July 25, 2006
Spray and Pray: Why cops should go back to carrying revolvers
By David E. Petzal and Phil Bourjaily
Here are a number of things that don’t fill me with confidence:
Since the first four are mostly outside the provenance of this blog, let’s talk about the fifth. What brings it up is a newspaper story revealing that on July 23, three New York City Police officers fired a total of 26 shots to kill a pit bull that was chewing on a fellow officer. The three who did the shooting were grazed by stray bullets.
According to police who commented on the incident, time seems to slow down in a violent encounter, and in that time officers keep on sending those rounds out. In this confrontation, one officer fired 13 rounds, another fired 12, and the third officer only one. No doubt he will be reprimanded. The officer who was being chewed on did not shoot, being otherwise occupied.
Most police officers nowadays are armed with automatic pistols that hold 16 or 17 shots and have double-action triggers that are guaranteed to prevent accidental discharges but are also guaranteed to prevent accurate shooting. So when it’s time to go to powder city, the average copper is going to rely on volume, not precision, and if you happen to be in the immediate vicinity, God help you.
Maybe we should bring back the 6-shot revolver.