Bear in mind that I was not there, and these comments are based entirely on a news article, so a small pile of grains of salt should be consumed along with this. However, IF the story went down as described:
This story is a perfect example of why, perhaps, not all cops should be allowed to have guns. Maybe cops should have higher training standards to qualify to carry a gun? Say, at least as much as is required for a CHL in Texas?
A Kansas City man’s van backfired several times; two Kansas City cops opened fire. They hit the van three times; they shot out their patrol car’s windows, as well. The article doesn’t mention how many rounds were fired. The victim said “it sounded like a lot”. He was unharmed, by the grace of God, and no thanks to the police.
Look, I know I’m in Texas and not Kansas; but here, at least, if you shoot a gun, you are responsible for every bullet fired. These cops opened fire at a vehicle without even having a human target. What the heck were they trying to accomplish? Who were they shooting at?
And even then, they only hit the van three times? Where’d all the other bullets go? On a residential street, no less!
In the world of using guns for self defense, a civilian CHL holder is trained to:
(1) Make sure of your target. (That means, you know, some person who is threatening you. Not their vehicle – shooting it is pointless and you can wind up being responsible for the repairs – true story.)
(2) Make sure you have a clear field of fire – including what is behind your target. If you don’t have a clear shot, don’t shoot. You cannot risk hitting bystanders.
(3) You are responsible for where every single bullet goes. You own it. If you hit one of those innocent bystanders – well, just make sure you don’t.
(4) Stop shooting when the threat ends. You are not allowed to shoot someone who is running away, because they are no longer a threat. If you violate this rule, you have become the aggressor and the law takes a dim view of this.
These cops apparently failed even to identify a target before they started shooting. Such incompetence beggars the imagination. You sure as heck wouldn’t want to pop a balloon behind these guys, or you might wind up dead.
Guns are still the best general-purpose method of self defense presently available, bar none; but they do require a strong sense of responsibility. And a modicum of competence.