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“Southfield Police Chief Eric Hawkins [above] said it’s unclear why a 64-year-old Southfield man entered the police station today, shooting an officer before he was shot dead,” reported. “Hawkins said his officers followed protocol when the man tried first to shoot at an officer behind protective glass at the station lobby, then fired on other responding officers, shooting one in the shoulder. That officer, a 50-year-old sergeant with 25 years as a Southfield police officer, was taken with the suspect to Providence Hospital.” Did you catch that? Here’s the key detail again . . .

Other officers responded [to the failed murder attempt] including the sergeant. They demanded the man drop his gun, and instead, Hawkins said, the man fired upon the responding officers, shooting the sergeant in the shoulder. The officers were wearing protective gear, said Hawkins.

Yup, the cops were following standard operating procedure . . .

“We always try to resolve these incidents non-violently if we can,” said Hawkins. “However, the use of force was unavoidable in this circumstance.”

Ya think? The question is when was it unavoidable? I reckon the moment the man [later identified as Harold J. Collins] tried to shoot the cop behind the desk and didn’t drop his gun is the moment he needed a direct application of lethal force.

Legally speaking, you can only shoot another human being when your or other innocent life or limb is in credible, imminent danger; and imminence is imminent. In other words, you can shoot someone when they are in the actual act of trying to maim, kidnap or kill you or other innocents.

One thought that bedevils many armed self-defenders: will I be too late? Another: will I be too early? Who knows? One thing is for sure: decisiveness can be decisive. Whether or not you shoot, quickly making a conscious choice offers you a far better chances of survival than being overcome by events.

As President Lyndon Johnson said, a bad decision is better than no decision.

The best way to avoid analysis paralysis: decide now that if you or yours are in life-threatening danger you will shoot. Again, I do not ascribe to the philosophy that once your gun clears leather you’re committed to firing your weapon. But I am committed to commitment.

When you have to shoot, shoot quickly, effectively and efficiently. As far as second-guessing your ability to correctly discern the necessity of deploying lethal force, don’t worry overmuch. Worst case, well, shit happens. Either way, you’ll be alive to deal. As always, good luck with that.

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  1. Yep, the world is getting crazier and crazier all the time. Maybe it’s time to gather up my ladies, grab my guns and move in with the groundhogs!!?? 🙂 🙂

  2. There is always more to the story……

    “Meanwhile, five other officers responded to the desk officer’s call for help, emerging into the lobby and demanding that Collins drop the gun. He didn’t comply, and the gunfire began, although it isn’t clear from police statements who shot first or whether the bullet that hit the officer in the shoulder was from Collins’ gun. ”

    They are not sure who shot the officer.

    The only thing certain is that this guy was looking for death by cop

  3. Seriously, have they heard of a taser? If they had weapons trained on the guy one of the cops should have shot the guy with a taser in the first second.

    • To be honest the person in question was putting the lives of others in danger. You don’t take your chances against a gun with a taser, that is asking for trouble. They gave him more time that the law allows to comply, as since he was brandishing a weapon in the station shooting him outright without warning would have been warranted. Not saying right or wrong, but as far as the law is concerned that would have been the mandate.
      I agree with others, this guy wanted suicide by cop. He got what he asked for.

    • Now that there’s just a completely uneducated, non-real-world cognizant statement. Taser a guy with a gun in his hand and has just shot at others? How about just shoot the gun out of his hand? Shoot him in the leg. Good grief!! Somebody must have just watched Demolition Man and thinks that’s real police.

  4. Honestly, Robert. You need some help on interpreting legal matters.

    “In other words, you can shoot someone when they are in the actual act of trying to maim, kidnap or kill you or other innocents.”

    I’m not pleased with how you worded this, but if we use this definition, then you should look at what it means to be “in the actual act.” The bad guy doesn’t need to have the rifle aimed and the trigger pulled halfway back. He just has to present a threat that a reasonable person would feel that they are in danger. Holding a weapon at his side and at the same time screaming that he’s going to kill you is enough for most people to reasonably conclude that you’re in danger.

    Sometimes I get the impression that your intent is to scare people away from bearing firearms.

  5. President Lyndon Johnson said, a bad decision is better than no decision.

    He would know, wouldn’t he. 36,000 American dead on his watch amounts to a whole lot of bad decisions.

  6. The shooter was a vet who had throat cancer and lost his ability to speak. He was divorced and without contact with his family, all of whom expressed shock at his actions (despite having had no contact with him for some time). Clearly he wanted to die.

    As I told my wife, I am sure excited about going back to the Detroit area next week to visit HER family.

  7. For all you guys that want to commit suicide by confronting the cops, try this instead. When you’ve decided that you just can’t go on and need for it to stop, storm a gang hangout with guns blazing.

    If you manage to nail a couple of bangers before you fall you will have performed a public service as your last act. And if the bangers are still riled when the cops show up maybe a couple more will be taken down. See, win-win.

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