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Things That Perplex Me - Frontline Debriefs (permalink)

These are but a few of the things I ponder on a day-to-day basis. Without such questions, life would be incredibly boring.

The first man who drank milk: “I’m going to go over to that animal and squeeze on those things and whatever comes out, I’m drinking.”

Seeing-eye dog signs at buildings—who reads these—the dog?

The police administrator who changes things simply for the sake of change even though things are working rather well. The administrator who blames everyone else when his new policy is an abysmal failure. The administrator who changes things yet again with the same catastrophic results. The department that then promotes said administrator. The police captain who is admonished while a line-grade officer receives 15 suspended days for the same offense. The department that promotes said captain.

The nifty piece of gear that performs marvelously but is out of production in two weeks. The high-dollar piece of equipment you really, really want but can’t logically justify to your wife. Your buddy who tries to support this to your wife, which only worsens the problem. The neophyte who picks up a live round from the public range, places it into a $5,000 precision rifle, which then promptly blows up the works.

The fair-skinned student who refuses sunscreen in 115-degree heat and ends up hospitalized with sun poisoning. The guy who shows up for a cold, wet and windy winter class in sneakers and freezes his feet off. The guy who shows up in 115-degree heat with one water bottle. How I can teach in 110-degree heat one day in Los Angeles, but 15 hours later and 20 states away, it’s 34 degrees and I’m dressed like a friggin’ Eskimo. The student who asks why I live in California when we’re waist deep in snow and ice.

The police group that takes a two-plus hour lunch instead of just pushing through training. The overseas police group that takes a four-hour lunch. The police officer who shows up for a firearms training day and tells you he forgot his pistol. The police officer who shows up for the same class and tells you he forgot his bullets.

The guy who’s taken three classes in total and knows more about all things tactical than someone with 30 years of actual experience. The gun store expert who emphatically states that the only thing the .45 1911 is good for is to throw at an opponent. The blithering dolt who declares that he will stand at 100 yards and allow me to shoot at him all day as the .45 is so inaccurate. (Yes, that is true.) The moronic instructor who shoots between students’ legs to get their attention. (Also very true.) The instructor who says he expects people to be shot in training due to the number of people he trains.

The TSA firearms “expert” whom you must wait 45 minutes for at LAX and who promptly looks directly down the barrel and presses the trigger to check if the gun is unloaded. The airlines that charge me for being two pounds overweight in baggage while a 500-pound woman stands behind me in line. What do they charge her? The airline desk person who becomes rather nasty when I pose this very question to her.

The person who asks if I ever fought bad guys while on LAPD. (No, Metro only “tunes-up” recalcitrant nuns and schoolgirls.) Why my wife Brett won’t let me teach Scarlett Johansson or Charlize Theron.

Why I can’t golf as well as I can shoot. Why I’m not on the PGA tour with a 30+ handicap. Why some prima-donna golfers have nasty attitudes because you have a 1911 in your golf bag. Why so many of the supposed deadly force “experts” I come across in court are fat, balding and have stringy arms, yet claim to the court that they are in fact bad to death. One of these same “experts” who declares he would rather lose his life than fire a gun at a suspect armed with a knife if civilians are in the area. (Yes, also true.) The opposing attorney in a case who informs me of the existence of a magazine for the revolver and a cylinder for the Beretta.

The officer who shoots fairly well through the day but promptly prangs shots into the trunk and hood of the patrol car when shooting from the barricaded position. The same officer who tapes up the bullet hole and spray paints it, hoping no one will notice. (“A” for effort, as I invented this technique.) The SWAT team that repeatedly bangs on a bay window with negative results when the front door is wide open only 15 feet away.

The officer who shoots himself in the leg en route to a radio call. The officer’s partner, who broadcasts a “shots fired—officer needs help” call when his partner shoots himself in the black and white.

The officer who throws the radio mike out the open door on a vehicle stop, becomes involved in an immediate vehicle pursuit and broadcasts the entire pursuit with his head out the window (yes, that was me as a rookie).

Scott Reitz is a 30-year veteran of the Los Angeles Police Department and director of the highly acclaimed International Tactical Training Seminars. Course information and schedules are available at their website at www.internationaltactical.com. Looking Back, a free monthly newsletter, is available by email at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

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