A word spoken, a bullet fired. Two things you can’t take back.
Thankfully for the officer’s son, Dad wasn’t particularly effective at delivering the bullet this time.
One of the reasons why I don’t insist that everyone carry with a round in the chamber at all times is the way potentially violent encounters happen over time.
The original “Tueller Study” was conducted by a trained martial artist, wearing a business suit and showing zero pre-attack indicators suddenly charging uniformed officers with a knife. The uniformed officers were “cognitively frozen” because businessmen don’t attack, in fact I’d bet you dollars to donuts that the number of cops attacked randomly by men in business suits with zero pre-attack indicators before the “Tueller Study” was zero, and also after the “Tueller Study” was also zero.
So lets put the Tueller Study into the correct historical context, which is that ambushes work. Predators use camouflage and stealth to sneak up on prey, the “Tueller Drill” used human camouflage to make the perfect predator. Unfortunately a lot of “training scars” have come out of this, one of which is that you don’t have time to react to deal with an empty chamber, and that you must train to muscle memory to draw and deliver aimed fire immediately.
Which is how a cop shot his son.
Increasing time also increases risk. But it also decreases the chances of a “negative outcome.” We aren’t teaching Cops to assess situations and choose a response, we are training Cops to shoot. In fact, I bet the Cop in question did not call out “Who’s there?” or otherwise identify himself in order to clarify the situation. I also bet that the Cop deliberately maneuvered through his own home in a tactical manner getting ready to pull the trigger, AS HE WAS TRAINED TO DO.
However, I find that the use of lethal force should not be trained to be muscle memory. The impact on the mental health of people who kill other people should be intense, unless you are a sociopath. If someone is involved in shootings over and over again, odds are they are a sociopath.
So, how you act is more important than how you carry, at least if you care about not shooting people if you can avoid it. Patience is a virtue, and having tactical patience to ensure that your brain is in charge of the decision to send lead downrange is very important. If you let muscle memory decide when to send lead downrange, you are still responsible for your actions, even if you were just doing as you were trained. And that, is why I think we need to change the training paradigm in the US.