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A lot of people think cops are the ultimate gun guys. Not so. Every police trainer I know says they are the single most difficult group of people to teach firearms skills. Cops are either too cocky too listen or too apathetic. As a rule, they don’t collect guns or spend their spare time learning about them. Or, indeed, shooting them. “The State of North Carolina mandates that every sworn officer qualify with their service weapon twice a year, once during the daytime and once at night,” reports.

The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department requires an additional session of daytime shooting and nighttime shooting on top. This puts our officers on the range at least once per quarter . . . In addition to this, officers are given the opportunity to participate in open-range time once a month. This time can be spent practicing with a service weapon, or practicing / qualifying with an off-duty weapon.

Now, guess how many times a member of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department fired their gun in the course of their regular duties in 2007? Once. 2008? Three times. OK. Burglary in progress . . .

When police showed up, they stopped a man walking down the street. At first, officers reported that the man pulled a gun from his waistband and fired a shot as he ran from them.

They found a 9 millimeter in bushes nearby. But later, police say their investigation revealed a different story. The man did have a weapon, but never fired it. Instead, an officer on scene fired, and it was by accident.

Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Major Paul Zinkann says, “We wanted to come forth quickly to be transparent.” Officer Sean Parker is the one who police say accidentally fired his weapon into the ground.

Note to word is “negligently.”

Anyway, you can see which way this is going to go. Officer Parker will get hung out to dry, in the nicest possible way. Gun enthusiasts will blame his Smith and Wesson M&P. The training that created the problem will go unremarked. Which is all very well and good until somebody puts an eye out.

Perhaps the good people of Charlotte should spend a little more on training, and a little less on salaries ($185,000 p.a. plus pension and full bennies to the Chief).

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  1. For police officers (as well as those in the military), qualifying with a weapon is often seen as a chore, like the annual physical fitness test or re-certification of certain credentials. Not surprising, then, that some of them approach qualification with about as much enthusiasm as us cubicle drones do our annual Sexual Harassment training class put on by the humorless drones in HR.

    In theory, the members of the SWAT team ought to be "gun guys" but as we've seen in previous posts here, sometimes even these para-commandos ignore the most basic fundamentals of firearms handling.

  2. Man, why couldn't this happen in Maryland where the cops keep trouncing on people's rights? There needs to be a searchlight and fine-toothed comb there.

    I'm sure some people will smile when I say the next part of this sentence, but on Steven Seagal's cop reality show "Lawman," (smile. and, yes, he really does have authoritah), they showed a bit of him training some officers so they could re-pass their shooting test. They passed, and not exactly with flying colors.

    These were the same officers he would ride around with on actual calls. Because they were actual cops. Doing actual cop things with actual guns. Seagal was busy with his handgun trying to light matchsticks from 15 or 20 feet, while the other guys who are full-time cops were busy trying to hit the broad side of a barn. Kind of eye-opening.

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