Almost every movie of a police shootout includes the following depiction of violence: good guy shoots bad guy; bad guy instantly drops dead. But the reality is that when someone is hit by a bullet, or even several bullets, this rarely happens. What does happen when someone is shot? How effective is the use of hand guns? Why are so many shots fired at a shootout? Why don’t officers shoot a gun out of an assailant’s hands, or shoot him in the leg instead of killing him? What is it really like for an officer to pull his gun and fire?
In this book, Chris McNab, author of Tools of Violence and The Special Forces Survival Guide, analyzes the use of lethal force in the control of crime in the United States from the Civil War to the present day.
Covering incidents from the shooting of Bonnie and Clyde to the Waco Seige, and the actions of gunmen from “Wild Bill” Hickok to modern SWAT teams, he answers these questions and examines the history of armed response and those who in enforcing law face making life and death choices in a few, traumatic seconds.
"The book is fascinating, a nicely paced mixture of events and analyses. It will have wide appeal, and is a reminder that policing can be very dangerous." - P.T. Smith, Choice Magazine (April 2010)