You may recall that bearingarms.com blogger Bob Owens recently penned a post for latimes.com. Mr. Owens asserted that cops shouldn’t carry GLOCKs. “The underlying problem with these pistols is a short trigger pull and the lack of an external safety,” he wrote. Needless to say, a significant proportion of TTAG’s Armed Intelligentsia begged to differ with Bob’s “blame the gun for negligent discharges” editorial. Hot on the heels of that debacle, and perhaps not coincidentally, the LA Times has published Rise in accidental gunshots by L.A. County deputies follows new firearm . . .
One sheriff’s deputy shot himself in the leg while pulling out his gun to confront a suspect.
Another accidentally fired a bullet in a restroom stall. A third deputy stumbled over a stroller in a closet as he was searching for a suspect, squeezing off a round that went through a wall and lodged in a piece of furniture in the next room.
Accidental gunshots by Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies have more than doubled in two years, endangering bystanders and occasionally injuring deputies. The jump coincides with the department’s move to a new handgun that lacks a safety lever and requires less pressure to pull the trigger.
Sheriff’s officials say that the increase in accidental discharges — from 12 in 2012 to 30 last year — occurred because deputies were adjusting to the new gun. They expect the numbers to fall in the years ahead. So far this year, the department has recorded seven accidental discharges, five of which involved the new weapon.
The gun(s) in question: the none-too-wonderful Beretta 92F (with external safety, front, above) and the sublime Smith & Wesson M&P9 (without external safety, in the background above). The official police response to the increased ND’s: more training.
Right answer! Unfortunately, writer Cindy Chang rushes headlong from this factoid to demonize safety-less striker-fired handguns with “light trigger pulls.” Including a shout-out to their former freelance contributor.
. . . the sharp increase in accidental discharges has prompted an investigation by the Sheriff’s Department’s new inspector general. Critics say this type of semiautomatic, which is widespread in law enforcement and includes the Glock used by many agencies, is too easy to misfire.
At the New York Police Department, a rookie officer is facing criminal charges, including negligent homicide, in a fatal shooting in a housing project stairwell. An attorney for the officer says he accidentally fired his department-issued Glock.
A former Los Angeles Police Department officer who was paralyzed when his 3-year-old son shot him with a Glock has sued the gun manufacturer and others, alleging that the light trigger pull and lack of a safety mechanism contributed to the accident.
Bob Owens, editor of BearingArms.com, says the design of the Glock and the M&P makes such tragedies more likely. “I don’t think, with the amount of training most agencies have, that a gun that has so few tolerances for mistakes is the best choice,” he said.
As many commentators pointed out in the previous “GLOCKs are too dangerous for trained cops and, by extension, anyone else” kerfuffle, this line of thinking demonizes guns in general. Not good. For gun rights, that is.
Luckily, Chang redresses the balance with some entirely reasonable reporting on LA cops’ firearms training, including the benefit accrued to female police officers by the Smith & Wesson handgun. In fact, despite the misleading headline and Owens’ quote, the overall article covers the subject – of firearms training – well enough. I wonder what impression non-gun guy readers take away from the piece . . .