I know this has been covered ad nauseum, but I’ve been thinking a lot about Farago’s “Gabe Suarez is Insane” story. As someone who had “Keep your finger off that damn trigger!”pounded into my skull repeatedly and forcefully by my firearms instructor at the Sheriff’s Office; keeping my finger on the trigger while covering someone would be like going against my religion . . .
There is just too much room for error. Way too many things that can go wrong. It’s bad enough having a negligent discharge (I am a firm believer that there is no such thing as an accidental discharge). It’s worse if it happens because your finger was on the trigger. But we’re not talking about this happening at the range; we’re talking about holding a gun on someone while waiting for the cavalry to arrive.
A negligent discharge in this situation means someone either gets horribly wounded or dies. Instead of explaining in court how you responsibly stopped an assailant and held him at gunpoint until help arrived; you’ll have to defend yourself against a manslaughter or homicide charge.
I came upon this article in the Washington Post after hearing about it in the local news.
Nearly five years after a Fairfax County police officer shot and killed an unarmed man outside his townhouse, the county has agreed to pay the man’s parents $2 million to settle their lawsuit against the officer.
The death of Salvatore J. Culosi, a 37-year-old optometrist . . . suspected of the nonviolent crime of taking bets on football games. Fairfax police were aware that Culosi had no criminal history or connection to weapons.
The SWAT officer who fired the shot, Deval V. Bullock, said his .45-caliber pistol accidentally discharged Jan. 24, 2006, after his vehicle door bumped his left side as he aimed at Culosi with his right hand, causing a sympathetic reflex response.
I’m no tactical expert, but it seems to me that all of this could have been avoided had his finger been indexed on the frame like every law enforcement officer is trained to do.
Officer Bullock (a trained SWAT operator) had his weapon trained on Culosi, who apparently posed no immediate threat. He had his finger on the trigger, which was not department policy. One little bump from a car door caused a muscle reaction. A mishap that made him pull the trigger and accidentally kill a man.
This tragedy has destroyed a family, affected Officer Bullock’s career forever and has done God knows what to his psyche. If this doesn’t prove Farago’s point, then I don’t know what does.