Monday, December 2, 2013

On 'Warning Shots' and Transition from Veteran to Citizen

I've noticed some interesting comments on Dom Raso's latest video and thought I would opine on it.

In Dom's story of the Veteran that fired a warning shot into the ground to ward off an intruder and stated that his "military training" had kicked in; the result of his firearm being taken away is unfortunate but common. I can only speak from my personal experiences in the Army being deployed to Iraq as a Combat Engineer conducting route clearance. In a hostile environment we had to adhere to a rigid step-by-step 'Use of Force' pattern. This was drilled into us and were told to follow them or face disciplinary action. It would go something like this:

1. Identify the threat or assumed threat
2. Let threat know you see them by signaling with laser, flare, lights etc.
3. If they continue forward movement or do not respond to signals show intent of deadly force by pointing a weapon at them in conjunction with vocal commands
4. If not deterred; find a good back-stop and fire a warning shot
5. If not deterred; fire to disable (vehicle) and/or kill

Obviously discretion must be used and everything is situation dependent so that if fired upon at step two you can jump right to step five or if speed is a factor some steps can be abbreviated or skipped.

Did the Veteran in the story do what the military trained him to do? Yes. Unfortunately, that is not the appropriate way to respond in the civilian world. For almost all cases warning shots should be avoided all together. That doesn't mean we are advocating gunning people down but just the opposite. You shouldn't discharge your firearm unless you or someone else is suffering from or is about to be exposed to grave bodily harm. I would go even as far as saying you shouldn't expose your firearm. You should do everything possible to avoid discharging your firearm and then when you have been back into a corner and must fire; you avoid warning shots. Legally, 'warning shots' can be interpreted as, "I didn't think I was in danger enough to shoot him so I just wanted to scare him." Well if you didn't feel you were in danger you should have never fired in the first place.

Moral of the story...
Just because someone has military training doesn't mean they are skilled or proficient in the tasks of a citizen. It is unfortunate that warning shots can be warped into something bad by the legal system but that is the reality we live in.

I don't want to get all conspiratorial but P.T.S.D. classifications is a whole other post and the chance of future use to limit 2A rights is scary.

If you want to encourage your Senator to support Senate Bill 572 that will help correct the whole paperwork issue that Dom mentions feel free to call the Capital switchboard: (202) 224-3121

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