Thursday, August 5, 2010

Public understanding of firearms

Despite the big uptick in firearms purchases as of late, the public at large is still dumb as a post when it comes down to understanding fundamental gunnish things.

Here's a story about a federal police officer shooting a dog in a dog park for allegedly acting aggressively/attacking his dog and/or him personally - the details are not crystal clear, and it will be a he-said-she-said argument regardless. Sad story either way.

What I am pointing out though is in the comments:
Oldcyrus22
"What is that officer doing with his gun in a park loaded with hollow points? He is a menace that was looking for a reason to shoot. . . . ."
Hollow points = menace. Got that?

How about this one:
anonymous
"My first question is WHY is an OFF-DUTY Federal Officer walking around with a gun loaded with hollow point bullets ? Why would he feel it necessary to use a hollow- point bullet on any dog? ANYONE with a brain in their head would know that doing so on anything smaller than an enraged bear [and then I would only allow 2 regular caliber hunting bullets] is not only excessive over kill [pardon the bad pun] but also shows an EXTREME psychological failure on the part of the officer in question. Obviously he does not know when and how to use a 'man-killing' round in his weapon. Dogs 'feint' agressively at each other all the time to establish hierarchy and dominance some more than most. Different dogs have different levels of aggression. Before his superiors let him have a gun they should have checked he knew what it was good for. It would have been best if he had just thrown the safetied weapon at the seemingly aggressive dog THEN NO ONE WOULD HAVE GOTTEN HURT MUTTONHEAD! And isn't that the point of being a FEDERAL OFFICER?????"
My emphasis. This person also does not know why virtually every police department and federal law enforcement agency in the country uses hollow points in their service weapons, and I don't think it matters if he or she finds out. Hollow points are for large bears, and you're only allowed to shoot a bear with "regular" hunting bullets. . . twice.

Oh, but there's more:
Schatzie59
"W
hat the heck is the off-duty officer doing with a loaded gun in a dog park? Fire him. If he can shot a dog, what happens if some person makes him mad?"

Schatzie
Now we're not talking about hollow points at all; this person is questioning the carrying of a weapon in general, and from an anointed police officer at that - a federal one even. So if he or she believes that a cop could fly off the handle and start murdering Lassie, Benji, Cujo, and their owners because he had an off day, how can you possibly expect him or her to trust you with a weapon?

Back to the comments though, we're still not through with the perception of a cop carrying his duty weapon in public:
Dranny3
"Get this Federal Officer off the streets. No reason he should be carrying a loaded gun when he's off duty and in
a public park. Sounds to me like he's a little trigger happy and maybe shouldn't have a gun at all. He should be charged with animal cruelty and forced to face charges. . . ."
Again, this one's about carrying a gun in general in public. If you are not in a uniform, there is no way you can be trusted to have a firearm with you. Also, the cop in question should be run up the flagpole for shooting the dog when we still don't have the facts.

The big picture I'm trying to paint here is imagine yourself standing in a courtroom in the aftermath of a defensive shooting. You glance over at the jury, and you see a cast of good hearted human beings that no doubt love their fellow man, and wouldn't harm a soul, but won't hesitate for an instant to send your ass to Sing Sing for using a handgun bullet that in their eyes are only for killing large bears with one shot.

See how this is a major issue?

The solution of course is training; those who are in the know should be educating those who are not. If you are looking for a visual on bullets, how they work, and the differences between hollow points and "regular" bullets, I invite you to check out one of my earliest posts: Anatomy of a Cartridge. If you are looking to inform someone about bullets and their effect on body armor, check out this post: Ballistic Vest Live Fire Test; that post I did exclusively for the education of those who don't know a thing about firearms.
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