Tuesday, 2 December 2008

I hope the Israelis are feeling smug

We know lots about what happened in Mumbai. A boatload or two of terrorists came ashore and then spent 2.5 days shooting up everything in sight.

As someone who is a good shot, and very handy with a grenade, I have to say that the terrorists were utterly rotten shots. Twelve of them killed 183 and wounded a lot more - an average of 15 deaths per terrorist over 2 1/2 days, which comes to 6 per terrorist per day. How can you fire off that much ammunition - in a teeming city of 18 million (!!!) and hit so few people? I can go roo shooting and hit a dozen roos in under an hour by walking around a paddock at dusk and picking off the hungry ones as they hop in from the bushline. And when I hit them, it's terminal.

I really don't think they were as well trained as some media pundits like to make out. I also think they must have been full of speed, which does not make for a steady trigger finger (how else do you stay awake for 2 1/2 days, especially when you have just shot the guy that mans the coffee machine at the Raj Hotel?)

Anyway, they were able to run amok for so long because they were operating within an unarmed population. No one was shooting back. I think the Police took so long to react because no one was giving them orders - if there is one thing that I have discovered about the Indian personality from working with a lot of them, it's this - no one does anything until ordered to do so. The Indian cops might have been at a disadvantage because they had bolt action .303s compared to AK-47s, but I doubt they failed to shoot down the attackers because of a lack of firepower. Some probably stood there, watching the carnage and saying, "What do I do? Am I allowed to open fire?"

I like the .303 a lot - simple, powerful and very accurate out to long range. If you had a terrorist full of amphetamines at one end of a train station armed with a full-auto AK and me at the other with a bolt-action .303, the speed-freak would stand little chance. At a range of 100 metres, spraying a mag on full auto from the hip just won't cut the mustard. One well aimed round over iron sights is all you need.

It makes me wonder about the ROE that our Police operate under.

But what has Israel got to do with this?

Imagine if they came ashore in Tel Aviv and started shooting. Would they have made it off the beach, given that the locals are armed to the teeth? They'd get a few Israeli's simply through the benefit of surprise, but I reckon the whole thing would have been over in an hour. That's 10 minutes of shooting and 50 minutes of cleaning away the mess.


1735099 said...

"Anyway, they were able to run amok for so long because they were operating within an unarmed population. No one was shooting back."
BOAB - You've obviously never been shot at or in a firefight. If, for argument's sake, the population of Mumbai had been "armed" there would be more casualties, not fewer casualties. Modern assault weapons used in urban environments are almost as haphazard in their effect as IEDs.
Unless the users are disciplined, trained, and under the control of someone with a complete awareness of the situation, the results are horrific. Cowboys and Indians it's not.
They "ran amok" for so long because they were in a busy complicated crowded environment, within groups of civilians. The security forces used due caution in overcoming them. They deserve congratulations rather than criticism. Perhaps the fact that the death toll was in the hundreds rather than the thousands has something to do with this caution.

Boy on a bike said...

Yep, you're right - never been in a real firefight. Only pretend ones. I know enough to know that they are incredibly noisy, very confusing and if you aren't used to it - petrifying. I can understand why some people just freeze when something like this happens.

If there is more than one of you responding, you really need to be well trained to get it right.

The Police were clearly not trained for this type of thing - it is not in the remit of most Police forces. I doubt ours would have done any better in some respects. They do not have the right mindset to take on people who are out to kill as many people as possible before they die. That's a bit different to tackling drunks on Saturday night and the odd bank robber who would prefer to go back to gaol rather than die.

The surviving clown claimed that they wanted to kill 5000, but they didn't even make 1/25th of that. There has to be a reason why, given that they were tooled up sufficiently to make a much bigger mess than they did.

I don't like the idea of every man and his idiot son being armed. But I also dislike the idea of being totally disarmed. There are some people who know how to use firearms properly - people like you.

If you had been in the Leopold Cafe having dinner, and you managed to escape to the upper floor when the shooting started, and you were armed (let's say a good old Browning Hi-Power for arguments sake) - what would have happened when the two terrorists stopped shooting the people lying on the floor and went to walk up the narrow staircase? You've seen the elephant, you have the training, you have yourself under control and you are armed. I'd assume you are also a good shot.

What next?

Anonymous said...

What next? asks BOAB.

Four shots, two dead terrorists.

That is why you are unlikely to see this sort of mass murder attempted in Florida or Texas (among many other US areas).

Unless it is in a school, where guns are illegal and the inhabitants are lambs for the slaughter by nutters.