31 Jul 98, Friday, 10:43AM

From one of our police students in the Midwest:

In (Rifle/Shotgun) class the other day you stressed being muzzle-conscious and
learning to live with the long arm slung, and being aware of where
it’s pointed at all times.

One of the officers I work with runs bloodhounds, is active in
the national police bloodhound training association, and has developed
a good reputation. Recently, the FBI drafted him to go down to North Carolina and help track that goof suspected of blowing up the abortion clinic.

He was down there for five days, and just came back, and I talked
to him Tuesday when I went out for firearms qualification. The first
thing that he told me, was that weapon safety on that operation was
terrible. He is surprised that nobody has been shot by mistake. The
tactical officers there are a mix of FBI HRT, regional SWAT guys from
local FBI offices, and state and local officers. (He said it was hard
to tell who was really HRT and not, as all the FBI agents insinuated
that they were HRT members, whether they were or not!) Anyway, he said
he got swept by the muzzle of loaded M-16s a couple dozen times. A lot
of the guys were carrying the weapons “Israeli style” slung across
their body in front, and swept people every time they turned. Others
would insert the magazine, chamber a round, put the gun on safe, and
then rest the butt of the loaded weapon on the ground and place the
muzzle against their thigh or groin (!) while arranging gear, putting
on body armor, programming their portable radio, or whatever.

He said that the worst thing was riding in a vehicle with these
guys, as they tended to just toss the M-16 (actually, most of the feds
had the M-4 carbine variant with C-More optical sights) on the seat,
and go. Sometimes they’d be driving around, and everybody would decide
to stick their rifles out the window, which lead to everybody sweeping
each other until they got oriented.

Most of them habitually kept their finger on the trigger at all times,
especially when out in the woods running a track.

He complained about it several times, and the standard
reply was always “What are you worried about? The safety’s on!”

Just goes to show that there’s more to gun handling than just
shooting. FBI? Famous, But Incompetent!