One of our commenters suggested that a policeman need not fear death to have legitimate fear of a dog. We understand that, to an extent. But we encourage officers to tangle with dogs as need be., rather than to use the tool you have (firearm). OC spray is ineffective on canids, and Tasers are hit or miss (if the electrodes stick, Fido’s going down. If not, Fido will not be deterred). Here’s our reasoning:
- First, we don’t think cops know that, for all the yowling and snapping, there’s essentially zero cases of non-rabid dogs killing cops, ever; and zero of rabid dogs since the New Deal (and more to the point, effective post-bite vaccines). We think that’s an important data point that most cops, most people for that matter, don’t know. Yes, dogs can hurt you; but they’re generally not going to, and they’re definitely not going to kill you.
- Second, the commenter makes a great point that a dog can inflict serious injury that’s quite severe enough without actually inflicting death. But we went looking for cases and just didn’t find many (most dog bite fatalities and crippling injuries are to children). Instead we found a few cases like this one in Woonsocket, RI. The story’s a tangled mess — what do you expect, it was a domestic, and a tense and fraught one at that — but the upshot is, even though a cop got bit, the officers didn’t overreact, the suspect’s husband got the dogs under control, and at the end of the shift everyone was safe at home, except the suspect who was in the jug. By the standards enunciated in Commerce, CO or Hawthorne, CA recently, those Woonsocket cops would have been justified in blowing the squabbling couple’s aggressive pit bulls into the middle of next week. And bringing the (probably undeserved) wrath of 100 million dog lovers down on the poor department. Yes, the Woonsocket cops could have shot the dogs, but there’s a difference between what one can do and what one does do. That difference is the consequence of morals and, especially, judgment. The Woonsocket cops, Chris Bouvier and Pat Greeno, showed good judgment, and that’s why the story of their tense night only ever ran in the tiny Woonsocket Patch newspaper (and now, here in Weaponsman.com) instead of becoming the global you-tube sensation that the Commerce and Hawthorne dog shootings became.
We have a friend who develops training curricula for the airline industry. Somewhere over the decades he picked up a pithy aphorism: “Good judgment comes from experience. Experience comes from bad judgment!” Wonder where those Woonsocket POs picked up their good judgment? — bet there’s a story in that.
Finally, we’ve mentioned in the past that video is a net plus — dashcams in particular have cleared a hell of a lot more officers than they’ve condemned. J. Lee Weems, a police chief in Georgia, says the same thing and encourages officers to let the video roll — let them capture you doing the right thing.
This morning we told the story of a woman who called 911 some eleven minutes after her husband had bonded out from jail. The cops couldn’t get there in the four minutes’ grace that her doors exterior and interior bought her. Fortunately, she had a firearm and lived to tell the tale.
In the New Yorker a woman gushes about a different way to prevent domestics: an intricate Massachusetts program that tightens up on known abusers. Hey, it’s almost as if crimes are committed by criminals, and not their guns (or knives, or touy guns or any of the other things banned in the Bay Nanny State.But the program goes a step farther; the general idea seem to be disabling these crimibals from committing further crimes by locking them up.
In Salon, Amanda Marcotte, a throwback to the man-hating feminism of the 70s, is cool with that. She’s all excited about the possibility of some Department of Pre-Crime bagging those yet undiscovered mopes who haven’t committed the crime yet, but are thinking about it.
Remember the case we cited this morning? Eleven minutes after the revolving door of justice put one abuser back on the street, he was kicking down the door of his wife’s place. The cops were on the way when he broke down a second door.
She shot him dead. Funny how recidivism goes to zero when you let the sisters handle it for themselves.