Letter: No such thing as a non-lethal gunshot

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Regarding John Balentine’s column concerning officer-involved shootings, I won’t comment on why the individual was shot in the head, criticize the officer, or those investigating the incident. I wasn’t there and I’m assuming Balentine wasn’t, either. The officer had less time to consider what to do than the Monday-morning, armchair analyzers in the quiet comfort of home.

As someone who retired after 32 years in law enforcement, I was trained to shoot for center-mass, to stop the individual from killing or wounding any person in the area. “Few people in the parking lot” is way too many; do you want to be one of the “few” when shooting starts?

Hollywood westerns where the good guy  wings the  bad guy  to stop him from shooting is a bad example. There is no such thing as a non-lethal shot. Maiming a person in the leg would make him or her angrier than a mother bear and they would shoot at anything within their sight. Too many people have been killed or wounded by a “wounded” person.

People investigating officer-involved shootings know what they’re doing. Maybe Balentine should go through a simulated shooting program and see how many times he is killed by an individual he wounded with a leg shot. I would also recommend that he contact the Maine Police Academy and see if he would be allowed to attend a firearms training course, and understand why you don’t wound someone.

Vito Ancona
Lisbon Falls

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