“A sheriff’s deputy responding to a home invasion shot the homeowner in the neck Thursday because he refused to drop his gun,” bradenton.com reports. “Two deputies from the Charleston [SC] County Sheriff’s Office encountered the man at the rear of his mobile home in Hollywood, South Carolina, after two other men fled on bicycles, Sheriff’s Maj. Eric Watson said in a news release. The man was either leaving or standing at the back door of the house and was armed, Watson said. One of the two deputies shot him after he refused to drop his gun, he said.” The solution members of our Armed Intelligentsia are sure to suggest: drop the gun when cops tell you to. It’s not that simple. Here’s an AP update . . .
“I saw officers and I should have put the gun down,” Bryant Heyward told a Charleston County Sheriff’s investigator during an interview in the ambulance following the Thursday incident.
“I didn’t. They thought I was the crook and shot,” Heyward, 26, said. The recorded interview was played Friday for local community leaders and news reporters.
Anyone who’s been in a life-or-death adrenalin-fueled emergency will tell you that your normal sensory processing goes bye-bye. Tunnel vision? Oh yeah. Time distortion? Plenty? In fact, an armed self-defender’s brain is addled with an information influx that overwhelms normal methods of perception. That includes auditory input. DROP YOUR WEAPON! What? Huh? If you have a gun in your hand and turn towards the cops . . . oh dear.
It’s actually worse than that. The responding cops’ adrenalin system is at full throttle, too. They may not hear you. And who’s to say the arriving police will even bother to shout out a warning? And do you really want to drop/holster your gun before they arrive, before the crime scene is secure? Not to point too fine a point on it, you may be in more danger when the cops arrive than you were before the so-called first responders responded.
And the answer is . . .
No sé. You should freeze when the cops arrive and follow their instructions. But there’s no guarantee you will. The police should refrain from shooting anybody who doesn’t need shooting. As the example above illustrates, there’s no guarantee they will. Which is why I’m more worried about getting shot by the cops than I’m worried about getting shot by the bad guy.
Seriously. If the bad guy shoots me, the bad guy shoots me. Unless I’ve been ambushed, I
will may have had a chance to put up a fight before the lead infusion (or other type of physical insult). Call me a fatalist but what happens after that point happens. Not to coin a phrase, it is what it is. But homicide by cop? That rankles. I survived an attack and the good guys kill me? That sucks.
I guess there’s one thing an armed self-defender can do to protect him or herself from well-meaning police: force-on-force training. If you can minimize the distortion effects of an adrenaline dump through practice (a.k.a.,”stress inoculation”) you have a better chance of thinking clearly (i.e., not doing something stupid) during a defensive gun use. And after. But basically, it’s a crap shoot. So to speak. [h/t Ralph]