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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
In late-April 2011, a deputy with the Johnson County Sheriff's Department (Texas) was shot and killed by a .380, wielded by a man from Oklahoma. The deputy was one of three law enforcement officers who were responding to a domestic violence call in an area well-known for drug activity. Upon arriving on the scene, they were told that the man in question was armed and had fled to a nearby shed. The three officers attempted to enter the shed. The deputy who was killed was the first man in, and was shot three times: Once in the throat, once in the side, and once in the back. The throat shot took him out of the fight immediately, the shot in the side bounced off a bone and entered the heart, and the shot in the back hit muscle; the round that entered the deputy's heart was the fatal shot. The other officers returned fire, and the gunman was killed. I had met the deputy a couple of times... he was a good guy.

I've debated posting this, but some of the rantings I've seen on other forums have me a bit concerned that many of us need some reality checks. This tragic incident can be used as learning lesson, and hopefully it will serve to remind some people that deploying a firearm and using it is not a game or script for an action movie.

1) Obviously. .380 is a lethal round and adequate for self defense. If you put in the time on the range and become proficient with your .380 pistol, you will be able to master it and you will be able to adequately defend yourself with it. Even if it does not inflict an instantly fatal wound, it will deliver a wound that will take the aggressor out of the fight and allow you to retreat to a position of safety.

2) An ordinary day can easily turn sour and can end with someone not coming home to a loved one. The decision to carry a firearm and the responsibility that decision carries is deadly serious. A gun is not a fashion statement, a scenario in which you may need to use it is not a video game, and the decision to deploy and use that weapon is a very serious decision indeed. As such, that decision had better be damned well considered because you can be held accountable under the law for recklessly using your weapon, and you will be if it is determined that you acted recklessly.

3) Do not rush into any tactical situation. I've seen forum commandos flippantly tossing about shooting scenarios, and talking about "saving the day" without first ascertaining the actual situation. In this case, three trained officers decided to "John Wayne" a shed, despite:
a) They were responding to a call about a domestic violence situation, which means that the situation was tense from the get go and that situation had a greater than average chance of violence;
b) They knew the guy was armed, and that he had holed-up in the shed (a fortified position);
c) They knew the guy had been in an area for several days, and the area was well-known for methamphetamine use so there was a good possibility the "bad guy" had been amped-up and tweaking for an extended period of time thus greatly increasing the chances that he was highly agitated and in such an irrational state of mind that he would be far more likely to actually use the gun he was packing;
d) They knew nothing about the lay-out of the shed, they apparently did not stop to consider that the first guy through the door stood a good possibility of being shot, they apparently did not consider whether the now secured gunman was actually a threat to anybody at this point, and they apparently did not consider calling for back-up.
-- So, what happened is, in essence, that the officers acted without considering whether the situation was safe, without knowing whether the action was even necessary,without knowing the emotional or physical state of the "bad guy." and without a full appreciation of the physical aspects of the scene. Two people are now dead, and many more lives are shattered... and it probably could have been resolved without violence if a more well-considered approach had been taken.

What does this mean for us, as armed citizens? It means we need to be ready to use our weapons if a situation goes south, and then we need to really consider that situation before we clear leather and pull a Captain America. What does this mean for us P3AT owners? It means that .380 will serve us well, assuming we take the time to be proficient on it and bear in mind that discretion and prudence are the better parts of valor.

A deputy and a man from Oklahoma are dead. We need to honor the officer for his dedication, and we need to do all we can to ensure that we don't join them, or dispatch another to do so.
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