Hat tip to Kim:
I've refrained from criticizing "The Brits" for ever so long. I've tried to be a Good Boy and ignored the egregious socialistic measures they've imposed on their subjects.
But this ... THIS! THIS exposition of the way the once-proud British Bobby has sunk into despair because they cannot get the hang of "Keep your Booger-Hook off the Bang-Switch" concept drives me beyond the brink of restraint.
I attribute these lapses in gun-handling expertise to training ... or the lack of.
The number of armed police officers accidentally shooting themselves – and other colleagues – has soared in the past five years.
Now, nearly half of all injuries caused by police shootings are the result of officers blasting themselves or a colleague, often during bungled training and demonstrations. [emphasis added]
Since 2003, there have been seven incidents in which armed police injured themselves or a fellow officer due to the careless handling of a gun, compared to just four in the previous 12 years.The disturbing statistics call into question the competence and training of the 6,700 officers authorised to carry firearms in the 43 police forces in England and Wales.
British Bobbies have historically NOT been armed. In an attempt to establish a cadre of Bobbies who are authorized to carry firearms, the Brits have ignored a single, important, salient priority: your trainers in Gun-Handling need to be competent.
This small, but significant criteria seems to have been overlooked, to the detriment (in physical health terms) of the training subjects.
You and I know that hormone-addled adolescents can be safely rote-trained in gun-handling skills. We've seen it; we've done it. For that matter, pre-adolescents as young as ten years old can be taught to "shot safely".
The difference between the American (clearly superior) and the British (clearly inferior) model is, "you don't let anyone handle a gun until they have demonstrated that they can do so without close and overbearing supervision".
Why am I so blatantly chauvinistic about Firearms Training in comparing the British vs the American experience? Because The Brits have officially 'determined' that "Guns Are Bad, And Must Be Discouraged"; while Americans have 'embraced' the Gun Culture and codified both usage and training in a realistic context.
That is to say, we accept firearms usage as a normal part of our culture. The Brits have demonized firearms usage, and resist any attempts to train themselves in the safe usage thereof.
Secretly, the average Brit glorifies The Way Of The Gun, and each Brit considers himself intuitively expert in Gun Handling. In the actual fact, they haven't a clue ... and they demonstrate that mistaken incomprehension at every opportunity.
Here in America, we generally tend to admit that we don't really know how to handle weapons, but we're willing to learn.
In illustration of that comparison, from the Original Article:
How officers have been wounded
Recent accidents involving police firearms include:
• A civilian control room operator was shot in the abdomen during a firearms awareness course in Kidlington, Oxfordshire, last year. A Thames Valley Police firearms officer had been showing staff his Glock pistol, unaware it was loaded.
• A Sussex police officer accidentally shot a 48-year-old PC in the body at the range at Gatwick police station in August 2007. Body armour saved him from serious injury.
• A trainee firearms officer shot a Met instructor in the thigh as he was setting up a target in a mock-up of a night-time alley in 2003.
• A diplomatic protection officer in Central London shot himself in the leg getting into a car in September 2007.
• A firearms officer from West Mercia Police shot himself in the leg and foot in January 2006 after his gun became caught in his clothing.
• An airport security officer from the Met shot the top of his thumb off when he put it in front of his MP5 sub-machine gun during training in 2005.
Here (courtesy of the American "National Rifle Association" are the three Basic Rules of Gun Safety:
- ALWAYS keep the gun pointed in a safe direction.
- ALWAYS keep your finger off the trigger until ready to shoot.
- ALWAYS keep the gun unloaded until ready to use.
Did these guys even know these three basic rules? Well, perhaps intellectually. But one thing is clear: if they had ever been told these rules, they dismissed them as being not applicable to their personal selves.
Until they shot them self, or their friend or colleague.
The worst part of these painful scenarios is not that people were shot.
The worst part is that these experiences serve to reinforce the concept that guns are so dangerous, they will shoot you if you allow yourself to be in the same room with a gun.
What a bunch of horse-radish!
The guns didn't shoot these cops; the cops shot these cops. (Am I being too subtle here?)
The training protocol in England sucks; it encourages cops to shoot cops.
The anti-gun (Socialist) environment in England sucks; it is based on the assumption that the individual is not only responsible for his own actions, but he is not able to control his own base impulses.
With no great effort, I could point The Brits to a hundred Adolescent American Girls who could establish a "Gun-Handling" program superior to anything The Brits have so far used.
All that is required is that the instructor insist on a commitment by the students, and that the instructor insist on close supervision of every step of training. These USPSA Juniors know what is Right, and what is Wrong. That establishes them as instructors superior to whatever The Brits are using now.
But will The Brits accept instruction from "Our American Friends"?