Friday, April 27, 2007

"Friendly Fire" Deaths Convict Gun Advocates

Advocates of having citizens carry pistols for self defense, such as the nutcases that suggested last week that armed students might have stopped the VA Tech killer, need to think twice. For the second time in two months a law enforcement officer has been killed by friendly fire while dealing with a criminal.

Per CNN today, "Trooper David C. Brinkerhoff is thought to have been fatally shot by a fellow trooper while trying to arrest Travis Trim, 23, during a shootout in Trim's upstate Margaretville home Wednesday afternoon." The article continued, "On March 5, FBI Special Agent Barry Lee Bush, 52, was shot and killed by a fellow agent while attempting to arrest three bank robbery suspects in New Jersey."

New York State troopers and FBI agents get some of the finest pistol training obtainable, yet under the stress of armed confrontation even they can shoot each other fatally. What does this say about the ability of normal civilians to use their weapons properly for self defense?

As a former MP, I recall trainers telling me "the best way to get yourself shot is to pull out your own .45." What they meant was that anything can happen when the lead starts flying.

I know there are a lot of Rambo wannabies out there, owning all kinds of weapons and boasting about their ability to deal with the bad guys. However, the last thing I want to see is these guys pulling out their pocket artillery. I'd feel much safer if they confined their shooting to the range and the hunting grounds.

The answer to Cho and bad guys in general is tough gun registration and control, with prison for those caught with illegal guns and those caught selling guns illegally. I'm fine with average citizens owning and shooting most kinds of guns, but carrying them for protection is another matter entirely. They need to think twice - killing someone else with "friendly fire" will land a well-intentioned fellow in prison. And even a law enforcement officer who kills another in error will be in a peck of trouble, sad to say. We will all be better off if there are fewer guns on the street, not more.


ThomasLB said...

Gun control might not have stopped Cho, but it would stop most murders.

If you want to kill a lot of innocent people, and you're willing to die doing it, then you're pretty much unstoppable- but that's not the profile of most murderers.

Most killings are committed by people who have lost control of their emotions when a gun is handy, or by common street thugs, or by addicts jonesing for a fix. Gun control would make a serious dent in those crimes.

ThomasLB said...

I thought that, as an EMT, this story would be of particular interest to you: LINK

(Forgive me if this comment shows up multiple times- Blogger is giving me fits posting comments today.)