In most people’s minds, the people who are the most highly trained in how to handle a firearm are the military and police officers. It baffles them to learn that most people in the military have remarkably little exposure to firearms and even those in combat arms don’t attain true expertise with their weapons. Police officers aren’t much better, really. While they receive some training in the academy, it’s surprisingly limited. After an officer is out on the streets, there’s even less of it.
A couple of days ago, I came across a story about how “gaps” in police officers’ training has had deadly consequences. It’s a concerning problem, to be sure, because so many of these issues really do look to be training issues.
When an Iowa mother tried to take her child from her husband during an argument on a snowy sidewalk in 2015, an officer stepped in to stop the scuffle, but he accidentally fired his weapon as a dog approached. The bullet went through the woman’s arm and into her chest, killing her as her family watched in horror.
When a Minnesota sergeant stopped a motorcyclist after a 2015 high-speed chase, he stepped out of his patrol car with his firearm drawn, flush with adrenaline, and accidentally shot the man in the arm.