German Police Fired Only 85 Bullets in 2011

The Germans are taking this austerity thing a little far: their police fired only 85 shots at humans last year.

The Germans are taking this austerity thing a little far: their police fired only 85 shots at humans last year.

Atlantic Wire (“German Police Used Only 85 Bullets Against People in 2011“):

According to Germany’s Der Spiegel, German police shot only 85 bullets in all of 2011, a stark reminder that not every country is as gun-crazy as the U.S. of A. As Boing Boing translates, most of those shots weren’t even aimed anyone: “49 warning shots, 36 shots on suspects. 15 persons were injured, 6 were killed.”

[…]

Meanwhile, in the U.S., where the population is little less than four times the size of Germany’s, well, we can get to 85 in just one sitting, thank you very much. 84 shots fired at one murder suspect in Harlem, another 90 shot at one fleeing unarmed man in Los Angeles. And that was just April. So we bring you Germany’s shot total in case you forgot about America shoots itself in the foot with its manic love of guns.

Bantering about this on Twitter before clicking through to read the article, I guessed that we could find individual cops in Dothan, Alabama who fired more than 85 bullets last year. That’s probably not strictly true, at least if you count only shots fired in the direction of humans. Still, a quick Google search will return lots of incidents of American cops firing their weapon with great abandon with little to no provocation.

FILED UNDER: Crime, Quick Takes
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. Bennett says:

    Thats funny James, I actually know a cop in Dothan. It’s actually a high crime area. I know he used his taser several times last year, but no gunshots. Small world.

  2. Tillman says:

    The Germans just don’t realize the short-term stimulative aspects of gun-craziness. You gotta hire people to make those bullets, and you have to hire people to fix the bullet holes, both in buildings and people.

    Then again, considering how austerity-crazed they are, I’m not surprised they don’t know these things.

  3. PJ says:

    Isn’t it obvious?
    Guns are freedom.
    Using guns is expressing you freedom.

    If Germans had had more guns and used them more often, then there would have been a lot more freedom.
    And less Nazis.

    So obvious!

  4. anjin-san says:

    Lets not forget the 41 shots (19 of which found their mark) fired at Amadou Diallo, an unarmed man who had committed no crime, by police in NYC.

  5. James Joyner says:

    @Bennett: Interesting. I spent a good number of years living in the Greater Dothan Metroplex, but never in Dothan proper.

  6. Tsar Nicholas says:

    The Germans for generations have been a culture instinctively respectful of and deferential to authority figures. Germans are not a people who need to be told twice to get into line. Not too long ago, however, those same cultural traits helped a deranged Austrian obtain power there. The rest as they say is history.

    The Germans also haven’t had to deal with the miasma of big liberal cities controlled for decades by liberal Democrats. When you’re saddled with the likes of Chicago, Detroit, Philly, Los Angeles, New Orleans, Baltimore, Newark, Camden, etc., you’re going to have to fire a lot more bullets. Otherwise the inmates will take over the asylums.

  7. PJ says:

    The Germans for generations have been a culture instinctively respectful of and deferential to authority figures.

    Like republicans are deferential to Rush Limbaugh?

  8. Tsar Nicholas says:

    @PJ: Huh? What exactly is the connection between Rush Limbaugh and Republicans and Germans and German crime and law enforcement? You’re not trying to make a ham-handed Republicans = Nazis quip, are you? Because in that event my only response will be to tell you that you need to seek immediate medical attention for what obviously must be a cerebral hemorrhage.

    Incidentally, just to kill a little more time here at work, and FYI, you’re greatly overestimating Rush Limbaugh and his putative “influence.” In reality Limbaugh has no real influence whatsoever. To the extent that ever was in doubt, and really it wasn’t, at least outside of the twin cocoons of the Internet and talk radio, the two most recent national GOP primary cycles have put those doubts to bed. For every human mannequin who sits there listening to Limbaugh’s radio program for hours on end, hanging on his every word, there are a half-dozen or more sentient Republicans who could not care less what Limbaugh says or does.

  9. walt moffett says:

    Most police departments ban warning shots, that bullet ends up some where you know so surprising to see the Polizei using them. Though wonder what folks would make of the fact when on two man foot patrol, one totes a submachine gun.

  10. al-Ameda says:

    “49 warning shots, 36 shots on suspects. 15 persons were injured, 6 were killed.”

    Heck, that’s a quiet day in Florida.

  11. An Interested Party says:

    Otherwise the inmates will take over the asylums.

    Ahh, “inmates” like the previously mentioned Amadou Diallo or Patrick Dorismond or Abner Louima or those murdered or wounded on the Danzinger Bridge…yes, such “liberal” incidents these were…

  12. PJ says:

    @Tsar Nicholas:
    I’m not equating Republicans with Nazis.

    Just saying that there’s a reason why talk radio never was a hit among people on the left as it is among people on the right.

    And then there’s the recent study about religious beliefs and analytic thinking vs intuitive responses.

  13. An Interested Party says:

    Could someone release my comments? Thank you…

  14. Tsar Nicholas says:

    @walt moffett: Shit, that can be a quiet day in the Tenderloin District of San Francisco, much less in California in toto. Speaking of which, a week in and around the Tenderloin opens eyes and clears cobwebs from brains. It’s very good for one’s perspective on U.S. crime and law enforcement.

  15. al-Ameda says:

    @Tsar Nicholas:

    that can be a quiet day in the Tenderloin District of San Francisco

    For three years I worked at the edge of the Tenderloin, not far from the Federal Building and City Hall. Day time was okay, however you didn’t want to be on those streets during “their office hours”.

  16. Tsar Nicholas says:

    @al-Ameda: Oops, I just noticed that I had clicked the wrong reply button.

    For 10 years I lived first in the East Bay and then in San Francisco (Russian Hill). I worked in the FInancial District. Frequently I had court appearances at the S.F. Superior Court and at the federal courthouse too. I miss quite a lot about the City, but I don’t miss that area near to the Civic Center, that’s for sure.

    @PJ: Good, for a moment I was worried about you.

    Now that I understand your point, I must say that I agree with you. It’s only natural for the bulk of Limbaugh’s audience to sit there like bumps on logs, passively listening to someone “preach” to them. You could call them sheeple, in fact, and not receive any objection from me.

  17. Bennett says:

    @James Joyner: Were you stationed at Fort Rucker? I have an ex-gf who was from Geneva, and my best friend is from Daleville.

  18. Ulf Buchholz says:

    @Tsar Nicholas:

    FYI,

    the most conservative cities in Germany are far more liberal than the most liberal cities in the U.S. Germany’s (and indeed most of Europe’s) entire political spectrum is shifted quite far to the left of the U.S.’s. On most issues, a conservative elected official in Germany would be in agreement with the most liberal of officials in the U.S.

  19. James Joyner says:

    @Bennett: I attended Air Assault school at Rucker but was never stationed there. I lived down the road in Troy for four years and a little further down the road in Bainbridge, Georgia a year before that.

  20. Tillman says:

    @Tsar Nicholas:

    The Germans for generations have been a culture instinctively respectful of and deferential to authority figures. Germans are not a people who need to be told twice to get into line. Not too long ago, however, those same cultural traits helped a deranged Austrian obtain power there. The rest as they say is history.

    Uh, no. This was the reason Stanley Milgram set up his infamous experiment on authority figures and people’s willingness to do harm to others. He thought the same as you: it was something in the German culture that allowed normal people to commit atrocities based on nothing but an order from on high.

    He was, depressingly, surprised at his own results.

  21. Ebenezer Arvigenius says:

    Not too long ago, however, those same cultural traits helped a deranged Austrian obtain power there. The rest as they say is history.

    Could we please put that shit to rest once and for all.

    Hitler was got a significant number of votes because he promised to end the Versaille treaties that were considered unjustly punishing even by the political left, by promising to bring back law and order which had been shot to hell by daily street fights between communists and nazis and by running strongly against communism which was widely considered to be a significant threat (see again: communist street-fighting during a time where Stalin was running a terror regime killing about 1000 people per day).

    Even so, Hitler lost votes compared to the previous elections and only ended up in power because the conservatives miscalculated badly.

    We might have a discussion if “national traits” made it easier for him to stay in power but on the whole this “it’s natural for Germans” thing should have been led to rest with the rest of the bad 70s scholarship like “the steel industry did it”.

  22. John "Old Golfer" says:

    Why waste good bullets when you can just Gas Em???

  23. John "Old Golfer" says:

    Don’t worry…they will catch up with us…they are still evolving!