We were privileged to watch part of a deadly force training exercise organized by the Bountiful Police Department this week and got to see officers from five surrounding cities practice live scenarios such as hostage situations, domestic arguments and traffic stops that had the potential to turn deadly.
The access was wonderful, but we are even more pleased to know about the quality and frequency of the trainings. This is particularly true considering the growing fervor of gun rights activists and their opponents on the national scene.
Among the best things we saw at the training were drills meant to teach officers when not to lose deadly force. Officers who erred were pinged by stinging plastic bullets.
We understand that it is vital for police to have deadly force options, but they should be the last resort. We now know for certain that local police know this and plan for it.
The training was also telling regarding the use of guns in general. We watched even seasoned officers make mistakes under pressure.
It shows the importance of training for anyone who would carry a gun publicly, whether that gun is a concealed pistol, an AR-15 or a musket.
It is not reasonable to expect the average person to know what to do in a gunfight without intense training, especially if that person’s family is in danger. They could freeze, or start shaking, or have tunnel vision. Alternatively, they could become frightened and start shooting at any moving target or could even be shot by police who mistake them for the enemy.
We support gun rights, but also strongly urge training. A mistake made with a gun could be devastating and would be impossible to remedy. After watching south Davis’s finest train, we know even better that guns bring with them great responsibility.
Let us know what you think. You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 801-295-2251 ext. 126.