Police officer shoots school student during demonstration

There are those in this country who don’t think people like you or I should be permitted to carry a gun anywhere. In their minds, we lack the training to do so properly, even if we’ve been through tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of training classes.

To them, only the police have the necessary skills to carry a firearm safely.

Well, that just went out the window.

An Indiana police officer this week visited the South Vermillion High School to teach children about how to be good law enforcement officials — but he wound up accidentally shooting one of his prospective pupils.

Local news station WTHI-TV reports that the shooting occurred during a visit to the school on Thursday morning in which the officer, who has been identified as Tim Dispennett, was running a drill with students on how police handle a purported “bad guy.”

The student was taken to the hospital to be treated for non-life-threatening injuries, but he still got shot by a police officer during what was supposedly a drill.

Now, this raises a few questions. First and foremost, why in the hell was this officer running a drill with a live firearm and not a blue gun?

In a statement, the school said this was an “accidental discharge.” It’s not, though. This isn’t an unfortunate accident. This is negligence. Nearly all “accidental discharges” are actually negligence. Especially if the weapon is in an individual’s hand at the time of it firing.

I didn’t give Alec Baldwin a pass on that, and I’m not giving one to a police officer who should know better.

“But cops are better trained.”

No, they’re not necessarily. First, a lot of us went through plenty of training through the military or previous law enforcement experience, so even without private instruction, we’re still fairly well trained.

Further, we tend to be cognizant of things like proper weapon handling.

A lot of police officers aren’t gun people. They don’t particularly like guns. That’s not bad in and of itself, but they only carry their weapons as a part of their job and they don’t reinforce their prior training. That includes gun safety.

Look, I’ve known too many officers who don’t touch their guns beyond range qualification time. Some practice just a little beforehand, but many just decide to wing it that day. They’re not exactly high-speed, low-drag types if you know what I mean.

As such, assuming they know more than your average gun guy might not be particularly wise.

Now, with all that said, this isn’t normal for law enforcement. Most police officers do understand how to safely handle their firearms.

However, this guy isn’t the lone exception, either.

Reading this story reminded me of this famous video:

It happens. It’s not particularly common, but it happens and these aren’t the only two incidents, either.

So I have a hard time buying this idea that police officers should be the only ones trusted to carry a firearm in and amongst the American people.