25 Apr 12

“Use Enough Gun”

The title of a book by famed Washington Socialite and African big-game hunter, Robert Ruark, first published in 1952. Ruark died in London in 1965.

Yesterday, two courageous NYPD patrol officers were involved in a protracted gun battle with a single felony suspect in Harlem (30th Precinct). Suspect was armed with a 22 rimfire pistol (brand unknown), and had just used it to murder his younger sister, and had attempted to murder his (their) mother.

Suspect also fired at least one round at responding officers. That round struck their patrol vehicle, and caused no injury. Both officers subsequently got through the incident unhurt. Suspect was struck with fourteen police bullets, but did not die. He was pretty tough! Despite being hit multiple times, he chose to stay on his feet and in the fight. He is currently listed in critical condition. No other injuries reported.

Using their patrol vehicle for cover, the two officers, armed with G19s, fired a total of 84 rounds at this single suspect. Both officers reloaded twice! Range to the suspect was 21m. Exact locations of entry-wounds on the suspect are not known.

That comes out to a hit-percentage of seventeen. However, while shooting from behind cover, at an animated suspect, who is shooting back, all from a range of 21m, I’m not at all sure I would have done any better!

The point is this:

Those two officers needed a rifle, and they didn’t have one! Many will say patrol rifles are unnecessary in urban environments. Tell that to those two officers!

Of 84 pistol rounds fired at the suspect, seventy failed to hit the suspect and thus hit something else, something else that neither of the two officers, nor the City of NY, wanted hit! At this point, it appears those seventy rounds caused only property damage, and no injury.

By NYPD standards, this OIS is not remarkable, and therefore, by this time next week, it will be overshadowed by more recent events and, for most, forgotten entirely.

But, let us not miss the critical Lesson here!

Had those two officers been armed with an AR, PTR, XCR, SIG/556, OBR, M1A, or some other flavor of 223, 7.62×39, 7.62×51, 6.8Spc, 300Blk, 30Carbine, et al military rifle, or even a Beretta CX4 in 9mm or 40S&W, they could have easily ended this fight with the expenditure of only one round, certainly no more than three. Even with plain-vanilla iron sights, much less precision optics, hitting this animated suspect at 21m would be amply easier than trying to do the same thing with a pistol, any pistol!

The result is vastly fewer rounds expended, vastly fewer missed shots, and the fight decisively ended quickly, rather than dragging on for more than a minute.

The fact is, this threat was out of pistol range! The officers did the best they could (better then many of us!), but were poorly served by their limited options.

The logical conclusion is that we have to get rifles into our beat-cars and into the hands of our patrol officers, and they need competent training in their effective use.

The foregoing incident is a prime example of why!

What are we waiting for?

“The ‘possibilities of defeat’ do not interest me!”

Victoria, of the Anglo-Boer War, 1899