Category Archives: Weapons Usage and Employment

Diverse Views of Negligent Discharges

negligent discharges everywhereHere we have a few different views of the old ND.  The first comes from Billy Birdzell, via Tom Ricks. We begin with Ricks’s introduction:

Here’s an amazing number that I had never seen before: Since the beginning of the U.S. operation in Iraq, more than 90 U.S. military personnel have been killed there by negligent weapons discharges. Yet I can barely remember seeing official references to the phenomenon. You can be openly gay in the military, but negligent discharges are still pretty much closeted.

Funny, it’s long been a subject of discussion — and action. In many ARSOF units it is, if not a career-ender, an error that causes your career to ricochet in a new and undesired direction. In Rangers and shooting elements of JSOC it’s an instant dismissal from the unit. (At least in Ranger Regiment, a guy can soldier his way back in after some years in the wilderness). That is because these elements take shooting and safety seriously. Now, we’re not surprised that Ricks isn’t up on it. Hard to learn much about the military from an external perch dangling from an attitude of contempt. Anyway, he finally gets around to letting Birdzell, a former Marine officer, speak. (Birdzell was then — May, 2011 — in grad school at UVA, which makes him somebody in Ricks’s beltway world).

During OIF II, a USMC helicopter pilot accidentally shot and killed himself in the ready room while spinning his pistol on his finger like John Wayne.

An SF guy who recycled from our Light Weapons class to the one behind had a similar dumb-ass mishap while deployed in the mid-1980s.

During my battalion’s first Iraq deployment negligent discharges of weapons caused one death and one serious injury. The first incident occurred when a lance corporal who had been a problem child pointed a Corpsman’s pistol at the Corpsman’s face in a “hey, look at me” scenario, and then negligently shot him in the head. That Marine was sentenced to several years in prison.

After that, the battalion commander wanted weapons unloaded inside the compound and Condition 3 on guard towers (magazine inserted, no round in the chamber). In another “Look at me,” moment, another lance corporal pointed an M16 at yet another LCpl. A round had been chambered in the rifle and the Marine was shot in the neck. Magically (I’ve seen the scars), the bullet passed between the trachea and the arteries and exited the neck directly over the spine without hitting a nerve. The doctor said it was medically impossible.

I concur with the idea that weapon safety is a mindset. I think our least common denominator training and treating the troops like idiots at the rifle range causes them to either be afraid of weapons or be cavalier about them. As a result, there are NDs. In Special Operations Forces, the mindset is very, very different and NDs are incredibly rare. Pointing weapons at each other is not tolerated and there is a ton of pride in one’s ability to masterfully handle the tools of our trade.

Birdzell is onto something with “treating the troops like idiots at the rifle range…” and we think it’s that the command fears firearms and tries to restrict troop access to them, producing ill-trained troops. We were disappointed that it was this bad in the USMC, and even in infantry; we expect better of Marines.  He concludes by pointing out one probable cause:

For Marines and Soldiers, [experience with loaded weapons] is almost zero while in garrison. A mechanic goes to the rifle range at most once a year and there he is told in lockstep fashion to load, shoot and unload. That same mechanic is expected to carry a rifle and ammo everywhere he goes while in Iraq. Infantrymen spend a lot of time in the field carrying empty weapons but total hours of carrying loaded weapons into offices, chow halls, public places = zero while in garrison.

The Army is quite bad about this. One of the best things SOT and later, SFARTEC and SFAUC did, was get the guys accustomed to carrying loaded firearms at all times. The Army’s rigid range procedures do not help teach real-world safe gun handling.

Via Ricks again, we have a sort of guest post by an officer bitter that a negligent discharge ruined his Army career. He wasn’t in an elite unit, but found himself shunned in his infantry company, and received a bad OER (a single bad Officer Evaluation Report is the kiss of death in an up-or-out Army):

In my delirium, I pulled the charging handle back to eject the chambered round before removing the magazine, thereby charging a new round. When I pointed the rifle at the ground and pulled the trigger, it went off. The MPs at the gate immediately accosted us, got my info, and reported it to my company commander, who was already on the FOB.

This is your career on ND.

This is your career on ND. Even if you miss the physical foot. Should it be? Ricks’ fans say “No,” we say, “Hell, yes.”

My company commander, just off a stint as a platoon leader in the Ranger Regiment, immediately sought to remove me from the company.

He probably already loved you for showing up with a Ragnar School sob story.

My battalion commander showed clemency and instead declared that my punishment would be to dig a grave behind our company’s outpost. My company commander explained to me that I was only to work on the grave at night and in an inconspicuous location. The idea was to keep the matter discreet. However, the unspoken punishment was that I was never accepted among the company’s officers. My company commander rarely spoke to me except to criticize some mistake I made, gave my platoon the worst assignments, and ultimately wrote me a bad OER. My battalion commander, while counseling me on that first OER, told me in no uncertain terms that the company commander’s remarks were unfair and obviously colored by that single incident.

I don’t think this guy realizes how whiny he’s coming off. (It’s actually worse than the excerpts… it begins with him being dropped from Ranger school, unfairly, of course).

For my part, I spent the week after the incident trying to figure out what went wrong with the weapon. I gave it to the unit armorer for a full inspection. I never told my company commander about my physical condition before the incident. Not because I was afraid of further punishment for eating the local food (it was against the rules), but because I was embarrassed to admit I’d soiled my pants. A few months later, one of my soldiers experienced a similar incident. He was punished severely by doing rifle PT for hours in the sun — in full view of the entire company. I did nothing to stop my NCOs from taking their action because I was afraid my own incident would be brought up and I’d be humiliated again. After the deployment, at an officers’ beer call, a few of my former “fellow” lieutenants from the company put on a skit reenacting the incident. It was vindictive and humiliating, and it was meant to be.

He then goes into a long-winded and shallow pop psych explanation of how the “military’s culture of  bravado and shame”… well, here it is in his own words, edited only for brevity.

…culture… that equally indulges in bravado and shame. One needs to look no further than that iconic scene from Full Metal Jacket of the Marines marching through the squad bay, one hand carrying a shouldered weapon and the other grabbing their genitalia, to understand the psychological and cultural association of weapons with manhood in the military profession. …. Of course, the Drill Sergeant Hartman analogy also explains why anyone who experiences an incident is treated so harshly. He’s committed a breach of manhood; literally, and excuse the crass language, shooting his load too early.

It seems plausible that this guy’s lousy OER wasn’t just his CO picking on him. Even in this short article he comes across as a thin-skinned, quavering douchebag who is ever-ready with a glib and shallow undergrad response to criticism; an excuse for everything, accepting responsibility for nothing. Yeah, that’s what every CO wants in his platoon leaders.

That I’m still reluctant to identify myself today, because I feel assured others will assault my position as motivated by personal bias, should perhaps indicate the severity of the issue.

Actually, we took it as an indicator you’re a timid loser. Sorry about that, and thanks for playing.

Ricks followed up with this, from British correspondent Toby Harnden, whose experience was that NDs in the Welsh Guards (the British unit Harnden embedded with) were disproportionately committed by officers:

Although the Welsh Guards pride themselves on their discipline on the parade ground (they have a ceremonial function and were on duty for last month’s Royal Wedding) and with weapons, there were a number of incidents in which soldiers negligently fired shots.

The most serious one probably caused the death of an Afghan civilian. A Welsh Guards officer visiting FOB Keenan near Gereshk at the start of May 2009 was loading his rifle before a patrol when he accidentally fired a shot with his SA-80 rifle. He was facing south with his weapon pointed at a 45-degree angle, just above the heads of other members of the patrol. The platoon commander, a lieutenant, decided not to report the incident immediately, later citing the rank of the officer.

As it happens, the shot was the probable cause of the mortal wounding of an Afghan poppy farmer thousands of yards downrange, but it couldn’t be proven because a number of other shots were fired in a nearby engagement, too.

The British Army seems to take a more relaxed view of NDs.

Later the same month, another officer (attached to the battalion but not a Welsh Guardsman) had an ND and narrowly avoided killing the battalion commander, Lieutenant Colonel Rupert Thorneloe. Ironically enough, the officer was a junior Brigade legal adviser.

Usually it's the other way around.

Usually it’s the other way around!

Not surprising, really. In an infantry brigade, it’s hard to imagine who is less firearms-trained than the law dog, except his opposite number on the special staff, the padre. (Some military lawyers enjoy learning shooting and other arts of soldiering, but they’re exceptions).

“He was about a metre away from me with his rifle on his hip like one of those prison guards in American films,” [company commander Maj. Giles] Harris told me. “His finger was on the trigger and the rifle was at a 45-degree angle over Colonel Rupert’s head about two metres away from him. It was one of those very British moments. Everybody pretended not to notice because they didn’t want to embarrass him. No one was angry about the fact that he’d nearly slotted the Commanding Officer.” Harris walked over, quietly took the captain’s rifle from him and suggested he report to the ops officer and tell him what had happened.

It was not, of course, just officers who were guilty of NDs. In another incident during Panther’s Claw, Captain Terry Harman was taking refuge in a compound during a firefight when an NCO standing next to him discharged his weapon, just missing Harman’s foot. Harman decided not to report the ND, partly because of the paperwork it would generate.

And here’s Herschel Smith with a view closer to our own, discussing the recent spate of police NDs:

They are blaming it on [the gun]. Thus they have trained officers to keep their fingers on the trigger of their handguns when they deploy their firearms. They say so.

Think about that and let it wash over you again. When a cop pulls his handgun and points it your direction, according to the training he has received, he most likely has his finger on the trigger of the weapon. And thus do we reach the root cause of the problems – not Glocks, or M&Ps, or any other ridiculous culprits. It’s a shame that Bob couldn’t have pointed out the truth rather than blame the gun. Blaming the gun is what gun controllers do, and why the collectivists wanted the so-called smart gun.

So other than reminding you that this violates two of the sacred rules of gun safety (muzzle discipline and trigger discipline), let’s rehearse sympathetic muscle reflexes again, and I’ll remind you of what I said about how the Marine Corps trained my son Daniel as a SAW gunner. First concerning sympathetic muscle reflexes.

Recall the incident where a stumbling Framingham, MA, police officer, the incompetent and reckless Paul Duncan, blew away a bystanding citizen on a wrong-house raid, because his donut-fueled mass stumbled and he had finger on his trigger and select-fire M4 on fireas was his SWAT Team’s SOP? Duncan was back on the job after a three-month paid vacation. (The city is in negotiations about sums of money; it was able to spike any criminal prosecution, but failed to get a civil suit dismissed).

Smith’s story is one where you really want to Read The Whole Thing™, because his excerpts and links to an LA Times story and to his own back post are worth it. NDs result from (1) deficient training; (2) weapons policies that detract from comfort with and mastery of the weapon; and (3) lack of immediate and drastic consequences for negligent discharges. NDs are extremely rare in units and departments that don’t do this.

Darwin Award: Brandished Knife, told cop, “You drop yours.”

The news has been full of the glowering face of ex-Bostonian Usaama Rahim, who the Imam of one of the local Suicide Terrorist Recruiting Centers has described as “shot in the back by a white cop.” Of course, that’s all false, but the apostles of jihad don’t feel like they owe truthful speaking to you, kafr. 

There’s been a lot written about Rahim and his mosque full of fans and enablers, but the Boston Herald is home to one of the two best columnists in America (the other being the Chicago Sun-Times’s John Kass), and Howie Carr has covered this adequately:

Never bring a knife to 
a gunfight.

That wasn’t dead thug Usaamah Rahim’s first big mistake, but it was certainly the final one of his shiftless, leeching 26 years on earth.

But at least the Islamist savage shared with us his final words.

“You drop yours!”

OK, so it’s not quite up there with, say, “Top o’ the world, Ma! Top o’ the world!” or “Mother of Mercy, is this the end of Rico?” But Cagney and Robinson had Hollywood scriptwriters. The terrorist du jour was ad-libbing.

Besides, “Mother of Mercy, is this the end of Usaamah?” just doesn’t have quite the same ring.

Let’s go straight to the affidavit of FBI special agent J. Joseph Galietta, “being duly sworn,” on page 7, 
paragraph 19:

“… (The adherent of the Religion of Peace) was approached by Boston Police Officers and FBI special agents. RAHIM took out one of the knives he had purchased from Amazon.com when he saw the officers and agents. One of the officers told RAHIM to drop his weapon and 
RAHIM responded, ‘You drop yours.’ ”

Perhaps, as he relaxes this morning in Paradise with his 72 virgins, Rahim considers whether he should have gone with his ilk’s traditional farewell: “Allahu akbar.” After all, just as you only get one chance to make a first impression, you only have that single opportunity to utter your final words. But back to paragraph 19:

“RAHIM then moved towards the officers while brandishing his weapon, and he was shot by law enforcement.”

Sayonara, baby! Auf wiedersehen. Arriverderci. Adios. So long, suckers. Over my dead body. You and how many Marines? Like 
many a Massachusetts House speaker, Usaamah Rahim fought the law and the law won.

Do go and Read The Whole Thing™. Howie notes that the 26-year-old Rahim apparently lived on public assistance, a cuckoo’s egg in the bosom of our misguided charity. And his nephew remains in the jug.

Update

Between our drafting this and it going live, the imam in question has apologized for his statement, after viewing video that showed Rahim threatening the cops. Will wonders never cease?

Quick Kill — Useful Skill

The Quick Kill instinctive shooting method that was once taught in the US Army remains a  useful combat skill. It has been supplanted in the training world by improved sights and a focus on extremely rapid use of sights, but we believe it still has a place in the training and combat world.

It’s faster to show than to explain this skill. Unfortunately, there are few quick kill videos digitized at this point, and none fell readily to hand.

Quick Kill traces its roots to the “trick shooters” of the 20th Century, men like Ed McGivern who had so mastered firearms that they could pretty much hit anything with anything — fast. In the 1930s through the 1950s there were many articles on what was then called “point shooting” or “hip shooting,” driven in part by the stylized cowboy acts of the era. A technical/training book called Instinct Shooting by Mike Jennings appeared in 1959 and sold mostly out of ads in the back of gun culture magazines. Frank Connor, an author of many shooting and hunting articles, espoused similar techniques, as did “Lucky” McDaniel who brought the skill to the Army.

The Army initially called this Quick Fire, but in the second generation of the unofficial training document had progressed to calling it Quick Kill. This was not something that was just taught to Special Forces: it was part of infantry training for several years, as the peacetime training base of a large and slow-moving army reluctantly assumed a war footing during Vietnam.

There were three phases to Quick Kill, which was, during its brief life, normally the second phase of Basic Rifle Marksmanship training, after the trainees were taught to clear, disassemble, maintain, reassemble, and function-check the service rifle, but before they were taught such marksmanship fundamentals as sight picture, trigger control, and steady-hold factors. Those three phases were:

  1. Firing with an air rifle with no sights. This was a block of three hours of instruction. Initially these were just Daisy BB guns stripped of sights. Later, the Army’s own Training and Audiovisual Support Centers (one on every post, they made and supplied training aids) made one by glass-bedding a Daisy in an M14 stock.
    Quick Kill TASC

    US Army photo from the David Albert collection.

    Later still, a special Daisy that was mocked up to resemble an M16, but with the sights blanked off, was made. Any of these modified Daisys are extremely rare today. This one was sold by Rock Island Auctions in 2011:Rock Island Daisy Quick Kill rifleThere are at least a couple of variations of this air gun, which is not surprising, as they were locally made in individual TASCs. There were probably rudimentary plans, possibly just a single undimensioned sketch. One thing they have in common is lack of any actual sights.

    Quick Kill M16BB

    Photo from the David Albert collection.

  2. Firing with a service rifle with blanked-out sights. For the M14, a “training rib” was created that did this and provided a shotgun-like “sight picture” (although the rifle was held well below the sight line in this training).
  3. Firing with the service rifle, but not using the sights. Three distances were used: 15, 30 and 50 meters.

Yes, in the late 60s and early 70s, your basic grunt learned to hit stuff with his rifle, then he learned to use the sights. Heresy, today. But a look at old AARs shows that our guys generally won the meeting engagements with their conventionally-trained PAVN opponents, so it might just be heresy that works.

The whole program consumed one or two training days for a basic training company. After that, the troops would move on to aimed fire. Initial controlled studies showed that trainees who experienced Quick Kill performed better at marksmanship, even at longer ranges, than those who had not. Instinctively, that seems a paradoxical result. The scientists speculated that increased self-confidence may have been at work.

A later survey showed that, yes, Quick Kill-trained soldiers had greater confidence in themselves and their weapons than soldiers who had not had that training. In the absence of any other logical theory as to why Quick Kill training improves hit probability at 300 meters, the confidence factor has to be the tentative conclusion.

In 1969, the Army and George Washington University researchers conducted another study on Quick Kill training (one of many sponsored by the Army’s Human Resources Research Organization, HumRRO), to see if money and time could be saved. Some groups continued to have three hours of air rifle training before moving on to a real rifle; some had only an hour and a half (this was not deliberately part of the experimental design, but the schedule happened to short some trainees; the social scientists welcomed this “found data” and incorporated it in the study). For the study’s sake, some training companies had the phase in which an attached rib is used to encourage instinctive firing deleted, and others retained it. The test showed conclusively that the Army was getting training value out of the air rifle and rib training: the groups that had the full training shot better than the ones that got the bowdlerized version. On the other hand, the test showed that they could make some changes to target ranges and reduce the number of rounds fired in the live-fire block of instruction, without compromising marksmanship quality. The key was reducing them together: if you reduced the round count while taking out one of three target distances (they went with 20 and 50m), there was no effect on training quality; if you reduced the round count, but stayed with 15, 30 and 50m, performance declined.

Remarkably, all trainees in this experiment at Benning were still being trained, even at this late date, with the obsolete M14 rifle. (Of course, National Guard units were still armed with WWII era weapons like the M1 rifle and M1919A6 light machine gun).

Quick Kill suffered the fate of many other Army innovations of the 1950s and 1960s — it became tainted by association with the lost war in Vietnam, and the Army banished it from its collective memory.

From time to time, someone tries to “rehabilitate” Quick Kill, as we suppose we’re doing with this post. The thing is, it works. You can train to hit targets at combat ranges without sights, and we firmly believe you should. (Think you’re hot stuff? Put some tape over your sights and run a Dot Torture or three. Spend a whole training session on it — and tell us if you don’t get better at it). Of course, the Army’s safe, simple, cheap starting mode — an airgun — is a great way to begin practicing Quick Kill.

Some more formal ranges, especially indoor ranges, won’t let you try this. They have their reasons. Your first few rounds will go unexpectedly high or low, but you will be surprised how quickly you can get on “minute of man” from a low position (pistol held centered at about chin height, long gun tucked below the armpit) or even from the hip. As with any practical shooting practice, start low and close in (if backstop permits; don’t do this if you’re shooting up on an indoor range or with an unknown range fan). When you’re hitting at smell-his-halitosis distances, then move the target back.

This skill does not replace aimed fire, but it supplements it in a potentially lifesaving way.

The facts are: you can learn to shoot accurately at short to medium distances without sights, with a lot of ammo, and a lot of practice. (But less than you might think it would take). Those mid-20th-Century guys, whether they were actual warriors or matinee idols, who blazed away with Colt .45s or Thompsons from the hip, are not as entirely incompetent as today’s training wallahs seem to think they are. In fact, today’s trainers are as stylized in their own way as the Western movie gunfighters of the 1950s were in theirs.

Here are some sources of more information.

Jim Keating describes some of the history on a nearly unreadable (gray text on black background, circa 1990) website, and will sell you manuals or training. He learned QK as a ROTC cadet in the 1960s.

Here is the 1971 version of the instruction “Training Text” (a document with less weight than a fully-doctrinal field manual). We apologize for the poor scan, it’s what DTIC had. The document describes a systematic and deliberate system of drilling rapid-fire point shooting just like the service drills any other soldier skill.

TT 23-71-1-Principles-of-Quick-Kill.pdf

Here’s one of the 1969 studies. There are more to be found on NTIS and DTIC.

Olmstead-Jacobs HumRRO 14-69 Quick Kill.pdf

This website has more detail, developed by David Lambert. Some of the photographs used above appear to be from Mr Lambert’s collection and we have revised this post to give him credit:

http://www.i-kirk.info/misc/quickkill/qwikill.htm

http://www.i-kirk.info/misc/quickkill2/qwikill2.htm

 

 

Darwin Award: Robber Robs Cop Eatery, Starts Gunfight With Blanks

Darwin fishWe’re doubt we reach many urban armed robbers with this blog, so we don’t think there’s much chance they’ll learn from our criticism of one of their number’s TTPs.

Two brazen punks, one carrying a revolver, burst through the door of a Lawndale pizzeria last night, their sights set on the register and its contents.

They grabbed the shop’s lone customer, who had just ordered a Stromboli, snatched the $20 bill out of his hand and put a gun to his head.
But the man at the end of the revolver’s barrel was an off-duty detective and the confrontation ended with one suspect dead and the other the subject of a citywide manhunt by police.

What do you think this robber did wrong? We mean, apart from being an armed robber, which in the cold morgue light of retrospect looks like an exceedingly unwise career choice. Take it away, Philly.com:

Police said Friday the one armed robber’s weapon was a blank gun loaded with blanks.

Yeah. That’s looking like a suboptimal  career move. It gets worse than just that.

[A]n off-duty detective from Northwest Division [Philadelphia PD — Eds.] walked into Rising Sun Pizza, on Rising Sun Avenue near Tyson, according to Chief Inspector Scott Small.

Minutes later, after the detective had placed his order, two men came into the store, one of whom had a gun, Small said.

The gunman, identified by police as Andrew Ellerbe, 33, grabbed the detective and ordered him to get on the floor. He complied, watching as the robbers turned their attention to the shop’s 22-year-old owner and another employee, both of whom were working behind the counter.

Seeing his chance, the detective drew his Glock handgun and identified himself as a police officer, Small said.

Ellerbe turned and fired twice, mere feet from the officer.

Yeah. That’s what he did wrong. He went to an armed robbery only pretending to be armed, and then he started a gunfight with a guy who really was armed.

He [the detective] returned fire, striking the gunman at least once in the left side of his torso, Small said.

Both bandits fled empty handed, dropping the revolver on their way out the door.

But the Ellerbe, of Garnet Street near Dauphin in North Philly, didn’t get far: He collapsed in the shop’s adjacent parking lot, where medics pronounced him dead minutes later, police said.

Notice the editing error: “the Ellerbe.” Now we don’t know what happened but we’d guess that the initial draft of the story had the stone-cold-dead would be armed robber ID’d only as “the robber” or “the gunman,” and a bleary-eyed reporter or editor missed the definite article when pasting a later-released name in.

It doesn’t matter much to us, and it certainly doesn’t matter to dumb, dead Ellerbe, but it’s a reminder of what daily news reporters actually do at 0130 hunched over an Atex terminal or whatever they use these days.

Now, a cynic could say that this is one more case of a cop shooting a black man, but in this case, the evidence backs up the cop. The store employees as well as the detective picked Ellerbe’s mugshot (funny how there’s always a mugshot on file for one of these guys, eh?) as their robber, and the whole thing was caught on the store’s surveillance video — including Ellerbe’s two shots’ muzzle flashes, as well as the officer’s return fire.

It gets dumber, if that’s possible. As a pizza joint open till midnight, Sunrise is popular with officers on the night shift. This brain-dead zombie re-enacted the famous Gunny Ermey “wrong diner” ad. And then, he decided to shoot it out.

With blanks.

The gun was a starter pistol with a solid barrel, loaded with two fired and four unfired blanks. (So called “starter pistols” are used for starting foot races. For many years real guns were used, then with blanks as the country got more built-up, and finally purpose-built non-gun starter guns).

And that was the dumbest thing we could imagine. Facing a cop with a real gun, Ellerbe shot blanks at him. Good for the cop, and thank God (and one well-aimed shot!) for future residents of Philadelphia that Ellerbe’s dysgenic DNA has been ousted from humanity’s gene pool.

via Update: Police say slain robbery suspect’s gun loaded with blanks.

UPDATE

As you might expect the case has drawn more reporting. Philidelphia Homicide is seeking the other armed robber (he’s likely to draw a felony murder charge, which will take him out of circulation, assuming he has the wit to accept a plea bargain, for 10 to 15 years). Here’s a video:

If you want to jeer at the late, unlamented Ellerbe, he’s the hoodie on the right, next to the other perp who remains at large.

Unfortunately, this is not, apparently, a tale of exceptional police marksmanship. While one bullet stopped Ellerbe’s evil heart, five more punctured various components of the eatery, including its front plate-glass windows. (The second suspect was armed, but did not fire, assuming he had a real weapon). Still, the cop put the perp down, and didn’t cause any human collateral damage, so we have to count it a win.

The good man with a gun in this instance has been identified as Detective Mark Flacco of Northwest Division Detectives. He’s been offered a reward by the pizza parlor owner, who witnessed the unequal shootout: free stromboli for life. Flacco, a 20-year Philly PD veteran, comes from a cop family; his brother Christopher is a Chief Inspector on the force.

Meanwhile, Ellerbe is still dead, and somewhere, Charles Darwin is amused.

Lessons Learned from an ND

Everybody screws up. Almost everybody gets away with it. Here’s what happened to a guy who developed complacent gun-handling habits, and “got away with it” only thanks to blind luck in the bullet’s placement, that left him with neither fatal (if he’d hit the femoral artery) or crippling (femur and/or patella [kneecap]) wounds. We don’t have his name, so we’ll call him ND Guy.

Checking out of hospital after surgery and overnight stay, ND Guy knows he's lucky.

Checking out of hospital after surgery and overnight stay, ND Guy knows he’s lucky.

It was decent of him to share his experiences and photos (on Reddit’s /r/guns and Imgur), and the Internet being what it is, he’s been beaten up for it. We think he now (1) knows what he did wrong, and (2) is very unlikely to do it again, having been given a second chance.

I was attempting to disassemble my Glock 30 like I’ve done a thousand times before so I could install a new trigger spring. I had ejected the magazine and caught it before it fully left the gun, racked the slide to eject the round in the chamber, pulled up the the slide release pins and pulled the trigger to dry fire to remove the slide. Unfortunately for me I didn’t dry fire. I had accidentally moved the magazine back up and the lifting arm grabbed another round and chambered it. I know, I should have fully ejected the magazine before I continued but this is something I’ve done hundreds of times before without incident. But it only takes once right?
My doctor told me I was half an inch away from the lower end of my femur and my patella being entirely destroyed. This meaning I would have had a greater than 50/50 chance of my leg needing to be amputated above the knee. As it turns out though, my doctor working at a level one trauma center, told me that he’d never seen a bullet wound to the thigh/knee with as little damage as this.
All in all though, the main point of this is don’t be stupid or complacent like I was. Follow proper firearm safety protocol always, even if it seems stupid or pointless. Don’t get lazy and forgetful, because when you do accidents happen.

via Always make sure your chamber is empty NSFW : Firearms.

We have pictures of his wounds on the scene, and post-op showing two zippers in his leg, overleaf (for those of you who can’t stand the sight of blood).

Continue reading

Yes, Virginia, Legislators and Cops can be Imbeciles

There seems to be a general assumption that the police, legislators, and other government authorities understand the law, for example, the law of freedom of speech and its very few, very narrow (and generally, shrinking) exceptions.

Kristin Holmes, 26, was arrested for harassment by computer after she got into an online dispute, she told NBC12.

Holmes said she posted the picture of her pointing the gun at the camera because someone had mistaken her for another woman and started arguing with her.

“So you know the difference when u (sic) come find me,” the caption read.

“It wasn’t a threat,” Holmes, of Chesterfield, said. “I thought it was a funny picture, and then I realized later it was a little bit intimidating. So I took it down.”

OK, so here’s the selfie in question:

thugging5n-3-web

Hmmm. Pretty girl. Weak trigger discipline. Funny picture. But what came next wasn’t funny:

Before she did, someone reported the picture to Henrico police. Holmes now faces up to a year in prison and a $2,500 fine.

Holmes was arrested under a Virginia law, passed in 2000, that criminalizes obscene or threatening language online or in public.

This law was drafted, and must be being enforced, by people who have neither read the Constitution nor 1st Amendment case law. And indeed, the story confirms that:

Kevin Carroll, president of the Virginia Fraternal Order of Police, said he wasn’t sure how common similar arrests are but said they usually result from arguments that get too personal.

“It’s not a matter of free speech,” he told the Daily News. “Free speech doesn’t say you have the right to insult somebody else or threaten them in any form.”

via Va. woman arrested for ‘Facebook thugging’ after gun selfie – NY Daily News.

Say what? “Free speech doesn’t say you have the right to insult somebody else?” Well, time to insult the room-temp-IQ moron Kevin Carroll. Kevin, you’re an anti-American doofus. How stupid can one get? Does someone have to feed him with a spoon and wipe his chin? Because he doesn’t have a normal-IQ child’s understanding of what free speech means.

If one doesn’t have the right to insult somebody, you featherbrained imbecile, especially when the object of the insult is as deserving as a crumb like you, one doesn’t have free speech. Whatever lower form of life your mother mated with to [bleep] you into existence, she didn’t bring forth a reasoning, rational human being, but rather a censorious asshat with National Socialist tendencies. You are a pillock, a git, a retard, a mongoloid, a cretin, an idiot, an imbecile. You’re ugly and your mama dresses you funny. You smell of elderberries.

There, we insulted you. Come and arrest us. We can afford representation, unlike the people the  no-good, brain-dead, phony cops of the Henrico, VA PD pick on.

This is a bogus arrest, a bogus law, and cops who only think as much as Carroll does are a danger to the public (and themselves, if allowed sharp instruments). Did we say he’s an idiot? Yes, but it bears repeating. He’s an idiot).

(Apologies to Ken White for straying onto his turf, but this one irritates us).

Glock Training Pistols

We’ve covered the SIRT training pistol before, but such a successful market was probably not going to be neglected by Glock forever. In fact, Glock has introduced several versions of training pistol, most of which are available only to LE/military customers, so far. They can all take rail-mounted accessories or aftermarket sights without trouble.

Cutaway Pistols

Cutaways are used for teaching how a firearm works and are useful for training both users and armorers. Sure, an experienced armorer has no problem visualizing what’s going on inside a simple machine like a Glock 17, but seeing it in front of his face brings him to that threshold of knowledge sooner.

glock_cutaway

Here’s what Glock says about these:

GLOCK cutaway models are produced for technical and firearms training. These models are always a main attraction at training classes, presentations, and tradeshows because they clearly illustrate the ingeniously simple internal mechanisms of the GLOCK pistol. They are sold exclusively to law enforcement agencies.
Cutaway pistols in are available in the following models:
Gen3 – G17, G19, G20, G21, G22, G23
Gen4 – G17

Glock T FX Training Pistol

This is a special pistol for use with nonlethal Simunitions® FX 9mm marking ammunition for training, including kinetic training and force-on-force. It is available to LE and military customers only. As the Sims come in essentially a single caliber, there is only one standard catalog Glock T FX, the Glock 17 T FX.

glock_17_t_fx

As is customary with Simunitions guns, the 17 T FX Training Pistol functions on direct blowback. The blue parts of the slide are polymer inserts to reduce the slide weight and permit the pistol to cycle with the low-powered, light-weight training rounds.

Here’s the Glock factory description:

Over the years, Police, Special Units, SWAT, and Military units around the world have proven that static shooting training, combined with simulated shooting training, produces the greatest benefits. The GLOCK Training Pistols were developed with the purpose of enabling reality-based tactical operations training using color marking or plastic projectile ammunition.

Simunitions, Inc., now a division of General Dynamics Canada, has also long furnished conversion kits and dedicated training weapons on Glock as well as other platforms.

Glock P Practice Pistol

The Practice Pistol, here a G22P, fires neither Simunitions nor live ammunition. It’s simply a trainer, designed to impart mechanical skills to those new to handling Glock pistols.  It can be loaded, unloaded, disassembled and assembled, holstered and dry-fired like a regular Glock, but it can’t chamber or fire live ammunition.

glock_22p

Here’s the Glock rundown:

Loading magazines, sight alignment, trigger squeeze, and disassembling are all part of a shooter’s training routine. The GLOCK Practice Pistol was developed to eliminate dangerous scenarios during training exercises. Identical to a GLOCK pistol in handling, weight, size, and balance, it puts the real thing in your hand, without any firing capability.

Glock R Reset Pistol

The Glock Reset Pistol is their answer to the Next Level Training SIRT trainer. It’s not as complete, requiring the trainer or organization to source a separate laser module, but it is from Glock, meaning organizations can (and do) bundle it into their pistol bid.

glock_reset_pistol

Glock says this about that:

The GLOCK Reset Pistols automatically reset the trigger without having to manually manipulate the slide. They enable safe, practical training when used with a shooting simulator. An aftermarket, laser impulse generator can be integrated in the barrel, and when pulling the trigger, the firing pin will activate and register a virtual hit on a simulator screen.

The “aftermarket lasers” they’re talking about are things like the Laserlyte cartridge laser.

Hat tip: a friend who sent us to the anti-gun gun magazine, Recoil, which had a story on the Glock trainers that got us interested in looking them up.

 

Hunting with AR-type Rifles?

One of the coolest things that you get with membership in the National Shooting Sports Foundation is access to the NSSF’s research. We’re looking over a survey that they conducted about hunting with AR-type Modern Sporting Rifles. While we can’t share the proprietary survey in its entirety, we can comment on a couple of the things that really struck us.

AR-15 Model 601

The Survey

question markWe’re not experts in surveys, but the firm NSSF contracted to do this one appears to have great pains to reduce sources of bias and error. For example, they called both landline and cell phones. In addition, they called up to five times, on multiple lines if necessary, to eliminate the bias that results if you only sample those easy to reach by phone.  The questions were what a layman might call fill-in-the-blank, multiple choice, and scaled questions using the Likert scale or a variation, something you’ve used even if the name comes up blank: “On a scale of one to five, with one being not at all interested and five being very interested…”

If we were working for a major shooting-sports manufacturer or retailer, we’d read this survey and give some weight to its findings.

General Opinions and Demographics

None of these really seems to overthrow conventional wisdom; instead, they reinforce it.

Hunting is something that is taken up by the young, primarily. They start a little younger in, say, the West than in the Northeast, but most hunters start off as minors — the center of the distribution seems to be in late childhood, in the tweens and early teens — and those who start after Age 21 number in the mere single digits . That strikes us as a hint that there might be an untapped market for introducing adults who may be hunting-curious to the sport. I wonder if there are guides who ease first-timers into it?

Yet, one of the reasons people do it the most, may explain the youth bias of beginners: 26% do it “to be with family and friends.” (Of course, another large number, 25%, hunt for meat. This is one where a respondent might have given multiple answers, but the survey made them pick one).  The largest group do it for the sport, or recreation Some do it to be close to nature (14%), and trophy hunting is described as a motivation by very few.

Hunting with MSRs

Elmer FuddMany more hunters haven’t used this kind of rifle, than have (72 to 27 percent). An awful lot of hunters are not interested in it:  the principal reasons are emotional ones. It strikes some as nontraditional, even nonsporting. Others have practical reasons not to use them, one of the most common being that hunters already have the right firearms for the hunting they do. It’s not cost that holds hunters back; it’s lack of a perceived application for the AR in their form of hunting.

Those that do hunt with ARs primarily hunt varmints and predators.

Looking into the Future

One glimmer of hope in the data, for MSR manufacturers, is that those who have used an AR or MSR for hunting have taken it up very recently, within the last five years. As we’ve seen in the past, 50 years ago, such rifles weren’t even mentioned in gun magazines aimed at the shooting public, except as military curiosities. Twenty-five years ago, they were much more popular, but not in a hunting context. It is in the last few years that we’ve seen the emergence of a hunting culture that uses modern sporting rifles.

Right in line with that survey data, the hunting culture has emerged first in varmint and predator hunting. The shooting of feral hogs and coyotes is not constrained by the sporting traditions of deer and elk hunting.  No one is shooting hogs to “feel at one with Nature,” he’s doing it because Nature is uprooting his cash crops! But with the emergence of ARs in large-game calibers like .308 and .300 Win Mag, we can expect to see more hunters whose first rifle, perhaps, was a black one, moving on to larger game.

The trend is certainly for wider penetration and acceptance of the MSR and certain accessories (including suppressors, which are now in the camel’s-nose position MSRs were in hunting three decades ago), into the hunting market.

Savvy manufacturers and retailers are, even now, studying this report and trying to figure out how to reach that half or more of hunters who have an emotionally negative reaction to the idea of hunting with an AR.

Well, it took a good 50 years for the bolt action to catch on with hunters, and here in the East (we should mention, one of the interesting features of the report is its regional crosstabs)  there are still many holdouts with lever-action carbines. That means there’s a lot of upside for MSRs as hunting rifles — if they can overcome the resistance of the traditionalists, a very open question as the majority of hunters are hunters because they are observing traditions.

Pennsylvania State Police Fails at Guns, But Tracks Yours. Ineptly.

Pennsylvania_State_PoliceWe have written, and written, and written yet again, about the Pennsylvania State Police’s awkward relationship with service pistol selection, training, and employment.

After a run of accidents with one brand, they recently changed guns and brands again, again. And managed to shoot one of their own troopers to death on his first day training with the new pistol.

It was his instructor who shot him.

This demonstrates that no one should consider himself above following the most basic firearms safety rules, “A.N.D.”:

  1. Assume it’s loaded and act that way (actually, we would say, assume it’s live; don’t trust safety features);
  2. Never point it at anything you don’t want to shoot;
  3. Digit off the bangulator until it’s bang o’clock.

Failure to observe these rules, whether or not it results in a discharge, whether or not the discharge creams some poor throg or just rockets off to a rendesvous with some part of Mother Gaia, is gross negligence. Yeah, we’re aware the courts don’t say that. The courts are wrong, on this. Had that instructor introducing the SIG 227 (not to mention, all the guys who shot themselves, their wives, suspects, and bystanders “accidentally” with the outgoing Glocks) followed even one of those three rules (or the four, or seven, or twenty-eleven rules some lists include, all of which include some version of these three), we would have never heard about that training class. We haven’t yet had a few years to see if the PSP is safer with the SIG than they were with the Glocks. This wasn’t an encouraging start.

They’re Also Teaching This

This SIG, an OK service pistol compared to other 70s-80s Double-Action/Single-Action auto pistol designs, is their first DA/SA pistol since the .40 S&W Caliber Beretta 96. They used Berettas (92s and 96s) for a while, before moving to Glock in .40, then to .45 GAP, then to .45 ACP, then to SIG. (That recap may have missed a couple. Hey, it’s been great for hobbyists who like to have pistols with the PSP logo: collect ’em all!).

Any DA/SA has a different manual of arms than the simpler Glock, and the PSP’s SIG 227 in particular has more to master than the firearm that it replaces. So they’re teaching their troopers… what? If they have a “long shot,” to manually cock the hammer before firing. Yes, this improves first-shot hit probability, but it adds a layer of complexity to what is already one of the more complex DA/SA systems.

We agree that there are training advantages to the SIG system where one lever does one thing and one thing only and always, but it’s more complex than the simple Walther hammer-drop safety that’s been around since 1929. And it’s a big change for a force of 4,000 or so cops, of whom perhaps 3,500 really couldn’t care less about guns, and who are mostly of average intelligence, just like the usual run of citizens.

The complexities of a service weapon change can always be overcome with good training and lots of drill, but it’s an open question, after the recent shooting, how good the training is; and you know and we know, and the PSP knows, that the troopers — possibly excepting recruits in Academy classes — are not going to get as much drill as they need to master the SIG operating system. The 500 or so who take firearms seriously will give themselves this drill on their own. Hell, there are probably 100 or so who compete or shoot recreationally, and take inordinate pride in their mastery of their sidearm. But you’ve got to reach the average guy and gal with in-service firearms training.

And that’s something a lot of trainers, who became trainers because they love, live and breathe firearms and shooting, don’t “get” instinctively. They assume everybody’s as into guns as they are. (If they train for long enough, the scales fall from their eyes. Big time).

Fact is, a lot of cops take improving their skill with guns as seriously as the typical office worker takes improving his or her typing speed. “Meh. I passed the qual, I’m good to hook.”

That only works if the qual is really good, tough, and criterion-referenced to the sorts of shots officers have to take in the real and gritty world. Like the old-school (pre-TSA-dumbdown) Air Marshals’ qual, or the qual that another government agency uses for its contract personal-security detachment contractors. (And those were/are quals with consequences: meet the standard, or hit the bricks, even if you have seniority).

Personally, we consider cocking the hammer for the first shot from a DA/SA service pistol to be an advanced technique for someone that has already mastered the firearm and the course of fire. Obviously, we have a difference of opinion with the Pennsylvania State Police firearms trainers on that.

Is that a SIG he's reaching for? If so, you know whose training range this is....

Is that a SIG he’s reaching for? If so, you know whose training range this is….

Hey, We’re All Ate Up About Guns, But We’re Databasing Yours. All Wrong.

The Federal agent who works in one of Pennsylvania’s largest and most violent cities was blunt. Pennsylvania says they don’t have a registry.

“Then how come law enforcement can call up and ask if someone has firearms?” Not, he said, that the database is any earthly use to a line agent. “It is my experience that you go with the opposite of what the PSP says. I let them tell me what the database says. And then I assume the opposite.”

“Oh,” we said. “You mean, because if the gun’s registered, even if he has it, he’s probably not a cop shooter? And if he comes up no-gun, he might be a gangbanger who got his guns on the black market?”

“You don’t get it. I assume the opposite, because their database is so ate up it’s usually 180º off. If they say no, I get the body armor on and a long gun. If they say yes, I don’t bother.”

“Wow.” We thought he was exaggerating. He emphasized that he wasn’t; he really so mistrusts the PA registration database that he uses it the way most of us use a Fidel Castro presidential endorsement. “Because the database is always wrong,” he repeated.

Trust Us or Else

 

“I have arrested [men with serious/violent prior felony convictions and multiple legal ownership disqualifications].” (Edited to remove an exact description and prevent people guessing his agency). “They had felony convictions that were evident. They had the PA registry forms in the box with their handguns, and the PSP said he has no guns. These were not new sales either, so they [the PSP] had time to get it [the pistol ownership record] in there.”

PA Reg form

 

So the system, in PA, is not preventing career criminals from doing something they don’t even try in most states, buying guns themselves in legitimate commerce!

And just to complicate things, the registry has no way to take a gun off once it’s sold out of state. So it’s packed with tens of thousands (at least) of firearms that (1) are extremely unlikely to surface at a PA crime scene, and (2) will “trace” to the wrong guy, if they do. What use is that? Pennsylvania gun-rights advocates go a step farther, arguing that the database, a typically lousy product of government work though it may be, is unlawful.  Indeed, black-letter Pennsylvania law () says:

[N]othing in this chapter [6111.4, the gun laws — Eds.] shall be construed to allow any government or law enforcement agency or any agent thereof to create, maintain or operate any registry of firearm ownership….

and

[N]othing in 23 Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann. §§ 6101-6122 [the DV laws] shall be construed to allow any person or entity to create, maintain or operate a database or registry of firearm ownership….

But case law has essentially nullified those provisions. For the anti take on it, see the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, a group that promotes registration as a necessary step towards confiscation (see also here). Pro-gun viewpoints can be found at two state pro-gun groups, FOAC and PAFOA. The PA Supreme Court has ruled that the prohibition doesn’t apply to the State Police database precisely because it is so bad and inaccurate.

 

Despite that, anti-gun chiefs here and there encourage cops to run the serial numbers of firearms and then confiscate if they don’t come up to the person in possession. The legal support for that is weak, but it’s a way to confiscate legally-owned guns and/or make The database has been criticized by some lawmakers, all significant pro-gun groups in the state, and the PSP was excoriated for it during an FBI audit, according to a lawmaker opposed to the database.

As far back as 2000, the PSP response to legislator criticisms was to release a letter, ostensibly to the legislator, to an anti-gun activist, Jonathan D. Silver. Silver wrote about the PSP’s position in the anti-gun Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. While Silver interviewed the legislator neither he nor the PP-G made any attempt to discuss  with him the letter that was the PSP’s “reply” — which the ostensible recipient hadn’t actually received. (It’s unclear if any attempt was made to send it to him, or if it was only written for the benefit of Silver, the newspaper, and the PSP’s allies in antigun groups).

The case law, thanks to careful judge-swapping by the PSP and a succession of anti-gun Attorneys General, has allowed the PSP to retain this useless database so far. Some legislators continue to fight it. (That was his 2013 repeal; here’s some info about  his current-session version.

Bottom Line

These guys can’t buy guns and get the magazine capacity it says on the box; they can’t even operate their own guns safely; they can’t hold a bozo instructor who kills a student with an ND accountable; they can’t even run an illegal registry straight, to the point where it’s so jacked up the Supreme Court said, “We can’t count this worthless crap as a registry.”

LEOs agree; the information in the database is at best worthless, at worst, completely inverse.

Suggestion for the new, kinda-Stolen-Valor Commissioner from Maryland:  Fix your own guys’ firearms training, first. The public only has confidence in the firearms ability of the State Troopers to the extent they’re not paying attention. Then, when you’ve got that fixed (and it’s a big job that probably requires a bunch of difficult firings), figure out why the hell you’re wasting money on a worthless database, whose worthlessness was the technicality that saved it from doom at the hands of the Supreme Court.

Will he take that suggestion? Well, he was selected for his creativity in stretching statutes in service of anti-gun politics. What do you think? In a long tenure in Maryland, he did nothing to improve firearms training there. He doesn’t even believe people who disagree with him should have first amendment rights.

The troopers of the Pennsylvania State Police are not really any different from the cops in any other agency. What is different is the leadership. As Napoleon said, “There are no bad regiments, only bad colonels.” Of course from the bad leaders’ point of view, there are no bad leaders, only bad luck.

Pennsylvanians: brace yourselves for more bad luck.

The Naked Truth about Home Defense: He’s Doin’ it Wrong

"Officer, he looked like this, but with more anger and less clothing!"

“Officer, he looked like this, but with more anger and less clothing!”

Our model of Detroit area home defense is always going to be Clint Eastwood in Gran Torino: “Get off my lawn.” But Clint’s character, Walt Kowalski, never pulled the trigger on the kids on his lawn. State Senator Virgil Smith, Jr., of Detroit, Michigan could be excused for being a little bit angry, but it just wasn’t trigger time. The initial Detroit News report sounds bad enough:

State Sen. Virgil Smith was in police custody Sunday after gunshots were fired at a vehicle outside his home early that morning, according to a police source who asked not to be identified.

More than one blast from a shotgun was fired at a 2015 Mercedes-Benz outside Smith’s home on Wexford Street on Detroit’s north side around 1 a.m., Detroit Police Chief James Craig confirmed.

The woman who owns the car, identified as Smith’s girlfriend and ex-wife, was uninjured. The vehicle was hit at least once.

Girlfriend and ex-wife? That’s one of the roots of all Virg’s unhappiness right there. There’s a time, and you’re well into that time when “ex-” is part of her description, when the proper response to woman drama is to say, ‘Next.” Not blast the living Jesus out of her car.

But it gets worse. A follow-up by the News has more details, including the allegation that he wasn’t wearing anything but the firearm at the time:

He was naked when he met her at the front door, the senator’s ex-wife claims in a second police report, beat her with his fists, chased her outside and shot at her four or five times.

Police arrested Smith, D-Detroit, in connection with the shooting early Sunday morning outside his house in the 18000 block of Wexford on the city’s west side. Police Chief James Craig said police expect to seek charges of aggravated assault with a gun and malicious destruction of property. Craig said police are investigating the incident and will turn over their findings to the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office.

First, a musical interlude with a Motown act seems apropos1.

 

Now that we’ve got that out of our system, what the hell did happen?

In a statement given to Detroit Police investigators, Smith said his ex-wife, whose name is being withheld by The News, “was banging on the (the) bedroom window,” at about 1 a.m., the Detroit Police report said. Smith said he opened the front door, and that his ex-wife, “kicked the door open and pushed (past) him.

“(The ex-wife) went into (Smith’s) bedroom and observed a female … in (Smith’s) bed. (Smith) stated that (the ex-wife) attempted to attack (the girlfriend),” the report said. “(Smith) grabbed (his ex-wife), they fell backwards, knocking over the television. (Smith) stated that (his ex-wife) attempted to attack (his girlfriend) again.”

Smith told police “he grabbed (his ex-wife) and forced her out of his house,” the police report said. Smith then told investigators he went back into the bedroom to check on his girlfriend, and then returned to the front door, “and observed (his ex-wife) throwing a chair at his house windows.

“(Smith) then stated he did the most stupid thing in his life, he shot (the ex-wife’s) vehicle,” the report said.

As you might imagine, Ms Boiling Rabbits Michigan 2015’s story is somewhat at odds with her former beau’s.

The second police report, containing the ex-wife’s side of the story, was taken by police at 4:41 a.m. Sunday. She said Smith had invited her to stay the night at his house, and, when she arrived, “she was met by a naked (Smith) and an (unknown) female,” the report said. “At this time she became angry and upset, and both started verbally arguing.

“At some point during the argument (Smith) grabbed her by the back of her head and shoved her face first into the carpet. Victim stood up and was struck by (Smith) 4-5 (times) in the face with closed fist causing cheeks on both sides of her face to swell.”

Smith’s ex-wife told police she ran out the front door, and that he chased her with “an (unknown) type long gun and followed behind. She observed muzzle flash (three times) as suspect began firing at her,” the report said.

The ex-wife said she ran into a nearby alley as Smith fired the rifle. She said she went into the nearby home of a friend, “who allowed her to call 911 and clean her wounds.”

The friend later tried to retrieve the ex-wife’s 2015 Mercedes Benz GLA250, but that it was “unable to start due to gunshot damage,” the report said.

And, even though Junior Walker’s “Shotgun!” is still playing in our head, the police say they reported a rifle, the type and description of which have been withheld by the rozzers.

Evidence technicians later found three suspected bullet holes in the vehicle’s hood; two in the driver’s side headlight; two in the driver’s side front fender; and one each in the driver’s side door, windshield, and rear driver’s door pillar, the report said.

A rifle of undisclosed make and model was recovered from the home, according to the report.

In case you weren’t counting we did it for you: that’s 10 holes in the slain Benz. Rifle and lots of shots, or shotgun and buckshot, eh.

 

By the way, if you’re in the Detroit area and looking at a used Mercedes a few months from now, have the dealer run the service records with the VIN. That’s saved friends of ours from an E320 wagon that had so many electrical problems it came out in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List.

Smith is a second-generation politician; his father is currently a judge. Now, while the media are still hovering helicopters over the always-newsworthy George Zimmerman, there hasn’t been any such interest in Smith, which tells you what party he’s from. And how do you think he rolls on gun control? Turns out, he’s notorious in Michigan as hostile to gun freedoms.

This is your shocked face, right? Blogger Rob Hoey:

As a Democrat, it should come as no surprise that he is rated at 0% by the Michigan Coalition for Responsible Gun Ownership.

Smith has voted anti-gun since taking office in the House of Representatives back in 2003 to 2008, and now as a state senator.

The NRA rated Smith “D” regarding his voting on gun rights, which translates to 21% overall.

He voted “nay” on SB 59 bill that: “Expands Areas Where Concealed Weapons are Authorized,” and voted “nay” on SB 789 that “Amends Firearm Licensing Procedures,” that makes obtaining a license easier but with more training.

Jeez, how did this assclown even get to 21%, even accepting that the NRA grades on a crazy-generous curve?

He did, however, vote “yea” on H-1 Self-Defense/Deadly Force Bill.

Ah, that’s how. Still… reread the title of that bill, and the description of what he just did. Ironies abound, eh?

Do go Read The Whole Thing™, but we’ll just share one more of Rob’s lines by way of closing:

It’s unclear if the misses were intended or if Smith’s marksmanship sucks.

Heh. Smith is charged with a couple of things:

Police Chief James Craig said police expect to seek charges of aggravated assault with a gun and malicious destruction of property.

But he was originally going to be charged a little more heavily:

He was originally arrested for assault with intent to commit murder and aggravated assault, according to the police report.

He may be getting the Connected Guy’s Discount; the prosecutors have already kicked the case back to the cops for “further investigation.”

Notes

  1. By the way, who’s the bass player in this show (Hullabaloo, 1966)? The studio recording had James Jamerson on it, but this tall young guy with a cheap import bass is not Jamerson. Motown fans, help a brother out!