Guns Don’t Kill People…

poor training and poor firearm discipline kill people, as a little research proved this morning. On the face of it, this local news story last night,

with a lawyer money quote like this:

Bryan Cigeleske, Attorney for Goodwin says “There needs to be an awareness that the Glock Pistol is a dangerous weapon. As it’s being marketed and distributed to police and law enforcement throughout this state and really the nation.”

…led me and Major Dad to much guffawing, dismissive snorting and rolling of eyes. Here we go again, we thought.

But what emerges after a half hour of Googling and researching the background isn’t quite so clear cut.
That background: said Mr. Taylor was stopped by Trooper Rodriguez for a traffic violation on the I-10 Mobile (AL) Causeway April 7, 2004. After calling in the stop and the plates, it came back that the vehicle Mr. Taylor was driving had been reported stolen the previous day. That would change a routine stop to a ‘hot stop’ and the trooper would have drawn his service pistol. The Mobile Register reports:

FOLEY – There was no struggle between Darrell D. Taylor and the Alabama state trooper who shot him following a traffic stop last week, Baldwin County District Attorney David Whetstone said Tuesday.

What occurred has been described as a ‘tragic accident’ or ‘Taylor, 22, was shot in the neck in what officials have been calling an accidental discharge of the officer’s gun‘, but it boiled down to an avoidable death, an obvious attempt to save an officer’s (and his Dept’s) ass and a misguided attempt by the victim’s mother to blame the instrument, while not acknowledging circumstances that put her son in such a precarious position.
Her lawsuit seems ridiculous on it’s face: duh, guns are dangerous. But it arises from the inquiry findings (which, incidently, weren’t mentioned in the news report):

BAY MINETTE – A Baldwin County grand jury Wednesday cleared a state trooper of criminal wrongdoing in a fatal shooting on the Causeway in April, placing the blame on the service pistol used by members of the Department of Public Safety.

…leading Major Dad to say, “sounds like they were trying to cover the hind-end of what was probably a good officer and poor training. The article didn’t say the gun went off by itself. It talks about a sensitive trigger pull.” Which, by virtue of some more digging, we found pretty well documented on Glock spec pages and various law enforcement forums.

The glock has a hammer that is activated by the trigger, there fore it has a pretty long “pull”. This is not conducive to good accuracy, but after a bit a practice is fairly easy to master. It is simplicity…no safety, just keep your finger OFF the trigger and it wont shoot. There have been a few unintentional discharges due to nervousness on the part of the shooter.You can take up a little slack, but if you take up to much the gun will fire.

“Obviously the officer was aiming and had applied pressure to the trigger,” Major Dad said, “which even if you have ice water running through your veins and are very experienced, most people don’t have calibrated fingers. With the rush of adrenaline, trying to take up the slack on a trigger will lead to just what happened. No gun is safe when you’re pulling the trigger and you don’t put your finger there unless you intend a round to go down range.”
The moral of the story? First and foremost, don’t drive a stolen car. Secondly, don’t take every local headline at face value, like we were prepared to. I fully expected to find your typical sordid finger-in-the-chili, brought-that-shit-on-yourself, ‘career criminal’s family sues’ story. What we found instead was a well known, widely discussed problem being blamed for a death rather than the training deficiencies that caused it.

It is simplicity…no safety, just keep your finger OFF the trigger and it wont shoot
Actually, there are THREE safeties, but there is no MANUAL safety. You’re right about the finger on the trigger part…this applies to ALL firearms.

10 Responses to “Guns Don’t Kill People…”

  1. Ken Summers says:

    Um, pardon my ignorance, but how did the officer draw a “service revolver” if he’s carrying a Glock?

  2. Oh you pain in the ass. Brain fart: service ‘pistol‘. Here’s my sign.

  3. Bill McCabe says:

    My Springfield XD-40 “Service” model also lacks a manual safety. It won’t fire unless you pull the trigger while gripping the handle. Which is why you don’t put your finger on the trigger unless you intend to shoot.

  4. Ken Summers says:

    Seriously, I fail to see any relevance to the fact that the Glock lacks a manual safety. I doubt that any officer points a gun and puts his finger on the trigger while leaving the safety on. That makes no sense.
    I am reminded of a dialog from True Grit:

    Defense Attorney: Isn’t it true, that you approached my client with a deadly, six shot revolver in your hand?

    Rooster Cogburn: I always try to be ready.

    Defense Attorney: Was this revolver loaded and cocked?

    Rooster Cogburn: Well, a gun that’s unloaded and cocked ain’t good for nothing.

  5. Crusader says:

    I’m to tired and lazy to read the details, but if the suspect got hit in the neck, it sounds like the officer jerked the trigger. If he had been taking the slack up, it would have been a chest wound, I would think, since there would be less flinch when the trigger gave, and the round would have struck more in the center mass. Just a thought A high hit sounds like he jerked, not squeezed the trigger. Been a while since I shot a Glock, tho.

  6. Mr. Bingley says:

    Seems like cops in Alabama gets their Glocks off too easy.

  7. Kathy K says:

    (With glare at Bingley for the pun.)
    Not quite off-topic… I get really bugged when I see staged pics of people pointing guns straight at the photographer – with the finger on the trigger. Not good practice (unless you really do want to shoot the photographer… and on some of the pics, I would have if I were the model).

  8. Liz says:

    Guns don’t kill people … wappers do.
    (Does anyone actually get that?)

  9. Nightfly says:

    “Let’s get one thing straight… Guns don’t kill people… I DO.

  10. Dave J says:

    Sorry in advance, THS, but…
    “Guns don’t kill people, TREES kill people.”
    –Sonny Bono (attributed)

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