02-24-2013, 03:43 PM
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DHS Contractor Apologizes For Selling Shooting Targets of Children
A company which received $2 million dollars from the DHS has apologized and taken offline “no more hesitation” shooting targets which depicted pregnant women, children, and elderly gun owners in residential settings as “non-traditional threats,” following an online uproar.
As we first reported on Tuesday, Law Enforcement Targets Inc. (LET), a Minneapolis based company that has received almost $2 million dollars in contracts from the Department of Homeland Security over the last three years, recently began selling cardboard cut-out targets designed to desensitize police to “non-traditional threats,” including pregnant women, mothers in school playgrounds, and little boys, as well as elderly gun owners in their homes.
The company’s relationship with the DHS, along with thousands of law enforcement agencies, led to fears that the targets could be connected with Homeland Security’s purchase of roughly 2 billion rounds of ammunition over the last year, which many fear is linked to preparations for mass social unrest. As we documented, the LET’s contracts with the DHS were for “training aids” and “paperboard”.
In its apology, posted on the company’s website as well as Facebook, LET acknowledged that the targets were requested by law enforcement agencies.
We apologize for the offensive nature of our “No More Hesitation” products. These products have been taken offline due to the opinions expressed by so many, including members of the law enforcement community.
This product line was originally requested and designed by the law enforcement community to train police officers for unusually complex situations where split-second decisions could lead to unnecessary loss of life.
Consistent with our company mission as a training supplier (not a training methods company), we will continue to seek input from law enforcement professionals to better serve their training objectives and qualification needs. We sincerely appreciate law enforcement professionals for the risks they take in providing safety and defending freedom.
The company’s excuse that the targets were designed to help police prevent “unnecessary loss of life” is highly dubious given that the images were all of armed individuals termed “non-traditional threats,” designed to ensure “no more hesitation” from police officers encountering them.
As one respondent to the company explained, “Look, each of the supposed “threats” appeared to be in their own home settings. They were also all holding a weapon….it is obvious these paper targets were never intended to be decoy (don’t shoot targets). It is apparent this was designed to assist in desensitizing the trainee.”
In addition, the company had previously struck a different tone when it told Reason’s Mike Riggs that the targets were designed to combat, “hesitation on the part of cops when deadly force is required on subjects with atypical age, frailty or condition.”
Although the targets have been taken off the company’s website, it’s unclear whether or not they have been removed from sale entirely.
Mike Lilly, a retired 32-year police officer, demanded that the targets be discontinued completely.
“Whomever convinced you this was a good idea needs psychological counseling. Proper training and readiness is NOT dependent on shooting pictures of pregnant women and children. Anyone who says otherwise is seriously mistaken or has another agenda It is noted that you say they were taken OFFLINE. Have they been DISCONTINUED AND RECALLED?” he stated.
Lilly’s concern was echoed by retired City of Houston police officer T.F. Stern, who asked why police officers were being trained “to feel nothing’s wrong in shooting a pregnant lady or an old man with a shotgun inside his own home.”
View the targets that caused the uproar below.