There is no lack of stories that depict criminal acts centred around weapons. There is no debate that police, as well as citizens, want to see weapons less accessible to criminals. Killing sprees have been a regular occurrence across the United States since 1984. Specifically between 1986 and 1997 there were over forty people shot at in just 20 occurrences of workplace rage.
Police officers have also been in the front line of the illegal use of guns and have found themselves at a disadvantage when up against criminal firepower. These following stories are just a small example of the deliberate disregard for authority and a criminal element that doesn’t seem to fear the consequences of breaking the law.
NORTH HOLLYWOOD SHOOTOUT IN 1997
Two bank robbers strapped themselves with body armour and carried modified, fully automatic assault rifles with ammunition capable of penetrating police armor when they robbed the North Hollywood Bank of America.
Upon exiting the bank the shootout began involving over 300 LA Police Officers and eventually the SWAT who had the powerful enough rifles to penetrate the robbers’ armor.
The only fatalities were the two robbers, but eleven police officers and seven civilians were injured and there was a great deal of damage from the nearly 2,000 rounds of ammunition that was fired during the lengthy shootout.
OAKLAND POLICE SHOOTINGS IN 2009
Convicted felon shot and killed two Oakland, California police officers during a traffic stop. He then ambushed two SWAT officers who attempted to apprehend him two hours later and killed them and injured one other. The felon was shot and killed in the exchange of gunfire. He used a 9mm semi-automatic handgun and SKS rifle.
ARKANSAS SPREE KILLERS IN 2011
Father and son shot down two police officers during a routine traffic stop in West Memphis, Arkansas using AK48s. The final shootout at a West Memphis parking lot resulted in the deaths of the shooters and injuries to the Crittenden County sheriff and his deputy.
Whether it’s police, civilians or criminals, the death toll steadily rises in connection with criminals and guns, most of which are illegally acquired. Police can never be sure who is the law-abiding citizen and who is out to use a gun for harm so they are always looking to have the best possible defense when they are faced with criminal gun activity.
They can call for backup and be fairly sure they’ll get it quickly and they usually have the constant support from a partner. Police officers actually have a less than 1% chance of attack with a firearm, which is quite low in such a high-risk profession.