This is at least the second time that Joe Biden has proclaimed that policing reform should include training law enforcement officers to shoot armed suspects in the leg, rather than aiming for center mass. The first occasion was back in early June, at an AME church in Wilmington, Delaware, days after the riots in Minneapolis broke out after the death of George Floyd.
The second time was Thursday night during an ABC town hall in front of a crowd of several million Americans less than three weeks before Election Day.
.@JoeBiden says police should try shooting dangerous criminals “in the leg" pic.twitter.com/u3phk3MHSq
— Tom Elliott (@tomselliott) October 16, 2020
This is absolute idiocy, and I can’t believe that no one on Joe Biden’s campaign thought to tell the boss back in June that maybe he should drop the line, given how unbelievably stupid it is.
Joe Biden seems to think that if police officers aim for the leg, the lethal force of a firearm is suddenly somehow less lethal. This is fundamentally wrong on multiple levels; the femoral artery runs through the leg and severing the artery can cause someone to bleed to death in a matter of minutes, aiming for a smaller, moving target like a leg is more likely to result in a missed shot and the potential for a friendly fire injury to another officer or a civilian, the officer firing to stop the threat and aiming for the leg instead of the chest is an ineffective and dangerous way to do so, just to name a few.
I sat with Biden when I was Sheriff & discussed issues related to law enforcement. This is just a ridiculous statement. LEOs are trained to hit center mass, for the best chance to stop the threat. Teaching them to shoot in the leg would be stupid & reckless. #BidenTownHall #ILSen
— Fmr. Sheriff Mark Curran, Dick Durbin’s opponent (@ElectMarkCurran) October 16, 2020
This honestly sounds like something that an 8-year old would come up with, not the Democratic candidate for president of the United States. Even worse, this isn’t something that Biden’s brain hacked up on the spur of the moment on Thursday night. As I said earlier, he made the exact same suggestion more than four months ago as part of his pitch to Black voters in his home state of Delaware.
Biden brought up the idea while speaking to African American community leaders Monday at Bethel AME Church in Wilmington, Delaware.
The former vice president mostly sat and listened during the event, only speaking at the end to address the comments and concerns they raised.
“Instead of standing there and teaching a cop when there’s an unarmed person coming at them with a knife or something, shoot them in the leg instead of in the heart,” Biden said, going on to argue that “There’s a lot of different things that can change” in police training.
The former VP also made a pledge to those in attendance to “deal with institutional racism,” as well as to set up a police oversight body within the first 100 days of his presidency.
The 2020 hopeful continued by saying that during the Obama-Biden administration, “We set up, in the Justice Department, the ability for the Civil Rights Division to go in and look at the practices and policies of police departments. That’s why we were able to stop stop-and-frisk.”
By the way, if anyone would ask Biden how he thinks his ban on “large-capacity magazines” is going to be enforced without tactics similar to stop-and-frisk, they’d quickly realize that his gun and magazine ban are just as fantastical as his idea for police training reform. Given the fact that Biden has now brought this up at least twice as the prime example of his police reform policy, we have to assume he’s serious about this deeply unserious proposal.
Who knows if this hurts Biden at all, or if most non-gun owning Americans simply nodded their head and thought, “yeah, that sounds good to me” when they heard the former vice-president’s Hollywood-inspired plan. Gun owners might want to take the time to explain on their own social media why Biden’s big idea is such a bad one so that the non-gun owners in their social networks at least are exposed to a reality check. We know they’re not going to get one from the likes of Snopes or AFP.