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.”
The "unnecessary loss of life" could be that of police officers who are hesitant to fire at a "non-traditional threat." I am all in favour of properly training officers to be able to make appropriate decisions regarding their own safety, regardless of the physical appearance of the person presenting a threat.
How often do you see COPS go to a home in response to a Domestic Disturbance call? Most calls these days are exactly that, cops going to someone's home (source: my dad's RCMP). Given that fact and that most gun owners do not take their guns out of their home, it's much more likely a situation like this would happen in someone's home than on the street.
How were they holding a weapon? At their side? Pointing it at the officers, themselves, a child? If the gun is present but not an immediate threat then they could very well be decoy/do-not-shoot targets. If they're using the gun in a threatening manner, then why should it matter that they're "obviously not decoy" targets? A threat is a threat.
Yeah, desensitizing is exactly what the targets where advertised as doing. This isn't an argument against them unless there is legitimately something wrong with officers being able to properly assess a threat no matter who poses it.
Some people are fucked up, I have no qualms with officers being prepared for anything and everything.
I don't worry about "psychopaths" getting a hold of these. I can't imagine that someone willing to shoot women, children and the elderly will really be made any more dangerous by having matching targets. I mean, I'm no psychologist, but I think that level of crazy goes its own way regardless.