The article doesn’t say a SWAT team was deployed, just that the police responded to a call. The image of a SWAT team is just a stock photo.
The police also did not “storm” anything. The homeowner went outside with a gun in hand and they de-escalated the situation without “storming” or firing any shots.
I don’t really understand what you want the police to do in these situations where they receive calls about gun crimes in progress. They can’t just assume it’s a prank and wait around to see if anyone dies before they choose to send some police to investigate.
In this case perhaps, but the parents' comment wasn't particular to this instance but generic.
And there are tons of cases where SWATing actually happened, unecessary force was deployed, and so on, sometimes even captured on camera...
>I don’t really understand what you want the police to do in these situations where they receive calls about gun crimes in progress.
The same procedure that is followed in civilized countries would be a good start.
Bad accidents happen in Europe, too. Mostly it's because of bad int and armed forces breaking in to innocent people's homes, with children having trauma for life. Sometimes they don't even apologize.
EDIT: Sometimes it's not even by mistake but on purpose. In 2014 after islamist extremists killed journalists over publications of images offending them, some young people expressed their approval for the killing, including a 10-year old girl. Armed police stormed her apartment in the morning while she was sleeping and detained her for 11 hours:
Meh. Almost no Americans own assault rifles. The VAST majority of weapons described as "assault rifles" in the media are nothing of the sort. An AR-15 is a civilian weapon that is just a semi-automatic hunting rifle that looks scary to people who are ignorant with regards to firearms and have been brainwashed by the propaganda from the anti-gun groups.
While it is true that you can own an actual assault rifle (defined as a rifle with full-automatic or select-fire capability), it requires a ton of paperwork, a lot of money, and you can't buy any weapon manufactured after 1986 (this was the so-called "Volkmer/McClure Act"). And as best as I can remember, per FBI stats, no legally owned weapon of this type has ever been used in the commission of a violent crime. Or if one has, the number was so small that it rounds to zero.
You, see, that's a culture problem right there...
A "civilian weapon" should be something more like their fists, or a stick they've picked...
An AR-15 would be very near the end of things to call "a civilian weapon" in a civilized country.
Wait, are you saying that hunting/sporting/self-defense are in violation of the second amendment, or am I misunderstanding? Because that's certainly untrue.
There's a difference between certain rights not being enumerated in the Constitution and those rights violating the Constitution.
In fact, one could say that many of these media-demonized "assault rifles" are less "powerful" than common hunting rifles, as from a pure ballistic energy standpoint, many common hunting cartridges exceed the power of .223 Remington / 5.56 NATO rounds.
Even a stock "hunting rifle"-type Mini-14 can shoot 10+ high powered rounds accurately in a very short length of time. With a pistol grip, an amateur could easily shoot and kill a bunch of people with one, essentially combining the ease of use of a pistol with the power of a long gun.
Common sense dictates that a AR-type rifle with a pistol grip and large capacity magazine is far more deadly for killing people than a technically more powerful .308 rifle.
Tell me you have near zero experience with pistols or long guns without actually saying it. XD
> common sense
No. You’re inconsistent in your comparison: they make AR pattern rifles in .308. A .308 is more destructive than a .223. The military adopted .223/5.56 for logistic reasons, and you’ll find plenty of debate in the military about the inadequacy of the .223 round both in terms of effective range and penetration. This balancing act is a debate in the military going back ages. I can show you Ordnance Dept. memoranda from over a hundred years ago where this exact balancing act was being debated.
People like the AR pattern (in any caliber) because it’s highly customizable, made of modern durable materials, and is easy to maintain. That the military adopted the pattern for the same reasons shouldn’t come as a surprise. A good design sells itself.
Today, if you want a semi-auto .223 you’d be nuts to buy a mini-14 instead of an AR unless you’re into the mini for aesthetic or collector sentiments (which are valid reasons). But with the mini you’re getting a rifle you’d need to put a lot of custom work into to free float the barrel, you’d always be worried about protecting that wood stock and metal finish, and you’d find limited (by comparison) after-market mods. Also, you’d lose so many options for caliber interchangeability that you get with an AR. Hell, they even make a crossbow upper for the AR. Try turning your mini into a crossbow. :D the AR pattern is the most popular rifle for very good reasons and not because it’s somehow “more deadly” than another semi-auto of the same caliber.
This is a childish comment I would expect in a Reddit thread. I've gone to the range a number of times with my firearm, and more importantly, I've taken friends who've never shot anything before. Shooting a stock Mini-14 is incredibly easy for even a first timer. But, for a first timer, it still requires sitting and resting the barrel on something to get decent control.
A pistol grip makes it much easier to accurately shoot multiple rounds from a semi-automatic, especially free standing. That's been my experience and the experience of those I've brought to the range with me.
And that's where you have completely missed the point. This thread isn't about which gun can beat up which in a fight. It's about whether semi-automatics like the AR-15 enable novices to easily kill large numbers of civilians. The answer is obviously yes.
In the military they require you fire from the hip a long gun and hit your target multiple times within a time limit before qualifying. There was no pistol grip.
Despite the fact that Republicans make fun of the arbitrary nature of what constitutes an "assault rifle"--semi-automatic fire, large capacity removable magazines, pistol grips, etc.--those qualities do make it easier for untrained people to quickly kill a bunch of people.
Also if you read the regulations why does it state where the location of the webbing of the thumb need to be if the important part is no pistol grip? In reality they are trying to ban AR pattern rifles, not weapons with pistol grips.
Everything else you mentioned makes the gun easier to operate for both criminals and law abiding citizens. Why do the minority get to ruin things for the exhaustively overwhelming majority when these rifles with these characteristics aren't even the problem?
The mini-14 is patterned off of an actual full-auto military service rifle (with no pistol grip, fwiw), the M14, to sell to the civilian market. This is different than the AR, which was sold to civilians years before the military adopted a similarly patterned service rifle. So if we're talking about the evils of modeling rifles after full-auto military versions, your mini-14 is carrying more moral baggage than the AR. I think the M14 is still in service or was until very recently in the ME, again as a select fire weapon with no pistol grip.
So for small arms, I think the pistol grip matters far less than you're portraying it to in your comments. While valuable for control in a crew-served full auto, it really has two more "pedestrian" advantages in an individual rifle. It allows the receiver to transfer force in a more direct line to the shooter's shoulder and avoid/minimize the structurally weak point of the "dip" in the traditional stock's neck between the receiver and the butt. This makes the rifle far more durable and not coincidentally, cheaper to fashion. It also minimizes physical contact with the rifle along the bore axis which is valuable for aimed shots. You can basically fire the rifle with only the finger on the trigger and a little bit of thumb if that, with no danger of exerting downward or lateral pressure on the stock. Precision rifles in .300 WIN MAG, 338L and higher also use a pistol grip and it's not there because it helps them "spray and pray".
Does it help someone with a semi-auto rifle have more control than not when firing rapidly at moving targets (whether civilians, military people, or ducks)? I don't think someone who's trying to rapid fire with a semi-auto is going to notice one way or another, honestly. Guns designed specifically for off-the-cuff instinctive shooting of multiple moving targets in succession notably have never adopted the pistol grip (think field, double trap, and skeet shotguns).
You move from talking about the advantage of the pistol grip to just asking if semi-autos broadly "enable novices to easily kill large numbers of civilians". Not sure why it matters whether the targets are civilians or not for this purely functional question aside from the obvious appeal to emotion. Semi-autos do allow more rapid fire than other breech or muzzle loader designs, though I've seen people fire lever actions faster than you or I could fire a semi-auto but they definitely aren't novices. Kind of comes back to the question, though - if all semi-autos do this, why single out the AR patterned rifle? You brought up the comparison to the mini-14 suggesting there was something about the AR that enabled novices that wasn't present in your mini. I'm just telling you that that's not the case. To say the pistol grip matters all that much on either of these rifles is a hard speculative argument to make convincingly.
It matters because civilians don't wear body armor. The .223 round has low enough recoil to be easy to control (vs .308, for example) while powerful enough to grievously harm or kill someone (quick Googling shows it has 2-3x more energy than a 9mm).
> I've seen people fire lever actions faster than you or I could fire a semi-auto
Rate of fire is only part of it. There's also the number of rounds the weapon can carry and how quickly you can reload. You're clearly more of an expert than I am, so I'll ask sincerely: Are there any lever action rifles that carry 20 or 30 rounds at a time? How does the time to reload compare to reloading a magazine?
If someone with a lot of professional training wanted to kill a bunch of people, they could probably do it with just about any firearm. And you can still have a mass shooting with "just" a 9mm pistol, as happened at UVA in 2017, where 32 people were killed and 17 more were injured.
But if a random criminal or nutjob wanted to do it, they'd be best served with an AR-type weapon with a few large capacity magazines. That's been the choice for the gunman in the Sandy Hook school shooting (27 killed, 2 injured), the Stoneman Douglas school shooting (17 killed, 17 injured), the Sutherland Springs church shooting (27 killed, 22 injured), etc.
It's a continuum though. Go up in ballistic power from .223 only a little bit and you still find plenty of lightweight semi-auto rifles. And you can certainly find semi-autos all the way to at least 7mm Remington Mangum.
With a pistol grip, an amateur could easily shoot and kill a bunch of people with one,
Personally I have a lot of doubt about how much difference a pistol grip actually makes, but I could be convinced if anybody has researched that and has some evidence.
with a pistol grip and large capacity magazine is far more deadly for killing
A skilled operator can change magazines so quickly that I feel like magazine capacity is almost a moot point. To me the real distinction is binary "has a detachable magazine" or "does not have a detachable magazine."
Of course, I suppose in the context of how much damage an unskilled operator can do, then yes, a larger magazine is more "deadly" in a sense. But large magazines are not specific to the AR series. Even if the original manufacturer doesn't provide them, there's little reason in principle that someone else can't manufacture a higher capacity magazine for any rifle that uses detachable magazines.
The kid in CT that murdered his own mother, stole her guns and killed all the students was dropping half-full mags and reloading. IIRC, law enforcement interpreted this behavior as mirroring his FPS “training”. That would seem to indicate capacity didn’t matter as much as simply having a detachable mag. The guy that shot up that Batman theater in CO or wherever brought in a 50 or 100 rnd drum mag (IIRC) and had it jam on him (as they do).
The second is the Las Vegas case--and in that case he had a ton of guns, mostly he was switching guns rather than reloading.
Detachable or not is the only meaningful distinction.
And "generic semi-automatic hunting rifle" has become the AR-15. It used to be a bolt action, or maybe an Mini-14. But the whole benefit (and the social drawback) of widespread ownership of AR-15s is the high rate of fire, and the magazine capacity.
Comparing it to a bolt-action .308 isn't the point.
That it’s largely made of aluminum and composites means it’s lighter than steel and wood, and also more weather resistant. People like modern materials for good reason.
The AR design (itself over 60 yrs old) is so popular because it is highly modular (customizable) and can be accurized to a high degree. And it should be pointed out that the military rejected the pattern design before adopting it.
So what is this “modeled after” quality you’re talking about? Firearm action designs are all quite old, and have been used by both the military and civilians since firearms were a thing. There was a time in the late 19th century when firearms designs in the hands of civilians outclassed (in rate of fire) the service weapons of the US Army. Gas systems on weapons are quite old, back to the 19th century again. What you probably think of as the stereotypical “hunting rifle” would fit the same profile as a military sniper rifle in service today (e.g. Remington model 700). Are hunting rifles “modeled after” sniper rifles? Or the other way around? It really is an artificial debate.
It's not so uncommon to have a assault rifle from the military or other guns at home in Switzerland and their numbers are way lower than in the US . It's not about having guns, it's about proper training and not giving weapons to psychologically unstable people.
* They are not allowed to possess ammunition unless in special militias. Any ammunition bought or issued at ranges cannot be taken off premises.
* Purchasing ammunition for permitted private arms requires the same checks as buying the weapons, including permits, ID and a recent criminal record check.
* There are strict controls around storing and transporting weapons.
* There is no right to concealed carry.
* There are no stand your ground laws.
I'm very happy when Americans cite Switzerland in terms that equate it to the US because that implies a regulatory system like that in Switzerland would be appropriate to the US. That's a great idea.
The ones that you get when you go do your mandatory shooting rehearsal have to be completly expanded but you can just buy a case and bring it back home.
With some friends we were going to the shooting range quite a lot and bought like 1000 rounds and stored them at one of my friend's place to take advantage of a bulk discount.
From what I've heard it's way easier to get a gun permit in Switzerland than here in Germany and the Swiss are allowed to have guns you can't even dream of here (I'm talking about stuff like the semi auto H&K MP5, AR-15/AK derivates, etc.).
It's become a rite of passage for empires to try and fail there. Next up, China?
The main thing that sets the US apart from other countries is not that civilians can own AR15s or similar weapons, it's that US law for the most part gives any adult the legal right to purchase and own firearms by default, provided that they can pass a background check. The United States and Yemen are basically the only countries that use this system. Basically every other country has some sort of tiered licensing system for firearms ownership, with varying levels of strictness. And as it happens, Switzerland is pretty unrestrictive in this regard. The Swiss "Firearms acquisition permit" looks essentially equivalent to the United State's "Form 4473" which is required for the majority of firearms transactions.
Edit: assuming we are talking about shooting the criminal not just use the weapon as a deterrent. No idea what happens in that case, but I reckon either or both civil and military justice are going to have a word with you.
Calm, reasonable robber--of course you hand it over. Crazy methhead, if he makes a mistake and gives you an opportunity you very well might be better off taking it. America doesn't try to judge the situation in advance.
Drug addicts usually want to be left alone and won't bother you. Exception being people chuck full of cocaine and alcohol in and arounds nightclubs frustrated about not getting layed.
The problem is being tackled the other way around by trying to keep poverty, inequality and thus acts of desperation low.
> They are not allowed to possess ammunition unless in special militias. Any ammunition bought or issued at ranges cannot be taken off premises.
So potentially yes, but only if you mean using the gun as a club.
Swiss gun owners are allowed to buy, own, and use ammunition. They may also use a privately-owned firearm in self-defense situationally, but the legal justification for use of deadly force in Switzerland will obviously be more stringent than it would be in the United States.
So there is a big difference to gun ownership in the US (and elsewhere).
(I'm not commenting on the morality of either state's laws; just pointing out that US states differ widely on gun laws.)
[Edit: I originally said California instead of New Jersey. NJ's laws are stricter but it appears that the vast majority of states allow much leeway when in your own home, so I might even be wrong about NJ.
This, so much.
In Switzerland there is a culture of responsibility about shooting rifles and guns. If you are gun aficionado, you are a member of the local "Schutzenverein" (Markmen's club). If you're not, people will get very suspicious. For the most part, these Schutzenvereins take care that their members are properly trained. And even though there are very young markmen (and markwoman), as young as 12 years old - they are introduced to a long and continued tradition of gun handling; they are taught that guns are weapons and not toys.
And by the way; every little village has it's own Schutzenverein.
I wish something like this existed in the USA.
Many towns in the US have their versions of Schuetzenvereins. Where I am in California (!), several surrounding towns have their own clubs with ranges, as well as one facility that is essential county-wide. The latter range has hosted national championships in a variety of shooting sports. My cousins took hunter safety classes at a public high school in Louisiana. The local public high school has an indoor range, but sadly it's just used for storage, now.
These things exist and are used in large numbers, but the press is actively uninterested in them because they near-universally lack blood or excitement. Just people safely enjoying shooting sports, preparing for hunting, or putting holes in paper for fun.
There is a whole responsible gun culture in the US which is overshadowed by a smaller number of extremely irresponsible people.
BUT.. I also think these informal social systems can behave as classist and other discriminatory mechanisms. In the US, gun control is particularly tainted with its racist past in post (Civil) war years.
I think of Switzerland as an incredibly expensive place to live, a land of the haves and have-nots. My perception is that part of the luxury they enjoy by being a comparatively stable and peaceful society is a product of them being relatively small, culturally close-knit, having a "my-way-or-the-highway (to Italy)" kind of attitude. Great stuff, but I think it probably also comes at a cost that would be hard to endure if you weren't somebody who "fit in".
I could be very wrong about evaluating the risks vs. rewards. To be honest, almost all the gun enthusiasts in the US I know belong to some sort of organization, either members of a shooting club/range, organization, etc. We tend to regard those who aren't as merely being "leechers" off the contributions we make to the community, facilities, and political action, but not suspiciously as criminals. If I'm honest, my suspicion of you as a gun owner is raised by your behavior in gun handling (recklessness) and your demeanor [appearance + behavior + language + (dis)respectfulness to others (if all mimic criminal stereotypes)]. This is a form of discrimination that also has classist and racist risks but is a bit less institutionalized perhaps than gates to formal club membership.
It's silly to me that gun control groups in the US have tried to rebrand themselves as gun safety organizations, when they neither advocate or support any gun safety training in the US. They are the equivalent of a an "abstinence-only" sex educator living in Gomorrah.
I was taught actual gun safety at a young age, the responsibility inherent in handling and owning firearms, and the self discipline necessary to use them effectively. I am biased by the tangible and intangible rewards I've gained from that, so tend to think others could benefit from it as well.
I don't think you realize the irony of bringing tanks into the discussion. When you say tanks and gun control in the same sentence here's what most Americans think of.
And that's probably not something you want to bring up if you're in favor of gun control.
Point is most discussions related to strict control on these rifles to me is mostly pointless, the genie is out the bottle if talking about curbing assault rifles they have been flooding the streets for over a decade at this point.
Me personally I also believe these things make America America, problems and all. It may seem like a weird worldview to some, but some love the fact America has this wild edge to it, it’s not perfect but if you’re living right and being responsible it mostly works out fine. We have old people like everyone else. Making our country work like other counties isn’t as common as looking at what other states are doing in my experience. And states have their own micro cultures that are more or less permissive of this stuff, again that’s what many love about the US
There’s nothing quirky, loveable or wild about school massacres and an aggressive, poorly trained but hyper-militarised police force.
Your “oh shucks, we can’t help it because… well that’s just who we are!” message exacerbates the false notion that positive, widespread societal change isn’t impossible. Which benefits certain people, not least of all gun manufacturers flooding the country with high-powered weaponry.
By the way, you probably think far more people are killed by "assault rifles" than really are, judging by your hyperbole. In 2019, there were...364. By contrast, there were 328 million people in the US in 2019. That means 0.000001% of the population, which, while tragic, is statistically insignificant.
(bonus: breakdown of murders by state and by weapon: https://ucr.fbi.gov/crime-in-the-u.s/2019/crime-in-the-u.s.-...)
Due to enforcement issues any outright ban will just prevent law abiding citizens from defending themselves. There are certain cities that have failed in the last 10 years resulting in police response times over an hour. In the case of Detroit violence was consistently rising during that time until several perps were shot committing a crime and it was highly televised and then violence receded.
Guns empower women to defend themselves against people who could otherwise physically dominate them, as well as other minority groups who may face violence in their neighborhood. There are lots of countries with armed civilians that don't have school shootings.
There has also yet to be a reasonable technical classification that can identify a so called "assault" rifle from other rifle platforms.
Government tyranny is also real and legitimate threat to the population. Especially today with an ever invasive fed surveillance program, secret courts, and countries that are bypassing the bill of rights by offloading the violations to its allies. Oh and they are still discussing the legality of which and will seem to be in a perpetual legal battle over it. Many people argue you can't fight tanks/drones ect.. with guns but history Hong Kong is an excellent example and they aren't even armed, imagine if they were. They are willing to die for the cause and they would have the opportunity to escalate it to violence. The regime would have likely had to back down.
School shootings are about mental health and bullying and the relationships they have with adults around them. It's easy to make a bomb. If people want to inflict mass violence they will, we need to fix the root issues.
Neither of which has anything to do with the second Amendment, and ready, free access to firearms. The school shootings have much more to do with our criminally underfunded education system, and so overfunded law enforcement with terrible perverse incentives, warrior instead of Guardian ethos, and the complete dissolution of all semblance of high-trust culture through incubated multi-decade corruption.
Solve the right problems first. When teachers can't even count on specialists to help with the hard cases in schools, and social workers are stretched as thin as they are, that's what sews the field with the seeds of desperation or anger driven slaughter.
And don't think it'd not happen without the firearms. Once you go over the edge, you find a way.
This is the result of the negative consequences of a given freedom, and you could say similar things for any given right. This isn't isolated to just the Second Amendment, though, it's true of all rights.
First Amendment: "There's nothing quirky, loveable, or wild about hate speech or anti-Semitism".
Third Amendment: "There's nothing quirky, loveable, or wild about keeping the National Guard from being able to quickly and efficiently respond to medical emergencies in areas far from bases."
Fourth Amendment: "There's nothing quirky, loveable, or wild about letting murderers go free just because of bureaucracy"
I imagine most people would agree with the above statements. I imagine most people would also agree that these rights are all super valuable and provide lots of utility. The "Wild West" aspect of America that most people find appealing, though, is the view that America tends to weight the individual rights side of the balance really heavily (with the tacit acknowledgement that the negative side of things is also bound to be bigger as well).
> and an aggressive, poorly trained but hyper-militarised police force.
No contest here, such police forces are a problem and I think lots of second-amendment advocates would agree.
kalashnikov for $30k, as example. registered lower for m16 cost $20k at least.
Do you really believe this? Any evidence?
Here’s some to the counter, your average anti gun dem buying an AR-15: https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/interactive/2021/anti-...
Do you also understand your average hunting rifle is a lot more powerful than these supposed other weapons? Here’s .223 on left and 30-06 (aka “hunting rifle”) on right: http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-2a-YzMNCllQ/UPd-W05xMaI/AAAAAAAAAW...
The primary reason this wouldn't happen like this in most other countries is that it's unlikely that the home owner would turn up with a gun - if they did, police would be pointing theirs too. Really the main missed opportunity here seems to be the call of the neighbor, which could have been used to coordinate, but overall it sounds like the one swatting death which really was a dumb accident.
(2) Police checks and verifies first, as opposed to kicking doors in shooting because a 13 year old made a call.
(3) Police is taught not to be trigger happy, even if there are reports - or actual sighting - of the suspect carrying a gun, knife, etc.
(4) Police doesn't get military surplus equipment fit for war, nor does it use it in civillian cases.
(5) Police doesn't equate a report of someone selling/doing drugs, with a chance to storm the place guns a blazing.
(6) Traffic police doesn't get to shoot you if they stopped your car and you had the audacity to walk out towards them. That's not even a thing.
(7) The police is taught to discern low-risk and high-risk situations, and not e.g. treat a guy with a knife 30 feet away, or a small black boy playing in a park as a threat.
(8) The police is taught to be an aid to the citizen, not to see everybody as a threat.
Yes, but we already covered that - that it's not specifically about this case.
We very recently had country-wide protests on the topic of police brutality with very minimal consequnce.
Those surrounding circumstances almost certainly informed this man's decision to own a firearm and his decision to brandish that firearm while figuring out what was happening on his property.
The assumption here is that the stress of the situation was the cause of his heart attack, and ultimately his death.
What ever happened to giving someone a phone call to assess the situation?
I'm sorry but it seems to be the main factor though. When the probability of the suspect carrying a gun is very low, you are not that motivated to use yours.
> (many countries have heavy hunting population, and people will use shotguns, close themselves in their house if they're accused, etc).
That's completely different. You can't really hide your hunting weapon in your jacket. People don't walk around with their weapons in the town. The culture is completely different. Even in a country where many people do own weapons (Switzerland) it's very rare that someone would use them for crime.
All countries have idiot teenagers…
Maybe we can take the model of other countries that have idiot teenagers but no swatting problem?
America does not have significantly more homicides then other western countries. Most gun homicides are people who know each other shooting each other in dispute. And they are clustered in high violence places making the rest of America safer then average.
The US has 2-5x the murder rate of peer nations.
The point is, gang violence as aggregate is not meaningfully different from other violence.
This is just false. The reason gang violence is separated out is that gang violence is perpetrated against other gang members.
I.e. the gun violence rate for non-gang members is dramatically lower.
It doesn’t mean gang violence is not a problem. It does mean that unless you are in a gang, the US doesn’t have a high murder rate.
Where do you think I comment on the ease of opting out of gangs?
Except for those and more, it's just like any other violence.
That said, I wouldn't consider those countries directly comparable as far as their position in the world, and how their culture is affected by that position. Russia is probably it's most direct peer, and is comparably closer when looking at wealth inequality and homicide rate.
Covid deaths in last 15 months: 625,000 (500k/year)
So 30 times more likely to be killed by covid than by murder.
Most people who die in covid are old. I'd think most people who get shot, are younger
As another commentor noted:
> However, if you arbitrarily throw away the number one cause of violence in other countries, surprisingly enough, their numbers are also way lower.
Fall accidents are also dangerous once you're old, doesn't mean it makes sense to compare that with gun violence or swatting
That's just the facts. If we want the police to disarm, we need to first disarm the population. We shouldn't be sending police into armed situations with inferior weapons.
Police justify many actionsl/systems/norms based on the fact that their job is dangerous. However they have also, in doing so, created a situation where anything they do to reduce risk to themselves is valid. That hits a limit at some point
You could insist that police behave in a way that actually puts them at some risk…i.e., not presume they will be attacked or to be unarmed. We could decide that that risk is worth it as a society and insist upon it just as we insist that essential workers put themselves at risk during covid to feed us.
If potential risk is always used to justify force, eventually the risk will be gone because force will be the default.
Seems like treating every encounter as struggle for dominance instead puts you all in more danger.
So lets take a step back. There's two sides to this encounter. It is common for Americans, when they feel like they're in danger, to approach situations with a gun drawn.
Police, knowing that other Americans will approach them with guns drawn (since criminals see Police as a threat), will also approach with guns drawn.
And guess what? The gun advocate will point out that everyone acted as an adult in this situation. No gunfire was exchanged. The heart attack was unfortunate, but this is actually one of the better situations.
Compare / Contrast instead with say: Breonna Taylor. The Police begin to knock down the door, someone gets confused and shoots at them. The Police shoot back killing Breonna Taylor.
You can't deny that the job that Police do and put themselves in means that Police are expected to get shot at. Changing this expectation will require more than just changing how Police operate, it also means changing America's culture to not have so many freaking guns.
I also find it ridiculous that a country that says it is OK to defend your house with gun, also says it is OK for police to create situation in which people think they are attacked by violent strangers - where those strangers are cops.
Guns are the worst, they need line of sight, overpenetrate, protective measures are ineffective, and they might not take the actual target either.
(Only tasers are worse.)
Only tasers are worse at killing people. They're perfectly adequate for their intended use; allowing an officer to halt a person who presents a real danger to the officer, when alternatives are not available.
However, what is happening is that most of those homicides are criminals killing other criminals and aren't very relevant to non-criminals. This greatly changes the balance of value vs risk to the average American.
The typical self-defense use of a gun is simply showing it and making some scumbag run away.
I don’t think this is true. I personally know of a case in the UK where due to a false report of a gun, an armed squad was sent to someone’s house.
It may not be discussed as casually as it is in the US, but every country has armed police and they deploy them when they expect guns to be involved.
It’s just false to claim that swatting is a US only phenomenon or a function of police culture.
The use of armed police there is a big deal though. My friend is a police officer in the UK and has a firearm and riot gear for armed responses, and they very rarely use it. When it is used, there's loads of reporting to ensure its use was justified.
I am an investigative reporter covering US law enforcement and crime. Let me know if you'd like to see some examples of the documentation I am referring to.
This would be a case where you're asking me to prove the negative...can you find instances of Swatting occurring with similar resulting violence in, lets say, Japan or Western Europe?
If a system can be easily manipulated from the outside to produce negative results, the outsider is easily to blame the first time it happens.
Swatting has been a problem for over a decade. If the system remains vulnerable to the same attack for that long, the system administrator is at fault for failing to resolve the issue.
 I was lazy so just looked up what UD thinks, the second definition is dated 2007, so that seems like a reasonable date to consider "over a decade" https://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=swatting
People will call the cops with BS accusations and fake threats (e.g. bomb threats, etc) all over the world, including calling them on people.
SWATing however only (or 99%) happens in the US, where the police charges like bulls, is trigger happy, puts their own "safety" over anything else in comical degree, gets military surplus equipment in bulk, and has the impression they are in an action movie...
But the Police needs to pay for overreacting, not for showing up like in this case. The Police showed up and "admirably" defused the situation, probably only because the target was white. But if you incriminate showing up in force the initial response will be to stop showing up, and much later to do it in a more peaceful fashion, like with 1-2 people at the door and the rest of the platoon in military gear being hidden.
Why assume the scare? And how did the rest of my comment imply it? Absent any reason to infer that particular meaning how do you support your decision to take the least charitable interpretation?
Sometimes these events are like getting struck by lightning, and all we can do is install lightning rods to lessen the statistics.
In this case that might look like further anonymity or public service announcements explaining to people that if you share your address some crazy person may end up killing you (somehow).
Flamebait language beyond, US cops deploy SWAT teams on regular warrants and non-violent crimes. US cops seem to love their swat teams.
> The primary reason this wouldn't happen like this in most other countries is that it's unlikely that the home owner would turn up with a gun - if they did, police would be pointing theirs too.
Like, it is legal to own the gun, but if you have one cops are free to shoot you?
Anyway, I suspect this leads to SWAT teams wanting to justify their existence by responding to as many situations as possible.
It is a complicated issue, though. In a country where many people own assault rifles that massively outgun a cop’s pistol, SWAT teams are kind of a necessity.
That's in no way what I said, and not what happened here for once?
> Unable to disengage a lock on his back fence, Herring was instructed to somehow climb over the fence with his hands up.
> “He was starting to get more upset,” Billings recalled. “He said, ‘I’m a 60-year-old fat man and I can’t do that.'”
> Billings said Mr. Herring then offered to crawl under a gap in the fence, but when he did so and stood up, he collapsed of a heart attack. Herring died at a nearby hospital soon after.
If they assumed it was a prank, there's a chance nobody would die, unlike in this case where they did make sure somebody would.
Is that the point you're making?
"De-escalated it" to the point where the homeowner had a heart attack and died. Without the video, this just looks like poor police work, and of course a heinous crime by the original caller.
So, I don't think it would be a good idea to set "assume it's a swatting" as the default response to 911 calls for service in response to violent crime. At least for Chicago.
It’s MUCH more interesting to get a job with the dept as they let you run wild on all their data from fleets to police locations, investigations, digital stuff like facial rec etc. most depts need good analysts too in beleaguered cities so go against the grain and join up, you’ll love it. Not to mention the security and benefits. Lot of my work revolves around holding cops more accountable that to me is the most interesting stuff, not crime analysis.
Just had a meeting yesterday where the majors were asking me how our team can figure out what aspects of a detectives investigation leads to the maximum likelihood of case closures and identifying the largest factors for example. As much as Twitter/nonprofit/outsider crime analysts have access to open data, some stuff you gotta be on the inside to access let alone move the needle vs. just reporting analysis to followers. Highly encourage anyone reading to consider…
I've largely been focused on implementing recommendations from a PERF report on Chicago homicide investigations  after years of attrition in the Bureau of Detectives collided with a massive spike in violent crime (in 2016, following the Laquan McDonald murder). My main projects have centered on developing CPD's capacity for recovering video evidence (mainly CCTV) in homicide and shooting cases, as well as teaching a special detail of detectives how to convert footage from proprietary codecs to standard codecs in a forensically sounds way (so that the footage can actually be viewed by less technologically savvy detectives and assistant state's attorney's). You can view seeking-to-identify focused samples of collected footage on CPD's YouTube channel  (although these are not representative of the breadth of footage now collected on each homicide). It's not as polished as LAPD's productions , but that's to be expected considering the well developed entertainment and digital media workforce in LA.
Although I do want to praise Chicago for it's willingness to make data available publicly. I had been pushing for years to get shooting data posted publicly and we just got that added to the data portal in May . Additionally, the Cook County State's Attorneys Office puts a lot of their case data on the CCSAO data portal . These are only a tiny fraction of the tables in CPD's or CCSAO's respective data warehouses, but as far as public data ecosystems go, Chicago's is the least bad I've worked with of major US cities. Working with LAPD's or NYPD's open data is a real pain.
You can see the use of force incidents that resulted in complaints here, on the Civilian Office of Police Accountability case portal  (although not all of these involve tac officers). You can also see the statistics on rates of use of force in this dashboard , and see what counts as use of force (as well as when use of deadly force is authorized) here .
It's important that people actually check up on their police departments. Police serve a vital and life-saving role in society, but they have to be actually monitored. Just assuming they're all bad gives cover to the bad ones and discourages good ones from signing up, and as someone who checks, I can tell you that the people most abused by America disproportionately call the police for help, and many of their emergencies are truly harrowing.
what does this mean?
I'm not saying police shouldn't respond if the call comes from an IP gateway or a different state - but dispatch should tell them confidence is low and in that case police could approach the scene much more skeptically.
That obviously won't work, because you can't expect people in legitimate emergencies to do something like that. Say they don't even have one of those apps installed, is the 911 dispatcher supposed to talk them through installing Zoom before they send help? That's literally a Kafkaesque nightmare (or straight out of a political attack ad).
Honestly, I think the most realistic way to solve this is my making investigations into SWATing really high priority (e.g. dedicated FBI people investigating these crimes), and then handing out heavy, punitive sentences as a deterrent. The only reason anyone does this is they think they can get away with it (and often do). I think it'd stop once that impression is changed.
It's just a terrible idea. I'm guessing it took less than a minute to come up with it, and you spent that time thinking of reasons to support it and almost no time thinking about the problems with it. It's just that bad.
Some obvious problems:
1. You didn't consider the most popular smartphone OS at all.
2. Not everyone has a smartphone.
3. Not everyone who has a smartphone knows how to use all the apps on it, or can figure a new one out in a stressful situation.
4. How exactly do you think someone who's actually being threatened would prove it to the police over a video call (reveal their hiding place to take video of the perp with the gun)?
5. Don't you think the SWATter (or whatever you call them) could fake a video call using some accepted service, like they already fake phone calls?
6. What if there's no data at their location, or the signal is too poor for video but good enough for voice (like my parents' basement)?
7. Etc. (I could go on, but I think I proved my point)
Most of them are dealbreakers. A few even show that your solution won't even properly address the SWATting problem it's ostensibly meant to solve, even ignoring the bad tradeoffs.
I'll grant you it's a step, just not a step forward.
"Great, let me send you a calendar invite for a Microsoft Teams meeting. Can you do 13:30? Oh no wait, my supervisor has a clash then... how about 14:45?"
There was a report of an armed gunman who had already killed someone on this guy’s property, so cops went to search for him. What exactly would you have them do differently?
If not a SWAT team, a large armed response.
By all accounts, the police responded appropriately and de-escalating the situation when the man came outside with a gun.
I don’t understand what people want to be different about this situation, other than for the police to become clairvoyant so they can know when reports are false before they get there.
Whose accounts would those be of? Is there a video available for review?
The original Minneapolis PD's report on George Floyd was the only official account of the events prior to the medical examiner's report, and was specifically written to be as detail-free as legally possible.
Does that even happen in the USA? I'm in the UK, and I can't remember the last time I saw a solitary cop - they patrol in pairs here.
In general, cuts to the police have made single crewing a lot more common.
*With the exception of dog handlers, British police aren't allowed to drive home in their patrol cars.
Send the drones ahead. Flying, walking, tracked, wheeling.
From the police that regularly chokes people, shots unarmed men, women, and even kids, and likes to play with military gear, and are trigger happy?
Probably one can't expect much of them, anyway.
A competent police would have set up some kind of barricade to stand behind, call for the person to come out, try to watch the house from afar to see what's going on, and in any case, not have several people stand with drawn weapons aiming at a person...
After all if "a gunman has already shot someone", the police can obviously bring that person back to life by charging into the scene guns ablazing...
And, as many SWATing cases have shown us, "when there's a report that a gunman has already shot someone" it's necessarily true!
Here you can see we have more crime per 1000 then America. But we have significant less gun crimes and/or violent crimes then US. Also violent crime with murder and murder crime. 1 more trivia item is that we actually have more police officers per capita then America.
Not sure what to conclude. Gun restrictions seem not to curb crime but seems to curb violent crimes and murders. Or maybe we are just less violent :) I'm not sure.
But what I can conclude is that our Police doesn't have to go many times to violent crime scenes and when they go the chance someone is armed with a gun even less likely....
If the answer to all of those questions is "yes", then congratulations, you have exactly the same situation as this case in Tennessee. (If the answer to any is "no", ...?)
"1 more trivia item is that we actually have more police officers per capita then America."
50% more. I'm impressed.
OTOH, that site shows The Netherlands as having ~155 police officers total. I guess they're not counting the 24,000 "peace officers".
New Zealand has 5 total (0.1 / 100,000).
Norway is mostly hunting rifles for example. Very few handguns.
Policing is also different. Police is usually not carrying guns, but the moment a gun is reported it causes a massive response. As a criminal, bringing a gun massively increases your risk, as without one you're unlikely to run into anyone with a lethal weapon. It also causes a risk of a far longer sentence.
That's exactly the same in the US, btw. Bringing a gun causes the tactical team to come in rather than the normal cops, and it aggravates the criminal's sentence.
Missing the point, which is that this is a meaningful escalation in Norway where regular cops do not carry guns in most instances. It's a far less meaningful escalation when you're facing armed police either way.
The point both with that and the sentencing is that it creates a sharp escalation from a low risk base.
Escalation only works as a deterrence from negative behaviours if the lowest risk alternative is actually seen as low risk.
I hear about unnecessary use of force while detaining someone, a few standoffs against armed opponents, a few car chases but nothing like swatting.
But I would think - depending on whether prank reports like this are relatively common, as a % of all SWAT calls made legitimate or illegitimate - it’d be better to check out the scene, maybe even knock first if the situation allows it, as a default, to determine any chance that they were just being sent on a wild goose chase by some bored gamers. I guess cases with quote-unquote hostages would preclude that kind of luxury though, dunno
The only people responsible for this were the people who called the police with a false report. That is the crime.
I think cops do a lot of bad shit and need to be held accountable, but this sounds like they did the right thing.
So they definitely didn't storm in. And he did have a gun.
> ... they definitely didn't storm in.
Yes. There were a lot of them for absolutely no reason but for a completely baseless claim.
> And he did have a gun.
This is irrelevant. He was on his own property and did nothing wrong. The authorities didn't know he had a gun before sending so many cops.
How would they know its baseless? If someone broke into your house with a gun do you want the police to show up assuming you're lying?
This man also didn’t die because he was shot btw. The way you reduce these incidents is through severe punishments for reporting false crimes.
But when all you have is a hammer, every citizen looks like a nail.
You read about a few false positives and decide the police need to start assuming by default that every call is a false positive. You have no data on the number of calls where sending a SWAT team is the correct response (true positives), the number of calls where the responder correctly decides not to send SWAT (true negatives) or where the responder incorrectly decides not to send SWAT (false negatives).
No, you have no data, just a handful of anecdotes and on that basis you want to completely change how first responders work. You talk about “Bayesian” but you couldn’t possibly calculate how many lives could be saved or lost by this change.
Please, let’s stop acting like we’re experts at everything because we know a bit about software. Maybe other people are competent too. Maybe they know shit we don’t.
Oh and by the way, like someone else pointed out, the article doesn’t even say SWAT was deployed or that any law enforcement entered his home.
I am surprised if it’s possible for someone in the U.K. to call 911 and get “911 stateside” and not redirected to 999 in the U.K.?
> regularly get the wrong house
Citation needed, with data? Or do you, like GP, also want us to assume that your anecdotes are data? And getting the exact address isn’t the same thing as deciding the legitimacy of a call.
> “it’s probably correct so we should ignore the problem” isn’t a sane perspective
You’ve mischaracterised my comment and called me insane. That was uncalled for. I did not say this wasn’t a problem. I merely questioned whether a person with 0 data and 0 experience was qualified to call for upending the current system. More data is needed before we can hold such strong opinions.
I would request that in future you don’t call people’s opinions insane without even understanding what they’re saying. You’re currently in violation of HN guidelines (https://news.ycombinator.com/newsguidelines.html)
Depends if you count a minimum of 10% "regularly"?
From 2003: "After the New York City raid that killed Alberta Spruill, Police Chief Raymond Kelly estimated that at least 10 percent of the city’s 450+ monthly no-knock drug raids were served on the wrong address, under bad information, or otherwise didn’t produce enough evidence for an arrest. Kelly conceded, however, that NYPD didn’t keep careful track of botched raids, leading one city council member to speculate the problem could be even worse."
There's a whole bunch documented here (where I got the quote) - https://www.cato.org/sites/cato.org/files/pubs/pdf/balko_whi...
Although I think it speaks to the general competence of the US police that they can't get the right address even when they've spent days/weeks organising a raid - I wouldn't necessarily trust them to get it right on a fast rollout on a SWAT call.
Nor did your flamebaiting, uncharitable response to said comment (see 'In Comments' guidelines).
If this is a prank, we WILL find you. Please enter the last four digits of your social security number followed by the pound key to receive an automatic 90% discount on your sentence.
How about we punish the hell out of anyone who does these stupid prank calls instead.
If US police focused more on containment and de-escalation this wouldn't be a problem in the first place.
No idea why you would send an intervention team in blind, much less on an unconfirmed tip. It's a recipe for all kinds of disasters and expensive one too.
This is true, and I think people today have a very warped view of policing. However, there are plenty of legitimate areas of improvement:
- No knock raids
- Violent arrests of non-violent offenders
- Eminent domain
No knock raids are particularly troubling because (among many other reasons) they can result in a legal shootout between police and civilians: A civilian who has been violently woken up in the middle of the night is disoriented and scared, and legitimately believes he is subject to a life-threatening home invasion. He opens fire on the police, who he believes to be the home invaders. The police, being fired on, have a legitimate right to defend themselves. It's not airtight, but this scenario can lead to a legal shootout where both parties have valid legal arguments.
I realize this is mostly oblique to the topic at hand, but our policing can and should be improved, even if it gives ammunition to the folks who want to demonize the police unjustly.
What do you think isn't airtight in that scenario?
How can you know this. My guess would be it's like hacking any other system. You hear about the few times they succeed. Especially if turns into a horrible incident the news media can use to fit one of their favorite narratives.
Really people have been doing this for a long time, the “boy who cried wolf” is part of Aesop's Fables dating to ~600 BCE. Swatting is significant because it’s harder for cops to filter based on internet famous than actually famous.
Institution that reacts without care and with sever overreaction so often, will have more of them simply because they are super easy to make attack.
There is no law of nature requiring that police departments react that way. It is up to us as a society to decide what behavior we desire.
If, for instance, I were to learn that 90% of all calls for SWAT teams are from "swatting" (baseless prank calls performed to create the reaction) while 10% were actual life-or-death situations it would affect my opinion of the right way for police to handle it.
So I think knowing the actual statistics is important.
From my reading, mcherm is giving a hypothetical scenario in which the automatic response of sending a SWAT team would be unreasonable. The conclusion isn't that we exist in that hypothetical scenario, but that more information is needed in order to determine whether and how close we may be to it.
It’s a really hard job where you have to walk the correct route through a protocol in an emergency, often while being in danger yourself
The "protocol" for police is also dictated by their unions and the way laws around police use of force are interpreted. In general they know they are safe if they simply kill a person as soon as they perceive a threat. They will be legally covered and physically out of harm's way. This therefore incentivizes them to use lethal force, because they have no incentive not to use lethal force.
Yes, police have a hard job. But it could be a lot less hard (for them) if laws and policies are reformed.
I'm not arguing for 90%, just against assumptions.
To take this further if someone malicious caused me to do something catastrophic at work should I be absolved of all accountability? Sure, I am not the person who did the malicious thing because I had no intent, but I did still do it. Maybe I shouldn’t be fired but the security policies and procedures should be changed for the entire company to prevent this from happening again.
If you want to discuss a topic in a productive manner, the first thing to do is to honestly say something about what you believe and why.
What actual observations of the world led you to your generalizations?
What do the police in those countries do differently?
To stop a shooter? Yes it is.
I don't think that most SWAT responses are actually saving lives with bullets. Also included in that paper is a table showing that most frequently, SWAT is used to serve warrants.
If a warrant serving situation seems dangerous enough to use SWAT, I hope they use them and no rounds are fired. That’s a good warrant service, not a failure, in my book.
"After receiving a phone call concerning an active shooter situation, the force sent round a single officer, just to double-check. The officer was among the 7 killed by the gunman."
Remember the story of the boy who cried wolf? The sheep were slaughtered because the town stopped trusting him. I'd rather the police scare a few unlucky people and waste some resources than learn to distrust our cries for help. Of course it's a tragedy that someone lost their life, but how many lives would be lost through not mobilising enough police?
"Someone else told me XYZ" doesn't absolve you of responsibility for your actions. The people who called in with a false report certainly share in that responsibility, but it's not solely theirs.
What are you proposing they should have done? Just waited it out from a distance?
This is basically the same as blaming the first-day developer that wipes the production database. It's more on the police to change their behavior than to expect kids to stop being imbeciles.
This is not just stupidity, it is malicious stupidity.
"Hang on... While we do due diligence!"
What due diligence would or could the police do? Maybe they could tell if the caller location was far away or overseas, but beyond that...
My intuition, without seeing the relevant data, is that rapid police response is worth the cost of occasional swatting.
How about doing that instead of going to whatever address anyone gives them like a pizza delivery but with blazing guns instead of pizza?
But in case of domestic disputes it's not that clear cut. Police arrives in minutes, in the heat of the moment, escalate further and they shoot someone, usually the best armed one among people arguing or just the one that has most trouble with calming immediately in the middle of a quarrel. In many cases if they caught a flat tire along the way and arrived 10 minutes later, situation might deescalate till then.
There must be some optimal reaction time for the police otherwise if faster is always better then the best thing would be to each of us having a policemen with loaded gun pointed at the back of our head all the time, half-asleep, ready to be woken up to shoot immediately in reaction to whatever crime we seem to be trying to commit.
I sometimes look at the Citizen app (though I don't have notifications on) and there seem to be multiple instances that would benefit from a rapid response daily - theft, threats, domestic violence, shots fired, etc. I myself recently witnessed a fight and another passerby called the police. The police arrived within minutes and settled what might've escalated into a worse situation. I'm not aware of any swattings in my location, let alone fatal ones.
I'd be curious to see data on this problem.
Swatting destroys peoples house, traumatize people, injures people pretty much on the regular. And no one will pay you back for what was destroyed.
Just because no one died does not mean no damage was done.
Many non-US countries manage this just fine. It seems to be mainly the US where "warrior cop" is a thing.
The question was "more passive [than the US]" and not "passively" - that would cover, e.g., the UK, who generally don't roll up to active shooter situations with a squadron of heavily armed trigger happy warrior cops like the US does.
So if that means that when SWAT shows up, they walk in unarmed and get shot..so be it. That is acceptable. Having a potentially innocent person be killed is not.
Again, the question is really which option is worse. On the one hand we have a zealous police response that will sometimes kill innocent people as a result of things like swatting, being
unintentionally misinformed, or even just tragic accidents. On the other hand we have a cautious police response which might minimize the people injured or killed by the causes just discussed but increase the injuries or deaths that result from delays in police response. Which of the two causes the most harm?
As I've said before, my intuition is that a rapid response is the least harmful. I think the policing experts in charge of current policing strategy share that opinion based on current protocols. I understand that you prefer the cautious strategy, but I haven't seen you explain why you think there will be less harm from that strategy.
It is not nearly the same situation.
What alternative behavior do you suggest?
(FWIW, I've been swatted before, and live in constant anxiety every since. I don't feel safe.)
"Dr. Wittstein and his research team found that some people may respond to sudden, overwhelming emotional stress by releasing large amounts of adrenalin and other chemicals into the blood stream. These chemicals can be temporarily toxic to the heart, effectively stunning the muscle and producing symptoms similar to those of a typical heart attack: chest pain, fluid in the lungs, shortness of breath and heart failure. However, there are no further similarities between "broken heart" syndrome and cardiac arrest. Closer inspection using blood tests and magnetic resonance imaging scans failed to show the typical heart attack signs, such as irreversible muscle damage and elevated levels of certain enzymes."
If that happened, it would have been avoidable; it doesn't necessarily mean he was sickly and this was the straw that broke the camel's back.
(Aside: I wonder if anyone here would think comparable things of the organizers of a surprise party, 16 years after it's published in a medical journal that they can be fatal? What if the birthay person was known to hate surprise parties? Anyone calling for a death penalty or years in prison?)
Swatting has a predictable risk of mortality thus the criminals don't get off morally because their victim died a different way than expected.
I haven't seen a claim that the perpetrators expected the man to die - didn't they want to harass and scare him until he gave up his Twitter handle? If he was dead they'd have no chance of getting access to it, therefore they likely were not planning for him to die, right?
The article uses this picture: https://static.techspot.com/images2/news/bigimage/2019/03/20...
Google reverse image search for that suggests a search term of "fbi swat team" and first result is a wikipedia link to "FBI Special Weapons and Tactics Teams". The picture is from the Wikipedia page on swatting which says it is "an FBI SWAT team during training". https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swatting
If Barney Fife showed up to kindly ask you if you were ok you would have been swatted just not very effectively.
If you shoot someone, we don't say that technically the bullet killed them not the person who fired the shot.