Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Rules #1 and #2!!!!!

There's a firestorm going on over the pictures of a police sniper at Super Bowl XLVI. If you did not know, there are snipers at most major sporting events; but the brouhaha is not over the snipers so much, but that the guy in the picture is using a rifle as a pair of binoculars, which violates two of the four firearm safety rules.

I have to side with the folks who have their panties in a bunch: being tasked with protecting a stadium from an active shooter -- a rare occurrence -- does not make you so high speed that you can arbitrarily point a rifle at people. Being highly trained does not make one infallible, so the idea that one sudden sneeze can cause a marksman to sympathetically squeeze the trigger and lobotomize a wasted fan is just as plausible in a sniper's hide as it is on a police training range. That is why we have the four rules, which is why we don't point weapons at people.

The people who are defending this violation are under the impression that operators operating operationally in an operational environment are so Tier 1 that they can use their rifle as a spotting scope up in a skybox where nobody can see them. I say that a rifle is a rifle is a rifle. Treat it as if it were loaded and don't point it at anything you do not intend to destroy, including drunk fans and blue painted bewbies.
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