Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Thinking About Mortality

There were two incidents years ago down in the Hive when I thought I might have killed someone.

One was the little knucklehead i ended up breaking the window with. So far that has been the high point of my career in corrections.

The other one was the one that spit on the Pshrink and then spit in my eye. He went down pretty hard and I thought I had broken his neck. I hadn't meant to do that, even tho I was pretty mad. I'm glad in retrospect that I didn't.

Today I found myself in the P-car, driving around the perimeter with a loaded shotgun next to me.

That shotgun has only one real purpose: To shoot an inmate trying to escape. To kill him.

Of course, policy gets pretty vague about when you can actually shoot somebody. They don't like to get pinned down when it comes to using deadly force. They would rather leave it up to the individual and then say "We didn't tell him to do that." if it turns out bad.

I think about these sorts of things when left alone too much. It's probably not a good thing.

Would I be able to shoot somebody escaping?

I'd like to think I could. It's my job.

But how would I feel about it afterwards?

Having never killed anybody before, I just can't answer that question.

I just keep hoping I never come to that bridge to see if I can cross it.

Could you do it?


  1. I've heard it explained not so much "could you pull the trigger" as much as "could you explain to the next victims' families why you couldn't pull the trigger." We've been trained to, but I don't think anyone at our camp has had to make that decision yet. Thank God!

  2. Excellent point, Drew.

    Having never carried a firearm, I don't believe I could do it. Assuming I could hit them, I'd fire at his knees and later regret that choice when I'm sued for putting the guy in a wheelchair for the rest of his life.

  3. Dead people can't sue you.

  4. I don't think many people actually think they can kill a human being... I personally think I could, however... that's only if someone is about to kill me then and there... To kill someone from running...Not so much... Maybe in the knee? But I think I'd feel too much regret after, not able to live with myself after...

  5. You've all raised some valid points. Here's to hoping I never find out the answer to my question.

  6. My last job at the alarm company was one in which I was armed when I went out to calls. There were a couple of times in the 19 months I had that job where I had my gun pointed at the other person with my finger on the trigger. I was ready to pull the trigger. But living with is would have been something else. I'm glad I never had to find out.

  7. It isn't fun,NEVER gets any easier!! You just learn how to deal with the emotions until there aren't any. I can thank Uncle Sam for that.