“Two men with attack rifles drove in from Arizona and opened fire on officers guarding the conference center in Garland.” apnews.com reports. “Both were shot dead, an officer was shot in the leg, and from the other side of the world, the Islamic State group made an unproven claim of responsibility.” The media buzz after the Texas terrorist attack was as predictable as it was predictable. All Muslims aren’t terrorists, free speech is inviolable (but you have to admit those cartoons of Muhammed were insensitive and inflammatory), we don’t know if ISIS is here and assault rifles! One aspect of the story that’s left me puzzled: how did a traffic cop with a .45 caliber GLOCK take out two bad guys with body armor and AKs? I’m thinking . . .
head shots? Nah. One head shot under stress is damn fine shooting. Two head shots is deep inside SpecOps territory. As much as our Jon Wayne Taylor has been working hard to help vets get government work, I don’t think the traffic cop was a former Ranger or suchlike. So . . .
Maybe terrorists Elton Simpson and Nadir Soofi weren’t as up-armored as the media would have you believe (to the point where MSNBC commentators were agog at the fact that you can buy this stuff online!). To its credit, CNN attempted to make strategic sense of the close-quarters combat:
“There’s no advantage for a handgun over an assault rifle,” said Dick Fairburn, a veteran law enforcement officer who is a columnist for PoliceOne.com. “An assault rifle has more distance, more accuracy, more power, more penetration.
“You cannot downplay what he did there.”
Granted, the officer likely had on some sort of protective jacket. But Tom Fuentes, a former FBI assistant director and current CNN contributor, said that the thin Kevlar vests often worn by police would be useless against an assault rifle round that “will go through that like a hot knife through butter.”
The same can’t be said for bullets coming from the officer’s pistol: The attackers’ body armor likely would have blocked those.
Thus, aiming for the suspects’ torso — as officers are trained first to do, since it is their biggest possible target — is no longer an option. But still, somehow, the traffic officer managed to down both men in seconds.
“It speaks to his skill level,” Fairburn, who is a firearms trainer for law enforcement, said of the Garland officer. “In terms of weaponry, he was far outgunned. But he was far better trained.”
Maybe the huge volley of sympathetic fire from other responding officers made a head shot or two a statistical inevitability. Or again, like James Holmes, perhaps the terrorists only looked like they were wearing body armor.
Chances are we’ll never know; the authorities said they’re keeping the hero cop’s name on the down-low for, like, forever. Still, proponents of the Don’t Mess With Texas mystique and adherents of the .45 caliber über alles ballistic belief system had plenty to cheer about.
As did we all. Oh, and you do realize that the attack happened in a gun-free school zone, right? That fact somehow slipped the media’s mind. Wonder why.