Cowboy Blob's Saloon and Shootin Gallery

I'm not a real Cowboy, but I play one in the movies.

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Twenty-One Feet

21 Feet Is Way Too Close!!
By: Frank Borelli

It is common knowledge that a suspect, armed with an edged weapon and within twenty-one feet of a police officer presents a deadly threat. Why? Because the "average" man can run that twenty-one feet in about one-point-five seconds; the same one-point-five seconds it will take that police officer to recognize danger, draw and point his weapon, and then pull the trigger. Even if the officer manages to get the shot off, and even if it hits the suspect; even if it instantly disables the suspect, the blade is going to be so close to the officer that the suspect's momentum may continue forward with enough force for the edged weapon to end up injuring the officer anyway.

The information contained in the above paragraph has long been accepted in police and court circles. "If a man has a knife and is within twenty-one feet, he presents a deadly threat and the use of deadly force against him is justified." Here is the question then: How far away does that suspect, armed with an edged weapon, have to be before he's not a deadly threat? A gentleman named Magliato shot a "bad guy" who was armed with a baseball bat and standing thirty-two feet away. The courts convicted Magliato claiming that at a distance of thirty-two feet, the suspect with the baseball bat could not present deadly force against Magliato; perhaps they were wrong.

If it takes a man a mere one-point-five seconds to run across twenty-one feet, how long would it take to go thirty-two feet? The simple answer would be to add half, right? If thirty-two feet is about one-and-one-half times twenty-one, then one-and-one-half times the time of one-point-five seconds should be correct. Wrong. That one-point-five seconds for running twenty-one feet is from a dead stop. To assume that thirty-two feet would take fifty percent longer would be a mistake because you would have to assume that the bad guy started, stopped at twenty-one feet, restarted and then reached thirty-two feet. Reality is quite different. If you accepted that logic, the time would be about two-point-two-five seconds. In reality it would be less than two seconds.

Read the rest.


  • At 1:15 AM, Blogger individ said…

    excellent - thanks for bringing this to our attention. Bottom line - if you are the good guy, you don't get the benefit of the doubt.

  • At 1:39 AM, Blogger Mr. Smithereen said…

    2.25, not much time to react.

  • At 10:08 AM, Blogger Jay.Mac said…

    That's pretty scary information. I guess the lesson to be learned is to pack the biggest, most powerful calibre you can?

  • At 1:19 PM, Blogger The Conservative UAW Guy said…

    2.5 meets .45.
    The way it should be!


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