No Hesitation Targets: The controversy.

Law Enforcement Targets Inc. came up with a series of targets under the banner “No Hesitation” representing several armed individuals that were not, shall we say the traditional image of Hollywood’s bad guys. Cries of ZOMG! ensued.

no hesitation

OK, now do me a favor and do this mental exercise: Describe what your future attacker looks like. I’ll give you some time while humming theme from Final Jeopardy and remember, you are betting all the marbles here. You got it? Perfect mental picture? You ready to talk to a police sketch artist and come up with a composite? Good. Now, the bad news, that person ain’t gonna be the one attacking you as he probably does not even exist. More bad news: If you design your self-defense strategy around just looks, you will end in prison, the hospital or the morgue*.

When and if you make the decision to defend yourself, it must be done because of the actions of the person against you not if they look menacing or dress in a way that is associated with the criminal element or wears hair in a particular manner, has lots of body art or any other superfluous detail.

So, who do I shoot is not important at all (that is if you wan to remain breathing on this planet) but rather when do I shoot so, I am gonna refer to Marty Hayes “What Every Gun Owner Needs to Know About Self Defense Law for the answer. In order to properly defend a self-defense situation, three things must be present: Ability, Opportunity and Jeopardy. Does the attacker have an object capable of inflicting death or great bodily harm?  Is the attacker near enough to make good on the threat to inflict death or grave bodily harm? Do you perceive that the attacker intended to carry out the threat? If these criteria are met, why should we add the burden of trying to decide if the looks or physical condition are some sort of factor that decreases the risk? We as Gun People celebrate when the weak, the elderly or the infirm successfully defend themselves against criminals, yet we refuse to believe that criminals can be anything other than healthy people, 17 to 25 years of age only. Most regular folks can push and kick the hell out of an unarmed junkie who is basically strung out, underfed and weak. But the same junkie with a gun asking to empty your pockets or else, becomes a real threat to life and we would not hesitate to shoot in self-defense.

Let’s make it simpler: If when you look at the target you see age, condition, infirmity, gender or anything else but the gun pointed at you, you lost. Remember once again, our only “duty” is to make it home alive.

Ready for Straw Man & reductio ad absurdum.

* Credit for this mental exercise goes to Clint Smith as quoted in a gun TV show which I cannot remember now.

26 thoughts on “No Hesitation Targets: The controversy.”

      1. Neither am I a cop, so it is my duty also to make it home alive. However, far too many cops seem to hold that opinion when they shouldn’t. I think people are outraged because these targets resonate so strongly with the perceived growing tendency of cops to shoot without thinking.

  1. Great article Miguel and very thought provoking. BTW, the only picture I didn’t see the gun first was the pregnant woman. Thank you, Dante

  2. A couple of days ago, I actually started considering what I would do if I had to defend myself from one of my friends. He’s smaller than I am, but he’s stronger, and in a close-combat situation, I would lose before I could think about it.

    Final conclusion: hope it never happens. If it does, I will remind him that he knows me, and he knows exactly where my loyalties lie.

    That said, the first two pictures are obviously women protecting their children or siblings, and if you’re the one they’re pointing their guns at, you are CLEARLY in the wrong. The 4th picture is the only one I can reasonably see having to shoot, but if I’m ever faced with the 3rd, the moron gets a Darwin Award.

    1. Agree, it does not necessarily make a person a bad guy if they point a gun at you, as they may legitimately perceive you to be a threat. Training cops to shoot without thinking is just asking for cops to kill more innocent people defending themselves, like that guy defending his home from a no knock raid (name was Guerrero?).

  3. The main issue people have with those targets is if anything police currently have exactly the opposite problem that this company is trying to solve. Just look to LA recently and quickly two Asian in a blue truck were shot by the police.

    Being a police officer is hard work but the officer is voluntary choosing that career and assumes a certain amount of risk. While I don’t have a particular issue with the targets of the women the kids are another issue. I want an officer to take a second to process the scene to determine if the kid is really holding a gun, and if so is it a real gun? If on balance I have to choose between some kid getting shot because he was holding a piece of black plastic and the officer didn’t hesitate or an officer getting shot, then I would have to say the officer getting shot is the better outcome.

  4. I can agree with the conclusion here as regards individual gun owners in self-defense situations. If someone is pointing a gun at you, then that fact overrides most other things. However, these weren’t for that purpose; they were explicitly for the use of law enforcement, and if you look at the one at top right, it appears that the setting is a private home. This puts a rather more sinister cast on it, IMO, both because law enforcement officers do have other duties that can and will trump “making it home alive”, and because even assuming that’s not the actual motivation, these are easily mistaken to be meant to train police to break into people’s homes and shoot people defending themselves.

  5. “ZOMG” was because it was THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT who commissioned and was buying these targets.

    Miguel, you are smarter than this. You know the Feds, especially DHS, are jackbooted thugs. You know they are training for future home invasions and gun confiscations. You know they are arming up for this. If you don’t know these things, you are sticking your head in the sand.

    I’m sorry, but I don’t care if you make fun of me with “ZOMG”. I will keep blogging about this. I don’t want my Federal government practicing to shoot pregnant women. Dangit, if our best gun-freedom advocates like you can’t see that point, who will stand in the day when they shoot another Vicki Weaver in the head?

    1. Technically, the quote is “Be polite, be efficient, have a plan to kill everyone you meet.”

      But yes, it’s not racist to profile everyone equally, and having a backup plan doesn’t make you a murderous thug.

      1. Sounds like something I think I heard The Joker say in an episode of Batman.

        I would not remember if it was the Adam West series or the animated series, though…

  6. I left politics aside for a reason. I have seen that the reaction is mostly inspired by the natural disdain we feel about killing the innocent. I wondered how many were actually pissed because of what they stated politically or because they could not stomach the fact that they never thought a sweet looking grandma could provide deadly force. My perception was that the majority were in the latter field rather than a politics issue..

    Are we really ticked off because it was a Government contract or because it deeply affect us to think that we might have to shoot what culturally is perceived to be people that should not be harmed no matter what?
    We are talking about breaking a big societal taboo due to circumstances that are not normal. As distasteful as it is, we do need to first look inside of us and answer those questions.

    And no government ever needed intensive training or special targets to massacre the young, the women and the infirm as history tells us over and over.

    1. Miguel, as a counterpoint, what is your comfort zone if I got Oleg Volk to make up some targets of a hot young thing wearing an ATF uniform with one of those German-looking helmets of theirs? Or an FBI outfit? Or a Federal Marshall outfit? And the background was a neighborhood, and the jackbooted thug in question was sporting an MP5, like they were going to raid some poor sap’s house for “illegal guns”?

      And what if I and my gun club started practicing throat shots, face shots, under-the-arm shots, and crotch shots on those targets of the Fed hotties? What would you think?

      To me, such practice would be RIGHTEOUS. The Founders were against standing armies for a reason.

      Standing armies sent by the government to shoot gun owners in their own homes who have harmed no one is by definition, EVIL. And so is practicing to do it.

      See the difference?

    2. If I’m upset about these, it’s because without context, I see two women who are protecting children from the viewer(the first girl is even standing in front of the children, shielding them with her own body), one boy who doesn’t understand the consequences of his actions and… yeah, that last one looks legit.

      Now, given the right context, I can see myself being able to shoot all four of these individuals, but in at least 3 cases, I would first ask the other person politely not to shoot me.(while still aiming the gun)

  7. Miguel,

    You are correct that an attacker may not be 17 to 25, healthy and male – but the statistical data suggest that is who is most likely to attack the average person.

    Now, I would ask “what is the profile of the average person who the police encounter?”

    Note, that is not ‘what is the profile of the average criminal’ but just of the average person because the police are also likely to encounter armed people who aren’t criminals.

    That is why I think many people ‘viewed with alarm’ those targets. Because the apparent context and posture, people see those targets as non-criminals. I realize that is just perception….but seriously a smiling 10-13 year old boy, an ‘older sister with siblings’ at a playground — it doesn’t jell with the data we have on violent offenders.

    Let’s make it simpler: If when you look at the target you see age, condition, infirmity, gender or anything else but the gun pointed at you, you lost

    I will disagree with this strongly. As a non-law enforcement carrying a firearm, I am required by law and morality to evaluate all aspects of the situation that I can before deciding “GUN — FIRE”. So should cops, even to a higher degree. Is the child playing with the parent’s unloaded pistol, did the female with a backpack just scare off a rapist, etc.

    When the settings, ‘targets’ and Brand Name of the images are combined, it presents a viewpoint of the cops putting their lives before all else. And that is wrong.

    I’m not saying I don’t see value in non-traditional targets but for these images, I think a simulation where context is presented is required.

  8. One question comes to mind when reading the comments and thinking about the targets/pictures: “Of those ‘involved’ in such situations, which party is more likely to be wearing body armor?”

    In the original post I saw of these, there are a few more targets. One that stood out was a picture of my ‘dad’ standing in the living room in his bathrobe and holding his pistol. That was the target that really got my ire- the others are equally reprehensible to me, especially the girl and kids. But the older gentleman, most likely a veteran, defending his home against invaders- that person needs a squad at his back and another coming up behind the stack and all opening fire simultaneously.

    The only reason I can see for having these kind of targets is elimination of those resistant to oppression.

Feel free to express your opinions. Trolling, overly cussing and Internet Commandos will not be tolerated .