(If that is what really happened)

Reagan shotWith the shooting in Ferguson, Missouri and subsequent fallout, there is a lot of second guessing going on. For myself, I am quick to forgive individual failings, and look to institutional biases to explain gross injustice, as the Brown shooting appears to be.

In this case, I look at a white police force in a black community, and hatred between the police and the people they are charged to serve and protect. Blacks are not innocent victims, as they are just people. Nor are the police free of guilt, as their culture supports violence. So when there is a naked confrontation, the officer has a choice: Shoot, knowing that he’ll likely get off, or back down, not knowing what will happen. Seeing a large angry man coming at me, and having only the basics of training in handling weapons, I assume I too would have shot and then hoped that my brother police officers would have my back.

For the black community, it is hard to watch one of their own gunned down, but more so knowing that it can be done with impunity; that the only justice will likely come from mob violence. They come from a culture that has endured untold indignity. This was best expressed in a Wayans Brothers movie I saw where, trying to get police to respond to a crime the only thing the black guy could think to do was to call 911 and say “White girl in trouble!” Numerous police cars responded instantly.

Being black in a society dominated by whites is hard to endure, which is why they have developed their own means of communicating. This is reflected especially in their music. They can dog whistle one another while we whites assume it’s just a tribal beat. But it is a bubbling cauldron, and it only takes one flagrant abuse of white power for the community to erupt. When that happens, the cops drop the public service masks and go on the offensive. Pictures of cops brandishing weapons at innocent civilians are disgusting, but the rage is mutual.

I didn’t sit down to write all of that. I was only curious about the fact that the Officer Daren Wilson, the man who shot Michael Brown, emptied his weapon. I was reminded of a shooting in Billings, Montana where the assailant’s weapon was a motor vehicle. There too the officer emptied his weapon into the driver. He was immediately suspended pending investigation, and a spokesperson at that time said that officers were trained to empty weapons in potentially fatal confrontations.

Why, I thought? The answer is obvious, but not if we are TV drama viewers. There, when people get shot they immediately drop, and are dead unless they have more than an extra role in the presentation. I put up the picture of Reagan above because, contrary to the official story, he has already been shot and does not know it. People do not drop when they are shot, and usually don’t even realize it for a period of time. The head shot is the best way to disable a victim, but cops are not that well trained in firearms. Anyway, who can say where to shoot when an officer is in panic mode? A large man presents a good target, and the torso is the best sure hit, the head a little more iffy. But it takes quite a few shots to disable an assailant, more so a large man.

If that is what happened.

So officers are trained to empty their weapons, create as many wounds as possible so that the victim will bleed out and lose consciousness as soon as possible. One shot will not do. In the meantime even if already hit, he is still a threat. The officer is in survival mode, and training allows him, even instructs him, to shoot, shoot shoot until out of bullets.

11 thoughts on “(If that is what really happened)

  1. As I remember Reagan was shot with a .22 or .22 magnum. A small caliber with a 30 grain bullet.

    Police now carry 40’s which deliver an 180 grain bullet which considerably more velocity and knockdown power.


    1. As I understand it, based on medical reports of doctors in attendance, Reagan was shot with a flat, razor-edged projectile about the size of dime, fired from above and behind him. To make the shot a 22, they had to invent another magic bullet, as all six shots fired by Hinckley are accounted for, and none hit Reagan.

      It was just part of the risk of having a Bush as VP.



    2. As I recall, Neil Bush and John Hinckley’s brother, Scott, were scheduled to dine together in Neil’s home the day after the assassination attempt. Then the story just disappeared.

      “On the day of the shooting, NBC news anchor John Chancellor, eyebrows raised, informed the viewers of the nightly news that the man who tried to kill the president was acquainted with the son of the man who would have become president had the attack succeeded. As a matter of fact, Chancellor reported in a bewildered tone, Scott Hinckley and Neil Bush had been scheduled to have dinner together at the home of the (then) vice-president’s son (Neil) the very next night.” – from rense.com but the link is to the website of Nathaniel Blumberg, the former Dean of the J school at the U of M.


  2. The slugs recovered from Brady were standard .22LR. What hit Reagan was purported to be from a ricochet, yet somehow had the juice to pierce his right side under the arm and travel almost to his heart.

    Swede, “knockdown” power is a myth. It refers to hydrostatic shock, energy released into the body as the bullet decelerates, causing damage to moving parts and nerves. The “knockdown” power of a .22 to the knee is far greater than the “knockdown” power of .40 to the chest. Or, as James Brady unfortunately discovered, a .22 to the head at 15 feet has one whole helluva lot of “knockdown” power.

    It is worth noting in concert with your thesis, Mark, that police are not only trained to empty their weapons, but to aim for the chest because it’s the easiest target to hit when indiscriminately spraying lead. Police will tell you that’s what they are trained to do; some official reporting will mention that’s what they are trained to do. But everyone, always, will leave off the part about how that’s the best way to hit someone when wildly firing scared. They will discuss ‘center of mass’ and pretend it’s about ‘precision of execution’. No it isn’t. That talk is just cover for ‘how to kill when you’re terrified’ and the hope that no one standing by gets hit when you do it. (That’s why many police departments have gone to the .40 instead of the 9mm. The lower muzzle velocity minimizes the chance of a through and through when having an OH SHIT! moment. But remember, it’s about “To Protect and Serve”.)


      1. Only if you’re as big as Shaq and swing it like a club. Swede, you appear to be shooter, so it’s amazing to me that you put so much importance on caliber and so little on placement.


  3. I am quoting John Judge, who is quoting the doctors who operated on Reagan, and were just about to give up when they discovered the missile that hit him, a dime-sized airilon shaped projectile probably shot from a Co2 device from up above. The stuff about ricochet is nonsense. This was another assassination coupled with a patsy and cover-up, but they are all different. Hinckley was firing real bullets, really harmed people, but the kill shot on Reagan, which stopped short of his heart, was not fired by him.


    1. Yep, just like the RFK assassination. Everyone remembers the guy standing in front pointing and shooting, but nobody pays any attention to the kill shot or who delivered it.

      Another lone nut somehow manages to penetrate security and put on a show while someone else does the deed.


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