Weapon mounted lights have become part of the “tactical Gucci” that many shooters want on their home defense pistol and even their EDC pistol of choice. And depending on agency policy, they are also increasingly common among patrol officers. At the same time, there have been a number of recent reports about officer-involved, negligent discharges/shootings with guns equipped with weapon mounted lights. The media doesn’t often dig quite that deep into negligent shootings with civilians as we always here, “the gun just went off.” We all know that’s not what really happened but, Greg Ellifritz of Active Response Training offers some very candid commentary on this issue.
Here’s the dirty little secret about police training…it rarely happens. If the common citizen knew how poorly trained the average cop is there would be complete anarchy. Most agencies have a wholly inadequate firearms training program. In talking to cops around my state as a firearms instructor for the last 15 years, I’ve found that most departments do very little firearms training. Shooting more than 100 rounds per year is unusual.
Ellifritz’s commentary can be applied to the average armed citizen as well. We all are quite ready to claim our right to keep and bear arms. And most of us do so specifically with self-defense in mind. And yet, so many of us carry guns as some sort of talisman to ward off the boogieman. Because we are familiar with firearms, many equate that familiarity to being competent enough to fight with them. The reality is something different but, since so few of us ever have or ever will get into a gunfight or defensive use of a handgun, people don’t know what they don’t know. As a CHL instructor (when we still were doing renewals) less than one in ten of my students had ever bothered to fire their handgun since their previous class, four to five years earlier. As Ellifritz points out, cops shooting more than 100 rounds a year is unusual. I find that civilians shooting more than 100 rounds in five years is unusual. Adding weapon mounted lights to this mix is not generally a recipe for success. You can read the rest of Ellifritz’s commentary at http://www.activeresponsetraining.net/weapon-mounted-lights-and-a-dirty-little-police-secret.