“The gunfight is in the head, not the hands.”
Leonardo De Caprio as, The Kid
From the film, The Quick and the Dead
Before you Monday-Morning Quarterback the next officer-involved shooting, you should first find another person and take just one minute to complete the following exercise, and then read the remainder of this article.
- Remove any weapons, especially firearms, and check each other to assure that this has indeed been done.
- Stand about 6 feet apart, facing each other.
- Person A points his “finger gun” at Person B.
- Person B has his “finger gun” hidden behind his back.
- Person A is instructed to say “Bang!” the moment he sees Person B’s “finger gun.”
- Person B is instructed to try and surprise Person A, draw and point his is “finger gun” at Person A, and say “Bang!” as quickly as he can.
- Repeat the exercise at least a half a dozen times for effect, and switching roles.
A “finger gun” as demonstrated by the President of the United States of America.
Are you surprised by the results of the exercise? Very rarely, if ever, is Person A able to say “Bang!” before Person B is able to draw, point, and “shoot,” because ACTION BEATS REACTION. At best, for Person A, the exercise results in a tie, where BOTH people get shot.
It is simply a matter of math and physiology.
This exercise is often used with a jury to defend a shooter (white, black, cops, non-cops, anyone) on trial for defending his life with a firearm. I believe that completing and understanding this simple exercise can save your life. At worst, you might learn something that is counter to your initial feelings on these matters, and thus suffer from a little bit of cognitive dissonance. I surely do wish that everyone reading ZeroHedge would please try it.
When there are two individuals, and only one of them is aiming his weapon at the other, then that person has what is called, “tactical advantage.” In Hollywood terms he has, “The Drop,” on the other guy.
Most cops understand what many people clearly do not, that it takes less than a second for the guy with the gun in his lap, like Philando Castile, or even in a concealed holster to shoot and kill the cop (action) and therefore can happen well before the cop can shoot him (reaction) even though the cop has the tactical advantage. Like you may have experienced in the exercise, maybe both people get a shot off and kill each other. A tie. Great. They both lose.
Getting killed is usually an unacceptable outcome for the guy with the tactical advantage, and therefore why he does not want to give it up. Sometimes, like with Philando Castile, the cop says something like, “Don’t move!” or, “Keep your hands up!” However, the guy decides to move, so the cop shoots him because he simply has no way of knowing if the guy is going for his wallet or his gun. And neither do we, or the girlfriend…
Readers should now realize that there is simply no time to assess whether or not what was hidden from view a moment ago, but is now being aimed at you, is a real gun, or a toy gun…
…or maybe even a finger “gun” like with Alfred Olango, below, the “unarmed” man that was shot and killed by police in El Cajon…