there are at least three possible actions.
    A) A "shooting board", in which his own department analyzes the shooting to determine if it was justified, or "righteous".
    2) A criminal case, where it is alleged that the officer "gunned down" the subject, and unnecessarily killed him.
    C) And, even if the officer is cleared in a Shooting Board AND a criminal case, he can STILL be sued civilly for wrongful death, loss of income, etc.

    In all case, the agency handling the investigation or trial will oversee the finding of "what was in the officer's mind".
    If he was, INDEED, "shooting to kill", it could be argued that it was premeditated -- he ALREADY had it in his mind that the subject would be dead.
    This is particularly troublesome in a case such as an auto theft where the subject would NOT be a candidate for the death sentence.
    Therefore, the "deadly force" used to stop him was excessive.

    And, yeah, I know it all sounds like semantics, but I have been the subject of TWO shooting boards, and I've sat on half a dozen.
    In MANY cases, the officer is trained for a - pow pow - two shots, and if the subject drops, no more shots.
    An inexperienced officer can panic, and it's remarkably easy with a semi-auto police combat weapon to "empty the magazine" without even realizing it.
    That appears to be "shoot to kill".

    So "shoot to wound" is out.
    "Shoot to kill" is inviting disaster.
    "Shoot to stop the thread" is the optimum goal.

    It is not terribly unusual for the subject, when fired upon, even if he is not hit, to drop his weapon and surrender.
    The threat is stopped.

    I don't know about other Concealed Carry Permit states, but in Texas, it is VERY clear, and drilled into the Permit Holder --- SHOOT TO STOP THE THREAT.

    Basically, the Elements of Defense of Others should include:

    • Belief that your life or the live of another person is in imminent danger of death or great bodily harm;
    • A Reasonable belief under the circumstances;
    • Use of only as much force as a reasonable person would use to stop the threat.


    Sadly, the temptation, especially when nobody else is around, is "shoot to kill" because then there will only be ONE version of the story, and the officer controls that.
    (bodycams can be invaluable for this)
    "Neighbor, how long has it been since you’ve had a big, thick, steaming bowl of Wolf Brand Chili?”

  2. Amen Leonhard, DivineOb amen'd this post.
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    See, the Thing is... Cow Poke's Avatar
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    OK, several times I typed "stop the thread" instead of "stop the threat".
    I'm gonna stop correcting those.
    "Neighbor, how long has it been since you’ve had a big, thick, steaming bowl of Wolf Brand Chili?”

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    tWebber
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cow Poke View Post
    OK, several times I typed "stop the thread" instead of "stop the threat".
    I'm gonna stop correcting those.
    I was going to note that shooting someone to stop the thread is no longer allowed in California.

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    Oops....... mossrose's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikewhitney View Post
    I was going to note that shooting someone to stop the thread is no longer allowed in California.
    I don't need no stinkin' gun to shoot to stop the thread.



    Securely anchored to the Rock amid every storm of trial, testing or tribulation.

  6. Amen Cow Poke amen'd this post.
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    See, the Thing is... Cow Poke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikewhitney View Post
    I was going to note that shooting someone to stop the thread is no longer allowed in California.
    And in the Great Republic of Texas, it is, indeed, an acceptable defense to murder that ... "well, yer honor -- he just needed killin".
    "Neighbor, how long has it been since you’ve had a big, thick, steaming bowl of Wolf Brand Chili?”

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    Evolution is God's ID rogue06's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikewhitney View Post
    I was going to note that shooting someone to stop the thread is no longer allowed in California.
    Dang-blasted hippies ruin everything

    I'm always still in trouble again

    "You're by far the worst poster on TWeb" and "TWeb's biggest liar" --starlight (the guy who says Stalin was a right-winger)
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    Technology Staff Leonhard's Avatar
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    The thing I don't get is that in many of the recordings of police shootings I've seen, the officer unloads a clip at the person who drops, and lies on the ground moaning in agony. The cop, instead of helping the victim then starts radioing in something and ... walks away.

    Is it policy to 'let them bleed out' first?

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    tWebber Mountain Man's Avatar
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    Very informative thread. Well, at least the OP was informative. It kinda went downhill from there.
    Some may call me foolish, and some may call me odd
    But I'd rather be a fool in the eyes of man
    Than a fool in the eyes of God


    From "Fools Gold" by Petra

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    Oops....... mossrose's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mountain Man View Post
    Very informative thread. Well, at least the OP was informative. It kinda went downhill from there.
    Hey!


    Securely anchored to the Rock amid every storm of trial, testing or tribulation.

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    tWebber Mountain Man's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leonhard View Post
    The thing I don't get is that in many of the recordings of police shootings I've seen, the officer unloads a clip at the person who drops, and lies on the ground moaning in agony. The cop, instead of helping the victim then starts radioing in something and ... walks away.

    Is it policy to 'let them bleed out' first?
    I doubt there are many police officers who are trained medics, and you can easily cause more harm than good to an injured person if you don't know what you're doing.
    Some may call me foolish, and some may call me odd
    But I'd rather be a fool in the eyes of man
    Than a fool in the eyes of God


    From "Fools Gold" by Petra

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