Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Tactical, my ass.

I was just over at Say Uncle, and I read this post. No, I didn't go take the online test. I'm through with those damned things. The post served to remind me of something that has been galling me lately. The habit of calling things tactical. The word is an adjective and relates to using tactics.

The invasion of Europe in June 1944 was strategic. The plans that the troops used to get ashore were tactical. The First Gulf War was strategic. The envelopment of the Republican Guard was tactical.

Things aren't tactical. Light rails, boots, vests aren't tactical. They are equipment. The very use of the word Tactical supposes use on a battlefield. Put a white light on your firearm and employ it at night on a tactical battlefield and you will draw fire from every corner. White light can be ranged on using 1950's technology. Visible lasers reveal troop positions. If you are in a tactical situation you do not want those things. They get good people killed.

I listen to the young'uns on the SWAT team talk about tactical this and tactical that, and I want to puke. Equipment isn't tactical. Your brains are tactical. Your training is tactical. Your equipment is just equipment. Don't tell me about your new tactical boots. A tactical light rail? Surely you jest!



Tam said...

"No, I didn't go take the online test. "

Maybe you should have. It sounds like you'd get a chuckle out of it. ;)

Anonymous said...

Refering to equipment, I always thought the word "tactical" meant that they used it to kill civilians with.

Anonymous said...

Tactical means, to the SWAT officer or wannabe, anything that is militaristic and sooooo cool.

Why the hell pretend? There are a lot of us geezers out here that remember when a cop looked like a cop and not some storm trooper out of Bosnia.

Where did we go wrong with our police? I wore the distinctly civilian Deputy Sheriff's uniform for 25 years, but it's not good enough for the young guns. They have to have BDU's, with black-out insignia and subdued everything. I wore shiny leather and brass, and was proud of how I looked in the mirror before Roll Call every shift.

The youngsters wear their sidearms slung low on their thighs, and wonder why they don't work full of mud, or why they get caught in the seat belts of the very non-military Crown Vickie patrol cars.

Above all, they wonder why every citizen over 50 doesn't trust them.

They look like Nazis, that's why.


j said...

>They look like Nazis, that's why.

Rivrdog, you my kind of cop. I like the way you think.

Anonymous said...

Well, in those days you could shine your brass and leather and go out to a public that by and large respected law enforcement. People were relieved to see you go by and had their kids wave and want to be like you. You ate for free and got old and fat. You never trained. You learned to drink and slept on night shift.

Where I work shiny badge means target. Parents teach kids to either fear or hate police and think it's cute. I have seen 12 year olds with .22 pistols glaring at me - waiting to shoot. Born into crack and now Meth, knowing nothing else but the predator's way.

Yeah I agree tactics are what you do and equipment is what you wear, but old man watch what you say about the dark clothes and modern systems we use. I am not a #$%^&* Nazi! It's a new world now and We are the new police. I hate this reality as much as you, and you sound afraid.

You say you don't like my thigh holster? Lemme see - where did the idea come from? Oh yeah - your old Barney Fife swivel holster! Mine is Kydex and will last forever. Your old cowhide is moldy and would rip right off your belt if you had ever wrestled a mope on the street.

In your day a cop was lucky to hit twice out of six shots from his revolver. Only one in twenty-seven ever even fired their weapon on duty. That's a nationwide fact with over thirty years of record to prove it. Now we are averaging five of eight hits and one in seven will be involved in an on-duty shoot. Our training is vastly superior to even the 80's. White light is wrong for the battlefield but right for cops today. You can't hit what you can't see - and your generation hardly hit anything fumbling with old heavy 10,000 candlepower kel-lights and big static filled GE brick radios. Sucked, eh?

So we have weapons mounted lights that are 4.5 ounces and 40,000 candlepower and radios with earpieces. Our hands are freer.

Our body armor is half the weight of yours, if you ever saw any - and it stops twice as much.

Care to un-retire and lend a hand? Didn't think so. Don't worry. I'll protect you and yours. It's my oath. Just you stay behind me and holster that wheelgun so you don't hurt yourself.

Anonymous said...

Arrogance is never a thing to be proud of. The public ultimately determines the type of police force they will put up with, today's threat has more people scared of the serial offender who has nothing to lose. The threats from the 50's, 60's and 70's was not the drug fueled civilian battlefield of today. White light on police weapons is a direct result of adverse litigation requiring proper ID of the threat before the police fire. Don't make the mistake of dismissing the lessons learned by those that came before you, and if you hadn't noticed, they only thing keeping former peace officers from staying on the job is age, which will catch up to you as well.