Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Let's Stop The Stupiding

     In a sadly senseless incident* in Vanderburgh County, a pair of deputies investigating vandalism encountered a man who threw a hatchet at them; they shot and killed him.

     Asked and answered, you say?  Initiate deadly force armed men and find yourself stopped as rapidly and decisely as can be accomplished?  Clearly, you're not as clever as the commenter who proposed:
      "..why do they have to kill them??? They have rubber bullets, tear gas and pepper spray...Why are the killing all these people ?? Shoot their arms or knees and disable them...Lets stop the killing !!!!!"
     --Because we all know, when someone is throwing a small ax at you, there's all kinds of time to decide how to react; and a spinning, heavy, sharp object isn't a real threat, right?  Not like a gun!

     About that: even if the deputies were wearing the kind of pistol-rated body armor police sometimes wear, it's vulnerable to edged weapons -- all the more if the weapon is applied with force; and the armor doesn't protect the wearers hear or limbs.  In armor, they'd've been safer if he was shooting a .45 at them.

     Is this a tragic story?  Yes.  But (at least as reported) the blame for the hatchet-throwers death rests squarely with him.  Real life isn't a TV drama; it's people very like you, in high-stress situations with no time to ponder.  Don't want to be shot by Officers Of The Law?  Then don't throw sharp weapons at them.
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*Also a senseless headline: SW Indiana sheriff: Deputies kill man with hatchet. Um, Mr. Headline writer? Sir? Pleeeeeeeeeze stop that! Also, this.

10 comments:

skidmark said...

New article said the dude "tried to throw a hatchet at them." That says he did not actually throw the hatchet at them, nor did he throw the hatchet at some place they were not occupying. Sort of like he really wanted to throw the hatchet but just could not get it into the air.

I have literally said at least a billion times that the current crop of reportologists needs to go back to 3rd grade and learn how to diagram a sentence. (They still teach that, don't they?)

stay safe.

Larry said...

Looks like a hatchet job.


I denounce myself...

JohninMd.(help!) said...

What the hack's going on here? B-). Mas Ayoob wrote up a similar case in Cali. two cops answer a domstic call, get met by a teeny little Vietnamese lady...who has a mental health history, threatening her child w/a "vegatable peeler"( how it was reported) that in fact was a "bao dai"; picture a very thin, sharp cleaver meant for tough-skined stuff. Cop had to shoot, one-handed, while shielding the child. Annnd then, the press goes after their scalps. Not pretty.

Robin said...

In general, I agree with you Roberta. The exception would be if the assailant was obviously unarmed after throwing the hatchet, it would not be a good shoot.

Granny Grunch said...

Once upon a time,in this country,after the weapon had been thrown, the perp would ha ve received a night stick massage and would have to go the the ER before jail. Those were the good ol days....

Anonymous said...

Only Hoppalong Cassidy could shoot the weapon out of the bad guy's hand. Besides, don't bring a hatchet to a gun fight.

Mike

Windy Wilson said...

Skidmark, I'm 57 years old. I got two weeks TWO WEEKS! of diagramming sentences in 11th Grade in California, back when it was still considered a state with a fairly good educational system. I was relieved when those two weeks passed, and my brother who came along three years later did not get even that much. And even I recognize that sentence has problems. Hell if I can tell you if it was a dangling participle or a misplaced modifier, but I recognize there's a problem. Doubtless the one person at the newspaper who could do the same has since retired.

Mike, Roy Rogers and Gene Autry could do that too. Something about learning guitar chords.

Ritchie said...

If the assailant had discharged his one hatchet, and had no more evident sharp throwables, then he was no longer a threat in that particular way. But, all the facts are not available to me, and it seems that there is a difficulty getting them across.

NotClauswitz said...

a spinning, heavy, sharp object isn't a real threat, right? Not like a gun!
Could have been a Shuriken - or a spinning, twirling, 228lb Linebacker...

markm said...

Trying to figure out what really happened from that bad reportage is difficult, but it sounds like the cops ventilated this guy after he threw away his weapon. Not that I blame them at all. I only have one question: What would the DA do if the shooter was a citizen who is NOT a cop? Would he take account of the mental state of someone who just had to dodge a flying axe and consider it justified self-defense, even though the assailant was no longer armed? Or would he prosecute the shooter for murdering an unarmed man?

I don't think the cops should be prosecuted, but I'm aware that in at least half the jurisdictions in this country, the non-cop would at least spend weeks in jail - and in absolutely none of them would the cop suffer anything worse than a paid vacation.