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  • The Command To Shoot

    The Command To Shoot

    I served in the US military as both an enlisted man and as a commissioned officer. I think I have some understanding of the importance of commands.

    Commands usually precede certain actions. Someone gives the command. The action follows (in compliance with the command).

    Seeking a common denominator of some of America's recent police shootings, I kept coming across the use of the word, "Gun!". While I have no inside information concerning how police are trained (as it regards shooting), the media reported that in a number of the shootings one officer yelled, "Gun!" and another officer immediately fired his weapon. So, from those reports, I would extrapolate that the officer that yelled, "Gun!" was actually giving the command to shoot. If that is true, in each of those shootings at least two police officers were responsible (not just the shooter). Moreover, the officer that gave the command is actually the one that initiated the killing and is more responsible for it. (The other officer [the shooter] just responded to the "command".)

    "Gun!". Is that the police COMMAND to shoot? If so, we are dealing with a whole different ball of wax. The shooter may actually be "innocent" of the killing though guilty of the shooting. In other words, the officer that yelled, "Gun!" gave the COMMAND to kill and the officer that responded to the COMMAND is guilty only of performing the shooting (in response to the command).

    In military units (and in police organizations), disobeying a command can carry serious consequences. So (if my extrapolation is correct), if the word, "Gun!" is yelled and the partner or accompanying officer(s) does not(do not) fire, the officer(s) "failing" to fire could face serious consequences.

    If the above is an accurate assessment of how police in America operate today (and it may be); beware, because if you are stopped by or confronted by the police and the word, "Gun!" is yelled (by one of the police officers) you may well be at the actual point of immediate death (because it appears that they shoot to kill).

    "Gun!". Is it the COMMAND to shoot? I don't know but reports that I have read cause me to suspect that it may indeed be the COMMAND to shoot.

    Copyright © 2016 Clarence William Page

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