December 13, 2008

Tips for not being shot dead

Life isn't like the movies or television shows. This is a fact you need to believe with your whole heart and the entirety of your tiny little mind if you want to avoid being shot dead.

If, for some inexplicable and / or bizarre reason, you ever find yourself surrounded by police requesting that you surrender, your safest bet is to do so, promptly. You can throw in monumental dollops of humility and humblest apologies etc and so forth too, if you'd like, but that's not essential. As soon as you surrender your chances of living another day are increased enormously.

If you hedge your bets, figuring that the nice officers will shoot to fell you with a little wound to the right calf, which will leave you with a scar and a story to tell, you're pretty much on the way out already.

It's really, really, really, really hard to shoot a small target, and an arm or a leg is a small target. If by dumb luck such a wound is inflicted, it won't incapacitate the target.

Police or the military would endanger themselves and others if they went about their business with the intent of inflicting harmless wounds in life threatening circumstances. That's why they are trained - and why they must and why you and I, the public, want them - to aim for the largest mass, the torso. Multiple shots fired ensure that the target goes down and stays down. A wounded person can keep attacking, or threatening, or, if they have a gun, shooting.

So, a little round up:

Real life isn't like the movies.

Police will aim to shoot you in the area of the body where all your life-giving organs are arranged within your person.

Police will shoot until you drop and are no longer a threat to anyone.

Police are legally permitted to do this, it's core to the job description.

Your odds of surviving such a scenario are bleak.

Teen shot dead by police

The lad's MySpace page is now dissected and analyzed. He was part of an anti-immigration group, or a racist group, as we would have called it in the dark days before we cleansed public discourse.

Naturally, clever commentators are pontificating from high, or at least from the heights of their couches:
"Justice activist Father Peter Norden said yesterday that a more sophisticated response was needed in such situations.

‘‘I do not blame police because they do not have the skills and they do not have the resources,’’ he said. ‘‘The answer is not more weapons. The answer is more sophistication.’’

He said police should be able to call on people who are trained in dealing with irrational people in such emergencies. A three-hour stand-off was a better outcome than a dead body."
Sure, sure. It's obvious now. Father Norden speaks with stunningly sophistocated insight. As the lad kept advancing with a couple of large kitchen knives, the police should have made a few phone calls and waited patiently for a psychiatrist to arrive.

(Yes folks, there's a simple, obvious and wrong answer to everything in life.)

Two knives, three alarmed police offices, and a 'scared little boy' lies dead in seconds

Meanwhile
, across Europe, youths continue to protest, for what purpose who knows, over the police shooting of another 15 year old in Greece. Here ...

13 comments:

  1. Noam Sane1:11 AM

    Amen, Caz.

    Regretfully, your very sound advice will never be seen by the ratbags, druggies, disaffected ethnics, career crims, third generation welfare bludgers, and other assorted no hopers that infest our cities and, to a lesser extent, our country towns.

    The howling and bleating from the Usual Suspects in the Victorian shooting is instructive to say the least.
    Let's hope they never have to face a life or death situation in their sheltered existence.

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  2. The dear Father is a little bit correct. Coppers simply don't have the training to deal with crazies.

    I've personally seen them fail, miserably, on a number of occassions. It is not the fault of the coppers.

    Dealing with crazy people is scary; especially violent crazy people who have no control over their behaviour.

    Sympathies all round, to the cops and crazies alike.

    There may be many situations in the future when the Father's suggestions may save lives and the nightmares of frightened young coppers.

    "ratbags, druggies, disaffected ethnics, career crims, third generation welfare bludgers, and other assorted no hopers that infest our cities and, to a lesser extent, our country towns"

    Noam hasn't left any of us out of that one; except those you are well and truly up themselves - maybe that's the ratbag genre. Yep you got the lot Noam old chap.

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  3. In fairness, the police are better trained at dealing with crazies than the rest of us, particularly when you include as the "crazies" the garden variety drunk / drugged / violent people they deal with every single day of the week, not killing any of them. (Although, maybe, wishing they could give some of them a good beating around the head with a 2x4.)

    I'm perplexed why the general public have such faith in the social services & mental health professions.

    Only two days ago a newspaper noted amongst the hospital error type deaths during the year, only 28 in Victoria, so they claim, of which seven were suicides. Yes, seven successful suicides right there in our safe, fully medically staffed, hospitals.

    Let's not even get started on the number of people with mental illness denied a hospital bed, or sent home from hospitals, having been medically assessed as honky-dory, who then promptly kill themselves.

    So, the odds of some sort of emergency mental health unit roaming the streets at the ready, and if by chance arriving in time, successfully defusing situations like this is not nearly as high as people imagine.

    The "experts", alas, are just not very good at their jobs.

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  4. The really sad thing here, is that the kid's Mum called the cops to protect her son.The kid was having a hard time of it dealing with his father's death. His father died a few years ago from cancer.

    No one's to blame here.
    Though I really feel for the kid's Mum.

    Yep, sympathies all round, Jus.

    And, yes indeed Caz, the "experts" are not very good at their jobs.

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  5. I expect the formal inquiry will shed more light on things Kath, clearly there was something more going on, not necessarily anything serious in an adult sense of the word, but something blown out of proportion to a 15 year old.

    Yes, the papers have made much of the father's death, with first reports saying a year ago, then it was two years, today I read that the father died four years ago. The same report stated, as did earlier reports, that this incident took place "a few days" after the anniversary of his father's death, if you count 11 or 12 days as being "a few".

    The boy arrived home agitated and left home agitated. That, to me, sounds pretty normal for a teenage boy. If every parent called the police to report their agitated son and ask the police to keep a look out, well, there aren't enough police in the world for that task.

    Not many parents would be jumping onto the phone to the police asking them to look out for their child just because he was in a bad mood. It's an extremely unusual action for a parent.

    He'd also been involved in some sort of "incident" on a train earlier in the day. Whatever that might mean.

    So, all in all, a lot more going on there than we can fathom. Certainly there's a whole basket of ambiguity around the mum calling the police just to keep an eye out for her boy.

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  6. I remember three cops that never had a chance. Garden variety drunks at the local decided to have a fight just as the cops walked in. Silly cops thought they'd break it up and promptly copped a hiding from all; they lost their dignity and their guns.

    Any bouncer knows to never break up a bunch of fighting drunks until they have used up lots of energy - which only takes a minute or three - by that time those left standing are quite happy to have to fight stopped.

    And here is one for those who have been unfairly booked.

    A couple of mates lived near an interesection in a quite neighbourhood. There was a stop sign partly obscured by a tree.

    A motorcycle cop used to hide around the corner and book people for rolling through the stop sign.

    One day they decided to play a little game. One of he lads drove through the stop sign and the cop pulled up and parked in front of his car.

    The cop walked back to the car and started to write a ticket. The other lad was hiding behind a fence adjacent to where the cop parked his bike - keys still in the ignition as usual.

    The cop looked pretty sick as his Triumph 650 disapperaed around the corner.

    A very distressed cop asked the lad in the car for a lift back to the station - he obliged and laughed his guts out all the way.

    Hehehehehe.

    Sadly garden variety cops, in general are dumb - wise they'd be doing other stuff.

    What 18/19 year old kid has the skills to handle anyone let alone crazies.

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  7. "I've personally seen them fail, miserably, on a number of occassions. It is not the fault of the coppers....

    ...

    "Dealing with crazy people is scary; especially violent crazy people who have no control over their behaviour. ...

    ...

    " I remember three cops that never had a chance. Garden variety drunks at the local decided to have a fight just as the cops walked in. ...

    ...

    "Any bouncer knows to never break up a bunch of fighting drunks until they have used up lots of energy - which only takes a minute or three ..."


    Of course you appreciate, Justin, my dear old friend, that it is these very little snippets, and many others like them, that you sometimes scatter around like fairy dust, about you and your past, that is the cause of all the curiousity and speculation about your identity and history. This is almost unseemly.

    Sure you had us going for a while but hardly anyone still believes you are the ghost of a dead sea bird anymore, even one so dripping with , well .. enough. Then there was that Tasmanian toeless landmine kick clearing thing. Almost got away with it too. Who would have thought the NSW Govt would bid on that South Lebanon contract and so soon after the Tunnel deal?

    Anyway enough of that. Here's the angle as I see it. I wager most people have not had these experiences you have described and certainly not in the quantity you have. Police on the losing end? Dealing with Crazies? Tactics of bouncers and cops?

    Enough! Cough it up JO! More information please. How do you spell it? Use it in a sentence if you please.

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  8. I'm a foreigner here so I don't claim to have any boni fides when it comes to final decisions...

    But in my world, you don't go against the police. If they pull you over, you remain respectful. In my experience, they don't work you over unless you resist and/or pull a weapon against them.

    We're not living in Gestapo redux yet, are we?

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  9. "But in my world, you don't go against the police."

    Cube that would be universal. Only a clown would get clever with a copper. One should show them the same respect you would show your mother.

    The first time I got picked up by the cops was for driving through a red light at three in the morning - pissed as a fart. I did however have the good sense to slow down and look either way before driving through the red one.

    A cop on a bike pulled me up and informed me of my breach but did mention I had the sense to slow up before running the red thingy.

    As I was in my local territory and happened to be (or was) in the same cycling club as his local sergant (an official) I thought it best to drop the seargant's name and our relatioship as fellow club members.

    The cop became very friendly and let me go with a very pleasant warning.

    About six months later my seargant got kicked out of the force for corruption. All rather unfortunate really but not surprising.

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  10. Hey Geoff, maybe I have just lived too long. You know how it is you ugly old bastard.

    Them copper stories are just the tip of the iceberg.

    What till I get into the girly stuff - you definitely won't believe me..hehe

    Don't worry I won't go there - these days I'd much prefer to talk about sheep and rainboots.

    But Geoff, life to me is all about experience - doing stuff - having as much fun and learning as much as possible - making the best of everything.

    Shit I remember lying in a cold old gaol cell one evening thinking, at least I now know what it's like to be in prison.

    I remember being told I had a rather aggressive cancer some years ago - it was a rewarding experience coming face to face with your own mortatlity, albeit a frightening but humanising one.

    Anyway life goes on and so do we all - until we stop breathing. Then it all doesn't matter anyway.

    Cheers old mate, catch ya down the paddock, and best bring the wellies.

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  11. Come on Justin, they don't stay 19 years old forever, they get older and uglier, just like the rest of us.

    Many a "call" for better police training this week, along with dragging out past enquiries and old training programs that have fallen into disuse.

    All begs the question of how to pick the difference between a drunken moron, a jealous woman and a bona fide crazy person in need of tender care, if only the emergency social worker van turns up before anyone can pull a gun.

    Of course, truth is, most of us can spot the difference. Unfortunately, a person having a total meltdown does sometimes pose danger to police or the public ... when they are cornered. The challenge, I believe, is training police in the art of backing away when they believe threat to life will vanish if they do. In other words, mine is a solution that goes against the grain of every reason why police forces exit. So, it won't ever make it to the training manual.

    (There might be a million stories in this city, but there are a million stories tucked away in Justin's memory too, ah, what fun you have had my dear.)

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  12. "I believe, is training police in the art of backing away when they believe threat to life will vanish if they do. In other words, mine is a solution that goes against the grain of every reason why police forces exit. So, it won't ever make it to the training manual."


    Fair comment Caz, I agree but don't be surprised if they take your advice - it makes a lot of sense.

    But what can one do about this:

    Police Get The Wrong House In Galveston, Allegedly Assault 12-Year-Old Girl

    It is hard to believe the cops could get it so wrong - but that's what they reckon.

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  13. OH-MY-GAWD!

    Let's forget how woefully wrong they got it all, from basic geography to what a white woman might look like, and consider how they go about arresting people: is that what they would have done if they'd happened upon the three women they were sent out to find?

    But wait, it gets better!

    Father charged with assault for protecting his daughter from assault by three adult males and from false arrest (as it turns out), and the 12 year old also charged with assaulting police for trying to escape the same three strange men.

    You can't make up shit like this.

    But you know Justin, reading the comments almost restores my faith in human kind. Sometimes people display sanity and intelligence in equal measure.

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