07 December 2005

This is going to have repercussions.

From CBC News:

U.S. air marshal kills plane passenger

A U.S. air marshal has shot and killed a plane passenger at Miami International Airport after the man warned that he had a bomb in his bag.

...

One passenger, Mary Gardner, told a Miami television station that the man ran toward the front of the plane.

"He was frantic, his arms flailing in the air," she told WTVJ.

She said a woman followed him, calling "My husband!" and told airplane officials that the man was bipolar and hadn't taken his medication.


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This is what makes me want to *drive* to my vacation destination rather than take a plane. Of course, I would never ever in a million years even joke that I had a sparkler in my luggage, but still, the response is extreme.

It also brings me to a familiar rant: why do police and other security types shoot to kill?? Why don't they aim for a kneecap or a wrist? It's time to consider updating those targets at the shooting range because really, there was no need to kill this person. They only needed to stop him long enough to check his bag.

4 comments:

Ted said...

Actually they have no choice but to shoot to kill and are usually specifically trained for the head shot. As for the wrist, a movement of less than 5cm means the difference between a total miss and a hit. Kneecaps or wrists are virtualy impossible to hit with a hand gun in a situation involving movement and do not neutralize the threat.

Why? Because the advent of the suicide bomber means that if the bomber has a chance to escape or trigger the bomb he or she will trigger the bomb. The only way to stop them is to shoot to kill as quickly as possible - hence the head shot which, if successful, stops all brain activity as opposed to the easier body shot which does not.

If they had been faced with a suicide bomber and they had tried to take him into custody it is probable that everyone on that plane would be dead.

Accidents are sad but this guy should have been on medication or should have been listed as a nut-job or should have been restrained by his wife/medical attendants etc. His mental illness (if that is what he had) killed him. Not some sky cop doing his job trying to protect innocent lives.

So unless, you are going to hide a mental illness or try to cover up an illegal act (like the London Underground guy) you should have no more risk than if you walk across Douglas Street.

Rob said...

The other aspect of this is that law enforcement professionals are trained to take the sure shot, ie, at the largest body mass element. First preference is the chest, then the head. If you are in a position when deadly force may be required,you may only get a single shot and it should be a stopper...

Cheryl said...

fine, guys. guess I'll chalk up my rant to either (a) talking out of my ass or (b) being slightly idealistic about society. ... on second thought, it's probably (a).

Z├ęzette said...

A thigh is generally no more narrow than a head -- and there's two to choose from at that -- so how it's easier to hit a head than a leg I don't know.

While I understand some of the arguments above, I don't concur with this at all: Accidents are sad but this guy should have been on medication or should have been listed as a nut-job or should have been restrained by his wife/medical attendants etc. His mental illness (if that is what he had) killed him. Not some sky cop doing his job trying to protect innocent lives.

"Listed as a nut-job"?! WTF? Mental illness is once again an act of the devil and punishable by death? And "innocent lives"? The word "innocent" is just plain lazy, and used time and again to forward emotive arguments that are based on shakey ground. And this guy is exempt from the category of "innocent" because he's ill? Bullshit. This statement shows a shameful ignorance of basic health issues and an indifference to human life and suffering. And yes, it makes me very angry.