Small-Handed UK Officers Sue Over Failed Firearms Test

British cops (courtesy dailymail.co.uk)

“TWO ‘petite’ women police officers [not shown] failed a firearms test because the guns they were given were too big for them to fire with their small hands,” dailyexpress.co.uk reports. And so Victoria Wheatley and Rachael Giles filed a discrimination suit against the Civil Nuclear Constabulary. And won. And why not? “They have such ‘small hands’ they could not reach the trigger of the Glock 17 pistols they were asked to fire to pass an annual check. They also complained that . . .

protective helmets and kneepads were too large and a wooden barricade they had to use for resting firearms on was unnecessarily high.

And the light was bad. But seriously, while a one-size-fits all firearm procurement process suits bureaucratic bean counters and caliber queens, all cops should have guns which fit their hands. Period. That’s not how the CNC spokesman sees it, though:

If you are responsible for defending key nuclear installations then the expectation that you can shoot with the standard issue firearms is reasonable.

Unless it isn’t.

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About Robert Farago

Robert Farago is the Publisher of The Truth About Guns (TTAG). He started the site to explore the ethics, morality, business, politics, culture, technology, practice, strategy, dangers and fun of guns.

159 Responses to Small-Handed UK Officers Sue Over Failed Firearms Test

  1. Well hopefully they will adjust the nuclear facilities so the actual barriers won’t be “unnecessarily high”.

  2. avatarTommy Knocker says:

    I’m sure after appropriate radiation exposure those cute little ladies will be bearing mutant giant progeny.

    • avatarAdam says:

      British actress Kate Beckinsale–cute by any measure–jokes about her large hands:

      http://entertainment.ca.msn.com/celebs/news/article.aspx?cp-documentid=21607278

      “Evidently, in order to be very good with a gun it’s very good to have big hands…”

      Jennifer Garner is another actress with large hands, known to wield guns on camera.

      Here in Alberta, I have seen a few cash in transit guards who are petite females. The sidearms are Glock 22s, or M&P .40s. They don’t seem to have problems. But I have also seen very petite women (and the odd man) in the police. What would happen if they had to restrain a very large and violent person? Use of force would probably escalate to a firearm. And the RCMP gives preference to visible minorities and women, even if they fail the PARE (Physical Abilities Requirement Evaluation) test. This is a problem.

  3. avatarJacob says:

    This seems pretty simple, issue G19s. That’s why the G19 was originally designed, right? For male officers with small hands and female officers.

    • avatarSteve in MD says:

      That makes too much sense.

    • avatarTim U says:

      G19 is the same width and thickness as the G17. The grip length is shorter, and the barrel is shorter, but if their issue was their finger not reaching the trigger on the 17, they’d still have that issue on the 19.

      • avatarJacob says:

        good point. are they issuing gen 4′s? the web-to-trigger distance is shorter on that for sure, right?

      • avatarJim at the NSA says:

        Give them some G42′s then. That sight to fit them.

        • avatarBarstow Cowboy says:

          Better yet, why not just hang up a “No Guns or Bombs Allowed” sign in front of the nuclear power plant and be done with it; Game Over terrorists!

    • avatarPascal says:

      Or, get a S&W M&P. Seriously, with a quick change of the back strap many of the women I have taught class to seem to be a better fit with the M&P

      • avatarropingdown says:

        Moving to a sidearm with a fairly small base grip and selectable backstraps is the obvious way to go, and is the way the police forces of Nederlands and most of northern Germany, Finland, and Poland have gone. The demands sound precious until you realize that a fixed grip size (and no variety of firearms choices) is in fact unfair. Why don’t they just require special on-site shoes available only in men’s size 12?

        The true problem, of course, is that it’s the UK. Otherwise they could just give the guards an allowance, approve a small variety of 9mm pistols, and let the folks by their own and….take them home at night.

    • avatarirish92618 says:

      My wife shoots a G19 for exactly that reason. The G17 feels too big in her hand.

      • avatarBartholomew says:

        I question their ability to perform every facet of their job if they are too small to reach the trigger on a average sized handgun.

    • avatarLarry says:

      I can get simpler than that. If you can’t pass the bar with issue firearms, bring your own. As long as it meets power minimums, and you can meet qual tests with it, any firearm should be acceptable, but the employer shouldn’t have to supply any but the standard. How to solve the hand-to-hand question is a lot tougher.

  4. avatarCknarf says:

    Give them an AK.

  5. avatarH.R. says:

    Eh… it’s in the U.K.
    Not really of any concern to me.

  6. avatarRoss says:

    On another note: In the UK, Police run two 30 round magazines clipped together in their HK G36C’ s but load only 15 rounds in each mag, this is known as dumb-assery 101.

  7. avatarRandy Drescher says:

    The light was bad, good one. /// There’s room for compromise there.

  8. avatarRalph says:

    In the event of a Mumbai-style terror attack, the two female officers will sue Al-Qaeda for using killers who are too large for them to handle.

    Well, the two princesses would like to sue, but they won’t be able to because they will be dead. So will the big guys and gals in the police who try to save their silly little @sses. And a lot of civilians will also be dead because these two Tinkerbells are about as fit for police work as I am to play right wing for the US ice hockey team.

    • avatarSam Spade says:

      I’m kind of with Ralph here.

      I hate to hear about a police officer being disarmed and the service pistol used to kill a couple of other cops–knowing that nearly every time the police officer turns out to be a police woman.

      • avatarMarcus Aurelius says:

        That is a good point, if a certain threshold of physical strength is required for the job, and that requirement ends up excluding petite woman, so be it. Fitness for the challenges inherent to the job is the only factor.

        As far as the story here goes, if accommodating small hands requires a step down in caliber that has not been deemed sufficient for law enforcement purposes then oh well. On the other hand, if a Glock 19 or an M&P with adjustable backstraps (as others have suggested) does, in fact, solve the problem then I don’t see why that can’t be done. Especially if the firearm substituted has an operation that is similar enough that specialized instruction is not required.

        I’m against bureaucratic thinking, i.e. “you have issues with the chosen piece of equipment, so you’re out of the running because there is no established process for adapting the system. We can only check off lists, we can’t think for ourselves.”

        But them I’m against quick draw litigation also.

        Upon further reading: “The pair have now won a sex discrimination case and could gain thousands of pounds in lost overtime pay and compensation for injured feelings.”

        Ok, they were not discriminated against because of their sex. From what I’ve read it all came down to their petite stature. They were physically too small for the equipment issued, presumably any males who faced the same issue would have been similarly “discriminated” against.

        As far as “injured feelings:” Boo-freaking-hoo. You’re a grown ass adult, go buy yourself some damned icecream.

        As for me, reading this makes me want a belt and rafters or some good whiskey.

        • avatarJus Bill says:

          It’s the UK, a.k.a. “dreamland.” Where everyone is equally equal (except the Crown, the military, and the police), and life is equally wonderful for everyone all the time. Unless, of course, your feelings are hurt by the big, bad Civil Nuclear Constabulary. Then you get oodles of worthless money to buy ice cream and candy, even though it seems as if nobody did any darn thing else to correct the original problem.

          But we all feel good about it, so IT’S ALL GOOD, you hear me?

        • avatarropingdown says:

          No one has asserted that the chicks weren’t willing to toast terrorists. The claim is that the guns are too big, else they are too small. If they really are too small, say so and say why, in which case they shouldn’t be hired. Give them a lower table. Require the same score. If they can’t make qualification, fire them.

          But then they’ll rightly point out that there’s no way they can learn to shoot a pistol better in Britain.

          In the US ‘we’ give millions to people who claim their physician failed to save them from being to fat and smoking too much, so that they couldn’t properly be operated upon for their cancer. It’s simply a f’d up world. These chicks are no worse than the usual run of ….people.

    • avatarSkyler says:

      No fair using big terrorists to attack.

      Am I the only one to have to repress a giggle whenever I see a female cop?

      • avatarKevin A. says:

        Eh. Depends on their size and how they carry themselves. My 5’4 mother can put the fear of god into a 2000 pound horse. I’m sure she could beat the s*** out of the average mugger.

      • avatarScurvyDog says:

        I don’t giggle when I see female cops necessarily, but I do when I see obese cops. Fat cops just make me laugh. Consequently I laugh often.

    • avatarLarry says:

      Well, I’m sorry, but I don’t think they will be dead. They will have been “protected” somehow, or they will have run away. This is a JOB, not something they expect to risk their lives for.

  9. avatarWilliam Burke says:

    How about Jennings J-22s for their widdle teensy hands?

  10. avatarPeterC says:

    Perhaps they should have signed up with the Campfire Girls.

  11. avatarMatt in FL says:

    Well, for all the talk about how all of us should “find what works for you,” wouldn’t it make sense that the same (within reason) would be true for law enforcement?

    • avatarPascal says:

      Shhhh, be very quite, its throw-out-logic-season

    • avatarMichael B. says:

      Yes, but budgets, availability and weapons compatibility are also important considerations.

      If they can’t use what everyone else uses is it worth it to procure two new firearms just for them that may or may not be compatible with other officers’ standard issue sidearms? How much will it cost? Can they even be found?

      1. G19 with regular G19 and G17 mags would work but the grip width is the same so it’s not a real good alternative. Maybe they could handle a G26? Dunno.

      2. Does buying new firearms for them make sense? They could just find two other willing, qualified candidates who can use the issued equipment for nothing and tell the special snowflakes to pound sand (or maybe not due to various laws).

      3. How easy is it for the UK police to get different firearms? I imagine that might be a paperwork and bureaucracy nightmare.

      This is all assuming that these are legitimate complaints in the first place. They might be frivolous.

      • avatarMarcus Aurelius says:

        “But a spokesman admitted it was possible to get hold of Glock pistols and grips in different sizes.”

        Sounds like a gen 4 glock may have addressed the issue. But the question of if their hands would have worked with the gen 4′s smallest backstrap is not addressed.

    • avatarHannibal says:

      Not really. While it might be nice for a department to offer several options (as does NYC, for example) the maintenance, procurement and training is all simplified by issuing fewer weapons. Nothing against departments that give more options! It’s just that if you apply for a job at a place that requires you to shoot with their firearm, and you can’t, you’ve failed and shouldn’t get the special snowflake treatment. Uniform isn’t just about clothing.

      And besides, these ladies were complaining about three or four different things; you only do that when you’re looking for an excuse. “The women’s solicitor, Binder Bansel, said both had passed the firearms test at one stage and not all women would fail it – just that it was “statistically more likely”.

      So apparently they could reach the trigged :-\

      • avatarint19h says:

        By your logic, police could also lawfully exclude female officers by buying all male uniforms and issuing it to them – and if they refuse to wear them – well, that does make logistics easier, so it’s okay, right?

        If it’s only the money that’s the issue, spending a little bit more here for the sake of enabling a good half of citizens to take those positions if they so desire sounds like a no-brainer to me.

    • avatarnatermer says:

      > wouldn’t it make sense that the same (within reason) would be true for law enforcement?

      That’s what exactly was stated in the article.

      Regardless if you have security that can’t operate a Glock 17 properly you have bigger problems than grip size.

  12. avatarRalph says:

    “I like women with small hands, they make my d1ck look big.”

    Mickey Mantle, 1961

  13. avatarOddux says:

    While their barrier complaint is BS, they should be issued gear that fits them, especially the helmets. Helmets that are oversized for your head are a giant pain in the ass and a safety issue.

    If you have small hands, Glocks and Berettas are a poor choice. Walthers and CZs work extremely well for small hands and are both extremely reliable and accurate. Unfortunately, then you lose out on magazine compatibility with your allies.

    I’m not a fan of one sized fits all procurement, but being able to exchange magazines simplifies logistics greatly and can save lives in a bad situation.

    • avatarstyrgwillidar says:

      I think you hit the key point– they should be allowed to choose/be provided with alternate weapons, but those should use the same magazines as the standard to allow sharing amongst those on scene if required.

      If that’s not possible, well, then they should be assigned other duties.

      • avatarRalph says:

        And if they are assigned other duties, they will sue, and they will win.

        • avatarHannibal says:

          Which is exactly what happened here. They just couldn’t carry a gun around, so they get money for hurt feelings.

      • avatarBarstow Cowboy says:

        Maybe they could design smaller nuke sites with smaller reactors, and they could guard them with smaller guards using smaller guns. You’d need to have smaller attackers though.

      • avatarnatermer says:

        > I think you hit the key point– they should be allowed to choose

        Or maybe they should choose people that fit the job.

        If you have security guards that can’t be good security guards then that is a problem that can’t be solved by letting them select their own gear.

  14. avatarPeterK says:

    If they aren’t carrying g17s what are they carrying? Were they just not issued weapons?

    Not sure HOW this can be an issue…

    Unless what it sounds like is actually happening, which is just that they got issued crap for this one test out of some attempt to disqualify them purposefully or even just negligently.

    • avatarMarcus Aurelius says:

      It sounds like they applied to be officers that guard nuclear power plants specifically, which requires firearms training. I infer from the article that in the other duties they were assigned to they did not carry firearms.

  15. avatarRick says:

    Hire. Bigger. Women.

    • avatardook says:

      ^^^ This.

      In most professions that have a ‘physical’ component there are physical requirements. Whatever those may be. Add one that says ‘Must have hands larger than a 2 year old’.

      Or, allow for alternate weapons.

      But this is Britain so I am sure ‘health and safety’ probably has issues with discrimination or something.

  16. avatarNJDevil says:

    If they are too small to hold the standard issue firearms for their annual check then they are probably too small for duty. Aren’t there usually height and weight restrictions for these type of jobs?

  17. avatarST says:

    Looking at this in a balanced light.

    On one hand, it doesn’t profit anyone to carry a gun they can’t hold worth anything. Like it or not, we can’t go back to 1954 when only six foot tall guys could join the police. If the officers in my town are destined to be female no matter what, I’d rather they carry something they can hold.

    On the other, we have to wonder why politicians are insisting that the police hire people physically unqualified to do the job.That, by the way, isn’t a sexist remark-because as a skinny guy, I can’t very well apply for admission as a Sumo Wrestler . If I did and they say no, I don’t have grounds to wail to the nearest judge about “discrimination”.

    • avatarRalph says:

      I don’t have grounds to wail to the nearest judge about “discrimination”.

      That’s because you are not a member of a legally favored class. If you were, you’d be Sumo-wrestling this very day.

  18. avatarRandallOfLegend says:

    If their hands are so tiny they can’t reach the trigger on a Glock 17 I would assume they are ineffective police officers. Maybe they can move to a job that involves investigation of crime, and not responding to it. Lowering the standards to include everyone is partly why the US is going down the drain.

    • avatarbontai Joe says:

      I am assuming that if their hands are that small, then the rest of their body matches….. so how is a 105 pound 5′-2″ woman (or even 2 of them) going to handcuff an angry 240 pound 6′-3″ guy that does not want to be handcuffed? I had a petite girlfriend go psycho on me one day and she punched, kicked, bit and stomped on me until she was too tired to continue. and she just didn’t have the strength to actually hurt me. (I’m 6-3 and weigh 295) All I did was protect the family jewels and let her go for it. As I recall, I ended up with a couple of bruises on my shins, and the brand new freedom to pursue my interests without restrictions, nagging, or misery. I have to agree with many of the above statements that certain jobs should have a minimum physical requirement and if you can’t meet the requirement, out you go. Little tiny hands would be an asset for making watches, neuro-surgery, building ships in a bottle….

    • avatarLarry says:

      That actually requires a lot of changes, as I understand. Most places, there is a hierarchy, a path to success, and a job as an investigator or detective is one that is earned, not handed to you because you whine that your hands are too small or whatever.

      Let’s face it; there should be physical requirements for positions which present the possibility of physical confrontation. That it is not PC is a fact that applies in more places than the UK.

  19. avatarCyrano says:

    What happens when there is midget men hired? Hey, if you don’t meet the physical requirements then don’t get on the job. I think there were two failures here. One failure was the inadequate hiring practices to weed-out out of spec applicants. The other failure was applicants who got in the door and then complained about the standard issue items that come with the job, thus they should have quit and did something else. We are confusing person shooting and work issue tools. If you can’t swing the hammer the company buys for you, then maybe you aren’t able to work there. You can whittle your own hammer handle at home and make your own furniture but don’t complain when you can’t hack it at work. The firearms were selected to handle the majority, not all people, so there is always someone who won’t be able to hack it. There are height requirements, eyesight requirements, and PT requirements for service, why not handsize.

  20. avatarTim in WA says:

    I thought the police didnt need guns there

  21. avatarCapybara says:

    Not sure if any of you have spent much time in the U.K. Chances are they will have a human rights lawyer take up their case, call a tribunal with their local magistrate and will have to be accommodated. Remember, the U.K. is what happens when statism and political correctness are allowed to run amok. This is the country where an entire bomb squad is called and the area evacuated if some kids happen upon a live .22 round sitting on the ground.

  22. avatarDaniel says:

    I can see their point that they should be able to shoot what is issued. If there ever is a situation in which the small-handed officers are unable, for whatever reason, to use their own properly sized firearms and the only one(s) available are from a downed comrade, they would be up shit creek whining that they can’t shoot back. Officers should be allowed to use whatever tools suit them best but should also be required to qualify with any tools in “common use”.

  23. avatarAaron says:

    the Brits should set anthropometric standards, and then acquire equipment accordingly.

  24. avatarJan says:

    Maybe they could have their standard issue sidearm customized to fit their hands… ie grip reduction jobs like how Bowie Tactical does it.

  25. avatarWerewolf1021 says:

    Am I the only one who thinks the officer pointing his HK at the other’s leg looks like Colonel Klink?

    HOOOOOOOGANNNN!!!!!!

  26. avatarmrvco says:

    No one does grip reduction on Glocks in the UK?

  27. avatarJohnO says:

    We demand equal treatment! Except when we demand special treatment.

  28. avatarJoel says:

    Perhaps something nice and pink from Mattel’s SAS Barbie line?

  29. avatarHannibal says:

    I remember how in the days of double-action revolver triggers women would sometimes be unable to pull the trigger after so many times because they just didn’t have the hand strength. Somehow they always squeaked through. Always hoped I never got in a shootout where my life depended on someone in that camp.

  30. avatarMark says:

    My question is how the hell did they get the job in the first place? Shouldn’t they have had to prove competency with the service issue firearm BEFORE they were accepted to that job?

    It’s scary that we live in such a politically correct world that we don’t have the balls to simply say, “Sorry, this particular job isn’t a fit for you…..let’s look at something else.”

    I have no problem with them being expected to be competent in the standard issue firearm. If the Sh1t hits the fan and she has to rely on using another weapon if hers had a malfunction, she should be able to do so to complete her job.

    • avatarChuckN says:

      I’m wondering the same thing. Isn’t there a physical element
      to the application? I’ve run into similar sizing problems in
      Fire/Rescue. To be hired one must not only pass a PT test
      but pass job related physical tests like hauling hose packs,
      dragging a 200lb dummy and maneuvering loaded gurneys.
      Fail anything and you either get shuffled to a job with no/
      limited physical requirements or are let go. Nothing personal
      but not being able to pass the PT and equipment handling
      tests only creates dangers for everyone.

  31. avatarBDub says:

    I’m sure they issue the females uniforms of average male size too right, so why not the firearms too?

    Honestly, they are in a catch 22. On the one hand they need to get and maintain the most equipment for there buck, and that necessitates buying in bulk and perhaps having a single type of firearm to maximize maintenance options and costs. On the other hand they chose to hire women so they are on the hook for properly equipping them, which if they didn’t do, they would be accused of sex discrimination – which they now are. Damned if you do….

  32. Hey, here’s an idea.

    Regardless of whether you are a man or a woman, if your hands are so tiny you can not adequately manipulate the controls on your issue firearms, too bad for you. Go find another line of work.

    End of story.

    • avatarJames says:

      Exactly. Weed these people out during the selection process. They are guarding nuclear power plants not Justin Bieber.

      Even if these women had firearms that fit them they still exhibit what might be termed a “sub-optimal combat mindset.” Barney Fife with a high speed weapon is still Barney Fife.

  33. avatarDavid PA/NJ says:

    No really, you need to be able to pass the same bar as everyone else or else you simply aren’t qualified to do the job.

  34. avatarBR549 says:

    Jeez, I’m surprised that they didn’t ask for picatinney rail accessories to include hand lotion and tampon dispensers along with a built in makeup kit.

    What about the ability to use weapons from fallen compatriots? All this does is make the situation so that an AVERAGE person would have a hard time using the midget weapons.

  35. avatarDBM says:

    Even if they received smaller handled pistols they would bitch because the guns were different than everyone elses and were discriminated against. I used to hear female MPs complain because they were issued .38′s instead of 1911′s. Let some of them shoot a 1911 and they bitched about the weight and the recoil. Next these English ladies will want pink pistols too.

  36. avatarKen says:

    Back in the day the highway patrol in my state had a 6′ tall requirement. Males. White. It’s 2014. Diversity is with us to stay. Get over it. My agency’s issue was a Sig P226. For some, male and female, the grip was a bit too big to get a good shooting grip. We gave them the option of going with a single-stack 225. Those that tried it liked it and none had the qualifying difficulties they had with the larger frame gun. I don’t care who’s backing me up. What I care about is their ability to take care of business. If that meant giving them options on handgun grip size, so be it. Hell, when I started in plain clothes, I went to the 225 myself. I’m a lefty. I know some agencies that wouldn’t allow left hand gear. Uniformity and all that jazz. BS. One size fits all attitude is stupid.

  37. avatarGS650G says:

    Let’s see them take down a 6’4″ 250 male who knows how to handle himself and spent time in the joint.

    • avatarKen says:

      I’m 5’8″, 190. He’s likely gettin’ shot. See “disparity of force” concept.

    • avatarLarry says:

      Anyone who resists, with force and threat, arrest by a LEO, should be simply shot. “STOP” means stop, if you do not you should expect a .40 between the shoulderblades. Carryalong video will make this attitude possible very soon.

      • avatarint19h says:

        >> “STOP” means stop, if you do not you should expect a .40 between the shoulderblades.

        What if the guy is deaf, or doesn’t know English?

  38. avatarMina says:

    The only women who consistently complain about not being able to meet the standard because “misogyny” are those whose skills and talent demand that the standard be lowered in order to them to meet it.

    I have been in IT for 20 years and have seen it time and time and time again. As well, my intense and copious research proves this to be true: Women ruin everything. Especially male-oriented job standards.

    #backtothekitchen!! (unless you’re a woman willing to meet or exceed the standards of the job as it stood before the standards were lowered at women’s insistence)

    • avatarint19h says:

      What male-oriented job standards did women lower in IT?

      I’m a software dev, and I wish we had more women in my field – based solely on the fact that the vast majority of those that I’ve met were very sharp and highly skilled (which is probably not surprising, since that’s the only way to beat the preconceived notions about you – and those who don’t manage to do so get hazed out).

      • avatarMina says:

        I work and I have worked with a lot of incompetent women. They keep their jobs solely because they are female.

        We had a lady SAN engineer drop the devices right out from under a giant cluster of critical production servers over the summer: logs were produced, no fault was ever acknowledged … meanwhile weeks later a man who did something similar was summarily fired.

        My experience is hardly anecdotal. I have an intense and consuming interest in anti-feminism and put a number of hours weekly in study. What I have learned is that my experience can be extrapolated over a large population. It is a trend.

        • avatarint19h says:

          Define “feminism”. To me, that was always a movement for sex and gender equality in terms of rights before law and treatment by society. I don’t see why anyone would be anti-that.

        • avatarMina says:

          I like how you think, what I have seen so far. So please take it the right way when I tell you that you are 1. listening to the wrong people 2. need to do more research and are 3. woefully uninformed / informed by the wrong people, leading to 4. just plain wrong. Sorry.

          Feminism seeks to elevate women at the ~expense~ of men. It is not about being “equal” (not that “equal” is possible) it is about women being “more equal”. For reference: Animal Farm.

          Again: I have given intense scrutiny and study to this topic. I am a woman. I have rejected feminism completely. It is an ideology incompatabile with freedom and truth. Therefore it is false … as most “isms” are.

        • avatarint19h says:

          I feel like you’re singling out one particular, very narrow ideology – that, I’ll grant you, does call itself ‘feminism’ – and then extend your observations of it to feminism in its entirety. Andrea Dworkin and Valerie Solanas do not represent the entirety, or even the majority of the movement. It’s like looking at the writings of Wahhab and Qutb and saying that they represent the entirety of Islam, or saying that all socialists are necessarily statists because Lenin and Mao both were.

        • avatarMina says:

          Again you very much confuse outliers with generalized trends.

          I can assure you my observations represent the generalized trend.

      • avatarMina says:

        example:

        A Voice for Men: _As Expected: Physical Fitness Standards Lowered and Delayed Again for Female US Military Members_

        http://www.avoiceformen.com/feminism/feminist-lies-feminism/as-expected-physical-fitness-standards-lowered-and-delayed-again-for-female-us-military-members/

  39. avatarMark Horning says:

    In the US a department would generally set a requirement that an issue item meet a 95% anthropometric standard. You clearly can’t fit everyone, but meeting a +/- 2 sigma representation of all people is fairly defensible from a legal/discrimination standpoint.

    The Glock 17 is a huge gun, and comes nowhere near meeting the 95% standard. The 4th gen guns with the removable backstraps are better, but even with the smallest backstrap they are pretty huge. This is one of the reasons the US military buys the M11, for OSI operatives for whom the M9 is simply too huge.

    A while back Tacoma PD allowed their officers a choice of a Glock or Kimber 1911. The vast majority of their female officers chose the 1911.

  40. avatarCol. Angus says:

    PC will surely kill us.

  41. avatarCurtis in IL says:

    Good grief.
    If they can buy uniforms, shoes and ballistic vests in different sizes, then they can buy guns, helmets and knee pads in different sizes. Any claims about cost or procurement issues are BS. The cost to outfit an officer is a small fraction of his/her first year’s salary.

    There is logic behind having standards for physical ability, and there is also great value in having women in law enforcement. Somewhere in there is a reasonable compromise, but making them shoot guns built for a man’s hand is just stupid.

    • avatarMina says:

      “there is also great value in having women in law enforcement.”

      Really? Empirically? Or is this just something you feel must be correct?

      Do you have any evidence or data to back up this claim?

      • avatarJR says:

        Actually, yes. My Dad was a mover and shaker in LEO training in his day, and he was actually instrumental in getting female officers introduced in the region where he worked.

        This was in a VERY traditional, conservative region, I might add. And he was VERY conservative himself. The reason he pushed for this was that he saw value in what female officers bring to some situations.

        I cannot produce the research, but I do remember him talking about (to Sheriff’s and Police Chiefs) things that made a lot of sense. This was mid-late 70′s. There were situations that having a female helped diffuse passions and stuff like that.

        Of course, having female officers present for certain cases involving female victims and suspects is also a plus.

        Not all police work is High Speed/Low Drag forcible arrest of 250 lb brawlers. It takes different skills for handling different situations.

        I can assure you that his motivations were not PC or feminist pandering or anything like that. He was not into any of that.

        Tell ya what I hate seeing…contemporary female cops that think they / try to be /want to be men – in looks, attitude and manner. They give up all those traits (and I don’t mean that condescendingly) that, in my Dad’s opinion, made adding female cops a net gain in effectiveness.

        • avatarMina says:

          I see anecdotes and pleasant story telling.

          Statistics, data to support the claim that women provide great value in law enforcement.

        • avatarJR says:

          I find your attempt at self-superiority a bit funny considering the number of times elsewhere on this comment page you resorted to something akin to “trust me, I’ve seen it.”

          That said, I offer the following comments which you can take or leave as you wish.

          (1) I witnessed the transition from ‘all male’ to co-ed law enforcement in a very conservative community, and I’ve worked in law enforcement for a number of years. If my anecdotes carry no weight with an IT person, I really don’t care.

          In other words, the research is there. If you wish to see it, look it up yourself. That I fired off a quick comment before bed and did not produce a lot of links in no way implies this has not been studied at great length.

          (2) I offered one scenario in which a female presence brings a LOT to the table…investigations involving female victims and suspects. Sorry if you don’t believe that. I’ve seen it. I’ve lived it.

          Quick example to set the stage: I once did a very tricky rape investigation that involved a dude using the Internet to meet victims. At some point, he had a phone conversation with his target and then after passing that “test,” he would meet them in person.

          How in the HELL was going to convince him either on the phone or in person I was his intended target? I sure wasn’t going to put on a dress and sell that idea in any convincing way (not the least of which was due to him having a specific body type and personality type that I did not meet).

          Yeah, it’s an anecdote. But your assertion (or assumption) that female cops don’t bring anything to table needs only one counterexample to disprove it, not ‘statistics.’ There’s my one.

          Again, take it or leave it.

          (3) I get your anti-feminism stance and cannot say I disagree with a lot of what you say here. But I would argue let’s not throw the proverbial baby out with the bath water and jump too far into gross generalizations.

          Just because feminism has pushed “females in various work places” a bit too far, and this story suggests these cops in the UK may be a good example of that, that does not mean that females cannot be good at a job for all the reasons a man would be too in addition to certain female characteristics.

          (4) There are female cops I’ve worked with that I wanted to stay as far away from as I could get. I could say the same about some male cops. But there are also female cops that I’d call first for certain jobs based on proven track records and effectiveness.

          Isn’t THAT what we should be measuring, not some pissing contest political agenda (whether that agenda is feminism or anti-feminism)?

          You may now have the last word.

  42. avatarArdent says:

    If you’re too short to see over a barricade that’s considered adequate and you can’t reach the trigger on a common handgun then perhaps you’re unfit for duty protecting a nuclear site. In fact, perhaps you ought to reimburse the tax payers for the money they wasted attempting to train you.

    At the current rate in the western world we’re going to have to accept coma patients and the blind as security forces since discriminating against them is wrong.

    Let me say something that is completely off the chart and so sexist that I’m sure I’ll catch hell:

    The average couch potato of a man can readily handle most MMA artist women. Its a simple function of being 1/3 heavier and about 1.5x stronger by weight. Anyone can argue otherwise all they like, women virtually never prevail in physical combat with men.

    It’s no surprise that women struggle more with recoil in shooting handguns.

    The standards should be set based on what is needed to carry out the duties of the office. Anyone who doesn’t meet those standards should be excluded and it should be gender blind.

    If you can do what it takes, then welcome in, if you can’t, find other work.

    • avatarMina says:

      “The standards should be set based on what is needed to carry out the duties of the office. Anyone who doesn’t meet those standards should be excluded and it should be gender blind.

      If you can do what it takes, then welcome in, if you can’t, find other work.”

      As a woman competent in her line of work as an engineer, I approve of this statement.

      • avatarint19h says:

        Sure, but the standards should be demonstrably not any higher than is actually necessary (there are numerous past experiences of overly high standards being used to exclude specific population groups – for example, literacy tests in southern states that were specifically intended to exclude Blacks from voting). Is a Glock 17 strictly necessary, or can a similar but smaller handgun do the job?

        • avatarFoRealz? says:

          When outfitting a uniformed force it’s generally not a “bring what you like to work” affair. Logistics and all.

          I am sorry that women are generally smaller than men, not as physically strong, etc., but it just is. Blame the man upstairs. No amount of hand wringing or wishful thinking will make it otherwise.

          Sure you can point to the right side of the bell curve and show me a couple cigar chomping, jump boot wearing gals, but you don’t design security and military forces around outliers. Nor fire services for that matter.

          Pop quiz, it’s 3:00 am, you’re passed out in your house from smoke inhalation. Which fire-person do you want coming in to get you and drag you out? Tina, standing 5’4″ and 135 pounds, or Joe running up your steps at 6’1″ and 220?

          It’s not that women don’t perform competently at many jobs, it’s just that there are certain occupations where the size and strength of your average man who is inclined to such vocations can mean life or death.

          That’s not being chauvinistic, it’s just reality.

        • avatarMina says:

          ” there are certain occupations where the size and strength of your average man who is inclined to such vocations can mean life or death. ” – and let us celebrate the men that choose these occupations and laud him for his sacrifice.

          there are occupations where women don’t belong. there are occupations where the majority of women (notice I did not say “all”) cannot meet the prevailig/historical standards. those are the occupations that should shove off all political correctness and tell women to take a hike.

          but they can’t. because Patriarchy. or Misogyny. or Both.

        • avatarJames says:

          You are approaching the situation from the wrong end. The choice of weapon is (or should be) based on the missions the organization is designed to perform. If one of your missions is protecting nuclear storage/power sites against heavily armed terrorists, a large high magazine capacity pistol is one of the firearms you should be carrying. Basing weapons selection on “maximum inclusiveness” in re the physical dimensions of personnel is like requiring a fire department to drive miniature clown cars and use garden hoses.

          Voting is a right; government employment is not.

        • avatarJR says:

          A handgun is a defensive weapon. I don’t think a G17 with any magazine is the weapon of choice for dealing with a terrorist threat to a nuclear power plant.

          The handgun is there to protect the officer from a close quarters threat. As such, it should be of most use / benefit to the officer within practical limits of logistics, armory maintenance and the like.

          My first thought reading this was G19. Someone above mentioned the length of pull was the same; I wondered if it was not also an overall size and “balance” issue. Wonder if they ever even tried a 19 just to see if it would help.

      • avatarint19h says:

        I’m approaching this from precisely this end – the requirements should be tailored to the mission; but they should not pointlessly exceed it. If a 17-round magazine is important (and is it? what procedure was used to arrive at this specific number of rounds? was it like the one they used to decide mag limits in CA, CO and NY?), then why not just stick a G17 mag into a G19 and be done with it? Or is it something else about G17 that makes it a requirement? What is it, exactly?

        • avatarJames says:

          Selecting what is probably the most popular 9 mm handgun on the planet is hardly the act of an organization that is bent on oppressing any particular group of people. Most women can shoot it just fine. The “why can’t they choose another pistol?” argument, is an endless one since no matter what firearm was selected, somebody wouldn’t be able to wield it properly. A large Glock is a good choice since they aren’t carrying it concealed, it has a high capacity magazine, and they are going to be wearing gloves during the winter months. It is generally easier to get a gloved trigger finger into the trigger guard of a full-sized pistol than a small one.

  43. avatarScurvyDog says:

    Geez what a copout.

  44. avatarFoRealz? says:

    Perhaps they would like to lodge a complaint with the labor relations board that the street thugs they might be tasked with apprehending are too big. “Please send smaller criminals that comply with female officers’ standards memorandum.”

    Oh my, the Derp.

  45. avatarropingdown says:

    Judging by the opinions of people that comment here (including me…) the exact size, shape, weight, trigger, and so forth, of a handgun seem to be very important. Wars erupt of 1911 v. Glock. Why so hard to accept the idea that hanguns, difficult to shoot in the first place, have to fit? Few people today other than some half-senile generals doubts that a combat carbine ought to have an adjustable stock to accommodate different sized people and variable weights of body armor.

    Agencies should pick a variable grip pistol or allow one of several models, and select carbines with collapsible stocks, and move on to the real issues, like how come the reactor’s most important coolant flow gauges aren’t working…..

  46. avatarJacen says:

    Just given them smaller guns?

  47. avatarLuc says:

    If you cant properly use the standard tools of the trade, maybe you should consider a different trade.
    If you wanna be a framer, show up to work with a framing hammer not with a shoemakers hammer.

  48. avatarRalphie says:

    “billy clubs” for anyone that can’t reach the trigger?

  49. avatarJonathan -- Houston says:

    The job is the job. The agency buys the firearm that gets the job done and gets them the lowest up front cost and lowest total cost of ownership. If they have to give everyone personalized models of sidearm, then that drives up procurement costs, maintenance costs, spare parts costs, and compromises readiness for not everyone being cross trained on each other’s equipment.

    Over at the fire department, they aren’t stocking twenty different sizes of fire hose are they, to match up diameters with hand size and grip strength? No. The job is the job and the equipment is the equipment. If you can’t do it, well, then you can’t do it. Go find something else which you can do.

  50. avatarRuss Bixby says:

    Y’know, I’ll have to disagree with RF and side with the CNC. Maybe these two midgets aren’t suited to the job.

    The world isn’t one-size-fits-all, and certain people cannot do certain things.

    Maybe these two are suited better to jobs in which small stature is an asset, rather that those in which they’ll need a step ladder in order to reach the window to check in evidence or cuff anyone older than eight.

    I for instance will never be a wise choice to model Spedoes; these gals are unsuited to be cops.

  51. avatarPrivate Pyle says:

    They must be dwarves because I probably have the smallest hands I’ve ever seen on a grown man and I can shoot my 17 veeeeeerrrrry comfortably.

  52. avatarint19h says:

    I have one word for you all:

    Israel.

    • avatarFoRealz? says:

      Israel fielded some female infantry in 1948 but they were quickly withdrawn from combat.

      In 2000 Israel passed a law requiring many combat positions to be open to female volunteers. They were allowed to volunteer, and if they could meet the standard as determined by the military they could be in that position.

      About 1.6-3.0 percent of such positions are held by women. This includes things like Air Defense units, anti missile defense, etc.

      There is one 70% female light infantry unit that generally stands guard doing border guard duty near Jordan and has a good service record. However, It is generally considered by many to be a publicity stunt and a bread crumb to the leftist that pushed through the 2000 amendment to the military services law. Said amendment was drafted by leftist female law makers.

      Interestingly this law was drafted after a female petitioned the Israeli high court to be allowed to take the Air Force pilot exams. She failed to pass, but leftys know not to let good publicity go to waste. Cuz you know, it’s men’s fault.

      Despite all the pictures you have seen of hot IDF girls toting M16s and Tavors around, your fantasies of thousands of hot chicks with guns rolling into action and squashing the foes of Israel is just that, fantasy.

      But if it makes you happy in 2013 they allowed a male transgender person to serve as an officially designated female.

      As I said above, it is not wise to design police, military and fire services around outliers and the uncommon.

      I know that you have probably been raised in a society and media that has bombarded you with the messages that men are stupid and incompetent oafs and that anything a man can do, a woman can do better, but it’s not true. Genders are not the same and some are better suited to certain things despite all the PC anguish.

      • avatarManimal says:

        As the ability to fight wars becomes more about using and applying technology and the technology becomes smaller and easier to carry around, the differences between the genders become less and less important as a factor in being a part of the military machine.

        • avatarDBM says:

          Manimal,
          Your comment is simply not true. Soldiers are required to carry more equipment than ever before and as a result every year we have been at war we have had to bring back from the war zone far more soldiers, especially females, for orthapedic injuries than for combat related injuries. More females are being funneled into command and control jobs, at male soldiers expense, were physical strength and endurance is not as important.

        • avatarMatt in FL says:

          Exactly. Every new innovation that has been touted as reducing the weight a soldier has to carry has been responded to by giving them more stuff to carry. 20 widgets at an average of 4 pounds or 27 widgets at 3 pounds, you’re still carrying 80 pounds. The last number I heard was that the average 11b goes out on foot patrol with 80-100 total pounds of gear, between armor, weapon, and the rest. Day in, day out.

        • avatarDBM says:

          And most of it unneeded. And they are expected to chase down people in oversized PJ’s in sandals who are acclimated to the region.

        • avatarFoRealz? says:

          Nope. Fantasy again.

          Since the time of the reforms of the Roman legions by Gaius Marius and his standardization of combat formations, combat soldiers have generally, and routinely been saddled with about 50-75 pounds of gear. That hasn’t changed much over the centuries. When one component is lightened it is taken as an opportunity to add something else.

          Why? Because it was determined that that was the amount of weight an average man, (man) could carry, march all day at required speed and still fight.

          As of the past few decades U.S. solider equipment for line units has been getting increasingly more onerous as pointed out by DBM.

      • avatarDBM says:

        Nice to see a post from someone is willing to read and see that the Female soldier in the IDR gaurd only very safe areas and do not engage in actual combat.

      • avatarint19h says:

        Israelis fielded female infantry long before there was a State of Israel. Read up about the history of the Jewish settlements, especially the non-religious Zionist ones – they had plenty of women, and those women were trained to fight to keep their settlements secure against constant harassment of the locals – and they did their job as well as men.

        >> I know that you have probably been raised in a society and media that has bombarded you with the messages that men are stupid and incompetent oafs and that anything a man can do, a woman can do better, but it’s not true. Genders are not the same and some are better suited to certain things despite all the PC anguish.

        You couldn’t be more wrong. I was raised in a society with a very strong traditionalist “women should stick to the kitchen and raising kids” streak. That’s precisely why I’m keen to fight things that are a setback to that mode of thought.

        • avatarFoRealz? says:

          Standing guard at a settlement is not fielding female infantry units.

          As I said above the Israelis did field female infantry in 1948 and then abandoned the idea. Even these units were not all female.

          There is a difference between standing guard at a settlement or posting to border guard duties versus line infantry combat against a similarly equipped and armed enemy element.

          I’m not saying the ladies guarding their settlement did useless things. I’m saying it is not the same as a line infantry unit in direct engagement with the enemy.

          If you have daughters you may encourage them to join the Army and volunteer for the infantry if you like. (They won’t be subject to the draft cuz equality!) But I know that if I had a daughter I would not want her in some dank foxhole grappling with a male enemy solider in a knife fight to the death.

          I would also not want one of my sons to share a foxhole with someone’s daughter because if he were in such a situation I would want him to have the best chance of survival, which would mean having another man with him. At 0 dark thirty and with the enemy crawling through the wire is no time for interesting social experiments.

          Even among men there are differences. There is a reason boxing has weight classes. Because common sense tells you that if a guy outweighs you by 40 pounds, the likelihood that he’s going to clean your clock goes up dramatically.

          In the US (land of the free and increasingly obese) the average man is 6 inches taller and 30 pounds heavier than the average female.

          But that’s like my opinion.

        • avatarint19h says:

          We’re talking about two different things here. I’m not saying that women should be measured against different standards than men, when it comes to soldiering. The physical requirements etc should all be the same; if you can meet them, you pass, if not, you don’t. But if you pass, then you shouldn’t be treated any differently on account of your gender. I would be perfectly okay with either a woman or a man in the same foxhole with myself, so long as I can be reasonably certain that they can cover my back equally well.

        • avatarDBM says:

          Youre a hopeless liberal. You don’t make radical changes and accomodations to any organization so that a very small handful of women that might be able to qualify to do it. Years ago they did that to Air Assault School so females could actually pass this infantry skill course and all it did was dumb down the training substantially so that a tiny fraction of women could hope to pass. Out of 30 that started in my class only 1 was able to complete the training. Years of testing has shown women cannot keep up with men for any length of time especially if they are required to actually carry the same equipment as men. And unless the military is willing to give females massive doses of steroids this will never change and even that would not stop the orthopedic injuries. Despite what you believe women and men are not the same.

        • avatarint19h says:

          >> Youre a hopeless liberal.

          Yes, I am. Thank you for acknowledging this.

          Everything else that you wrote is still irrelevant. Either women can pass all the tests and match up to the standards required or they cannot. If they cannot, then I don’t have any further objections. If they can, then any further objections from you are sexism pure and simple.

        • avatarDBM says:

          Your obviously clueless and try to pretend your an expert. You sling word like sexist because you cannot support your arguments with facts. If you truly want women as infantry then the army should field infantry brigades of all women and force them to perform the same missions as men and to the same standards. And when they die in mass in their hundreds lets do it again. I just wonder how many woman have to die before people like you would finally admit youre wrong. But I forget. Liberal men are feminized and as you have the feminine mind you find it very hard to admit your wrong even when faced with facts because you FEEL your right while people like me who used to do it for a living know that I’m right.

        • avatarint19h says:

          It’s not for you, me, or anyone else to tell women that they are not allowed to go and “do or die” if they are physically capable. They are free and independent individuals with their own volition and rights, and those rights include the right to choose to put oneself in danger for the sake of others.

          Your ad hominems are mighty and powerful indeed, and, being the feminized liberal that I am, I’m cowering in fear before them and abandoning this thread to Real Men (who, as we know, only vote Republican).

        • avatarDBM says:

          Your someone who obviously was never capable of being an infantryman so you try to denigrate real men to make yourself feel better. So sad for you. You must lead a pathetic liberal life just crying out to be validated as a person of some small worth. You’ve never really done anything in your life have you. You probably live vicariously through movies imagining it is really you there doing extraordinary things. Must be sad to be such a loser.

  53. avatarJohn Dennis says:

    They can work as parking meter maids instead.

  54. avatarJohnO says:

    I was once advised to marry a woman with small hands, in that anything she held in them would look bigger.

  55. avatarCloset Gun Nut says:

    Reportedly, in NC they used to make female Troopers learn to pull the trigger with their longer, middle finger if their hands were too small to reach it with the normal trigger finger.

  56. avatarCloset Gun Nut says:

    I also read an article or book passage a while back that said years ago a dropped female FBI trainee successfully sued for the same reason (too large of a handgun for her to sucsessfully qualify with) and was awarded her equivalent future career earnings and pension amount. I believe it Massad Ayoob who wrote about it later after being called as an expert witness in the case.

    • avatarManimal says:

      Interesting. What side was Massad an expert for?

      I could see him saying the gun should fit the shooter, but I could also see him not wanting to support something that could be seen as a push to be PC.

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