Are guns really the problem?

Downtown New York City, right in front of the Empire State Building. Man brings the crazy and executes a former co-worker he had a major beef with. As the man runs off, a construction worker notifies a couple NYC Police Officers standing nearby and the officers pursue and eventually shoot the killer.

And 9 innocent people were injured in the shooting.

All by the NYPD.

It’s been interesting to watch this one unfold in the media. The initial accounts wanted to make this into yet another rampaging bloodbath, but that media ratings frenzy was brought to a halt once it became evident the innocents were injured by the NYPD.

Awkward moment for the media and those who wish to profit from ratings or agenda pushing. They aren’t ignoring the fact all 9 injured were injured by police bullets, but it’s being relegated to a footnote. Gotta make it fit the agenda and grab the headlines somehow.

I’m still waiting for Mayor Bloomberg to holler for more gun control. As if all the onerous anti-guns laws in NYC did any good in the first place, so I fail to see how making it more illegal will accomplish anything. Once again, it’s as if criminals and crazy people bent on destruction don’t follow laws… funny that. Of course, maybe the sort of gun control needed in this situation is to use two-hands when shooting.

It also demonstrates that just because your job requires you to carry a gun doesn’t mean you can shoot it well. Heck, here’s a study from 2008 on the NYPD’s training, including many problems with their training setup. An article discussing the RAND study, from 2009.

Granted, this is some arm-chair quarterbacking. It’s hard to be mindful of “the rules”, like being sure of your target and what’s behind it, when you’re in the middle of downtown Manhattan and people are around you in every direction. Really, is there any one direction that’s going to truly be safe, without something innocent downrange? One can argue the safest direction is into the bad guy and stopping him as quickly as possible, which is what the NYPD was ultimately working to do. Still, from the video surveillance footage, it does appear some better technique and training may be in order.

But how can NYPD cops get that? Where can they go train? And train in a realistic environment, not just on a static firing lane. Something involving shooting on the move, perhaps force-on-force training. Mayor Bloomberg, shouldn’t it be a priority to have a well-trained staff?

Inevitably, some are saying this is proof that even cops shouldn’t have guns. But that just shows further ignorance and lack of understanding about reality — the author’s assumptions and lack of understanding and awareness show through.

The sad part is, people are only looking at the guns.

Why?

Is the gun evil? If the gun is evil, then that means the NYPD is evil. But that’s not the case. The gun is merely a tool, and it’s the one that uses that tool that matters. One man used the tool in an evil way. Two men used the tool in a good way. In either case, it was the man and his actions that are ultimately being analyzed and judged.

And so, why are we not focusing on the man?

What has changed in our society that we feel “shooting everyone dead” is the way to solve our problems? Why are we not looking deeper at root causes that drive such behavior in the first place? Instead of focusing on symptoms, maybe if we focused that same energy into root causes, maybe we might actually be able to manage the problem better. Else we just keep taking cough medicine, but the flu wears on.

4 thoughts on “Are guns really the problem?

  1. The sad part is, people are only looking at the guns.

    In this particular case, it may be useful to, at least start by, looking at the guns as NYPD mandates a 12# trigger pull on all of their weapons + DAO only. That’s not a recipe for accurate shooting.

    • That is true… but I somehow doubt the admins will move away from that. They still don’t get enough training, and still need to keep their booger hooks off the bang switch. They are likely more concerned about ND’s… look at that RAND report.

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