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drhess
10-26-2005, 09:31 PM
I was looking at some photos of prisoners working in a field (in the USA) and noticed the guards had shotguns and sidearms. I can see needing arms to protect themselves from a prisoner who attacks them, but if a prisoner just ups and starts to run away (they were outdoors and not chained together or restricted), are the guards going to shoot them? I really don't see the point of the guards being so armed. Seems like the number and position of the guards would suffice to protect themselves from the prisoners with side arms. No?

Frank
10-26-2005, 09:37 PM
I can see needing arms to protect themselves from a prisoner who attacks them, but if a prisoner just ups and starts to run away (they were outdoors and not chained together or restricted), are the guards going to shoot them?
Yes.

silenus
10-26-2005, 09:37 PM
No. First off, sidearms are nearly useless. Most cops I know can't hit a Suburban from inside one, and I don't think guards are, as a group, any more proficient with sidearms. Second, sidearms are not enough when faced with a group attack by prisoners. Shotguns are. Third, shotguns are intimidating. It is far better that a skittish prisoner think shotgun=real dead than sidearm=I can take him.

Mr. Slant
10-26-2005, 10:22 PM
No. First off, sidearms are nearly useless. Most cops I know can't hit a Suburban from inside one, and I don't think guards are, as a group, any more proficient with sidearms. Second, sidearms are not enough when faced with a group attack by prisoners. Shotguns are. Third, shotguns are intimidating. It is far better that a skittish prisoner think shotgun=real dead than sidearm=I can take him.

Silenus,

I'll posit that if you're faced with a group attack by prisoners, neither a pistol nor a shotgun will be "enough". You'll require quick backup or extraordinary good luck. Shotguns do beat the heck out of a pointy stick or a can of pepper spray, though.

threemae
10-26-2005, 10:30 PM
I think that this is correct and Silenus is mistaken. Most state laws have provisions which state when deadly force can be used. Typically it is reserved for immediate threats to the lives of officers or civilians, but most states permit the use of deadly force for fugitives that are just running away as well.

In practice, the rules of engagement for prison guards are typically the same as thos for people that aren't in prison; the deadly weapons will only be used for immediate threats to the lives of others. You're unlikely to be shot just running off into the woods.

silenus
10-26-2005, 10:30 PM
Depends on how big the group is, of course. I was thinking of a group of three or four, not ten or twenty. Still rather have the scattergun over a 9mm anyday. :D

silenus
10-26-2005, 10:32 PM
For reference, I was refering strictly to the sidearm vs shotgun question. I'll leave the "shoot escaping prisoners" question to the legal eagles.

Mr. Slant
10-26-2005, 11:00 PM
Depends on how big the group is, of course. I was thinking of a group of three or four, not ten or twenty. Still rather have the scattergun over a 9mm anyday. :D

If 3-4 men are attempting to overpower you, and you have a pistol, rifle or shotgun, the likely outcome is you losing the fight and seriously injuring or killing 0 to 1 of your assailants. What happens once you've lost the fight depends on the preferences of your assailants.
There's an outside chance you'll manage to seriously injure or kill 2 of your assailants.
The odds of managing to seriously injure or kill 3-4 men in this scenario are similar to the odds that the whole September 11th thing was really the fault of the Freemasons, or that Ex-Doper Roland Deschain will become the next leader of North Korea.

Mr. Goob
10-27-2005, 09:51 AM
I have several friends who are New York State Corrections Officers. Annually all officers have to qualify with the pistol, rifle and shotgun. If they retain any skills and ability while in a crisis situation is a go fish question.

The few outside work crews in New York are minimum security convicts with a short time left to serve. The idea is they have too lose by attacking an officer or running away and being put in a maximum security prison for a long long time.

Mr. Goob
10-27-2005, 10:01 AM
Just after posting my last reply I emailed a CO friend who transports prisoners, here's his reply;

New York State Corrections Officer I can only shoot an inmate if he is attacking me, another person, escaping from a correctional facility, or threatening arson. We are supposed to go through an escalation of force, from shouting to hands to batons to chemical agents to bullets.

If he is on a work crew, that means he has obtained outside clearence from a medium or minimum security facility. If he walks away from his assignment, he is only absconding, which isn't as serious as escaping from a correctional facility. In that case, I would notify the facility, gather up the rest of the crew and take them back to the facility. Then DOCS would coordinate with the police to catch the crook.

That said, the busses I drive are considered maximum security facilities, so I could shoot one if necessary. Of course, they are hooked up with handcuffs chained to their waists and legirons, often hooked in tandem with another inmate. So they don't run very fast...

don't ask
10-27-2005, 10:15 AM
Kind of depends if Boss Godfrey is on duty.

Monty
10-27-2005, 10:21 AM
No. First off, sidearms are nearly useless. Most cops I know can't hit a Suburban from inside one, and I don't think guards are, as a group, any more proficient with sidearms.
I'm sorry, silenus; however, this doesn't sound right. Law enforcement officers are required to undergo firearms training, qualification, and periodic requalification, are they not?

mks57
10-27-2005, 10:38 AM
I'm sorry, silenus; however, this doesn't sound right. Law enforcement officers are required to undergo firearms training, qualification, and periodic requalification, are they not?

Standards vary considerably among different agencies, and it isn't unknown for the qualification records to be "pencil whipped".

Scumpup
10-27-2005, 10:41 AM
I'm sorry, silenus; however, this doesn't sound right. Law enforcement officers are required to undergo firearms training, qualification, and periodic requalification, are they not?

Yes, they are. In the case of the Sheriff's Office where I do some work as a deputy, requalification is annual. Other organizations with which I am familiar qualify semi-annually or even quarterly.

The meme among gun enthusiasts that the average cop is a lousy shot is untrue. The average cop isn't a competetive level pistol shot (neither is the average gun enthusiast) but they do have instruction in the use of guns and must demonstrate a certain degree of competency on a continuing basis.

silenus
10-27-2005, 10:52 AM
Which is why I said "most cops I know." It is far from being every cop. Recertification just means they managed to get some rounds onto a paper target under controlled conditions with the endless ability to retest. But really, look at any shoot-out cops are involved in. Odds are most of the rounds never got near the target (unless the target is an unarmed immigrant reaching for his wallet in New York City, but that's neither here nor there. :D ) I'm not saying most handgunners could do any better. I was saying, however, that the shotgun is more intimidating and more effective as a crowd-control weapon.

Monty
10-27-2005, 11:05 AM
Your anti-police rhetoric does your "argument" no favor.

Queuing
10-27-2005, 11:25 AM
Your anti-police rhetoric does your "argument" no favor.

Didn't seem like much of an argument to me. More of a 'hey can prison guards shoot you if you run away? question. Even if it was an "argument" I fail to see any anti-police rhetoric, unless you think all Police are marksmen, and daring to question their abilities is wrong.

pravnik
10-27-2005, 11:32 AM
In Texas:

9.52. PREVENTION OF ESCAPE FROM CUSTODY. The use of
force to prevent the escape of an arrested person from custody is
justifiable when the force could have been employed to effect the
arrest under which the person is in custody, except that a guard
employed by a correctional facility or a peace officer is justified
in using any force, including deadly force, that he reasonably
believes to be immediately necessary to prevent the escape of a
person from the correctional facility.

Frank
10-27-2005, 11:45 AM
Your anti-police rhetoric does your "argument" no favor.
What are you talking about?

groman
10-27-2005, 11:49 AM
Your anti-police rhetoric does your "argument" no favor.

Your pro-polioce rhetoric does your "argument" no favors either.

Cops are people, and as such are most likely not to be able to hit anything small and moving under extreme stress with a pistol. Doubt me? Go onto any academic index and search for "accuracy" or "precision" and "stress".

Duckster
10-27-2005, 12:47 PM
Just after posting my last reply I emailed a CO friend who transports prisoners, here's his reply;

That said, the busses I drive are considered maximum security facilities, so I could shoot one if necessary.



Why shoot a bus?

:D

Who_me?
10-27-2005, 12:53 PM
What are you talking about?


Good question....

Little Nemo
10-27-2005, 01:12 PM
The reason that guards are issued sidearms and shotguns is because they are two different weapons and they are used in different circumstances. The sidearm is the better weapon in a situation where the target is very close (like if a prisoner trys to attack you) or where you want to fire a single shot (like when one prisoner is fleeing in a residential area). The shotgun is better in a medium range situation where you have multiple targets (like in a riot or mass escape). Another reason to have two weapons is to always have one available when the other is temporarily out of service (for example being loaded or unloaded).

Monty
10-27-2005, 01:57 PM
What are you talking about?
I'm not talking about the crappy remarks floated to insinuate that cops are just bad shots, the weak "that's why I said those I know" comment, and the comment about shooting someone reaching for a wallet.

Did you not read the thread?

Monty
10-27-2005, 01:58 PM
Your pro-polioce rhetoric does your "argument" no favors either.
What pro-police rhetoric? Be specific and accurate in your response, please.

Scumpup
10-27-2005, 02:05 PM
Which is why I said "most cops I know." It is far from being every cop. Recertification just means they managed to get some rounds onto a paper target under controlled conditions with the endless ability to retest. But really, look at any shoot-out cops are involved in. Odds are most of the rounds never got near the target (unless the target is an unarmed immigrant reaching for his wallet in New York City, but that's neither here nor there. :D ) I'm not saying most handgunners could do any better. I was saying, however, that the shotgun is more intimidating and more effective as a crowd-control weapon.

AFAIK, firearms qualification in every agency that uses them involves shooting at paper targets. Training exercises may be different, but qualification and training aren't the same thing. Qualification is to verify that the officer has a certain minimum level of skill with the issue arms. Training is practice and may take many forms and use a variety of targets and weapons.
Endless retests? Which agency, specifically, are you talking about that permits that? The fact that cops do not have 1 shot = 1 kill record overall means nothing. No police or military agency does.

Monty
10-27-2005, 02:07 PM
I'm not talking [...]
should, of course, read
I'm talking [...]

Frank
10-27-2005, 02:16 PM
Did you not read the thread?
Yeah, I did. That's why I asked you what you were talking about. I didn't see any anti-cop rhetoric in that post.

You are welcome to attempt to demonstrate that most of the cops silenus knows are, indeed, marksmen. You are also welcome to attempt to demonstrate that the N.Y.C. cops did not, indeed, shoot to death a man armed only with his wallet.

Monty
10-27-2005, 02:22 PM
You are welcome to reread those comments which I mentioned in the context in which they were made.

Frank
10-27-2005, 02:25 PM
You are welcome to reread those comments which I mentioned in the context in which they were made.
Seems to me the only one who sees those comments as anti-police rhetoric is you. At any rate, that's enough of this hijack. Any further comments or criticism should be taken to the appropriate forum.

Mr. Slant
10-27-2005, 05:42 PM
Why shoot a bus?

:D

Well, it could be threatening an officer or attempting to escape from a correctional facility.
:-)
Regarding marksmanship, and this goes back to my earlier posts in this thread, *everyone* sucks at operating firearms when they're being threatened, cops, soldiers, random gun enthusiasts and expert marksmen included.
The real world isn't like TV, as I'm certain most of the posters in this thread know. Most gunslingers will miss most of the time in a fight.

drhess
10-27-2005, 06:30 PM
Seems to me the only one who sees those comments as anti-police rhetoric is you. At any rate, that's enough of this hijack. Any further comments or criticism should be taken to the appropriate forum.

Or you can start back-to-back and take your ten paces and fire! :cool:

tim314
10-27-2005, 06:42 PM
If 3-4 men are attempting to overpower you, and you have a pistol, rifle or shotgun, the likely outcome is you losing the fight and seriously injuring or killing 0 to 1 of your assailants. What happens once you've lost the fight depends on the preferences of your assailants.
There's an outside chance you'll manage to seriously injure or kill 2 of your assailants.
The odds of managing to seriously injure or kill 3-4 men in this scenario are similar to the odds that the whole September 11th thing was really the fault of the Freemasons, or that Ex-Doper Roland Deschain will become the next leader of North Korea.I have zero experience with guns, but I find these claims somwhat perplexing. Care to explain why killing people with a gun is so hard? Is it because they'd be on you before you had time to re-cock your weapon? What about a semi-automatic handgun? I've never fired a gun in my life, but I was under the impression that it was basically point and squeeze. Is it that hard to hit someone from point blank range? Are gunshot wounds just not all that incapacitating? Are you assuming the 4 men have the guard surrounded, so that one hits him in the back of the head while he's shooting the other?

I'm not saying you're wrong, I just don't get it.

LiveOnAPlane
10-27-2005, 09:22 PM
My two cents is that what they are saying is that in these kind of circumstances, you are rushed all at once. You only have a fraction of a second to react. If you react properly, you can certainly take out 3-4 assailants.

The problem is that of a fairly normal human being taking the time to decide if OMG! I have to kill these folk!! And hesitating for that second or two, and by then it would be surely too late.

Human factors such as these delay reaction time, adrenaline makes the hands shake and fear plus no time to think it all over leads to very shaky results.

This is not a slap at police, just things in the real world. They are life-death situations that no test range can simulate, no matter how good the training. In these situations, you need to be stone cold, and that is a very hard thing to achieve with real-life human beings who have never been in that situation before.

Shagnasty
10-27-2005, 09:52 PM
I really don't see the point of the guards being so armed. Seems like the number and position of the guards would suffice to protect themselves from the prisoners with side arms. No?

1) There aren't always a lot of guards around and even if there are, they could be seperated geographically and alone in practice.

2) These are convicted felons here, not high school students. Some are capable of violent impulse actions. That is why they are in prison.

3) A shotgun represents a very intimidating threat of deadly force. It keeps prisoners from plotting violence or escape. It is a preventative measure as well as a weapon. The sound of a cycled pump twelve gauge will cause almost anyone to stop what they are doing.

4) An escaped felon creates fear in the community and the felon will have to be recaptured at some point. Recapturing a felon on the run can be dangerous and endanger the lives of both the police and civilians.

5) Why wouldn't you give guards of dangerous felons the most effective tool you can especially since the law allows it?

6) Following through with the threat of deadly force strongly discourages prisoners from trying to escape, harm an officer, or riot.

Shagnasty
10-27-2005, 10:01 PM
I have zero experience with guns, but I find these claims somewhat perplexing. Care to explain why killing people with a gun is so hard? Is it because they'd be on you before you had time to re-cock your weapon?

I can believe that claim. I think the basic problem is that a coordinated attack by three people is that they can simultaneously attack from 3 different angles or more. Imagine an X with three people each coming from a different branch towards the shooter in the center. Even with a semiautomatic, it still takes time to aim and shoot at each one. It doesn't take the three attackers more than a few seconds to reach the shooter if they start from a close distance. Two attackers can wrestle even a handgun away from the shooter fairly well. A shotgun is easier.

Combine that with problem number two. Accurate combat shooting is extremely difficult with a handgun and fairly difficult with a shotgun. The surprise elements, adrenaline flowing, and chaos of movement make it very hard to hit an attacker moving towards you even if the shooter is skilled on the range.

jacksprat
10-27-2005, 10:31 PM
Care to explain why killing people with a gun is so hard?

Maybe not so difficult to kill with a gun -- a small-caliber round is often deadly. However, the reason most people don't choose to protect themselves with small-caliber rounds is that it's not always possible to immediately *stop* someone from whatever misdeeds they are in the process of committing with such a round. Even larger, more powerful rounds wouldn't necessarily immediately stop a criminal unless directed properly at center-of-mass (or the head, perhaps, if one were an amazingly good shot under pressure).

Also, the choice of drawing a pistol from an open holster upon an assailant running at you, from, say, 10, or possibly as much as 20 feet away might well be a losing proposition, especially if one isn't trained in drawing from an unconcealed side holster, removing the safety, pointing, and shooting, in one swift move. Very few people master that kind of shooting without lots and lots of practice.

Are gunshot wounds just not all that incapacitating?

Again, not necessarily. Someone may well die eventually from a gunshot wound, and continue to function aggressively for a significant period of time after the shooting.

Mr. Slant
10-27-2005, 10:37 PM
I have zero experience with guns, but I find these claims somwhat perplexing. Care to explain why killing people with a gun is so hard? Is it because they'd be on you before you had time to re-cock your weapon? What about a semi-automatic handgun? I've never fired a gun in my life, but I was under the impression that it was basically point and squeeze. Is it that hard to hit someone from point blank range? Are gunshot wounds just not all that incapacitating? Are you assuming the 4 men have the guard surrounded, so that one hits him in the back of the head while he's shooting the other?

I'm not saying you're wrong, I just don't get it.

I would respond, but I'd just be repeating verbatim what shagnasty said without adding any further content.
Here is a partial quote that helped me form my opinions:
"...in the time it takes the average officer to recognize a threat, draw his sidearm and fire 2 rounds at center mass, an average subject charging at the officer with a knife or other cutting or stabbing weapon can cover a distance of 21 feet." [1]
I've read quite a few newspaper articles, too, where police used deadly fire on suspects. These incidents get documented quite well, and when you compare the ratio of "shots fired" versus "bullets found in suspect by coroner" you reach the conclusion that most cops don't land their first or second shot in anyone they were aiming for. Especially when you realize that their pattern is likely to go "miss miss miss hit hit hit" or similar.

[1] http://www.policeone.com/columnists_internal.asp?view=94340&vid=102828

Mr. Slant
10-27-2005, 10:48 PM
Okay, and just in case anyone is confused by my citation regarding edged weapon defense, the pertinent part is that an average man close with an officer and engage him in fisticuffs before the officer can get off a useful number of rounds if said average man begins advancing from less than 20 feet away.
The knife article and the 21 foot rule is just a point of information.
If the situation became 3 guys 15 feet away, my assertions earlier in this thread should fall into place. You'll probably get off at most two good shots into one suspect... more likely ZERO. If your remaining two attackers are determined, moderately skilled at fighting and as strong as you are, your day is about to get really bad.

zagloba
10-27-2005, 11:22 PM
Kind of depends if Boss Godfrey is on duty.
This was more or less the image the OP brought to my mind, if you catch the reference to "Cool Hand Luke." That is, a southern chain gang from the 40's.

When were the photos taken? Are the inmates chained together? Are the guards with shotguns at a reasonable distance from the inmates?

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