“May have been the losing side. Still not convinced it was the wrong one.”

"This report is maybe 12-years-old. Parliament buried it, and it stayed buried till River dug it up. This is what they feared she knew. And they were right to fear because there's a whole universe of folk who are gonna know it, too. They're gonna see it. Somebody has to speak for these people. You all got on this boat for different reasons, but you all come to the same place. So now I'm asking more of you than I have before. Maybe all. Sure as I know anything I know this, they will try again. Maybe on another world, maybe on this very ground swept clean. A year from now, 10, they'll swing back to the belief that they can make people . . . better. And I do not hold to that. So no more running. I aim to misbehave." ~ Captain Malcom Reynolds

Friday, October 2, 2009

Playing games

Had a frustrating day at the range this week - teaching, not shooting. Time for the semi-annual quals for everyone, and it was one of those groups that just didn't seem to take things seriously.

Police work has changed in the past years, and it's certainly not the culture of frequent shooters and such that it used to be. As many others have observed there are a great many cops these days that view their sidearms as more of a burden than an obligation, and don't take the time to practice with it any more than they are absolutely required to. Which, whether or not you are a fan of shooting, is simply negligent in my book - to neglect practice and preparation with one of the most important tools in your possession, particularly one that requires skill and judgment to use, is inexcusable.

Be that as it may, as I said this group was particularly frustrating. Not only were most of them not taking it seriously, but we had just about every sort of cheating possible. Folks trying to shoot extra rounds up close so they wouldn't have to risk missing further out. Another guy who kept trying to fake out putting his pistol all the way in the holster, so he wouldn't have to burn time trying to remember how to draw the gorram thing. People just going through the motions on everything & doing the minimums to get by. Then when they do BARELY pass do they feel concerned about what that means about their skills - nope - more just relieved that they are done for another six months.

Heck, when I confronted one guy about things his response was "Well, this is how I'd set things up if I was going to get in a gunfight, so why does it matter?" Because apparently he has the magical foreknowledge of exactly when an where he's going to ever be called upon to be faced with that sort of situation on the job.

Like I said, I just find it very frustrating. If you heard about a fireman who didn't keep his first aid skills up and someone died, you would be livid. Or a doctor who didn't maintain his knowledge for surgery. But for some reason far too many cops refuse to take seriously their own proficiency to be ready to use the tools of their profession. Just something I can't understand.


It's Turtles All the Way Down said...

Interesting observations...not in that they are INSIGHTFUL but, rather, that it seems strange that they should have to be made at all. While I would not want a police force that was trigger happy I absolutely would want officers who understand that they have taken on the burden of wielding weapons...for the protection of me, my family AND themselves. In short...I think that a given officer should be able to shoot better than me.

Jannah Swiftwing said...

Yikes. I know that when I get certified, I intend to practice often. Confidence is a palpable thing and can help keep situations from going out of control. Confidence with one's tools on the job is especially important. I can't imagine that class feels very confident with their sidearms if they don't treat re-cert seriously.

Moe said...

I like to laugh and have a good time at quals and make fun of the training SGT all the time. I'm one of the best shots on the department though.

Captain Tightpants said...

Thanks for the comments all.

And Moe - there is certainly nothing wrong with having fun, that's not my point. Heck, our instructor qual days are a blast, or when we just gather as a group on the dinner break & do some casual shooting and chatting - but it's the people who don't take the whole thing seriously that bother me.

Front Porch Society said...

I definitely hit the range way more than just once every 6 months!! One cannot stay at the top of their game without practice, practice, practice. Even at home, I will (with an unloaded gun!) practice drawing quickly to "shoot" an intruder - whether I am "sleeping" or "in the shower" or wherever. You just never know. Scenario training sort of but it works. And it keeps me aware and alert.