“With the things going on in the world and society today, shotguns have become an antiquated weapon for us. Shotguns don’t have distance.” So sayeth Leechburg PA police Chief Mike Diebold [above left]. According to pittsburghlive.com, the borough Council bought into Diebold’s argument—literally. By a vote of six to nil they rubber stamped the plan to put [two] rifles in the hands of the local po-po. As tens of thousands of local and state governments have done before them. So, what’s the deal with distance, then? “The rifles allowed will be .223 caliber, which is the standard used by police and is “extremely accurate,” Diebold said . . .
At council’s meeting Monday, Joe Gray, a Vandergrift officer and certified firearms instructor, said while handguns are accurate at a range of 25 yards, patrol rifles are accurate to 150 yards.
Gray said officers have been outgunned by criminals. Diebold said “bad guys” have replaced shotguns with high-powered rifles to defeat bullet-proof vests.
Officers at times rely on their handguns just to fight to get to their rifles, said Ron Baustert, a part-time officer in Leechburg and Gilpin and Armstrong County’s 911 coordinator.
Diebold said his department has taken high-powered rifles off of people. In a rural area where suspects can see officers coming from a distance, those with high-powered weapons have an advantage of range Leechburg officers didn’t.
“We need to be able to fight back on the same level if need be,” Diebold.
Yes, well, as you might imagine, the town of somewhere around 2000 souls is hardly a hotbed of criminal activity. And it’s a shame to see America’s cops turn their backs on the most versatile of weapons system. Oh well. More used Remington 870s for us, I guess.