November 30th, 2008

The Mumbai policemen who refused to shoot

Photographer Sebastian D’Souza, who was able to take a photo of one of the armed terrorists in the train station in Mumbai, also described the events he witnessed there. One puzzling—not to mention profoundly troubling—aspect of his report was the following [emphasis mine]:

But what angered Mr D’Souza almost as much [as the terrorists' rampage] were the masses of armed police hiding in the area who simply refused to shoot back. “There were armed policemen hiding all around the station but none of them did anything,” he said. “At one point, I ran up to them and told them to use their weapons. I said, ‘Shoot them, they’re sitting ducks!’ but they just didn’t shoot back.”

…The militants returned inside the station and headed towards a rear exit…Mr D’Souza added: “I told some policemen the gunmen had moved towards the rear of the station but they refused to follow them. What is the point if having policemen with guns if they refuse to use them? I only wish I had a gun rather than a camera.”

Unless these policemen were disciples of Gandhi or abject cowards, it’s hard to explain what might have stayed their hands. But I’ll give it a try.

Lack of readiness. There’s a difference between ordinary police training and the skills one learns in preparation for being a member of a SWAT or counter-terrorism team. Still, one would strongly hope—and expect—that any armed policemen would have the proper instincts and reflexes to take the terrorists out, even minus specialized training.

The problem in the Mumbai station could have been the presence of the crowd of innocents. The police may have been waiting for an opportunity to get off a clear and unobstructed shot, one with little likelihood of striking an unarmed traveler instead of a terrorist. Of course, when the terrorist in question is engaged in calmly murdering scores of people in the crowded station, it seems obvious that the policemen should have taken that chance. Even if a police bullet killed an innocent bystander, the action would end up saving far more people than it killed.

This much seems clear. But fear of doing the wrong thing may have paralyzed some of the policemen. I found a clue in an article about an incident from a month ago that indicates this might have been the case:

The Central and Bihar governments have reacted sharply against the Mumbai police killing a young man who allegedly fired shots and shouted slogans against Navnirman Seva (MNS) leader Raj Thackeray in a bus in Mumbai on Monday.

Police claim 23-year-old Rahul Raj, a resident of Patna who was visiting Mumbai, was mentally unstable and was gunned down when he refused to surrender or throw away his gun.

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, who is visiting Delhi, condemned the Mumbai police for killing Raj… Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi and Shyam Rajak, general secretary of the state opposition Rashtriya Janta Dal party, also condemned the police.

A single man on a bus shouting slogans and firing shots that hit no one is not the same as a group of armed men coolly gunning down people in a crowded railway station. But it’s not really that big a stretch from one to the other. And if the killing of the first man was widely condemned, and the Mumbai police warned against another similar incident, that might have accounted for at least some of the tragic hesitation of the policemen in the train station.

I wrote the preceding part of this post late last night, planning to publish it today. Then this morning I read an article in the NY Times, which quoted police and/or military forces at the Taj Hotel, giving new support to my theory:

On Saturday afternoon, a sharpshooter who had spent over 60 hours perched outside the Taj Hotel said neither he nor his partner had fired a shot because they were not sure how to distinguish the gunmen from ordinary civilians trapped inside the hotel.

Similarly, a commando told a private Indian television station, CNN-IBN, that the gunmen seemed to be firing from so many different parts of the hotel that security forces did not quite know where to strike without inflicting civilian casualties. “There were so many people, and we wanted to avoid any civilian casualties,” he said.

It seems that in India, even “commandos” (which indicates at least some sort of specialized preparation) are not trained to face the chance that they might possibly inflict civilian casualties themselves in a situation like this. But such a risk is an inevitable part of dealing with terrorists willing and eager to fire into crowds. The police must be willing to do the same. The big difference is that the terrorists are aiming for the civilians, whereas the security forces are aiming for the terrorists.

[ADDENDUM: Quite a few interesting topics have come up in the comments section of this post. For more on one of them---Gandhi and pacifism---see this. For more on another---how to train troops to kill---see this.]

149 Responses to “The Mumbai policemen who refused to shoot”

  1. Nat Filosopher Says:

    Reminds one of the pirates, since nobody is willing to shoot at them, they attack.

    Also explains why this happened in Mumbai, not here. 10 guys couldn’t attack Houston, or the cops would shoot them, not to mention the armed populace.

  2. rc Says:

    I am not sure how such a “no shooting” claim can be made.

    Of the dozen or so terrorists, all were killed except for one who was severely wounded.

    Did the terrorists shoot themselves… or are we suggesting a ham handed reaction like the Russians
    in Belsin or the Opera House where more innocents are killed than terrorists?

  3. The Wobbly Guy Says:

    Nope. What this means is that the Indians have a laughable military and police. Unprepared, undertrained, poorly motivated, trapped in bureaucratic morass.

    You imagine this happening in China? I’m pretty sure the Chinese military and police would have taken out the terrorists ASAP, no questions asked. I guess this probably had something to do with the Beijing Olympics being relatively undisturbed; the terrorists felt it was too hard a nut to crack.

  4. Formerly known as Skeptic Says:

    rc: Yes, most of the terrorists were EVENTUALLY killed, but the problem is that it took days to organize and execute methodical clearing operations to do it. If the police had been more aggressive in responding during the initial assault, many lives could have been saved. The situation reminds me of the Columbine shootings where the campus police waited for SWAT while students were being killed. The lesson learned there was that when you have what is called an “active shooter” he needs to be confronted and killed as quickly as possible to save lives, even at the risk of the police or bystanders.

  5. KBK Says:

    rc – head for Mumbai. I think the security forces there have a position for you.

  6. Joe Melnick Says:

    RC: they are referring to the early part of the attack, before the mass casualties and hostage-taking. Please read the article in question before commenting, it’s quite clear what the timeline was.

  7. Formerly known as Skeptic Says:

    Oops, that should be the local police. I was mixing up Columbine and Virginia Tech (which had a similar problem in response).

  8. Oligonicella Says:

    rc —

    We’ve all seen the picture of the man with the automatic, calmly walking along. That same camera man shouted ‘Shoot them, they’re sitting ducks!’, but the police did nothing for much too long.

    Maybe something more in between. You used an obviously extreme example. How about the shooting in Austin. Police move people to safety and returned fire. As someone else pointed out, so did regular folks.

  9. newscaper Says:

    “And if the killing of the first man was widely condemned, and the Mumbai police warned against another similar incident, that might have accounted for at least some of the tragic hesitation of the policemen in the train station.”

    I don’t really agree with this as an ‘excuse’ — bad guys *actively* shooting and killing are obviously and fundamentally different.

    Obviously the training (relative lack thereof) of beat cops is an issue. I think there is also the larger cultural issue, one I have witnessed first hand as a university instructor — many (most) Indians seem to be taught to *not* show initiative when in uncharted territory, they seem much more dependent on someone telling them what to do.

    However, even with training, there is a policy/doctrine breakdown, as we saw at Columbine where SWAT dicked around in their badass looking gear doing nealry *nothing* even while kids were STILL being killed inside.

    The rules need to be different for intentional mass killers versus the usual hostage scenario (cornered bank robber, etc). In the latter case “first, do no harm” is appropriate. Where people are already being killed, and that is the *purpose* of the attacks – the response must be no holds barred — and IMO even uncoordinated efforts to kill some of the terrorists in the intial stage are far, far better than letting them become entrenched.

  10. Dan NYC Says:

    See the history of terrorist carnage in Mumbai over the last few years. Then ponder the fact that ten men carrying large military assault rifles through the streets of the equivalent of midtown Manhattan on an early Wedsnesday evening were able to shoot up a high-profile tourist bar and then make their way into two of the country’s premiere hotels and to the upper floors WITHOUT once being challenged by a policeman, hotel security or other security personnel. Can you say “third world-level security apparatus” in Hindi?

  11. jim Says:

    Police forces don’t exist to protect us from criminals. They exist to record, and investigate criminals. The actions of the Mumbai police are not shocking at all, in any way.

  12. tehag Says:

    Have you been shot at with an automatic weapon? Felt fear, shock, surprise as bullets killed people in front of you?

    I wish the Indian police had taken action, but most police officers never kill anyone. They’re never trained to approach someone firing an automatic weapon. Caution is an understandable, but disappointing choice.

    The photographer apparently had nerve and bravery in excess. The police office had a gun. Why didn’t the photographer ask to borrow the gun? Because his job of taking photos was more important to him than other people’s lives. And so a man who could act did nothing while the men whose job it was to react did… nothing.

    No ‘let’s roll’ here.

    A policeman who took on a pair of heavily armed terrorists with a hand-held weapon would be rightly regarded as exceptionally brave. It’s not right to shame excessively people for failure to be exceptionally brave.

    A quote from another context: ‘You have no right to be brave at your policeman’s expense.’

    Oddly enough, there is a discussion of this–attacking terrorists armed with automatic weapons by a civilian armed with a pistol–in Clancy’s Patriot Games.

    tehag

  13. Dan NYC Says:

    Can you say “third world-level security apparatus” in Hindi?

  14. Stella Baskomb Says:

    Perhaps you are all taking for granted that the police are not corrupt and that none of them at the sites under attack were involved with the plot.

  15. Perfect Sense Says:

    Who says the police had bullets in the weapons?
    Back in the early 1970s, the US Army issued soldiers on guard duty with rifles/pistols without bullets thinking the sight of a weapon alone will deter a robber/trespasser.

  16. ThomasD Says:

    The term is inertia. In a high stress situation most people will tend to keep on doing whatever it is that has kept them alive up to that point. If that means cowering behind cover so be it.

    It is the rare individual who can rise above in the absence of some training and motivation.

  17. cottus Says:

    “Police brutality”? “Guantanamo”? Efforts to shackle and neuter the police, what I call ‘strategic advertising’, have largely succeeded. Many a great Trial lawyer pirate treasure is built on it.

    At least ‘Formerly known as Skeptic’ dredges up sanitized memories of the recent Columbine massacre. The actions (or lack thereof) of the police in that incident was a national disgrace.

  18. HatlessHessian Says:

    A cultural lack of self-reliance also contributes to this problem more than many would expect. Contrast the response of the Flight 92 passengers who took on AQI and downed their plane in a fight to deny the terrorists their intended plan versus these helpless officers, waiting for higher authority to make hard decisions.

    We’ve known that the original founders value of self-reliance, responsibility and independence have been on the wane ever since Wilson as Americans foolishly believe a central authority can remove all risk and guarantee safety in outcomes. Yet, a monsterous FEMA was blamed for not being an effective first-responder on every corner in New Orleans, driving school buses and knocking on every door to personally evacuate those too confused to act, and a huge FRB central bank and insanely fat Federal government hasn’t been large enough to avoid the Fannie/Freddie initiated sub-prime meltdown. The complaint in both cases? Not large enough!

    As one who works with the information security of one of the largest global financial targets, the suggestion that more central control is a path toward defeat. Central awareness is certainly of value, but controls must be pushed out and highly distributed as the response to the enemy must be immediate and forcefully effective. Likewise, the enemy will explore the effectiveness of your responses when it scouts you and is much more likely to take on a target like Mumbai that will be paralyzed for a day or two while the terrorist’s gains are achieved.

    Extend controls as close to the source as possible and empower individuals, managers and others who will most likely encounter the first hit to provide resistance and slow the opponent’s attempt. Concealed carry would have likely reduced casualties to 10-20% of currently realized numbers based on models of initial resistance.

  19. HatlessHessian Says:

    Correction and my apologies to the Flight 93 heros to which I typo’ed their flight.

  20. uh1c Says:

    The cops might have thought that it would be just noise and a few dead and then devolve into a standard hostage/political demands situation.

    I do not know if India has a secret police. Often such groups are in plain clothes and carry automatic weapons…woe be to any lowly police officer that shoots at these “elite” LEOs. In the confusion of the response, it is possible the locals cops thought that the terrorists might be these “elite” forces.

    It might also be that they were ordered not to shoot until police management had a better handle on what was happening after a few meetings.

    Perhaps economic; safer for job security to not fire, apologize and keep your job rather than shoot, be fired and brought up on charges.

    Premature speculation is fun, isn’t it?

  21. Koblog Says:

    I vote for…

    1) what Jim said: “[Police] exist to record, and investigate criminals.”

    and

    2) what cottus said: ““Police brutality”? “Guantanamo”? Efforts to shackle and neuter the police, what I call ’strategic advertising’, have largely succeeded. Many a great Trial lawyer pirate treasure is built on it.”

    You do realize you have no recourse (even here in the US) when the police do not respond to a crisis?

    In Los Angeles, if police conk a few heads they end up disciplined and sent to sensitivity training, then the lawyers show up and sue the City.

    It’s much better career-wise to keep the gun or nightclub holstered.

    Face it: Bruce Willis ain’t gonna be around when the Die Hard scenario presents itself.

    We’ve achieved metrosexuality. We’re all Alan Aldas now.

  22. Dan Says:

    I’m reminded of an incident described by Michael Yon that occurred during one of his embeds in Iraq. The unit he was with was chasing two terrorists in Mosul. The LTC leading the group was shot by a terrorist and went down, but continued to return fire. Another officer was also firing, but two US soldiers, who apparently were relatively green, sat paralyzed and did nothing. Michael put down his camera, borrowed one of the soldiers’ assault rifles and began shooting back at the terrorists. He got into trouble for crossing the line between journalist and combatant, but his motives were pure. So if this could happen to two presumably well trained US soldiers, I can imagine how some beat cops in Mombai would be frozen in place as well. I don’t fault them; I think under the circumstances I would have kept under cover as well. It speaks for the need to train our police to deal with the most extreme situations, no matter how unimaginable. Even then, it requires going to another level of bravery to place oneself in the line of fire to defeat an enemy who has no fear of death.

  23. stonetools Says:

    I would imagine that if you have never been in a situation where you are facing a heavily armed terrorist, walking among among innocent civilians, that you don’t have sh*t to say here.

  24. joe Says:

    The photographer got a clear shot. Too bad it wasn’t a scope. Everyone reacts differently in pressure situations, I’d like to think that I would’ve jumped right in. Plus, I think that it would’ve taken just one of those policemen showing leadership to get all the others to do the right thing, alas, it looks like there was none.

  25. Mark_0454 Says:

    I am actually on the side of those who think the police should have fired.

    But there is one simple explanation that I haven’t yet seen. Could the Indian police have been afraid there were more terrorists inside who would have begun shooting more hostages. They may have expected to bargain, or at least have gained more time. They might have feared that shooting one terrorist outside may have made things worse inside. I am not sure the police could have known for sure the number of terrorists was so small. I am willing to be convinced this was not the case, but for now I think it is a pretty reasonable possibility.

  26. Hong Says:

    My first instinct is to be sympathetic to the cops and commandos.

    Poorly armed/trained/paid police + heavily armed Islamofacists + crowded and chaotic public settings = bewildered and frightened cop.

    On the other hand we all remember the shootout in California between the cops and those bank thieves and there they were stopped dead with a minimum of casualties. I suspect a lot of bureaucratic heads will roll after this mess.

  27. P2000 Says:

    What kind of weapon did the police have? How often do they qualify with them? Did they have good cover? Were there a lot of innocents downrange? How do they hire police in Mumbai?
    How competent are they?

    A motivated cop, with a semi auto pistol (9MM, .40, .45), who can shoot stands a good chance. A guy who shoots once a year, with a revolver on the gov’t dole, well that’s another story.

  28. fast richard Says:

    Many good points have been made about training and cultural issues. It comes down to mindset. We react to what we expect. It takes time to change gears to respond to the unexpected. This kind of full scale military raid is different than an isolated individual attack.

    It is a good idea to think about the full range of possible threats before they happen. Western civilization has not faced this find of challenge from outside our system for a long time. We are being targeted by people who reject many of the rules of our game. Many of the leaders are well educated and know our rules well enough to use those rules against us.

    The next attack will be somepace else. The tactics will be adjusted based on the terrorist experience of this and other previous attacks. I don’t think we as a society have adjusted our own mindset enough to really defend ourselves yet.

  29. Jacob Says:

    Maybe the policemen waited for orders, not being authorized to use their weapons without an explicit order from above…

  30. Steve Fox Says:

    Good point, stonetools.
    But it goes further than just the beat cops. The Mumbai cops who specialise in major events like big crime and terrorist attacks have been decimated by accusations of corruption or trigger-happy shooting of bad guys.

    ‘Police commissioner Hasan Gafoor said, “Sharma’s dismissal was not prompted by any particular case. We had learnt that he had several undesirable contacts and was involved in underworld activities. The dismissal is an administrative action.’’ …
    Sharma is the latest in a series of encounter specialists who have been neutralised. Sub-inspector Daya Nayak, Nitin Vichare, Ravindra Angre and Praful Bhosle are all facing various inquiries. The only exception is inspector Vijay Salaskar, who is posted with the crime branch.’
    (Times of India 31.08.08)

    Note that Sharma was not actually convicted of any crime, nor the others as far as I can ascertain.
    Salaskar was killed in the attacks. So there’s some vacancies over there. Anyone fancy it?

  31. John Davies Says:

    I’d like to know the distance between the police and the terrorists. No matter what Hollywood might think, pistol vs rifle is bad odds.

  32. JayDee Says:

    I encourage you to review the after-action report on the well-known North Hollywood, California shootout. Similar things occurred for a very simple reason: the gunmen were armed with automatic weapons, the cops with hand guns. As a result police were completely outgunned. Firing at them, unless you were sure you hit one, just attracted their attention, whereupon they unleashed a volume of fire that left anything within a few square yards of you thoroughly perforated. Then, the greater range of their weapons meant they could hit you before you could hit them, and the caliber of the weapons meant that so-called “bullet-proof” vests were useless. Under the circumstances, not calling attention to yourself and instead maneuvering to get a clean shot made a heck of a lot of sense. I’d have held fire too. Mostly what I think the story exposes is just the ignorance of the reporter who’s looking to gin up a phony controversy.

  33. J. Peden Says:

    I would imagine that if you have never been in a situation where you are facing a heavily armed terrorist, walking among among innocent civilians, that you don’t have sh*t to say here.

    Ok, stonetools, I’ll bite: have you ever been in such a situation?

    Not that I accept your premise, mind you. But you should.

  34. James R. Rummel Says:

    “Lack of readiness. There’s a difference between ordinary police training and the skills one learns in preparation for being a member of a SWAT or counter-terrorism team.”
    That really isn’t the issue. According to the account you linked to above, many police officers refused to draw their weapons and fight even when terrorists were walking up in the open to kill them.

    I have been a self defense instructor for 18 years, although I was never a police officer. Even so, I would have to say that this comment from newscaper provides some insight.

    “I think there is also the larger cultural issue, one I have witnessed first hand as a university instructor — many (most) Indians seem to be taught to *not* show initiative when in uncharted territory, they seem much more dependent on someone telling them what to do.”

    What most people don’t realize is that law enforcement agencies in the United States have gone to extraordinary lengths over the past 50 years to provide realistic training for everyone who carries a badge. You can read about a few of the particulars here.

    Another thing that most foreigners do not grasp, or even most Americans who aren’t involved in the shooting sports, is that there is a huge pool of average citizens who train even harder than most police officers as a hobby! They do this so they will be ready if called upon to defend innocent lives, including their own.

    And you can read more about that right here.

    So the culture found in most of the United States is unique in all the world. We want to help, we are willing to spend out own money to prepare to help, and we will step up if necessary.

    James

  35. Huan Says:

    guns don’t kill people, people kill with guns.
    the terrorists had guns and wanted to kill people: people were killed.
    some policemen also had guns but they could not bring themselves to use it to kill the terrorists

    it has always been the mindset, not the weapon

  36. htom Says:

    Not Gandhi; quotes below from his own writings, not those who seem to have missed these parts in their over-simplifying his message of non-violence.

    473. The people of a village near Bettiah told me that they had run away whilst the police were looting their houses and molesting their womenfolk. When they said that they had run away because I had told them to be nonviolent, I hung my head in shame. I assured them that such was not the meaning of my nonviolence. I expected them to intercept the mightiest power that might be in the act of harming those who were under their protection, and draw without retaliation all harm upon their own heads even to the point of death, but never to run away from the storm centre. It was manly enough to defend one’s property, honour or religion at the point of the sword. It was manlier and nobler to defend them without seeking to injure the wrongdoer. But it was unmanly, unnatural and dishonourable to forsake the post of duty and, in order to save one’s skin, to leave property, honour or religion to the mercy of the wrongdoer. I could see my way of delivering the message of ahimsa to those who knew how to die, not to those who were afraid of death.


    I have been repeating over and over again that he who cannot protect himself or his nearest and dearest or their honour by non-violently facing death may and ought to do so by violently dealing with the oppressor. He who can do neither of the two is a burden. He has no business to be the head of a family. He must either hide himself, or must rest content to live for ever in helplessness and be prepared to crawl like a worm at the bidding of a bully.

    The strength to kill is not essential for self-defence; one ought to have the strength to die. When a man is fully ready to die, he will not even desire to offer violence. Indeed, I may put it down as a self-evident proposition that the desire to kill is in inverse proportion to the desire to die. And history is replete with instances of men who, by dying with courage and compassion on their lips, converted the hearts of their violent opponents.

    Nonviolence cannot be taught to a person who fears to die and has no power of resistance. A helpless mouse is not nonviolent because he is always eaten by pussy. He would gladly eat the murderess if he could, but he ever tries to flee from her. We do not call him a coward, because he is made by nature to behave no better than he does.

    But a man who, when faced by danger, behaves like a mouse, is rightly called a coward. He harbors violence and hatred in his heart and would kill his enemy if he could without hurting himself. He is a stranger to nonviolence. All sermonizing on it will be lost on him. Bravery is foreign to his nature. Before he can understand nonviolence, he has to be taught to stand his ground and even suffer death, in the attempt to defend himself against the aggressor who bids fair to overwhelm him. To do otherwise would be to confirm his cowardice and take him further away from nonviolence.

    Whilst I may not actually help anyone to retaliate, I must not let a coward seek shelter behind nonviolence so-called. Not knowing the stuff of which nonviolence is made, many have honestly believed that running away from danger every time was a virtue compared to offering resistance, especially when it was fraught with danger to one’s life. As a teacher of nonviolence I must, so far as it is possible for me, guard against such an unmanly belief.

    Self-defence….is the only honourable course where there is unreadiness for self-immolation.

    Though violence is not lawful, when it is offered in self-defence or for the defence of the defenceless, it is an act of bravery far better than cowardly submission. The latter befits neither man nor woman. Under violence, there are many stages and varieties of bravery. Every man must judge this for himself. No other person can or has the right.

  37. Daily Pundit » Neca Eos Omnes Says:

    [...] neo-neocon » Blog Archive » The Mumbai policemen who refused to shoot [...]

  38. Teresa Says:

    Oh it’s very easy to see why the police were paralyzed instead of taking action. We can thank the press all over the world for the Mumbai massacre succeeding. The nearly 200 people dead and their relatives can thank the press the world over for this too. They’ve done a splendid job of creating criminals from those who would protect us from this type of massacre. Way to go reporters – you should receive the Medal of Peace for that. (maybe I should add that the last sentence should be read with a sarcasm tag)

    So, the cops didn’t want to fire. Now we find out – that a short time before they had seen their co-workers pilloried and I’m thinking pilloried unmercifully for taking action in a dangerous incident on a much smaller scale. The heat of the moment being gone and no lives at stake – I’m guessing the press went to town on those police… all day every day. I can hear it now: How awful of them to kill the poor guy – all he was doing was waving a gun about and shooting – the police were over reacting. They are nasty horrible people who want to kill everyone because they carry guns!

    And now there is a larger scale incident. One that in our own easy chairs we quite clearly see as being hideous… Certainly the police “should have known” how bad it was. Surely the police “should have reacted” and taken out the gunmen right then and there.

    But thanks to the power of the press to turn people who are doing their jobs into armed monsters, dragging them and their families through the mud for their story, ruining not only careers but entire lives… is it any wonder they sat there thinking – “what if this isn’t as bad as it looks right now?” “What if I fire and kill one of these guys and then I’m ruined – outcast for the rest of my life?” (after all – there was a photographer right there to get the entire thing on film! And therein lies the true irony of a photographer begging the cops to shoot)

    Yes, after watching your colleagues being slandered for killing a bad guy, what is the real upside to immediately taking on these guys in the opening salvo?

    If you are a reasonable person over the previous weeks you would have been pondering what your own reaction would be under emergency circumstances. There would be a very real effort not to “over react” in the heat of the moment. To wait and see or wait for orders from a superior before taking on a threat.

    Because God forbid you make a mistake in those few seconds that will hound you for the rest of your life in beautiful technicolor and splashed all over the front page of every newspaper in your own country and around the world.

    The terrorists were eventually killed – but only after it became apparent what the scope was and that drastic action had to be taken. For that matter – who’s to say that if the police DID fire initially and take out the terrorists before they could get their mission well underway… considering the number of them… what the reaction would have been. The police could very well have been accused of mass murder and reacting far too strongly, overstepping their bounds. After all – until they really got started in their rampage though Mumbai – just as with the planes on 9-11, who would think that a group would go so far???

    I think this joke pretty much sums up exactly the situation. I always find it to be a joke that scares the hell out of me.

  39. Mr. Frank Says:

    One of the news reports said the Indian police and military are poorly equipped. I saw one policeman on the news carrying what looked like a WW II infantry rifle.

  40. Saxon Says:

    to the idiot Dan from NYC who said “third world security apparatus in Hindi”

    it is not cute, just stupid. one can imagine the same scenario unfolding should this take place in NYC. well armed and motivated islamic terrorists vs unprepared street cops who would face criminal trials if they step out of line.

    it is easy to see in retrospect that the police should have shot the perps even if they caused collateral damage. but that is after the benefit of hindsight with the realization of the full scale of the terrorists operation. when first confronted with 3 or 4 terrorists near a train station pacing with automatic rifles and possible civilian presence all around, do you think the NY finest (without matching weapons and body armor) will take out the terrorists?

    dream on, moron! should they act to kill people, many of the NY law firms would be tripping over each other to sue the police for excessive force, with or without civilian casualties. just as indicative was the CNN reporter who was standing in front of the burning Taj, which was still a war zone, wondering why the authorities haven’t cordened off the “crime scene” and allowed people to get so close to the hotel (presumably worried about contaminating the evidence!)

  41. amr Says:

    Jacob (November 30th, 2008 at 11:53 am) I believe you are correct. Some years ago at a San Diego McDonald’s restaurant, a guy was killing customers with a high powered rifle while being observed by police officers. It was reported that the police officers by training and regulations were not allowed to take action since the police negotiating team was to handle the situation. The officers later had serious mental/emotional problems dealing with what had happened since the killer was in plain sight and continued to kill people as they waited for the negotiation team.

    As HatlessHessian wrote we have taken the responsibility and decision making away from the local/individual official/police officer. Even the ROE in Iraq and Afghanistan seemingly is tailored to lessening the chance of an error resulting in bad PR than protecting our men and women from the enemy or killing them. And the same primus seems to be the rule in our police departments.

    The reaction to the bad old days of police overreaction as in the 1968 Chicago situation at the Democratic convention seems to have colored our enforcement and when to shoot rules to the determent of fighting terrorism (and serious crime). I see that now as the Obama Administration may revert back to the law enforcement approach against terrorism since the Bush Administration’s forward deployed proactive military option has been the subject of much negative press and American political and foreign criticism.

  42. mockmook Says:

    So, Ghandi looks like a typical lefty.

    Talks out of both sides of his mouth, paraphrasing:

    “You are a coward to not kill an active oppressor.”

    “You can passively sit and let your self be killed to ‘make a statement.’”

    Granted the two are not quite contradictory. But, the quotes from Ghandi are pretty convoluted, and then he complains that the audience doesn’t get the nuance of his position.

  43. Mike_K Says:

    A few points:

    This was a good discussion and I suspect the reaction to the shooting of the mentally unstable man had an effect, as did a lack of realistic training.

    Automatic weapons rounds are relatively low power and will not penetrate most body armor. The M 16 replaced the M 14, which fired the 30-06 round, because the more powerful round could not be fired on full auto and have control of the muzzle.

    Indian politics is part of the problem as they are far more tumultuous than ours and the commandoes were delayed in arriving due to VIP interference. Most terrorism in India since partition in 1946 is internal and nt well organized. This attack suggests that has changed and they will have to develop a quick reaction force in each large city. Police training will have to change.

    The Indian press is just as irresponsible as ours. During the hostage crisis, Indian TV showed the commandoes entering the hotels, giving any terrorists smart enough to turn on NDTV a good picture of what the government forces were doing.

  44. Lee Says:

    In asking why armed police did not return fire we need to consider what types of weapons were available on either side. There is a disparity in armed conflict that determines the outcome. The terrorists were armed with assault rifles and presumably plenty of ammo in their backpacks – perhaps thousands of rounds. A guard or a beat cop has a handgun and maybe up to 20 or 30 rounds. Anyone using a handgun to take on such a heavily armed terrorist might as well just throw rocks at him for all the good it will do. It probably wasn’t until equally-armed commandos arrived that the killers could be usefully confronted.

  45. Lindsey Porch Says:

    There’s quite a bit in these comments I find troubling as a police officer, but I’ll just focus on one: the notion that this camera-bearing journalist possessed courage and resolve the police on scene lacked.

    The journalist himself says, “I think they saw me taking photographs but they didn’t seem to care.” Of course they didn’t. They wanted these images spread far and wide. If he’d been toting a gun instead of a camera, he’d most assuredly be dead now.

    I also wouldn’t put too much stock in the journalist’s assessment that the terrorists were “sitting ducks”. I would more quickly trust the judgment of even an ill-trained Indian street cop than I would this guy with regard to whether a clear shot really existed. Pointing a camera and pointing a gun are entirely different things, with their own unique considerations.

    I won’t even get into the insane notion that the journalist should have asked one of these “paralyzed” cops for a gun… No cop is going to hand his or her weapon to a stranger, especially amid the chaos that occurred in Mumbai.

    14 officers died in the attacks. I’m curious… how many would-be Rambo journalists died?

    Other police agencies must certainly learn from the events in Mumbai, but we should wait to draw lessons until we have a more accurate picture of what happened. Everything we think we “know” is anecdotal right now.

  46. “I only wish I had a gun rather than a camera” « Buttle’s World Says:

    [...] on the police who wouldn’t shoot. And how to prevent, or at least mitigate, attacks like this one. Possibly related posts: [...]

  47. Tim san Says:

    Well then Stone Tool I guess I can comment. I do not think for a second the police held their fire to prevent hitting innocents – firearms have sights and those who know how to stay on the sights while they press the trigger know where their shots are going. There is a huge difference between weapons qualification and weapons training and most police departments cannot even qualify their officers let alone find the money and time to train them. Nobody who knows what they are doing wants to show up at a gunfight with just a pistol but a pistol works well at close range for the trained operator. Most police do not know what they are doing with a pistol, most military men do not either – only a very small segment of the military does combat marksmanship training with pistols. But you do not always have to be properly trained to fight and it doesn’t take an army of CQB trained warriors to defeat 10 knuckleheads who did not execute their plan well at all given the current body count – it takes people who understand what is happening and refuse to go down without a fight. For some reason us westerners excel at that. Inshallah that spirit of self reliance and initiative will survive the current onslaught by academia, the mass media and Hollywood.

    It is obvious that the terrorists had excellent planners and logisticians – when they start planning their American attacks where do you think they will occur? I’ll bet in states without shall issue concealed carry laws and where the population has been disarmed by democratic political machines. Washington DC, Baltimore, New York City, Chicago – cities which currently are experiencing carnage in their streets but are being protected by a compliant media who has no interest in pointing out the success in shall issue laws driving down the violent crime rates. Knowledgeable people do not expect the police to protect them the most recent example of this by the Indian police is no different from Columbine and the San Ysidro McDonald’s massacres in America. At least in America we are still free to protect ourselves and I can assure you that there are thousands of Americans who have been trained as I have and will not hesitate to take on a “heavily armed terrorist” with a pistol.

    Oh s**t there are a ton of posts between old Stone Tool and this one – got to be faster on this blog I guess.

  48. rc Says:

    One photographer gets one shot of a terrorist and all of a sudden people are claiming no counter attack?

    Sorry – I’m not biting.

    How to explain the number of police that were killed? It is ludicrous to think they did not return fire. There is enough video of fierce counter attacks on the first day to convince me that the response was far more aggressive that Columbine or such and yet, it appears to have minimized innocent losses.
    ……………………………..
    Mr Deshmukh claimed the brave counter-attack launched by security forces brought the city back to normalcy within 12 hours. “We have called six army columns and 200 NSG commandos, in addition to the state police and ATS,” the chief minister said.

    The death toll includes 14 police personnel, most prominent being ATS chief Hemant Karkare, additional commissioner of police Ashok Kamte and senior police inspector Vijay Salaskar. Deputy chief minister R R Patil, who holds the home portfolio, said the attacks left 12 more police personnel injured.

  49. Mickey Says:

    Still another reason why people need to be responsible for their own protection. You simply can not put your life or the lives of others in the hands of the police.

    I live in Seattle – our police stood by and watched a young man being beat to death. The young man was trying to protect a girl. Our police had their riot gear on and stood by while doing nothing to protect and serve.

    It’s YOUR LIFE and YOU NEED TO PROTECT IT!

  50. Lindsey Porch Says:

    I don’t disagree that an inexperienced person can be effective in a gun fight. I’m just saying this journalist’s camera probably saved his life, whereas a gun would have made him a target. This guy’s running around holding the only object that will mark him as off-limits to the terrorists, yet he criticizes cops who are clutching objects that make them primary targets.

  51. Almost Ali Says:

    All terror trails lead back to Waziristan, which now rules the world. That’s right, Waziristan has become the world’s super power, thanks to the utter timidity of the west.

    Let’s hope Mr. Obama is not such a suicidal pacifist.

  52. J. Peden Says:

    Tim san: thanks much. I’ve never been in that kind of situation but have essentially already derived the same kind of conclusion regarding what my approach should be in anticipating it: concealed-carry and a will to act.

  53. theAmericanist Says:

    It seems wise not to reach big conclusions on little evidence, especially when that requires ignoring larger chunks of evidence.

    The case for the Indian cops being unwilling to fire is … ONE news photographer who thinks he could have done a better job in general — but says precious little about the specific situation he was in? (A “sitting duck”, my ass… like every guy watching a football game who thinks he sees the open receiver.)

    Seems pretty light evidence, contrasted with all those dead terrorists, not to mention 14 dead cops. SOMEBODY was shooting the bad guys — and getting shot AT, too, and maybe not because they were over-cautious, neither.

    I remember a guy who used to pop the sales pitch of weapons manufacturers who would brag about how accurate their products were, by asking about the ‘geometry of the test condition’. Saved the taxpayers billions, because of course all the tests were set up to make the weapons look good, not to evaluate their shortcomings.

    Seems like most folks here are looking at Mumbai to prove what they think they already know, from how heroic THEY would be in lose-control-of-your-bodily functions situations to the value of concealed carry laws.

    Isn’t it true that very few people, trained or not, will actually shoot to kill even when their own lives are threatened? (I think the military has extensive data on it.)

    The common human reluctance to kill another person is a good thing, not a bad one — and it seems like pretty much the only sensible conclusion to reach on this one without MUCH better data.

  54. Real Woman Says:

    Someone said taking on the terrorists with a pistol would be like throwing rocks. Well, I guess it’s better to do nothing and be killed, right? Of course the police should have fired and the citizens should have had back up to protect themselves from ten cowardly little piss-ant killers. Pistol, rocks, knives…whatever you have is better than just be a passive lamb being slaughtered.

  55. ronnor Says:

    This is what Islam is all about. This was a softening up procedure that Islamic thugs have used for centuries before an all out subjugation of people. This wasn’t just 10 maniacs with rifles, this was a organized plan by Islam, its in their Koran and its is ages old. 9/11, the bombing of our Embassies, the killing in India and the general slaughter of those of “the Book,” Islam’s enemy and those to be slaughtered so that the Islamic thugs, killers and maniacs can attain heaven. Its what this ‘religion’ does, it massacres any one not like them. If you are an agnostic, Jew, Christian or of any other religion, you’re raw meat for the Koranic grinder.

  56. Sunday Links : Stop The ACLU Says:

    [...] Michelle Malkin: Inside the world of Google censors Ron Randosh: Will Bush Bashing End? Neo-Neocon: The Mumbai Policemen Who Refused to Shoot American Power: Pledging Allegiance Macsmind: Is Obama “Black Enough” Now? [...]

  57. I R A Darth Aggie Says:

    In the US Civil War, this was called “seeing the elephant”. It is one thing to shoot at a target when it’s a piece of paper hanging in a target range. It is a whole ‘nuther thing when that “target” is capable of shooting back.

    This is why militaries relentlessly drill their members: so that when they get their first taste of combat, and their rational minds are siezed up in fear, they’ll react according to their training, and carry out their duties.

  58. Tantor Says:

    My guess is that the guards in the train station did not fire back because they were just there for a paycheck, not to risk their lives. If you look at the gory photos of the massacre, you can see two dead guards. One of them clearly has his gun still stuck in his pants. That tells me he never drew his gun. That also tells me that who ever hires the guards had no money to even buy them holsters. If you don’t want to lavish money on holsters for your guards, you’re probably not going to lavish money on training. They were probably just hired to carry a gun and given ambiguous directions to guard the place.

    My other speculation is that culture was part of the problem. If you feel you are a peon subject to the directions of superiors, you’re not likely to put your ass on the line but rather hide it. If you are a free man who feels he owns his country, you take action.

    You might want to contrast the cowardly passivity of the Indian police to the armed response given by the good people of Austin when a looney opened fire from the UT Austin clock tower. The nearest policeman rushed to the tower, joined by an armed citizen, who killed the shooter. Meanwhile, everyone with a deer rifle put fire on the shooter. India could learn something from Texas.

  59. Tim san Says:

    For those who want to read about the cutting edge of the military thought on shooting people see killology.com. Dave Grossman is a leading authority on the subject and also one of the busiest police trainers in the world.

    When you understand the dynamic of inter-species conflict it will not seem the least bit strange that there are plenty of people in the world who will not ever back down from terrorists with assault rifles because they only have a pistol. Of course the hand grenades are a bit of drama but what are you going to do? J. Peden – you’ll like this site my friend.

  60. htom Says:

    You have to read a lot of Gandhi to get rid of the picture of him painted by the pacifists. (Remember, he was “preaching” to a crowd whose religions mostly shunned violent acts.) Perfection in non-violence was to throw yourself on the approaching bayonets, thus shielding others. But he knew that that was sometimes a foolish act that would not yield the desired result.

    Taking life may be a duty. We do destroy as much life as we think necessary for sustaining our body. Thus for food we take life, vegetable and other, and for health we destroy mosquitoes and the like by the use of disinfectants etc. and we do not think that we are guilty of irreligion in doing so…for the benefit of the species, we kill carnivorous beasts…Even man-slaughter may be necessary in certain cases. Suppose a man runs amuck and goes furiously about sword in hand, and killing anyone that comes in his way, and no one dares to capture him alive. Any one who despatches this lunatic, will earn the gratitude of the community and be regarded as a benevolent man. –YI, 4—II-26, 385.

    I see that there is an instinctive horror of killing living beings under any circumstances whatever. For instance, an alternative has been suggested in the shape of confining even rabid dogs in a certain place and allowing them to die a slow death. Now my idea of compassion makes this thing impossible for me. I cannot for a moment bear to see a dog, or for that matter any other living being, helplessly suffering the torture of a slow death. I do not kill a human being thus circumstanced because I have more hopeful remedies. I should kill a dog similarly situated, because in its case I am without a remedy. Should my child be attacked with rabies and there was no helpful remedy to relieve his agony, I should consider it my duty to take his life. Fatalism has its limits. We leave things to Fate after exhausting all the remedies. One of the remedies and the final one to relieve the agony of a tortured child is to take his life.

  61. newscaper Says:

    The issue is NOT that outgunned cops didn’t go toe-to-toe exchanging fire with the bad guys, but that, apparently, many of them didn’t have the wherewithal to take some of these guys down when they *did* have the drop on ‘em.

    A side note to something said up above about Flight 93:
    “Contrast the response of the Flight 93 passengers who took on AQI and downed their plane in a fight to deny the terrorists their intended plan”

    No, No, NO! I don’t know why it seems everyone once to turn 93 into a bunch of suiciders — they fought to *live*, their objective was to SAVE themselves and their fellow passengers as well as those on the ground. It was a tribute to their struggle that they almost regained the cockpit when a a terrorist at the controls crashed the plane short of their target, just to spite them (and avoid the dishonor of being captured as well as failing.)

  62. FredHjr Says:

    Bottom Line: Non-Muslim world, for the most part, is more inclined to be cautious when it comes to death-dealing. The Muslim world has NO such compunctions. Full bore ahead. Slay the unbelievers, wherever you may find them.

    If you can get into position for a shot at a terrorist and not be detected, and you are confident of your aim, you take him down and make sure he stays down. If you can’t get into position w/o him noticing, it’s best to remain concealed, since his discovering you will put the advantage squarely back in his hands. And you are of no use to ANYONE dead.

    Armed with only a pistol, you have to get in close, because a rifle is more accurate at a longer distance than a pistol is. You have to move in close enough to at least get in shots that WILL disable him. If you at least disable him, hopefully kill him, you can then get his rifle and ammo clips to deal with the other terrorists.

    Smart soldiers are better combat soldiers.

  63. FredHjr Says:

    Any other veterans here on neo’s blog besides me? Any of you actually fired the M16A1 and other weapons? Pistols and rifles?

    Me… Back in the summer of 1973 at Fort Dix for Basic Training I got stuck having to lug around the M-60 machine gun for my squad. I was only 5′ 10″ 170 pounds right out of high school then, and that was one heavy bastard. But it sure was a kick to fire. Tracer rounds would help me see where the bullets were going.

  64. Gray Says:

    Lindsay Porch:

    “This guy’s running around holding the only object that will mark him as off-limits to the terrorists, yet he criticizes cops who are clutching objects that make them primary targets.”

    If all a gun does is make you a ‘primary target’, why do you carry one as a cop?

    Lindsay displays the “why shoot back when you can just hide and identify bodies later?” cop attitude perfectly.

  65. Tim san Says:

    FredHjr the sights in the rifle tell you where the bullets are going. Tracers tell everyone where you are.

  66. Jake Says:

    Formerly known as Skeptic said:
    The situation reminds me of the Columbine shootings where the campus police waited for SWAT while students were being killed.
    and

    Oops, that should be the local police. I was mixing up Columbine and Virginia Tech (which had a similar problem in response).
    This is a common error that seems to come up in every discussion of this kind of incident, and it is WRONG! Please read the Virginia Tech Report. Specifically, on page 7 of the PDF the link leads to (numbered as p. 27), time index 9:54 a.m.:
    The first police officers arrive at Norris Hall, a three-minute response time from their receipt of the call. Hearing shots, they pause briefly to check whether they are being fired upon, then rush to one entrance, then another, and then a third but find all three chained shut. Attempts to shoot open the locks fail.
    The officers did NOT wait for a SWAT team, or for backup. They arrived at approximately the same time, and in the same place due to the layout of that part of campus. They tried to get in right away, and couldn’t because the killer had chained the doors shut. It took them five minutes to find a door they could force open, which is reasonable given the size and layout of the building.
    The entire report is here. Please read at least the timeline before commenting on it again.

  67. Jake Says:

    Apparently my blockquote tags weren’t right in my previous comment. My apologies.

  68. Gray Says:

    Wretchard covers this as well at The Belmont Club:

    “In its own way the Mumbai event underlines what the NRA has been saying for years. Guns don’t shoot themselves. People are needed to pull the trigger. Without anyone willing to open fire, the police pistols which stayed in their owner’s holsters might as well have been bouquets of flowers.”

    http://pajamasmedia.com/richardfernandez/2008/11/29/economy-of-force/

  69. Gray Says:

    The entire report is here. Please read at least the timeline before commenting on it again.

    Somehow “they tried while people died” still isn’t very satisfying….

    This kind of thing is going to keep happening until we decide we like killing bad guys more than we like “healing” and “comming together in our shared grief”.

    We like grieving more than shooting….

  70. J. Roth Says:

    Years ago I saw the carnage after two toy poodles broke into a chicken
    coop. They entered white and groomed, they came out red and bloody.
    Neighbors were stunned, 30 dead chickens.

    The highest number I’ve seen regarding Mumbai is 20. Versus 18-
    million. A hundred people throwing rocks could have stopped them in
    their tracks. A few cops firing their weapons could have pinned them
    down.

    Instead, they reacted like chickens in a coop. 10 Muslims vs. 200 dead,
    400 wounded, a massive city crippled.

    Plus two countries now dusting off their nuclear weapons. Why, because
    the collective world is scared shitless about going into Pakistan to
    end the problem.

  71. Louis Wheeler Says:

    HatlessHessian said:
    “Yet, a monsterous FEMA was blamed for not being an effective first-responder on every corner in New Orleans, driving school buses and knocking on every door to personally evacuate those too confused to act,”

    The rule book says that the “First Responders” to an emergency are fire, police, emergency personnel and first aid from concerned citizens. The first responders are on the scene when an emergency happens. These are most often city workers trained to act.

    The Second Responders to an emergency support the First Responders. They provide evacuation, Helicopter Medivac, ambulance, food, water, light, power, shelter, sanitation, hospital care, the police maintaining order and directing traffic along with emergency support from concerned citizens and churches. These are people who are not directly in the emergency who rush in to help. Often, these are trained city and county workers.

    The Third Responders are people who provide logistical, protection, defense support to the second responders. This should be material and personnel coming in from unaffected counties, personnel from the State police and other state officials, State National Guard, etc.

    The Fourth Responders are the federal emergency agencies such as the US Army, FEMA, US army Corp of Engineers and federal disaster preparedness agencies.

    The myth about Katrina promoted by our Leftist Media is that FEMA is a First Responder when it is actually a Fourth Responder.

    FEMA may act only if requested by State officials. The State hardest hit by Katrina was Mississippi. The Mississippi Governor asked for FEMA help BEFORE Katrina struck the center of his state. Louisiana’s Governor Blanco dithered for four days after the hurricane struck before she asked for FEMA and US Army help.

    New Orleans Mayor Nagin had never practiced for an emergency, so he was caught flat footed.

    Since, Governor Blanco and Mayor Nagin were Democrats, they could not be assigned blame by our biased Mainstream Media, so they blamed the local ClusterF*ck on Bush, instead.

    Driving evacuation school busses is not a FEMA function. The drivers of those busses, which were later drowned, had never been called in by Nagin. The drivers evacuated their families along with everyone else. Both New Orleans and Louisiana had emergency plans. But they were mere window dressing, so they were never followed.

  72. Richard Aubrey Says:

    Since we still don’t know all that went on, the likelihood that the cop in question knew much at all is limited.
    Did he know this was part of a coordinated attack, or one lone nutcase who could ruin his career?

  73. iconoclast Says:

    Granted the two are not quite contradictory. But, the quotes from Ghandi are pretty convoluted, and then he complains that the audience doesn’t get the nuance of his position.

    It never seemed contradictory to me. I always viewed his philosophy as a continuum from the extreme difficulty of opposition through non-violence down to cowardice/abject subjugation to oppression. I don’t necessarily agree with it, but anyone who is willing to stand and die non-violently before they betray their beliefs and are ruled by tyranny has my respect.

  74. Jake Says:

    Gray said:
    Somehow “they tried while people died” still isn’t very satisfying….

    No, it’s not satisfying. It’s not meant to be. But it is the truth. Saying that they didn’t even try is a gross libel on the officers who attempted to force their way into a building which contained an unknown number of indiscriminate shooters. Just as importantly, it also distorts any lessons that can be learned from it.

  75. Gray Says:

    Saying that they didn’t even try is a gross libel on the officers who attempted to force their way into a building which contained an unknown number of indiscriminate shooters. Just as importantly, it also distorts any lessons that can be learned from it.

    You are correct.

    However, the lesson learned from this is the same as the lesson from all the others:

    “The Cops can’t always be there to protect you. Your protection is your own responsibility.”

  76. Jake Says:

    However, the lesson learned from this is the same as the lesson from all the others:

    “The Cops can’t always be there to protect you. Your protection is your own responsibility.”

    On that I agree, and I find it truly infuriating that the VT administration refuses to learn that lesson. Usually with the equivalent of putting it’s fingers in it’s ears, stamping it’s feet, and repeatedly shouting “I’m not listening!” as loud as it can.

    I do assume, however, that it’s not the only lesson that can be learned, though it is the one that applies to the most people (i.e. everyone).

  77. Challeron Says:

    I’m beginning to think that Obama’s notion of a “civilian security force, as well-trained and equipped as the military” might be a good idea. Obama should know about cops who won’t put the donut down to pick up the pistol: He is from Chicago….

  78. mockmook Says:

    While it is unfair to judge without being there, if the photographer is right:

    The police could have fired from cover (surely there were corners on the buildings).

    To effectively root out the resistance, the terrorist would have to go after an intermittently concealed target. I don’t think that gives his rifle such an advantage.

  79. GeoffB Says:

    Imagine the cops on the scene in Mumbai got a good read on the situation and knew there were only ten or fifteen terrorists. So they went in, guns blazing. The terrorists returned fire and in the ensuing melee, 50 innocents were killed – instead of 200.

    Which headline is more likely?

    a) Hundreds Spared by Police’s Prompt Action

    b) Police Force Terrorists’ Hand, 50 Innocents Killed

  80. Tqamquam Leo Rugines Says:

    A commenter in another blog (The Belmont Cub) pointed out that it was his experience some years ago that policemen were not regularly issued ammunition.

  81. robotech master Says:

    Their are alot of facts missing however alot of the information posted here is way off target.

    First the large majority of police in the 3rd world are armed with something more then a pistol… often at least a SMG but also the standard AK47. Unless someone has proof that the indian police(over the whole large area and a police station) were only armed with pistols the debate is moot. Many were likely armed with decent rifles and could have fought back.

    Next “sitting duck” the picture is pretty clear hes a sitting duck along with the way their movement as been described… A slow walking killing everyone they see is hardly the movement of someone actively hiding and taking cover/protection. All reports as far show that these attackers had zero fear from the police and walked out in the open thus were “sitting ducks”.

    Next “Police died so surely someone fought back”… thats BS at its finest dead police doesn’t = police actively fighting back. Dead terrorists = police fighting back… how many terrorists die in the opening hours… whats that you say none? One? So that argument is worthless the police were likely killed while hiding or in the directed attack on the police station.

    These guys weren’t wearing full suit body armor as the case in LA. Any hit anywhere expect in the chest would have hurt/disabled them and forced them to flee. The excuse of body armor is complete BS.

    The simple fact is even in the US around 70% of cops are complete cowards end of story… they aren’t trained nor do they wish to be trained to actively protect others. The US is becoming just as bad as these places because cops are rewarded both for doing nothing and for doing the wrong thing. No cop in the US is legally required to help you. They can watch you be raped and hanged from a tree and eat donuts the whole time… If you want a classic case of how pathetic police are you only have to look at the “don’t taze me bro” video. It took roughly 6 cops to stop 1 barely fighting back light weight…. SIX cops… its disgraceful.

    The problem isn’t the press somehow making them “fear” screwing up the problem is they both aren’t held accountable for screw ups and on top of that aren’t forced to act. However the end problem is that police in the US have way way to much power. A cop can do anything they want as long as they aren’t caught on video doing it. They can then arrest you and say that your story is just to protect yourself… you must then fight in court to prove that your innocent of the fake charges and then go back to court to prove him guilty and even on top of that if you attack a cop it could be as much as 10 years in jail… if a cop attacks you worse case they get fired… normally unless they have a long proven history they may get suspended without pay for a few weeks.

    This huge double standard of cops being better then everyone else combined with the police motto of “To serve and protect… ourselves” Is why cops in many countries including the US choose to do nothing unless it suits them.

    Part of being a police officer is suppose to be that you put others before yourself… that may include dieing to protect others. That is a police officers JOB and part of the well know requirement for it… nowadays however thats no longer a requirement… its all about them.

    Even when you remove this however most cops are so poorly trained they often shouldn’t even be allowed to have guns add in unless they are ex-military they haven’t even the remotest training in dealing with a combat engagement. Police are their to fill out paperwork thats it to give them the power to do more then that is stupidity at its finest.

    This stuff would never happen in open carry and even in states that issue permits to just about anyone…

    The author is right in a sense that it is a culture issue… in the US ppl are DOers and are willing to fight and arm themselves in order to protect themselves and more importantly OTHERS. Outside of the US this is very rare… add in even some places in the US such as listed cities like DC, NY, Chicago, New O etc that have some of the worse guns rules… they also have some of the most corrupt police… this goes hand in hand with above… police with to much power are rewarded for doing the wrong things as well as doing nothing. Their are reasons why these killers target “gun free” zones because duh the police aren’t a major threat and no one else who will fight has a weapon to do so.

  82. mark Says:

    I am sorry but if i am a cop, and I see armed people shooting other armed people, I dont hide behind cover. I would shoot them quickly.

    I dont buy the whole story that EVERY cop was afraid initially. Dont tell me none of them have got any hearts.

    Whatever the reason, those cops who were sitting and doing nothing should be fired from their job and replaced with people who do have the heart to act in such a situation.

  83. Amos Says:

    Yeah, can you imagine this happening in the states? 50 cops would be on the scene in five minutes, laying down a wall of lead. As for it being hard to distinguish terrorist from civilian, here’s a clue: the terrorists are the ones with AK-47s walking calmly around shooting people. See, if you look really CLOSE you can spot those subtle little details.

    Indian security forces suck, it’s still a developing country and they have allot of systemic problems. It’s that simple.

  84. Jerry Says:

    Random thoughts –

    I remember reading that a lot of American soldiers in WWI and WWII were found to have not fired their weapons in combat even when they had a clear opportunity to hit the enemy. If you don’t shoot, they don’t know you’re there. And these were trained combat soldiers. Current military training has put paid to that.

    I suspect current American police training says “wait until the hostage negotiators come in”, even when there’s continuing gunfire. Remember in Die Hard when the bad guys fired into the ceiling to control the hostages? And the outside fiasco with turf fights between local cops and the Feds? Not sure the initial response would have been too much better. So what’s a poorly trained, underpaid Indian cop going to do when whackjobs start going berzerk? I have a hard time laying blame on the Indian cops.

    But remember in Die Hard, SWAT teams did come in (and got clobbered) pretty fast. And beaten by some high-tech weaponry. But a “rogue” upset their plans.

    The problem in this Indian situation is that there were no “rogues” to upset the terrorists’ plan. In this case, there were no “rogues” because of their lack of individual gun ownership, lack of institutional planning, and their failure to train their law enforcement agencies to deal with this type of threat.

    Let’s not be so hard on the Indians.

  85. » Shoot or be shot at? It’s not that easy - Blogger News Network Says:

    [...] one commenter noted: The term is inertia. In a high stress situation most people will tend to keep on doing [...]

  86. csimon Says:

    There have been many would’a should’a could’a guesses in most of the posts above.

    HOWEVER, the bottom line is that TERRORISM DOES EXIST, it’s not going away, and when it first reared it’s ugly head it might have been an individual suicide bomber (which still exist) but today it is much more sophisticated, often well-financed and even more well-planned, often with alternative plans for exigent circumstances. Terrorists’ missions are to achieve shock value, instill ever-growing fear, and gain as much attention to themselves as possible, and hopefully inspire others to join their cause and wreak similar havoc. The less central control, the harder it is to eliminate the “heads of the hydra” because as one is destroyed, another will grow to replace it in unpredictable places and circumstances.

    The entire world had better WAKE UP and get with it! This is reality, folks! There are few areas of the world left immune today from such violence. George Bush was one of the first to “get it” — to realize the growth, sophistication, and advancement of organizations willing to use terrorism, as well as their ability to inspire splinter groups to join the “war.” Tony Blair was the second. Both have taken the worst in political, social and media thrashing, yet their understanding and determination to take the steps to fight the exponential growth of these dangers persists. Whether it’s bombings, plane attacks, kidnappings for huge ransoms, piracy — it’s all terrorism.

    Policy needs to change. (Whether Bush and Blair, the former Australian Prime Minister, and the few others who had the fortitude and prescience to begin preparing and join the fight against Extremist hatred so visceral that it has evolved into a mission of killing as many of its “enemies” as possible — whether they will ever be accorded the respect and appreciation that is their due, only history will reveal.) Meantime, no guns, no armies, pacifism and world peace at all costs, kumbaya etc. might be noble goals……in Utopia! But not in the real world. The real world today! Heads “hiding in the sand” or faces turning away from an ugly reality toward more pleasant occupations is not going to make the problem go away.

    Certainly each country is responsible for developing the means to secure its homeland and its people. Probably sharing information, intelligence, and advanced methods of tracking would enable the greatest protection. Diverse cultures will have varying degrees of ability to accept this reality, but it is imperative. Determined terrorists will prey on those that just don’t want to believe; they will happily exploit opportunities.

    It doesn’t really matter why the police in Mumbai were reticent to shoot. The fact that they were, and the fact that it enabled terrorists to kill and injure so many and wreak such destruction is what matters now. What matters is, if these events, the witnessing of growing piracy, the re-emergence of Taliban in Afghanistan, and terror groups all over the world is sufficient for people to send messages to their governments and leaders that say, “Enough!” We all “get it” now. And we must work together to defeat an enemy that just grows bolder and plans more horror. In today’s society, it seems it will take more guts to accept reality and do something about it!

  87. Ben Franklin Says:

    Whoever said the police may have been armed with WWII rifles needs to know that those would be exactly the type of weapon you would want in a situation where you have concealment, numbers and the drop on the enemy. Those things were accurate and had stopping power. If you had one or two rifles and your buddies could lay down suppressing fire with the handguns you would have had a very good chance of putting an end to the situation.

    You never know how people are going to react though. I can remember a child getting his finger caught in the sprocket of a piece of machinery st work one time. There were half a dozen people just standing around watching until I came over and turned the gear to get his finger out. They were talking about getting tools etc… but no one was doing anything. Most were trying not to look or to ignore the screams. I am a chickenshit at heart but I can do what has to be done because that is the way I was raised.

    Plus it was my business and my responsibility. Someone who is used to always deferring to authority is of no use in a crisis. You have to be careful not to castrate all initiative out of your populace and police forces if you wish to survive.

  88. br549 Says:

    Having no true idea how I would react in that situation – having only a handgun against automatic weapons wielded by maniacs with body armor – I think I agree with stonetools’ post.

    I do know how I would hope to react.

  89. Beverly Says:

    From Jihad Watch, the account by an Indian doctor of how the Jews in particular were singled out for savage torture:

    “Doctors shocked at hostages’s torture,” by Krishnakumar P and Vicky Nanjappa for Rediff, November 30 (thanks to M3Pino):

    They said that just one look at the bodies of the dead hostages as well as terrorists showed it was a battle of attrition that was fought over three days at the Oberoi and the Taj hotels in Mumbai.

    Doctors working in a hospital where all the bodies, including that of the terrorists, were taken said they had not seen anything like this in their lives.

    “Bombay has a long history of terror. I have seen bodies of riot victims, gang war and previous terror attacks like bomb blasts. But this was entirely different. It was shocking and disturbing,” a doctor said.

    Asked what was different about the victims of the incident, another doctor said: “It was very strange. I have seen so many dead bodies in my life, and was yet traumatised. A bomb blast victim’s body might have been torn apart and could be a very disturbing sight. But the bodies of the victims in this attack bore such signs about the kind of violence of urban warfare that I am still unable to put my thoughts to words,” he said.

    Asked specifically if he was talking of torture marks, he said: “It was apparent that most of the dead were tortured. What shocked me were the telltale signs showing clearly how the hostages were executed in cold blood,” one doctor said.

    The other doctor, who had also conducted the post-mortem of the victims, said: “Of all the bodies, the Israeli victims bore the maximum torture marks. It was clear that they were killed on the 26th itself. It was obvious that they were tied up and tortured before they were killed. It was so bad that I do not want to go over the details even in my head again,” he said.

    Corroborating the doctors’ claims about torture was the information that the Intelligence Bureau had about the terror plan. “During his interrogation, Ajmal Kamal said they were specifically asked to target the foreigners, especially the Israelis,” an IB source said.

    It is also said that the Israeli hostages were killed on the first day as keeping them hostage for too long would have focused too much international attention. “They also might have feared the chances of Israeli security agencies taking over the operations at the Nariman House,” he reasoned….

  90. John Moore Says:

    Let us not forget that this took place in a different culture.

    It is my understanding that cops, in Mumbai, are held in low esteem and are generally corrupt. You don’t go to them for help. In general, they did not sign on to risk their lives or protect anyone, but because it was a job.

    The local anti-terrorist cops, the encounter specialists, are better, but they aren’t standing around police stations.

    In any case, the response was pathetic. The hotels should have been cleared and held, floor by floor, in a few hours, not 3 days.

    BTW, the terrorists were shooting 9mm – pistol ammunition. Having automatic weapons would have been some advantage over pistols, but if several of those cops had opened up on any of the two-terrorist teams, they very well cold have beat them. Especially if there were enough cops to flank them and get a crossfire.

  91. Kilo Says:

    Where’s Instapundit’s post blaming Mubai’s concealed carry laws ?

  92. Gray Says:

    It is my understanding that cops, in Mumbai, are held in low esteem and are generally corrupt. You don’t go to them for help. In general, they did not sign on to risk their lives or protect anyone, but because it was a job.

    Welcome to New Mexico, or California or Louisiana or District of Columbia or Baltimore….

    Or Columbine HS, Colorado.

    It’s not a “different culture”, it’s Global: we imported it.

  93. robotech master Says:

    Its up now kilo hehe

  94. FredHjr Says:

    Did the jihadis have body armor?

  95. Speechless « No Cynics Allowed Says:

    [...] of the nihilistic events in Mumbai. I’ve read about targeting of Jews, Americans, Britons, an unprepared police force and general savagery. These events will be debated intensely over the coming weeks. However, the [...]

  96. strcpy Says:

    “Having no true idea how I would react in that situation – having only a handgun against automatic weapons wielded by maniacs with body armor – I think I agree with stonetools’ post.”

    Yea, I carry a small .38 revolver so, well, it wouldn’t be a good idea to confront very much. Of course, being a civilian with a concealed carry permit then it is only supposed to be life or death situations anyway. The theory is that if I have to use the thing then I’m pretty much going to die otherwise and this gives me a little bit higher chance of surviving. I would at least like to think that if they had come for me that I would have taken at least one of them with me – but I don’t really know what I would have done.

    I have a .40 automatic with around 30 rounds of ammunition in the glove compartment of my truck, though that is more because it is what I carry to the range to shoot and I just jam everything in that compartment than a need/want to carry that much.

    However that wouldn’t have done me any good had I been there, all I would have had was my snub nosed .38 with five rounds.

    However I have been in a situation where I was happy I had it. I and another car was ran off the road a few months back by someone running from the police as he flipped down the pavement – I was happy I had a firearm at that point. The guy ended up deciding to run instead of carjack me or the other family – he could have had my truck, it’s not worth the fight, but the other vehicle was full of kids and I shudder to think of the fight if he had decided to take it – since the other car was still mostly on the road and not blocked it would have been his choice. However, I can certainly say I was preparing myself to shoot the person if he threatened them (that is, I do know how I would react in that situation) – it’s still kinda scary to think about after the fact. Of course, that is also very different from a group of heavily armed people too.

    Then again, too many people around here like me for that type of thing to work well – someone tried a mass shooting in a private college a few years back and – well – it didn’t quite go as glorious as the person thought it would (they died in a hail of bullets from CC permit holders). They were the only one that had any injury and they were killed. Places like Rural Tennessee are not good places to violently try and push the populace – they tend to violently push back.

  97. ChooseTheHero.com » Blog Archive » Re: Re: Veering Says:

    [...] The explanations I’ve read are sometimes more, sometimes less charitable concerning the professionalism and readiness of the Indian police in Mumbai. One blogger has pointed out that recently there was a public outcry in Mumbai that may have created an apprehensive, overly cautious police presence afraid of “doing the wrong thing.” [...]

  98. JAL Says:

    Saxon –

    I have to disagree with you … NYC cops would have taken out some of those terrorists in a NY minute, and / or died trying.

  99. Zach Says:

    Here’s the media environment the police were operating in:
    “There are also rumors that many of the 100 or more so fatalities may have been caused by police firing wildly — as is all too common here — at the scene of terrorist attacks in the main railway station and the Cama hospital.”
    http://corner.nationalreview.com/post/?q=NDRjZWJlNGVhNGJjMTcxODVlMzc4MzMyMmFjZDYyODY=

    So, we have a reporter saying that some police weren’t aggressive enough and we have rumors that police were too aggressive. I’m inclined to give the police the benefit of the doubt in this damned-if-you-do-damned-if-you-don’t situation. I think it is too early to speculate on how exactly the police reacted.
    Honestly, I am surprised that they didn’t do more damage. They had six months to train and reconnoiter. They had the element of surprise and massive amounts of ammunition. They attacked soft targets. They attacked the world’s most populous city. Yet even if you were in Mumbai that day, there was only about a .001% chance of getting killed. You have about that much of a chance of getting killed in an auto accident in New Delhi in a month.

  100. Rob Kiser Says:

    In general, what we need is a distributed solution to a distributed problem. Namely, if the terrorists can pop up anywhere and start shooting people, then everyone has to be prepared to defend themselves.

    What’s interesting is how willing people are to continue to propose and accept a centralized solution to a distributed problem. For instance, there is apparently a proposal now for creating a new global anti-terror taskforce? Get real. They’d be stuck on the airport in a thunderstorm in London. Bad idea.

    As far as police are concerned, in general, their main concern is that they go home at the end of their shift. If you watch the show COPS, you’ll actually see them saying this every so often. It’s a job to them. A paycheck. And there’s no real reward for heroism or valor when you’re working for the government. So they punch the clock for their shift, and if they have to cower behind their squad cars for hours like they did at Colombine or Virgina Tech or San Ysidro, then so be it.

    One of the things I’ve not seen mentioned here is diffused responsibility. This is a social phenomenon that applies to groups of people. And in a nutshell, the cops all think, “If no other cops are shooting, then who am I to open fire?”

    Mr. Frank said

    Well I’ve got a couple of WWII rifles here in my house Frank, and I promise you that, if someone was firing at you with an M1 Carbine or an M1 Garand, you wouldn’t think for a second that they were “poorly equipped”.

    As for the Ghandi worshippers in this thread, I’m not drinking that koolaid:

    ~ George Orwell’s “Reflections on Gandhi”,Partisan Review, Jan. 1949

    ~ George Orwell’s “Reflections on Gandhi”, Partisan Review, Jan. 1949

  101. Rob Kiser Says:

    In general, what we need is a distributed solution to a distributed problem. Namely, if the terrorists can pop up anywhere and start shooting people, then everyone has to be prepared to defend themselves.

    What’s interesting is how willing people are to continue to propose and accept a centralized solution to a distributed problem. For instance, there is apparently a proposal now for creating a new global anti-terror taskforce? Get real. They’d be stuck on the airport in a thunderstorm in London. Bad idea.

    As far as police are concerned, in general, their main concern is that they go home at the end of their shift. If you watch the show COPS, you’ll actually see them saying this every so often. It’s a job to them. A paycheck. And there’s no real reward for heroism or valor when you’re working for the government. So they punch the clock for their shift, and if they have to cower behind their squad cars for hours like they did at Colombine or Virgina Tech or San Ysidro, then so be it.

    One of the things I’ve not seen mentioned here is diffused responsibility. This is a social phenomenon that applies to groups of people. And in a nutshell, the cops all think, “If no other cops are shooting, then who am I to open fire?”

    Mr. Frank said

    One of the news reports said the Indian police and military are poorly equipped. I saw one policeman on the news carrying what looked like a WW II infantry rifle.”

    Well I’ve got a couple of WWII rifles here in my house Frank, and I promise you that, if someone was firing at you with an M1 Carbine or an M1 Garand, you wouldn’t think for a second that they were “poorly equipped”.

    As for the Ghandi worshippers in this thread, I’m not drinking that koolaid:

    “Hitler killed five million Jews. It is the greatest crime of our time. But the Jews should have offered themselves to the butcher’s knife. They should have thrown themselves into the sea from cliffs.”>
    ~ George Orwell’s “Reflections on Gandhi”,Partisan Review, Jan. 1949

    As to whether the Jews should have committed “collective sucide” by offering themselves to Hitler:
    “Yes, that would have been heroism.” ~ George Orwell’s “Reflections on Gandhi”, Partisan Review, Jan. 1949

  102. Don Meaker Says:

    SLA Marshall in ‘men against fire’ noted that only one man in 10 in WWII infantry units actually fired their weapons. Usually the one that did was the BAR man or a machine gunner.

    US training after that focused on having men shoot at known OR SUSPECTED targets. The result was US fire supremacy, but also 50,000 small arms rounds fired per enemy death.

    Question: Are such tactics appropriate for police situations? They were in Bombay, but it takes time for people to transition from police officer to soldier. The police are liable for each bullet fired, and are reasonably reticient about firing.

    The only solution: An armed populace, as in Israel, or Texas.

  103. stoney Says:

    I rely too much on the news channels. Still, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution offered little clarification. I cannot grasp the timeline. Previous comments to your post further add to my confusion.

    Ten, maybe 12, heavily armed terrorists, without body armor, attacked 10 separate locations. From your article it appears they existed from the train station, and blazed a path of death to the 10 separate locations. Or, was it only two of the terrorists which exited?

    They fired upon and killed some policemen on one side, while a large number of policemen refused to return fire from the other side?

    Apparenty they took the time to torture some of their victims before murdering them. Was the attack on the Jewish outreach center conducted by only one murderer?

    What was the number and total distance these teams traveled? One team entered unchallenged from the rear of the Taj Hotel while security concentrated on the front. If they began firing at the station, why was no one aware of anything wrong?

    Will someone please provide a timeframe with sequence of attacks and distance between targets?

  104. Truth Says:

    Although its vert tragic and horror to watch and hear what has happened in Mumbai, There are things not clear till now,

    First- from the early news reported there are terrorists nine arrested… so what information these arrested terrorists provided to deal with the rest of the group.

    secondly what the demands of those terrorists, as far as can see they shoot first innocent but them they got hostages, if we say they did this for media attentions, of to kill westerns, then why they get them hostage in first place?

    Third, who is the money supplier for this group? Search for Wahhabi Madrasa and Saudi Money….

  105. dane Says:

    I just read an article forwarded to me by a friend. It was written by Deepak Chopra. He was talking about Obama’s attitude toward Islam – hoping he would be more tolerant. He said that Islam is the fastest growing religion in the world and if we didn’t “appease” the Muslims, etc., etc. He actually used the word “appease” – unreal. This article was written before the Mumbai attacks. I’m sure he hasn’t changed his mind but I think Deepak should go back and read some history about Neville Chamberlain.

  106. dispatches from TJICistan » Blog Archive » it’s not the size of the man in the fight, it’s the size of the fight in the man Says:

    [...] During the recent contretemps Indian ‘commandoes’ refuse to fire their weapons, because they don’t know where to start,…. [...]

  107. AbraCadabra Says:

    Being Indian, let me give you an insider’s view. Most of the policemen deployed outside railway stations are police constables, who are equipped with .303 Lee Enfield Rifles, which shoot only 1 bullet at a time before they need to be reloaded. Any policeman would have been on a suicide mission if he tried to take on the terrorists armed with AK47s with his .303.

  108. ZZMike Says:

    I read the same report on the Hindustan Times web site. The impression I got was that these were policemen in the city, near the cafes. The news item said that they didn’t fire because they had no orders from higher up.

    AbraCadabra makes a good point. On the other hand, the .303 Lee Enfield was first introduced in 1895, with production up to 1927. These are ancient arms. The traditional bow and arrow would be simpler and just as effective – maybe more so, because it’s quiet..

    Maybe there are budgetary restrictions against buying more modern weapons, but since every terrorist seems to be issued an AK-47 and a few grenades at birth, the Indian government could spring for something more modern.

    Finally, this is just one more proof of the concept that an unarmed citizenry is ripe for slaughter.

  109. Vivictius Says:

    Well AbraCadabra, being an American, let me give you an insider’s view of guns. I’d take my 03-A3 (US equivalent of the Lee Enfield, actually slightly inferior) against someone with a AK-47. Either weapon has much great range and accuracy then an AK-47 and one is all it takes. Differences in respons are due to culture and training. With a little better training and police culture that encourages an active response many lives could have been saved.

  110. Ymarsakar Says:

    The traditional bow and arrow would be simpler and just as effective – maybe more so, because it’s quiet..

    The amount of time to train accurate bowmen are huge. Much much longer than the same for a marksman over the same range.

    Besides, bowmen run out of ammo faster cause they can’t carry many.

    who are equipped with .303 Lee Enfield Rifles, which shoot only 1 bullet at a time before they need to be reloaded. Any policeman would have been on a suicide mission if he tried to take on the terrorists armed with AK47s with his .303.

    Here in America, we have something we call duty. Which is that you either do your duty until death gets you or you don’t do your duty.

    If the duty of the police is to protect only certain people and to obey orders, fine. I have said so before that the police are only there to clean up your murdered body, rather than to stop you from being killed.

    If, however, their duty is to “protect” people, then it doesn’t matter if it is suicide. Duty is heavier than mountains while death is lighter than a feather.

    Besides, from how they were shooting those AKs, it sounds like the terrors were using the old spray and pray method. Not exactly effective against real marksmen.

  111. Ymarsakar Says:

    THe point of arming yourself or learning how to kill with your barehands against opponents armed with heavier firepower than you is to get their weapons.

    It doesn’t matter what you have at the moment, so long as you can defeat, in detail, any portion of the enemy force, their firearms are now your firearms.

  112. Scottie Says:

    I am a collector and own the civilian semi-auto version of the AK47, as well as 3 different variations of the Lee-Enfield rifle. I am intimately familiar with the characteristics of each.

    Having said that, I can state without reservation that I would be quite confident armed with the Lee-Enfield if I had to face even full auto AK47′s.

    Didn’t say I wouldn’t be scared $hitless at the prospect, simply stating that the rifle is quite a bit more capable than people understand and is easily better than the AK47 in some circumstances.

    The only qualification of that confidence is that anyone armed with the Lee-Enfield is at a very slight disadvantage in the situation that occurred simply because the rifle itself is longer and slightly less manueverable in tight quarters, you have to manipulate the bolt for each round fired, and you have to do so in close quarters fighting against an enemy armed with a select fire (ie, machine gun) weapon firing an intermediate caliber bullet.

    On the plus side you have a weapon that is chambered for one of the most effective man killing calibers ever fielded by a major army – the .303, the rifle is incredibly reliable and can withstand abuse that leaves many other weapons as scrap metal – I’d go so far as to say it’s even as impervious to damage as the AK47, it’s effective range is many times farther than the AK47′s 7.62×39 caliber, you have 10 rounds at your immediate disposal, and if all else fails you can bayonet or club the ba$tard to death if you run out of ammo or don’t have time to work the bolt in close quarters.

    Before anyone else claims this particular rifle is an overwhelming disadvantage for the Indians, bear in mind that the British did quite well with this exact same rifle between 1939 and 1945 against an enemy that as often as not was armed also with a fully automatic machine gun (Germany and MP38 and MP40 sub machine guns), and in fighting across Europe the British also had to do so in close quarters and were very effective, and that variations of this rifle in sniper role continued in British service until at least the 1980′s.

    My own opinion is that the core of the problem is that the Indian police and military were paralyzed by a lack of direction from higher authorities, and that rather than a lack of courage (read India’s history – not a great military power but not wimps by any means either) it was a lack of ingrained initiative at the lowest levels that hamstrung the responders.

    Everybody was basically waiting for someone else to tell them what to do…

  113. Scottie Says:

    Oh, regarding the bow and arrows comment – that combination worked really well for the American Indian against 1870′s era US Cavalry carrying single shot rifles.

  114. Ymarsakar Says:

    The common human reluctance to kill another person is a good thing, not a bad one — and it seems like pretty much the only sensible conclusion to reach on this one without MUCH better data.

    You might want to buy yourself a plan ticket to Pakistan and tell them all about your “common human reluctance to kill” theory.

  115. noble savage Says:

    >Finally, this is just one more proof of the concept that an unarmed citizenry is ripe for slaughter

    Do you know how it feels to share your city with 20 million people…more than 1/4ths in abject poverty and willing to do anything to get on to the other side. And now you want to arm them because of police failure? bah..The crime rate in India is increasing at a rapid rate. Just the other day, I saw someone climb up my 2nd floor flat and almost steal my speaker..thank god he doesn’t know how a gun looks like! There are much bigger fundamental problems in India…No clear control over population is perhaps the biggest one.

  116. Scottie Says:

    noble savage,

    Ah, you do realize that India already has some pretty strict gun control laws already. Right?

    It doesn’t look like said gun control laws stopped the murderous killing spree.

    Apparently, from your own observation that you just described, the same gun control laws are not really having any positive effect on reducing the crime rate either.

    Perhaps the gun control laws in India should be re-evaluated, and either revised to make it easier for the comman man to obtain a gun or eliminated altogether, rather than trying more of the same?

    I just don’t see 10 terrorists with AK’s being able to do the same amount of damage in an area of the US that had high gun ownership rates and lacked such authoritarian gun control laws.

  117. noble savage Says:

    You are assuming that “laws in India” work. Frankly, I don’t see any law working completely..It’s pretty corrupt. The common man doesn’t want guns, he wants basic food, health care and reasonable security…we don’t have to fight the comache Indians here. Back then the British were too overwhelmed with our non-cooperation and non-violence,that they just gave in. The point i’m trying to make is, right now there are not too many people in the India that carry guns..be it common people or small time petty thieves or for that matter even cops. [Of course some buglers do carry a country made pistol at times that actually misfires more than fires :p.]..but the southern part of India is pretty much untouched by guns…so why would anyone want to complicate and add another variable to the already messed up situation that we are in. By empowering people to arm themselves would actually worsen the situtation. Mumbai has more than 7million people living below poverty, the slums are infested with small time criminals and they would fairly easily bribe govt officials and get a fake gun license.
    Wake up! Not every country is like the US. The population in India is just too huge and diverse. And believe me people die of a variety of reasons totally unique to India. For eg people have died of wrongly lit fire crackers here. Weird accidents happen all the time here. 20 million people in 30 mile radius…Scottie you have to visit to see what I am trying to say..

    >I just don’t see 10 terrorists with AK’s being able to >do the same amount of damage in an area of the US >that had high gun ownership rates and lacked such >authoritarian gun control laws.
    You bet you won’t. But neither do we see kids being killed in our universities or for that matter an 8yr old killing his father accidentally or something.

  118. noble savage Says:

    >You might want to buy yourself a plan ticket to Pakistan >and tell them all about your “common human >reluctance to kill” theory.

    I do share your anger. I however think buying a ticket to Saudi or Khandahar would better clarify your point.

  119. Don Says:

    IIRC, at the San Yasidro McDonald’s massacre in the early ’80s, the SWAT snipers had the target in their sights for about 45 minutes (not continuously) before getting a “green light” to shoot.

    In the Hollywood shoot out, none of the female cops fired their weapons.

  120. scottie Says:

    noble savage,

    ‘”You are assuming that “laws in India” work.”

    Read what I wrote once more – nowhere did I suggest the Indian gun control laws worked.

    Quite the contrary, I suggested that since they obviously did not work it isn’t a wild stretch of the imagination to offer that all gun control laws should be re-evaluated!

    “Frankly, I don’t see any law working completely..It’s pretty corrupt.”

    As it has occasionally been in various locations in the US during it’s history – and there are verfiable instances of the US citizen protecting their own rights, sometimes even against the very government that should have been protecting them.

    Again, not a very good argument against gun ownership, and it certainly does explain why the situation you describe is “messed up” since guns are apparently not a factor in the “mess”.

    “The common man doesn’t want guns, he wants basic food, health care and reasonable security…we don’t have to fight the comache Indians here.”

    You are correct. To my knowledge Comanches were never a viable population in India. They were different “indians” altogether on a completely different continent…lol.

    Sorry, couldn’t resist that one.

    Anyway, the fact that India has less than 2 dozen terrorists crossing over into India and shooting up literally hundreds of people at a time with full automatic weapons and grenades seems to indicate that there isn’t that drastic a difference as you may be trying to suggest.

    The indian wars in the US were very bloody – as bloody and brutal as anything that happened in India over the past week.

    “right now there are not too many people in the India that carry guns..be it common people or small time petty thieves or for that matter even cops. [Of course some buglers do carry a country made pistol at times that actually misfires more than fires ”

    Contradictory statements…but I think you meant “burglers”, righ? For that matter, only a small percentage of US citizens carry weapons – but it is proven to have had a positive impact in reducing crime rates.

    “why would anyone want to complicate and add another variable to the already messed up situation that we are in. By empowering people to arm themselves would actually worsen the situtation.”

    Please give consideration to the concept that the situation is “messed up” precisely because of such societal impulses that deprive the common man of the most basic means of self defense – whether he’s defending his property from thieves or his life or the life of his family against what you have described as a corrupt government.

    You are jumping to the conclusion, without any shred of evidence for the position, that guns would worsen the “messed up situation”. Set aside your bias against guns and just consider the matter a little more carefully.

    “Not every country is like the US. The population in India is just too huge and diverse.”

    You are perhaps suggesting that the US has no high density population centers, or that the US is a homogenous society? Nothing could be farther from the truth. But you are correct in that not every country is like the US.

    Then again, we didn’t get here overnight, and we had a good basic foundation to start from. That foundation included the belief that everyone had a right to defend themselves.

    “But neither do we see kids being killed in our universities or for that matter an 8yr old killing his father accidentally or something.”

    Ah, your positions were worthy of serious consideration up that point. Too bad.

    What do the universities where such shootings have occurred have in common with India?

    Generally they are “gun free” zones, meaning basically that any homocidal sociopath off of his medication can find plenty of victims who can’t fight back when he slaughters them.

    Fortunately, in most of the US, that is the exception rather than the rule.

    In one famous instance, one of those maniacs decided to shoot up religious locations instead of universities – and was gunned down by a female with a handgun even though he was armed with smoke grenades, handguns, long guns and plenty of ammo.

    He did murder 2 or 3 unarmed people outside the building, but as soon as an armed citizen confronted him the attack was stopped in it’s tracks.

    Too bad there weren’t any females like that at the hotels that were shot up.

    As for 8 year olds killing their dads, I can assure you that such is a rarity. Don’t believe everything the gun control advocates tell you about the US, and question everything they want you to believe unless their claims can stand up to scrutiny and skepticism.

    Take nothing they say on faith – hell, don’t even take what I claim on faith.

    Think for yourself and research the matter. Don’t just think what you’ve been told to think.

    Look at both sides of the argument, and then try to pick apart both sides. When one side or the other starts wanting you to just believe something, or makes a statement that cannot be backed up with facts, or just makes claims based only on the emotional impact it is capable of generating, or gets hyperdefensive when one of their claims is challenged – THEN it’s safe to start being skeptical of their overall claims.

    Given the amount of scholarly attention the gun rights side has invested in the matter in order to get the facts right before arguing them, I’m not concerned about anyone challenging that position.

  121. theAmericanist Says:

    Ymarsakar and noble savage, you would do well to discern when someone cites a fact in stating an opinion, so that you don’t make a fool of yourself in reply.

    1) The common human reluctance to kill is well-known, with lots of data to back it up. If you want to dispute it, kindly cite some counterfactual data. That SOME people — whether in Pakistan, or Saudi Arabia, or Connecticut — are capable, even enthusiastic about killing doesn’t change the fact that most people aren’t.

    2) If you disagree with me, if you believe that the common human reluctance to kill is a bad thing, not a good one: kindly say so, and explain why you believe that we would be better off if most people could kill another human being easily.

    3) And as for my personal knowledge — I’ve had members of my family murdered with multiple gunshots. I’ve stood in pools of their blood.

    How much personal experience do YOU have with extreme violence, since you dispute mine? and finally,

    4) It has settled into conventional wisdom on thin evidence that the reluctance of Indian police to shoot to kill terrorists was a prime condition for the scale of this massacre, which is what I challenged. I don’t think this one photographer’s evidence is enough, but I’ll go further.

    As more knowledgeable folks than I have pointed out, there are at least two radically different situations that may start out looking the same, yet require very distinct responses: a hostage situation and a massacre. It’s not entirely clear to me that the Indian police knew early enough it was the latter not the former.

    A sensible person would recognize that responding to a hostage situation in the wrong way could precipitate a massacre — and that is a STRATEGIC, not a tactical decision that police might well have been trained not to make for good reason. (For example, terrorists in the lobby may have been shooting randomly while terrorists someplace else might have been holding a large # hostage, or planted a bomb, or who knows? There are situations where ‘better safe than sorry’ doesn’t apply, but that doesn’t make it a bad principle.)

    Those who are so eager to condemn the Indian police would do well to recall that most of the NYC firefighters were killed because they were deployed, waiting orders, in the second tower: they should have gotten an order to evacuate. So it’s not like American communications in a crisis are such a model.

    But even if the Indian police did know it was a massacre early enough, it’s not clear to me that the particular officers described by the photographer actually had the opportunity that he (and most of the commenters here) thinks they had. Maybe they did — but the conclusions drawn here seem pretty harsh and sweeping on thin evidence.

    For example — weren’t there several different kinds of police officers there?

    And one more thing: in my experience, those who advocate looser gun laws in the US by citing foreign massacres like this, or atrocities like Columbine, generally know very little about the actual crimes that are ordinarily committed with guns or, for that matter, the dynamics of extreme violence in practice.

    I know a bit about both. My suggestion stands: draw only conclusions justified by the evidence, and beware of finding only what you were sure you’d find in the first place.

  122. Dave Says:

    There were several photos posted on the news websites of Indian soldiers or police in the streets that clearly showed them armed with bolt-action .303 rifles. What they were supposed to do against guys with AK’s, who knows. But it illustrates the fact that they were decidedly outgunned and ill-prepared.

  123. Nikhil Panikkar Says:

    Ridiculous comments regarding gun control!These were not some bunch of bank thieves or maniacs who stood for an hour at one place.They worked very fast. They shifted their locations very quickly.(They were military trained.)Any gun toting grandpa or “female with a handgun” would have struggled to get a shot at them -and in a crowded place like the Mumbai CST would have ended up killing innocent bystanders.

    As regards the situation at the hotels,the terrorists had huge amount of explosives and had rigged the place up with explosives.(One of the terrorists had been staying at the hotel for a week.)When so many commandos and soldiers who are trained in such operations(and have guns!) took so long to rescue the hostages,I don’t understand how a “female with a gun” could have stopped them.

    I would rather see this headline in the morning newspaper -”Terrorists Attack at Hotel-Dozens Killed”
    rather than -”Out of Work Female with a Handgun Kills Dozens,Shoots Herself.”

  124. Scottie Says:

    theAmericanist,

    “And one more thing: in my experience, those who advocate looser gun laws in the US by citing foreign massacres like this, or atrocities like Columbine, generally know very little about the actual crimes that are ordinarily committed with guns or, for that matter, the dynamics of extreme violence in practice.”

    Not sure if you’re referring to anything I mentioned, but in any event I stand by what I’ve already said.

    It’s logical to assume that an individual citizen on the scene is going to have greater firsthand knowledge of what’s going on in the immediate beginnings of such an event than will any law enforcement or military force that shows up after the fact.

    If that citizen is armed and has the necessary knowledge to employ lethal force then that citizen has a right and responsibility to protect their own lives, and by extension the lives of anyone behind them.

    As has been pointed out, law enforcement has shown up at shootings before only to stand safely outside awaiting orders on what to do – even while additional defenseless victims were being murdered.

    There have been several mass shootings that were stopped by private citizens long before the law showed up.

    But it should also be pointed out that the vast majority of *gun crime* in the US is criminal on criminal crime. The average US citizen is generally not going to encounter these types of situations.

    As for any percieved “looseness” in gun control laws in the US – it seems that the areas with more restrictive gun control laws also seem to have higher crime rates, while just the opposite is true of those areas with more relaxed standards.

    If you need further proof, you need look no farther than to compare DC crime rates with surrounding VA suburbs where gun ownership remained legal.

    It is also true that a documented drop in crime occurs in states that institute a concealed carry law – even though the vast majority of the state’s population usually don’t indulge in the practice.

    So, even though there are severe cultural differences between India and the US, it is still valid to question if the situation in India would not improve overall for all crime rates if the average Indian citizen had the same acknowledged right to self defense and the means to implement that self defense that the average US citizen has.

  125. Ymarsakar Says:

    They shifted their locations very quickly.(They were military trained.)Any gun toting grandpa or “female with a handgun” would have struggled to get a shot at them -and in a crowded place like the Mumbai CST would have ended up killing innocent bystanders.

    All I hear are a bunch of excuses, “I can’t”, and “not doables”.

    If India wants to stop being sheep led to the slaughter, they need to start an attitude re-adjustment and start saying “I can” and “we will get it done”.

  126. Ymarsakar Says:

    generally know very little about the actual crimes that are ordinarily committed with guns or, for that matter, the dynamics of extreme violence in practice.

    So sayeth the supporter of British gun laws.

    There’s irony for you.

  127. Ymarsakar Says:

    I would rather see this headline in the morning newspaper -”Terrorists Attack at Hotel-Dozens Killed”

    Sheep expect the sheepdogs to protect them, kill off the wolves, and what not. I know that. The problem is, you seem to spout the sheepology and think that’s a good thing.

    If you would rather be a sheep that depends upon others to protect you, that’s fine by me. Cause it ain’t going to be my country the Islamics loot and sack given India’s “low hanging fruit” status.

  128. Ymarsakar Says:

    By the way, many Americans consider the “sheep” to be about what the Indian culture considers untouchables.

    The Brahmin are the defenders of society in America, however.

  129. Mumbai and self-defense - Page 3 - INGunOwners Says:

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  130. Ymarsakar Says:

    1) The common human reluctance to kill is well-known, with lots of data to back it up. If you want to dispute it, kindly cite some counterfactual data. That SOME people — whether in Pakistan, or Saudi Arabia, or Connecticut — are capable, even enthusiastic about killing doesn’t change the fact that most people aren’t.

    Your argument that there is some common social inhibition on the human intent to kill does nothing to disappear Islamic violence. In light of that context, your argument was defunct to begin with and requires no refutation other than an acknowledge that it is both irrelevant and untrue.

    No amount of reluctance to kill has done anything to prevent Islamics from killing and until it does, your argument is about as solid as air. The social inhibition on violence also does not override self-preservation.

    3) And as for my personal knowledge — I’ve had members of my family murdered with multiple gunshots. I’ve stood in pools of their blood.

    How much personal experience do YOU have with extreme violence, since you dispute mine?

    I think it is nice that you seek refuge in the belief that most humans aren’t like that, but really, that is about you and your personal problems. Only you can answer how it helps you to defend inaction upon the part of the corrupt police of Mumbai while unarmed civilians were getting killed. The excuse “they didn’t know, they couldn’t act, they didn’t want to do anything but piss in their pants” doesn’t really cut it with us. I don’t mean “Americans” either, since at least 50% of Americans are just as weak, actually.

    There is a vast amount of difference between those that will defend themselves against violence and those that make excuses for permitting violent behavior.

    Those who are so eager to condemn the Indian police would do well to recall that most of the NYC firefighters were killed because they were deployed, waiting orders, in the second tower: they should have gotten an order to evacuate. So it’s not like American communications in a crisis are such a model.

    Firefighters are first responders. That has a specific meaning here in the US. It means that they put their lives on the line so that civilians can be evacuated and saved. They do not operate upon the principle that they need “orders” as much as you think. It is not communications in a crisis that is the primary problem in Mumbai, it’s something called duty and initiative.

    Noble savage is correct, I believe, in the analysis of the general Indian socio-political situation. But even though Americans like to talk about guns, we obviously only mean it in the sense that guns are part of the 2nd Amendment and the 2nd AMendment is part of the US Constitution, which allows for relatively non-corrupt government and well enforced laws.

    However, this does not mean those of us who support Iraq and Afghanistan don’t understand the economic and security problems of poor Indians. We understand it quite well enough, if not as good as American soldiers that have had to actively deal with such situations in places like Ramadi, Fallujah, or Afghanistan.

    Guns are not the real solution here, guns are only the gateway to the virtues and qualities that must exist in a civic body if that body wants to be able to repulse external and internal attacks without becoming like a police state (or Russia or China for that matter).

    A gun is simply a tool. It requires a human brain to use it. If that human brain is sitting around with his thumb up his arse, then a gun won’t do them a damn thing. If most of India’s population just wants security and economic goodies, like sheep, well that’s not really going to be helped by arming them.

    Arms only help those that want to help themselves. Like Sunnis who eventually allied with America against AQ. Eventually people are going to get sick of violence and they will want a solution. If the central gov of India can’t do so due to corruption or lawlessness, Militias will Do It For Them. And you don’t want that to happen, I assure you.

  131. AbraCadabra Says:

    Those saying that guns should be legalized in India, are you out of your minds? More people die of gun violence every year in the US than have died due to terrorist attacks in Indian cities in the past decade….and remember that India has 4 times the population of the US. Please try to put forward sane solutions to the problem, don’t just push your ideology onto others.

  132. Scottie Says:

    Dave,

    Please read my remarks regarding the .303 Lee Enfields.

    While both fire nominally .30 caliber bullets, the Lee Enfield has an effective range of 1,000 yards, while the AK has a maximum effective range of only about 330 yards.

    Effectiveness decreases with lack of training. By all accounts these murderers were shooting from the hip and not even aiming.

    The Lee Enfield using 174 grain ammo is generating 2,408 ft/lbf of energy at 2,496 ft/sec.

    The 7.62×39 in contrast is generating only 1,478 ft/lbf of energy at 2,329 ft/sec.

    The Lee Enfield is obviously a much more powerful, longer ranged, weapon.

    The Indian authorities were not prepared for terrorist activities, I’ll grant you – but it’s a long leap from saying that to saying they were “outgunned”.

    For a similar circumstance, consider the “Hollywood Shootout”, wherein police *borrowed* AR15′s from a local gun store to engage and kill 2 bank robbers armed with full automatic weapons. The borrowed AR15′s, by the way, were semi-automatic only – yet were capable of doing the job.

    I still submit that the failure here was in the immediate first responders being conditioned to waiting for someone to tell them what to do – and not having any ingrained initiative within themselves to take action on their own.

    BTW, I’m not criticizing the Indian responders – only pointing out where the possible shortcoming is from.

  133. Scottie Says:

    Nikhil Panikkar,

    Well, it didn’t take long to jump from me describing a female stopping a mass murderer with her own gun to you describing her as someone shooting up people because of economic problems.

    Before you cast further aspersions on gun owners, do a little research first.

    In personally researching all of the shootings as best as I can – all the way back to the Texas Towers shootings – every single one of them had at least one thing in common regardless of race, age, economic class, or sex.

    All of the shooters in the US had been *treated* in some fashion for mental or emotional disorders via medication, and were either still on or had just stopped taking their medications.

    Bet ya didn’t know that.

    Perhaps that explains why the vast majority of US gun owners don’t go homocidal even though they own a firearm.

    It also explains why it’s illegal under US law for such individuals to own a gun in the first place – even though that law doesn’t give such individuals pause since they are intent on committing murder anyway.

    Just another useless gun law that doesn’t work…..but the armed citizen intercepting such individuals certainly affects the situation in a positive manner.

  134. Scottie Says:

    AbraCadabra,

    Oh my god – you’re right! What’s more, I bet more people died in the US of auto accidents and drowning in private swimming pools too!

    Let’s keep comparisons on apples to apples.

    For what it’s worth, the 9-11 attacks killed many more citizens than happened in India – even though there were apparently far more terrorists participating in the recent attack.

    The ONLY effective counteraction that occurred on 9-11 was when the passengers on one of the jets fought back.

    They still died, but they died as heros and on their feet – not as sheep waiting for someone else to come save them, and in the process they saved countless other lives

    The *authorities* could not save anyone that day except for the firefighters and police getting at least some people out of burning buildings after the attacks had been successfully completed.

  135. Ymarsakar Says:

    More people die of gun violence every year in the US than have died due to terrorist attacks in Indian cities in the past decade

    THere’s a reason why liberty is rare. It requires the blood of both patriots and tyrants to sustain. You can eliminate deaths from “firearms”, but at what cost? You’ll still have the crime. You will just also lose any sense of personal self-worth or liberty for your nation.

    Britain is a nice example. India’s former Colonial bosses, just like the UK was for America. You want, as a Colony, to go down the same path as Britain or do you want to forge a better one for yourself and your children? Or are you just going to sit down and count on Karma or the Indian government to handle things for ya.

    There also seems to be a slight misunderstanding at work here. When Americans, at least the ones here, criticize Indian police, we’re not doing it in the same fashion Indians or other folk in the world would. Other people in the world would criticize the police because they expected more. We criticize the police because we expect less out of them and more out of individual citizens. We criticize the police for not arming the citizens and allowing them to defend themselves. We criticzie the police for hoarding all the guns to themselves, disarming the citizens, and then letting the citizens be slaughtered while they sat back and watched the fun.

    Our emphasis, which is not the emphasis of America so much as it is the emphasis of all law abiding, self-sufficient individuals that acknowledge their duty to humanity, concerns individual duty and initiative. The police’s shortcommings in India are know or expected. That does not matter. People here seem to think they can deflect criticism from India or the police by quoting extenuating circumstances or by shooting off facts about defenseless sheep that naturally hesitate to kill (and this is a good thing they argue) or “outgunned” police.

    It doesn’t matter what your society’s excuses are. When you fail, and India failed, you need to improve your shit. ANd improving your shit doesn’t include talking about America or making excuses for your problems. Now if you peeps want to go on your way to a state like Britain currently is in, with their gun laws and rampant violence, rather than looking at America’s model, then fine. It’s your country and if it blows up, it ain’t gonna be our families that suffer.

    We will offer India our experience as we did for Afghanistan and Iraq. You may or may not accept it, certainly you rejected Israel’s offers. But don’t act like you can deflect your own problems elsewhere by blaming things on guns, lack of laws, human nature, or anything else that has nothing to do with making things better in India concerning the defense against terrorists. If you want to complain about the police being undergunned, then arm them with better weapons and provide them with citizen auxiliaries. But noo, people just want to complain on internet forums and make excuses about how the police couldn’t shoot back cause it would be “suicide”.

    America has already proven, in conjunction with our Iraqi allies, that we can stop terrorism dead in its tracks. Not withstanding the history of successful anti-terrorism preventions in the US after 9/11. India has Pakistan and Kashmir to worry about. Indians don’t have the luxury of sitting around talking about America at this time. Especially when both America and India will have to work together to deal with Pakistan.

    Btw, urban sectors where population density is very high here in the US require the citizens to protect themselves even more. The fact that India has a billion or so people and the US 300 million, actually means India needs more of its citizens to protect the society and themselves, not less. It doesn’t necessarily mean firearms, though it is the most effective means at your disposal, but it does mean the citizens of India are responsible for protecting their lives, their family’s lives, and the lives of other lawabiding Indians. Don’t think human nature changes just because you switch from America to India. In Iraq and Afghanistan, even the powerful US military needed the help of the locals to create real security. Don’t fool yourself into thinking the central Indian government, whether corrupt or honest, can actually help you out without you doing a lot of the heavy lifting yourself.

    The fact that Indians or others here on this forum keep mentioning “shootings at universities” is an interesting symptom. DO you think our problems, due to the fact that university administrators want to follow anti-gun laws in India and Europe, are somehow a magical solution to getting rid of India’s problems? Americans are unique in this world, along with the Kurds and some other nationalities, for the “can do” spirit. We don’t, normally, justify our mistakes by complaining about other people’s problems because we know that it won’t fix anything.

    In the end, it will all depend on whether Indians or targets of terrorism want to shift their responsibility to the US by talking about us or whether they want to live without the threat of terrorism interrupting their lives.

    Currently, the US is a nice big fat target to blame, cause it seems easier to look at us than look at your own problems that need fixing. That ain’t gonna work forever, you know.

    You might also want to consider the fact that all the anti-American media people have picked up haven’t done a damn thing to save the lives of your people. People might want to reconsider whether it pays now a days to adopt the popular attitude towards America that is in vogue in Europe, given the fact that the Islamics aren’t really choosy over which easy targets they take on.

  136. Ymarsakar Says:

    Do you know how it feels to share your city with 20 million people…more than 1/4ths in abject poverty and willing to do anything to get on to the other side. And now you want to arm them because of police failure? bah..The crime rate in India is increasing at a rapid rate. Just the other day, I saw someone climb up my 2nd floor flat and almost steal my speaker..thank god he doesn’t know how a gun looks like! There are much bigger fundamental problems in India…No clear control over population is perhaps the biggest one.

    Do you know why most burglaries in the US aren’t done when the homeowner is at home whereas most of the burglaries in the UK don’t care whether the homeowner is at home or not?

    It is cause here in America, you are very likely to be shot if somebody sees you trying to break into their property. THis makes robbing people’s homes when they are at home very dangerous… for the criminal. This reduces the amount of violent confrontations because the criminals know their place and keep to it, which is in the shadows, not where anybody can just watch them climb their “2nd floor flat”.

    The crime rate in India is increasing at a rapid rate

    That would be expected if folks think the solution in India is to be glad that criminals don’t have access to guns. It’s that psychology and mental state that says economically prosperous people are defenseless against those wanting to take their stuff.

    Clear control over population? India’s problem is not population; India’s problem is a social and economical system that doesn’t let these millions move up and contribute to greater society.

    Under a system like the US, millions of people equal economic prosperity and productivity for all. But if they are not assimilated into a socially upward mobile generation system, those millions become criminals and outlaws. The problem isn’t the inability to control people in India. The problem is that people in Indian think controlling people will get them something good out of the bargain.

  137. Scottie Says:

    Ya know, I just had a thought regarding the “poorly equipped” Indian police/military forces.

    I wonder how a squad of US Marines would have done if they’d had to face these terrorists and were armed similarly….

    Knowing Marines, and knowing the weapons involved, I have a feeling it STILL would have ended up much differently than it did.

  138. Ymarsakar Says:

    Well, it didn’t take long to jump from me describing a female stopping a mass murderer with her own gun to you describing her as someone shooting up people because of economic problems.

    People will believe a lot of rumors for many different reasons. Only explanation for why those Nigerian and so forth scams are still running and raking in money, Scottie. People are just plain gullible.

    Knowing Marines, and knowing the weapons involved, I have a feeling it STILL would have ended up much differently than it did.

    That is cause the Marines believe that there are no deadly weapons, only deadly people.

    Other people in this world seem to believe that it is the firearms and tools that make a person capable of killing.

  139. Scottie Says:

    Ymarsakar,

    LOL…yeah, the Marines consider the man the weapon – the rifle is only the tool.

    And they do have a serious Kick Ass Can Do attitude!

  140. Ymarsakar Says:

    If the damn Iraqis and Arabs with their “Inshallah” can ship the crack up, I don’t see what excuses other nationalities have.

  141. Ymarsakar Says:

    And the SUnni tribes sure as FAE didn’t kick out AQ and stop terrorism by relying upon the central Iraqi government. Iraq’s central government had much the same problems as India’s. Corruption, factionalism, no respect for the rule of law, lack of resources, lack of training, infiltration, etc.

  142. Ymarsakar Says:

    Forgive me, I forgot to mention some other problems India is having.

    http://sweetness-light.com/archive/freed-sailors-call-somali-pirates-animals

    I’m sure that will be solved by getting rid of guns from the possession of Indians and relying upon… well something.

  143. theAmericanist Says:

    Ymarsakar insists that when I noted that folks who draw conclusions beyond the evidence in a massacre like Mumbai know little about the dynamics of actual violence, that’s because I “defend British gun laws.”

    Except, um, I didn’t.

    Ymarsakar made that up, or confused me with somebody else. An impressive example of his knowledge and reasoning about how reliable folks are in extreme situations — particularly when you remember he’s had days to sort out who said what here, and he could have always have scrolled up to check: QED, as an argument for how helpful HE would be using deadly force in a chaotic situation. This knucklehead would have shot the tactical commander for the Indian police — and bragged about what a hero he was. And folks posting here would applaud.

    Anybody who has ever interviewed an eyewitness, or been one who has had their recollections checked, learns that people are often wildly wrong about what they are ABSOLUTELY certain that they saw — right there, plain as could be, sitting ducks. Sensible people know better. And how do you know who is sensible?

    I cited actual experience with extreme violence. Ymarsakar replying by referring to knowing what I’m talking about — the death of members of my family from multiple gunshots — as a “personal problem”.

    So there you have Ymarsakar: mistaken, stooopid, ignorant — and inhumane.

    He’s all yours, Neoneo.

  144. Nikhil Panikkar Says:

    To Ymarkar,

    “All I hear are a bunch of excuses, “I can’t”, and “not doables”

    If India wants to stop being sheep led to the slaughter, they need to start an attitude re-adjustment and start saying “I can” and “we will get it done”.”

    In the whole lot of rubbish you have written,there is not even one counterpoint to the issues I raised.Where is your “can”(or is it canned?) attitude
    Ymarkar?

    Some kinda Marine you are.

    “Sheep expect the sheepdogs to protect them, kill off the wolves, and what not. I know that. The problem is, you seem to spout the sheepology and think that’s a good thing.”

    If you would rather be a sheep that depends upon others to protect you, that’s fine by me.

    Yes I would rather be a sheep because a sheep gets killed by a wolf,while sheep dogs die fighting among themselves.

    That’s how 10,000 of you Americans die every year.
    Pathetic.

    “Cause it ain’t going to be my country the Islamics loot and sack given India’s “low hanging fruit” status.”

    They don’t have to.They did the sacking in 1993 and on September 11 and as for the looting,your own countrymen did it in Louisiana and in Mississipi when Katrina struck.(so much for your country’s gun laws).

    “By the way, many Americans consider the “sheep” to be about what the Indian culture considers untouchables.”

    Really?I thought “sheep following the shepherd” was something related to Christianity?????

    Tip 1:Read the Bible.

    “The Brahmin are the defenders of society in America, however”.

    Ha! Ha!You picked the wrong person to fool this one with bro.

    You think you know something about Indian culture????

    Well one of the most basic things you should know is that the first and the most important commandments that a Brahmin must adhere to is that of Ahimsa(non-violence).That’s why they don’t eat meat.

    Tip 2:Read some good general knowledge books.(Mein Kampf is not a book on Indian culture.)

  145. Nikhil Panikkar Says:

    To Ymarkar,Scottie and all others who are reading this.

    In my last post,I made a reference to September 11 and the 1993 WTC attacks.I apologise for that.

    I posted it out of anger.(That’s no excuse of course.)

    I’ve also sent an email to
    neoneocon to delete the comment,since I can’t go back and delete it.

    The real reason for my anger was not Ymarkar criticism of Indian police but those racist comments(Brahmins and untouchables),he made at the end.

    Anyway that’s still not an excuse for trivialising September 11 or the 1993 WTc attack.I apologise.

  146. Nikhil Panikkar Says:

    To Ymarkar and Scottie,I would like to elaborate on some of the comments I made.

    From the comments I made,perhaps you get the impression that I am against free ownership of guns.

    No.I have a gun license.

    What I was contesting was Ymarkar’s viewpoint that in a crowded urban area having a deer rifle or a handgun is all one needs to stop an attack of The nature that happened in Mumbai.

    I have served in the Indian Army during the mid 90′s in Kashmir and was part of the Para Commandos that was involved in CT operations-so I know what I am talking about.

    Responding to a terrorist attack in a crowded urban area requires more than a gun.First of all it requires presence of mind.Second – good manoeuvring.

    That is the reason why even most police and army units have special training programs in CTO and urban warfare.

    That kind of specialised training is required so as to minimise civilian casualities.

    So provided one is required to take a higher percentage of risk,as advocated by Ymarkar, does one need to have any training at all?

    Yes.One must atleast know the basics of manoeuvring.One must atleast have the basic weapons training that is given to an ordinary policeman in the U.S or UK.(I don’t say India because the weapons training given to ordinary policemen here is pathetic.I know from my experience in Kashmir.Only the Armed Police or the SOG received that kind of training.)

    Is such training required in all sorts of circumstances?

    No.I am only talking about high risk places like the Mumbai CST or a New York subway station.Why?

    Let’s take the example of the church that Scottie mentioned.In a church there is very little place to for a gunman to play a hide and seek game(I am talking about a trained assasin not a lunatic.) while the responder has enough room to manoeuvre in order to find a good shot.There are fewer people too.

    On the contrary in a railway station like the Mumbai CST or on the NYC transit,there are many places where the gunman can hide.(The attacker would most likely be firing from a vantage position and would have enough room to manoevre.)On the other hand a civilian in the crowd would have very little room to manoevre.And there would be lots of people.

    An person with no basic weapons and combat training
    would do more harm than good in such a situation.Again I k(know this from my experience in Kashmir – not with civilians but with policemen.)

    As for my comment regarding the out of work female, it was reference to my opinion that firearms should not be allowed in certain public places(not all).
    A church is okay, but a subway station is not.

    What is required to deal with attacks such as those at Mumbai CST is to provide policemen or security personnel who are guarding such installations with better weapons and combat training – and that was the real failure over there -and not weapon permissions to untrained people.

  147. Richard Aubrey Says:

    Various points:
    The meme that US Infantrymen did not fire their weapons as often as they should have came from Marshall’s “Men Against Fire”. It turns out that most Infantrymen of that war who were in contact disagree, and, oddly, of all his notes, none referring to that point can be found.
    Britain’s pre-WW I regulars “The Contemptibles” had been trained to fire their Enfields, then with five-round mags, at an extremely high rate. Called “five rounds rapid”, I’ve seen demonstrations which, iirc, show round one a second. Since, as an earlier poster noted, one .303 is enough, faster is not necessary.
    My father’s platoon surprised some Germans in an urban setting. The exchange of fire was at under 100 yards. The Germans had automatic weapons, the Americans semi-auto Garands and carbines. None of the Americans were hit, all the Germans were killed. The puzzle was all the twigs and leaves which fell on the Americans.
    When you’re scared and have an automatic weapon, the tendency is to hold down the trigger, the muzzle rises and the enemy is showered with twigs, leaves, or shingles.
    When you have a semi-auto or a boltie, you will, with a modicum of training, aim. You know you have to.
    The M16 was originally designed with a full auto and a semi-auto selector. The Army discovered that, in contact everybody went to full auto, the first three rounds might be on target, or not, but the next dozen or so might as well have been anti-aircraft fire.
    So the current sixteens now have semi-auto and “burst” limited to three rounds. Sort of like a shotgun.
    Besides, as the old timers say, the faster you can shoot, the faster you run out.
    The primary disadvantage of a full-size Infantry round like the .303 or the 30.06 in close quarters is the penetrating power. That sucker just keeps on going. Even if you hit the guy, you could hit somebody else, too, and misses will go through walls or come down a mile away, still deadly.
    The solution, of course, would be a modern version of a dum-dum, which is illegal under the laws of war. But so is shooting sillyvilians.

    There’s a blog run by Clayton Cramer–who busted Michael Belleisle regarding “Arming America along with some other guys–and who follows such issues.
    He referenced a study which showed that mass shooters in the US (Columbine, V. Tech, etc) shot until confronted. Then, when confronted, they killed themselves immediately. So waiting for sufficient forces cost–estimated–three lives a minute. But, since one armed man is enough to cause these clowns to off themselves, the cops now have a doctrine of first on the scene charges in.
    And, as Cramer shows and we all know, these shootings take place in gun-free zones. (SHOOT HERE! ALL VICTIMS GUARANTEED TO BE DEFENSELESS). Were some of the staff armed, these would come out differently.

  148. njcommuter Says:

    As far as the round penetrating the perp and going on to kill someone else: even if it does, the perp would have killed dozens. It’s a good trade, at least until you have to defend it in court. And if I were the one who was going to be killed … I hope I’d yell “take the shot!”

    And now some guesses by a fellow who knows little of ballistics:
    After penetrating one body, it seems likely to me that the round would be far less stable. It might be precessing or it might even be spinning flat. If it was precessing, that might increase as it travelled the yards of open space between the target at the unlucky victim. It would probably have lost half its energy at that point. If it did take a second person down, the odds against it being able to penetrate a third person deeply enough to kill are much reduced. Ironically, though, the precessing or flat-spinning bullet might do more damage to the second victim than to the intended target.

  149. Mike Stearman Says:

    We only have the testimony of the photographer, who was in one location, commenting about one small groups of policemen he talked to. Later video does show the .303 equipped police shooting back, and in point of fact, one of the two gunmen at the station was shot (by the police) at a roadblock.

    That being said, the .303 is an excellent combat firearm, one of the best ever made. Most police units anywhere in the world (including the LAPD or the NYPD) would be delighted to have it as general issue for mere transit policemen on duty watch at a commuter train station.

    They key issue here was training. Either through a lack of funds, lack of funds for training due to corruption, or administrative incompetence, the Mumbai police had little experience of firing their (very )capable weapons or being in a counter-terrorist situation. As noted elsewhere above, British Army and regular Indian Army soliders are expected to have 15 round/minute aimed fire accuracy with the .303 at 200 yards. Such a rate of fire from someone trained to do so accurately would certainly have put paid to one, or perhaps both of the terrorists at the train station itself.

    But then, there were at least 8 other terrorists at up to 7 other locations in the city…

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