Illustration for article titled Police Trainer Tells Cops to Quit Throwing Guns Like Its a Video Game

Today's cops are, apparently, throwing their guns all over the place, says a police training expert. One guy threw it behind cover before diving after it. Another guy ditched his weapon in a struggle for a rifle. These are poor decisions, says the expert, and he thinks he knows what's behind them.


Yup, video games.

Now, let's not point fingers and laugh too much. Whatever the reason for throwing a weapon instead of holstering it, there are all sorts of bad outcomes, from an accidental or negligent discharge (which he notes often outnumber incidents where a weapon is deliberately fired at an armed adversary) to someone else picking up the gun. So if my civilian opinion matters, hell yes, Richard Fairburn, in this article, is telling cops to do a proper and professional thing by holstering their sidearms. He has 30 years of law enforcement experience, and ran the firearms training unit of "a major police academy."


That said, his analysis of the cause is based only on two anecdotal occurences, and a deputy offhandedly guessing that police are ditching their guns because they can only carry one at a time in the video games they play off duty. That's just ... weird, probably the weirdest thing I've seen cops blame on video games, but OK.

"Could our two cops who threw down their sidearm have unwittingly trained themselves in such a response while playing Call of Duty or Ghost Recon?" he writes.

Probably not sir, you see—

"I have no science to back up it up, but Jay's theory sure makes sense to me."

I'm not sure he understands that, in a video game, there's an implied act of holstering the weapon as you switch it out or use your hands to do something else. Because when I reselect my SMG or my assault rifle, presto, it's back. It's not behind a bush, and it doesn't fall on the ground unless we're in a cutscene.


The only time I actually throw a weapon in video game is when I'm rolling with a Tediore in Borderlands 2, which turn into grenades once their ammo is out. That's a science fiction game, not a tactical simulator, so I doubt that's what these dadblasted video-game playin' rookies have in mind when they're chuckin' guns.

"An important aspect of holstering during a high-risk event is to ensure the weapon will remain holstered," he correctly notes. "Once you clear that chain-link barrier in a move T.J. Hooker would admire, it’s nice to still have your sidearm with you." Just like you do in a video game.


Throwing down your sidearm: A video game training scar? [, with thanks to reader mr_raccoon]

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