Response to Courage Under Fire

December 23rd, 2008  

Dr. Piazza,

First off, let me wish you a Merry Christmas!  I thoroughly enjoy your blog and newsletter, and glean as much info as I can from your writings.  I have actually put several of your manuals on my Christmas wish list that went out to family and friends.

Reading your blog entry, “Courage Under Fire” hit home.  As a law enforcement officer, seeing the video again (I can’t count how many times I have seen it) of the shootout where Game Warden Justin Hurst lost his life just puts knots in my stomach.  I try to never second guess an officer and his choices, unless I am there, because I don’t know all the variables, but I do try to learn from what went wrong and what went right, so that maybe one day it wil save my life.  However, after seeing it for the first time, I had the same conclusion you had…why were they surprised it turned into a gunfight?  If I recall correctly, the suspect was initially being stopped for discharging a firearm from inside his vehicle or hunting illegally (depending on which news story you read).  So before the chase even started, they knew the suspect was armed with at least one firearm, and it appears they still were not prepared for the possibility (and the obvious reality) of the gunfight that ensued.

I also have to agree with you that a lot of people who carry a weapon as part of their job do not have the mental attitude to win a gunfight.  I shake my head when we qualify at the range, because I see many officers just happy and content to barely qualify…as long as they get the minimum score needed, they don’t care.   I just pray that they will never be in a situation where they need to use their weapon, as I fear they won’t be prepared.

Thank you again for your “nuggets” of information you provide…they are worth more than gold.

With the utmost respect,

Steve A.

Entry Filed under: From the Mail Bag,Front Sight.

Ignatius Piazza
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