“With all the current attacks on law enforcement, some would say that ‘times sure have changed’ — but they haven’t,” Mike Rayburn writes at policeone.com. “There’s always been this underlying disdain for law enforcement, and not just by the criminal element within our society. We’ve all dealt with ‘respectable people’ who turn into vicious animals given the right stimuli. Whether that be drugs, alcohol, or just getting a speeding citation.” Us vs. them much? Anyway, “us” wants rifles . . .
Because we can’t predict when and where these violent criminals — armed with heavy duty firepower — will strike next, we need to be prepared for them at all times. That means every officer, regardless of rank, title, or position, needs to have a patrol rifle available to them at all times, and they need to be trained in the proper use of it.
That training needs to include urban rifle skills. The 300-yard shot on the range is nice, but the realities of the street dictate that we learn to use the patrol rifle in close quarters. The reality of the street is that officer involved shootings, even those involving rifles/long guns, happen at much smaller distances . . .
Think about this for a minute. The last time you pulled your patrol rifle out of your car, was it for a 300-yard shot, in the dark, where you could barely make out the perpetrator? Or where you involved in a vehicle stop where the distance was a few car lengths, if that? Maybe you were entering a building, where the distance was in feet, not yards.
Our training needs to reflect the realities of the street. We need to be able to shoot accurately while moving. We need to be able to identify cover, and how to properly use it with a rifle, because in some cases it’s different from using cover with your handgun. Every officer needs to be trained in single officer, two man, and multiple officer movement and tactics.
I don’t see any problem with every cop in the U.S. having immediate access to an AR-15 or similar rifle. I’m all about training the po-po how to use their rifles effectively. But I do wonder if the cops are moving closer and closer to a military mindset. Like this:
We, as law enforcement officers, need to adopt the same mindset as that of the Marine Corps when it comes to job titles. In the Marine Corps, everyone, regardless of rank, is a rifleman first and foremost. The “job” he does in the Marines comes second. We’re civilian law enforcement, so our “job” to protect and serve comes first, but we need to have the mindset that each and every one of us is also a rifleman. We need to be equipped and trained as such.
If we’re talking armed confrontation, I would’ve thought cops need to be hand-gunners first — given that most Boys in Blue don’t patrol with patrol rifles. And while I reckon law enforcement will leave the hard core “this is my rifle” stuff to the SWAT teams, I worry that they won’t. Am I wrong?