Letters to the Editor

Letter: Reluctance to engage

It seems to me that tragic mass shootings here in the U.S. have all too often been marked by reluctance on the part of police agencies that are on the scene to take action against the shooter(s). As a Vietnam veteran, it seems clear to me that many police agencies do not know how to deal with a combat-like situation. Any U.S. Army or Marine veteran will tell you that when you are faced with an “enemy” whose purpose it is to do harm to your people, that your “forces” must unhesitatingly “close with, and assault the enemy,” as we might say in military parlance.

This will necessarily place you and your fellows in “harm’s way,” but it is almost always the only action that will minimize casualties. To not take immediate and decisive countermeasures when presented with an armed, hostile person or force, even if it means exposing police officers to enemy fire, will almost certainly allow the shooter to work his will on friendly forces (or innocent schoolchildren) with the result that far more casualties will be incurred than if the “enemy” — or the shooter(s) — had been attacked without delay.

— Stephan Paliwoda

Anchorage

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